I once had a friend tell me, "If you're going to a party and everyone is supposed to wear red, you'll show up in purple, just to be different." And he was right.
Which is exactly why I love Sun Valley - in the summer time.
Caveat - I am not a skier. I'm sure that it's a lovely sport and that many of my fellow Idahoans would come out in force to support my learning to ski so that I don't tarnish the reputations of the natives; however, my learning to ski is only slightly less likely than my taking up bull riding as a hobby.
So instead of making the trek to Sun Valley in the wintertime like thousands of other people do, I go during the summer. The mountains in the summertime are absolutely stunning, and there's plenty to do to keep you entertained, even if you don't have snow to enjoy.
Summer operations of the lift begin June 24, 2011, so you still have plenty of time to plan your trip. Why would you want to ride the lift to the top of Baldy in June, you ask? The Roundhouse Restaurant is open Thursdays through Saturdays for your mountain dining experience. Eating at 7,700 feet is something that you need to add to your Travel Box list. And as long as you're up there, you may as well go for a hike.
Sun Valley has 28 miles of hiking trails that range from leisurely to rigorous - so take your hiking boots and sunscreen if you want to experience Bald Mountain's splendor in the summer. If you'd rather see Sun Valley from a bike seat, you can also ride the lift up with your bike or a rented bike and ride down the mountain for a truly exhilarating experience. Sun Valley is a pedestrian-friendly town, so you may want to hang onto that bike while you're there and skip the car altogether.
When the evening arrives, you can experience the nightlife in nearby Ketchum, of you can plan to see a show. Sun Valley's Summer Ice Shows are not to be missed - featuring some of the greatest skaters of our day, like Evan Lysacek, Sasha Coen and Johnny Weir. The tickets may be a bit spendy for a frugal traveler's budget, but the shows are well worth the price of admission. If skating isn't your cup of tea, you can look into the other concerts and events. Sun Valley plays host to comedians, dance troupes, bands and singers of all varieties. You can save on lodging at one of the local hotels and lodges if you book your hotel and tickets at the same time. See the "Special Deals" on their website at http://www.sunvalley.com/trip-planner/deals/.
When you're planning your summer vacay, take a look at the winter resort towns in your neck of the woods - you may be surprised at what's going on.
Sun Valley's website