One of the best parts about the cold weather season is going on winter ski trips — unless, you know, you don't like to ski. Then you’re stuck in a cabin in the cold while your friends and family (or whoever else forced you into this vacation) have fun without you. Not to worry, though. There are plenty of things you can do at some of the nation's best ski spots that don't involve skiing at all. From bobsledding to snow shoeing, we've got all the best ways to enjoy your ski trip… even if you don’t end up skiing.
Stay at the Hyatt Regency at Lake Tahoe, and take a guided winter snowmobile tour through the stunning Tahoe National Forest, and soak up the natural beauty of snow capped peaks and pristine waters. Even better? Upon your return you will be greeted with hot drinks and cocktails to warm you right back up.
If Breckenridge, Colorado is where you had your sights set, there’s plenty of non-skiing fun to be had there — like taking a six mile trip along winding trails through the Rocky Mountains on a sled pulled by a group of Siberian Huskies with Good Times Adventures. Who needs skiing when you can feel like the ice queen from Narnia?
Most ski resorts will have snow shoeing as a veritable activity option. But if you really want to enjoy the most the mountain has to offer, it’s hard to find a better snow shoeing experience than that offered by Vail Mountain’s Nature Discovery Center in Colorado. Take a nature hike through the mountains with an expert naturalist, and soak in the beauty and wildlife of Vail’s unique ecosystem. It doesn’t get much better than that.
Image: Paulo Etxeberria/Flickr
Scenic Helicopter Rides
Taking a scenic helicopter trip while the rest of your crew is off skiing is a great way to take in the pristine, untouched nature of the mountain that is seldom experienced while on the slopes. Opt for a tour that will take you into the mountains like Alpine Air Alaska at Alaska’s Alyeska resort, which brings you deep into the heart of the glacier for a quick exploration by foot.
While the other suckers in your group are out skiing with the rest of the grown ups, you can instead be experiencing the childlike joy and frivolity that only comes from racing down the side of a mountain on an inner tube. Go for a resort that has its own tubing park like the Grand Targhee Resort, and make the skiers in your group jealous.
Skip out on the physical exertion and go straight into pamper mode by making your version of the ski getaway into a spa-centric experience. Go for a facility that provides a myriad of treatments that are both relaxing and therapeutic, such as the Scandinave Spa in Whistler, Canada. It’s an eco-friendly spa that specializes in hydrotherapy with hot Scandinavian baths, thermal waterfalls, eucalyptus steam rooms, and to-die-for massages in all styles.
Image: Wayne Palmer/Flickr
Ride on the Olympic Bobsled Track at Hyatt Escala Lodge at Park City. It’s one of the most lively ski towns in the U.S., and it’s home to bars, live music, and even an Olympic Park. Thrill seekers can follow the path of Olympian bobsledders by taking a run down the original bobsled track used in the 2002 Winter Olympics. Let the professionals take you for a thrilling ride down the entire length of the Olympic track, where in less than a mile, riders rip around 15 turns while reaching speeds of up to 80 mph. You’ll even experience up to five G’s of force on the ride. Yeah.