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Skiing is sick but not for everyone – at least not every day. After all, you need some recovery time too. With all eyes and energy of most mountain towns focused on the ins and outs of skiing, it can be hard to find alternative activities. Luckily, any winter wonderland has an abundance of options if you can see past all the signs pointing to the piste. Here’s five ways to enjoy your off days in the valley.
Gear to get you ready for days off the mountain:
- Snowshoes Tubbs Wilderness Snowshoes - Women - $219.
- Snowshoeing poles: Trail Pro Shock Trekking Poles - now $128.
- Aprés Boots: Waraku Premium - $253.
- Brunch Sweater: The No Waste Pullover - $532.
- Stylish Shades: Grey - $35.
- Hat: Motley Beanie - now $95.
- Bikini: Eva Top Beach Breeze - now $65.
- Matching Sweater: Joey Sweater Alpine Mountain Knit – $138.
- Hot Spring Boots: Women’s 6 Inch Ankle Deck Boot – $115.
- Hot Spring Bag: Go-Bag Mini – $63.60.
My first suggestion is another form of winter exercise. But hear me out, this can be as chill and picturesque as a picnic. Snowshoeing is an easy way to explore beautiful places and the gear is an incredible investment. These snowshoes from REI are great for a beginner and these collapsible trekking poles can be used in the summertime for hiking. Snowshoeing can be as mellow as you make it. I recommend finding the sunny day in the forecast and calling your local ranger for the public land (National Park or Forest Service Land) in the area. Here in Jackson we’ve got an abundance of trails with beautiful views begging to be photographed. Bring a hot drink, a camera, and your best friend, and you are guaranteed to have an IG-worthy adventure. (Except remember: tag locations responsibly!)
Everyone knows the gondola is loads of fun with your ski crew, but have you been on one in comfy clothes? Nearly every ski resort has an attraction at the top of the mountain accessible via the gondola. Google where you’re going, suss out the vibe, and get your aprés outfit ready. I highly recommend these snow ready boots. Their name, Waraku, means “harmony” in Japanese and they’re designed for off day comfort. The thick sole insulates your feet from the cold, and the inside is cozier than any slipper in my closet. These boots make it easy to stay warm without sacrificing any style. They come in neutral tones and colors too and zip up on the side. I wear these boots more than anything else all winter long in Jackson Hole.
If you’re looking to hit the town, I highly recommend beginning with brunch. If you start the day with mimosas and shopping suggestions from your local server, you’re sure to have a great time. Wear a cozy sweater like this one that screams I’m here to have fun and get ready to enjoy eggs benedict with your favorite latte. I also recommend preparing with some stylish sunnies since you won’t have on ski goggles. Fifth and Ninth is my favorite affordable trendy sunglasses brand and several of their current styles are fit for Beth Dutton.
If you’re feeling ready to invest in a souvenir that everyone at home will envy, it’s time to check out a local hat shop. Here in Jackson Hole, we’ve got several custom cowboy hat companies ready to form a crown to your head, brand your initials into the felt, and help you pick out charms and a matching feather to complete the look. It’s fun to create a piece you can wear immediately to dinner that evening. I highly recommend making an appointment at JW Bennett if you’re visiting Park City or Jackson Hole, and coming prepared with cowboy boots to complete your look.
Soaking - Eva Top Beach Breeze - now $65.
My favorite winter off day activity is hot spring-ing. Most mountain towns have hot springs in the vicinity—just do a quick google to find your local spot! It’s likely to lead you somewhere with larger vistas than the hotel hot tub and usually requires a little bit more adventure. It’s best to be over-prepared rather than freezing post-soak. Every time I head to a hot spring I pack a bag like this one, a bikini (this one has a matching sweater), and a towel. I also always wear durable, waterproof boots because it’s rocky and icy around most hot springs and you’re going to want something a little more technical than your best aprés boots. Since you won’t be wearing a helmet, you’ll want to bring a beanie too. Get excited to ease your sore muscles and cheers to a great trip in a steaming natural hot spring. Seeking more hot tub or hot spring must haves? We did a whole edit to help you.