Après ski doesn’t always have to always mean nightlife and parties. Resorts around the world are upping their game when it comes to diversions for those who need something to do while their entourage hits the slopes or for those who like to take a break from the chairlift and ski/snowboard runs to do something different. Here are a few interesting ideas that caught our eye.
Catch a wave in Jay, Vermont
This may sound like an oxymoron for a winter story, but your eyes are not deceiving you. Change from snowpants to swim trunks so you can catch a wave at the Pump House Indoor Water Park at Jay Peak Resort. If you have the balance, grab a flowboard to surf the Double Barrel Flowrider—book a lesson if you need some help with technique.
Photo by Jay Peak Resort (shown as main image)
Bundle up for a vodka tasting in Whistler, B.C.
Warm up with a cold vodka in Bearfoot Bistro’s Ketel One Ice Room, the coldest vodka tasting room in the world. It’s so cold in this -32°C room that parkas are provided so that you can sip and sample from over 50 varieties—while learning about the distillation and filtration process—in comfort.
Paddle to zen in Park City, Utah
Now here’s an unexpected winter experience. Strap on your snowshoes and take a scenic hike to the 10,000-year-old Homestead Crater, a natural hot spring. From here you hop on a paddleboard and do an hour of yoga. Park City Yoga Adventures offers a few interesting packages that combine outdoor adventure and yoga.
Get salty in Courchevel, France
Apparently spending a half hour in the salt cave at Le Chabichou’s spa in Courchevel is equivalent to spending a weekend by the sea. Relax in this room of floor-to-ceiling salt-covered walls that are said to boost your energy, relieve stress and help your skin.
Ride a fatbike to eat fondue in Gstaad, Switzerland
Winter hikes are fun, but winter bikes are even better. Fat bikes have become incredibly popular, especially in the winter because they can handle the terrain. A new fat bike slope offering panoramic views from Bretaye to Villars is opening in Gstaad (gstaad.ch/en/active/winter/winterbike.html) in December, just in time for January’s Snow Bike Festival. Take a guided fat bike run and follow it up with fondue in a mountain restaurant.
Freeze and thaw in Mont Tremblant, Quebec
Located in the scenic Laurentian mountains, Le Spa Scandinave offers outdoor hydrotherapy hot and cold pools where you can soothe your aching muscles. There’s something magical and surreal about being outdoors at night under the twinkling lights in a swimsuit in the middle of winter.
Leave the car behind when you head to the slopes!
Nervous about driving in snowy weather? Some ski areas are accessible by train. Here are a couple of examples.
The Denver Ski Train
The Denver Ski Train has been on hiatus, but this year it’s back to shuttle skiers and snowboarders to Winter Park Resort from Denver Union Station between January and March.
In Europe, Eurostar runs trains from London to various destinations in the French Alps on Fridays and Saturdays throughout the winter. Skis travel free.