Best U.S. Ski Towns For Non-Skiers

Winter wonderland adventures don't have to be all about swooshing down steep, powdery slopes on skis. Snowbiking, zip lining and snowmobiling are also very entertaining endeavors, and ski towns have fully realized that.   Many destinations are renowned for scenic gondola rides, trails that lead to breathtakingly beautiful views and mountain-top adventures, bobsledding that can reach speeds of up to 70 mph, and vibrant après ski scenes.

Stowe, Vermont

The charming mountain town of Stowe is a great for outdoor adventures as well as low key getaways. Hike the scenic Moss Glen Falls to a beautiful waterfall. People who like the après ski will also love it there. Stowe is known for its high-end vibe. Adventurers, foodies and those looking to escape from stress can all find their niche somewhere among Mt. Mansfield and Spruce Peak, Stowe's two mountains – rom dog sled tours to snowshoeing and spa procedures. In town, stop by Stowe Cider for a delicious drink, and then head to the West Branch Gallery & Sculpture Park for a dose of culture.

Sun Valley, Idaho

Many come to Sun Valley seeking powder-packed slopes drenched in sunshine, but the mountain offers far more than just great snowboarding and skiing. Those who enjoy the outdoors without poles can take advantage of lift-serviced snow tubing on Dollar Mountain, ice skating on a scenic outdoor rink or taking a tour on a sleigh led by horses. The wintry outdoors isn't for everyone, though, Sun Valley also has a fantastic spa to keep guests relaxed and a movie theatre that has been transformed from an old opera house.

Lake Placid, New York

Lake Placid, which is set in the Adirondacks, has a rich winter sports history and a whole lot to do off the slopes. On top of the Lake Placid Olympic Museum, visitors can actually try out Olympic sports like biathlon, bobsled and skeleton with the help of trained professionals. If you'd rather try a winter sport that's a bit less adrenaline pumping, Whiteface offers snow tubing, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing, too. Pair those sports with great lodging, dining and shopping options and even non-skiers will be happy with this vacation.

Taos, New Mexico

This far-out mountain town, an underrated adventure destination, is unlike any other place on earth—and that's the appeal. Bordered on three sides by the towering red peaks of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, Taos is positioned in a high desert valley and is one of the few places that retain its native culture, thriving art scene and connection to the great outdoors. The town has spas and health clubs, so you can make the most of your trip in this tiny town of about 5,000 people, and it has hot springs. The Wild Rivers Recreation Area is a "hidden gem," ideal for hiking, camping or simply enjoying a breathtaking view

Aspen, Colorado

Aspen is known for being one of the best ski resorts in the world. Snuggled between the Rockies, this charming small mountain town is a favorite winter destination as well. With summits higher than 14,000 feet, there is always something to see and explore. Festivals showing off art, wine and music are scheduled year-round. Visit Maroon Bells, one of the most photographed peaks in the country. Take educational snowshoe tours, enjoy Friday night "Ullr Nights" (complete with bonfires, hill sledding, ice skating, and live music at the Snowmass Elk Camp), and even a few free yoga classes each week.

Lake Tahoe, California

More than 300 days of sun make Lake Tahoe an incredible vacation spot any time of year and unique views of mountaintops and the alpine lake are tough to beat. Stay in condominium-style suites (complete with a kitchen, fireplace and balcony) and have everything you need within walking distance. From the ski lifts to hot tubs, fire pits, world-class dining and tons of shopping—you won't have to drive at all and you certainly won't be bored. Go for a sleigh ride, dogsledding, ice skating, on snowmobile rides, and even on lake cruises. Also, go stargazing over the Sierra Nevadas on a nighttime tour.

Jackson, Wyoming

Aside from the popular winter activities such as skiing, you can try dogsledding, snowmobiling and wildlife safaris. Visit the National Elk Refuge where thousands of migratory elk come every November when mating season starts. Snow tubing parks offer hours of winter fun for all ages. Go on a 6-hour hiking tour if you want another incredible way to see the landscape.

Park City, Utah

This ski area may be best known for hosting events in the 2002 Winter Olympics, but that's certainly not the only thing people remember about Park City. It is filled with museums and historical tours, galleries, spas, live theater, and concerts. Go bobsledding, reaching 70 mph and five Gs of force. The resort has people coming back year after year, not only for the outstanding skiing and riding, but also the one-of-a-kind après culture. Kids and adults alike enjoy zipping down the mountain on the Alpine Coaster or soaring high on the Flying Eagle Zip Line.

Lincoln, New Hampshire

The town is deep in the White Mountain National Forest. Hike along the Artists Bluff trail for some of the best panoramic sights overlooking Echo Lake. The Appalachian Trail crosses through the northeast sector of the beautiful town. Take in the beautiful winter landscape at your own pace and enjoy the snow as you like it – with snow tubing, snowshoeing, and a thrilling zip line ride over the frozen Pemigewasset River, according to Vsiit NH. Make sure you go to Lincoln's Ice Castle – a true winter wonderland.

Seward, Alaska

Bear Lake is a popular destination for cross country skiing (both skate and classic), skijoring, and skating. Groomed entirely by volunteers, the trail follows along the perimeter of the lake and amounts to roughly five miles. You can also access Kenai Fjords by dog sled. Visit the Wildlife Conservation Center on your way to Seward. The drive between Anchorage and Seward is a photographer's dream.