• Chamonix, France. While the French Alps are dotted with countless great villages, Chamonix is unique in that it is more famous for mountaineering than skiing. Located at the foot of Mont Blanc, this spot attracts athletes and daredevils from all over the world, eager to attempt some experience of the 15,781-foot mountain. From paragliding to mountaineering courses and glacier walks, visitors do not need skis to experience this majestic mountain. For those looking to watch some great athletes, Chamonix hosts the Swatch Freeride World Tour in the end of January, with skiers and snowboarders battling to be crowned the world’s best freerider. And with adrenaline comes letting off steam, so don’t miss some of Chamonix’s famous apres-ski spots, like Monkey Bar and Le Privilege.
• Taos, New Mexico. Park City may have a film festival and Sun Valley may have celebrities, but no ski town in the Western United States has the same opportunities for non-skiers as Taos. With four areas, there are plenty of opportunities for skiers of any level, but non-skiers are not excluded. At Red River, tubing starts at 4:15 pm, just after the slopes close, and Angel Fire ski area has the Polar Coaster — 1,000 feet of hills and a lift to take tubers back to the top. Angel Fire is also well-lit for night tubing. Taos is home to the Enchanted Forest in the Carson National Forest, which offers wide, groomed trails for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing.
For non-snow activities, Taos is a long-standing center for wellness treatments and bodywork practitioners. A popular spot for these practices is the Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs, where sulphur-free, geothermal mineral waters flow from a subterranean volcanic aquifer. For those interested in the cultural history of the area, the Taos Pueblo is the only living Native American community designated both a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a National Historical Landmark. In fact, the multi-storied adobe buildings have been continuously inhabited for more than 1000 years. Nearby, the town of Santa Fe provides more artistic and cultural opportunities, as does Ghost Ranch, the famous ranch and home of artist Georgia O’Keefe.
• Bariloche, Argentina. Die-hard skiers are always looking for the next hot spot, but also an off-season gem — and that’s where Argentina comes in. Similar to New Zealand, the ski season starts in mid-June, when the Cerro Catedral Mountain is usually maintaining a cover of snow. While there are 42 miles of trails with a good mix for beginners and experienced skiers, Bariloche makes our list because of the Argentine fun quotient.
Just as the nation’s capital, Buenos Aires, is famous for wild nightlife, Bariloche’s remote location does not mean it is without plenty of nightlife. The town has all kinds of evening spots, from casinos to discos to artisanal beer breweries. Lastly, the town is also full of traditional Argentinean luxuries, like great steaks, red wine and affordable leather, so non-skiers will stay plenty busy.
• Mont Tremblant, Quebec, Canada. While many skiers will argue that all the great skiing in North America is in the West, Mont Tremblant has been single-handedly fighting for the East’s reputation. A short 90-minute flight from Montreal, Mont Tremblant is also in Quebec, and with that, comes all the luxuries of French Canada. In addition to great skiing, the mountain has 12 hiking trails, ranging from two-thirds of a mile to 12.4 miles round trip that also coordinate with the gondolas. If you’re feeling up to it, you can hike up the mountain to a breathtaking observation spot and then enjoy a gondola ride down.
Mont Tremblant has a beautiful little village with adorable architecture and quaint shopping. For those looking for a bit more excitement, there is Casino de Mont-Tremblant, which is even ski-in/ski-out. For those who might want to arrive by rail, a shuttle runs between the Casino and the pedestrian village.