As the dog days of summer come to a close, savvy travelers look to the mountains for one last warm-weather hoorah. Late summer vacations not only provide cooler temps and fewer people, but cheaper lodging rates as well. According to CheapTickets.com, when compared to peak season in the first quarter of the year, travelers can expect to save between 15 to more than 50 percent on lodging rates in select ski towns stretching from Mammoth to Stowe.
Based on these findings, we’ve selected five ski-town destinations that offer big savings, world-class summer recreation and vibrant downtown atmosphere. Here are a few ways to make your last trip of the summer sizzle.
1. Vail, Colorado
Mountain biking on Vail Mountain offers a great workout plus spectacular views.
Copyright: Chris McLennan
Set within White National Forest at the base of Vail Mountain, Vail has become one of Colorado’s epicenters for summer recreation and relaxation. Beautiful Gore Creek trundles its way through downtown, offering anglers the opportunity to wet a line and hook up with native Colorado trout. Looking for excitement for the whole family? Check out Epic Discovery, Vail Mountain’s multi-faceted outdoor adventure playground!
Sample Hotel Rate: Stay three nights at the 3-star Simba Run Vail Condominiums from $387.78. Travel Dates: September 12–15
2. Breckenridge, Colorado
Strolling along Breck’s historic Main Street, which spans eight blocks, it’s easy to see why this mountain town is one of the most popular destinations in Colorado. Summer is the perfect time to fish the nearby Blue River, standup paddleboard across Lake Dillon or tee off at The Breckenridge Golf Course.
Sample Hotel Rate: Stay three nights at the 3-star Tyra by Wyndham Vacation Rentals from $393.06. Travel Dates: September 22–25
3. Stowe, Vermont
Whether hiking the Long Trail over Mt. Mansfield or mountain biking Stowe’s 50 miles of interconnected trails, late summer travelers have plenty of recreation options to choose from. Visit the Trapp Family Lodge for farm-to-table dining at one of the state’s most cherished historic sites.
Sample Hotel Rate: Stay three nights at the 3-star Butler House from $452.43. Travel Dates: August 18–21
4. Mammoth Lakes, California
Convict Lake near Mammoth Mountain, CA.
Like its name implies, pristine bodies of water surround the town of Mammoth Lakes. Hiking, biking, paddleboarding and fishing are the main courses at Mammoth’s veritable recreation buffet. Explore Mammoth Mountain via a Scenic Gondola Ride or get radical across 80 miles of mountain bike accessible singletrack.
Sample Hotel Rate: Stay three nights at the 3.5-star Mammoth Estates Rentals from $478.80. Travel Dates: September 13–16
5. Park City, Utah
Located just 35 minutes from Salt Lake City International Airport, Park City offers four-season fun with two world class resorts: Park City Mountain Resort and Deer Valley Resort. From zip lines and alpine coasters to lift-served mountain biking and hot air balloon rides, Park City has a little something for everyone. A unique historic downtown area offers an eclectic mix of restaurants, shops and entertainment.
Sample Hotel Rate: Stay three nights at the 4-star Silverado Lodge, Park City–Canyons Village from $480.30. Travel Dates: August 22–25
According to CheapTickets.com,“Destinations selected based on highest percentage savings as well as region and selection of summer/fall activities. Percentage savings were calculated on 7/15/16 by taking the average price for all hotel bookings to mountain-based destinations on CheapTickets.com in the third quarter 2016 and comparing this data with the average price for all hotel bookings to those same destinations purchased on CheapTickets.com in the first quarter (peak season) 2016.
All sample rates shown were accurate and available on CheapTickets.com on 7/21/16 for travel in the third quarter of 2016 on the travel dates specified in each of the sample fares and may not represent current prices because our real-time pricing booking engine is constantly updating prices and availability. Hotel prices shown are for two adults and include applicable taxes and fees, and will vary by selected day of arrival and departure, length of stay, hotel selected, hotel room category, and availability.”