7 Beautiful Ski Resorts to Visit This Fall

Ski resorts are notorious for large crowds, overpriced accommodations, and pricey lift tickets. But, did you know that you can get great deals in the offseason? You won't be skiing, but you can enjoy hiking, biking, and other fall adventures. Many ski resorts offer amusement park-like activities, discounted rates, and package deals to tempt vacationers in before the big crowds come in the winter.

If you're looking for a peaceful, fun, and affordable place to take your family this fall, one of these seven ski resorts may be just the place for you. (See also: 5 Cheap, Fun Fall Getaways)

1. Breckenridge, Colorado

Breckenridge has been a go-to town ever since gold was found here in 1859. Hike or bike your way through bright autumn foliage, stopping to take a look at some of the many old gold mine remnants that dot the area. Later, shop for handmade goods in downtown boutiques, and relax in tantalizing restaurants and historic dive bars, including the Gold Pan Saloon, which has been in continuous operation for more than 130 years.

If you get here before mid-September, you may even be able to enjoy Epic Discovery, where you can coast down the mountain on 2,500 feet of track, test your skills on a climbing wall, check out the view from a 10-tower zip line course, or bounce off a bungee trampoline. There's something for every age.

Save up to 20 percent by buying the Great Summer Break package, which, despite its name, is valid through October. It includes lodging and Epic Discovery.

2. Stowe, Vermont

Stowe Mountain Resort is a beautiful New England getaway, and it partners with local businesses to offer you even more in fall. You can book activity and lodging packages at discounts of up to 35 percent off normal rates. Choose from adventure activities like soaring in a glider, hiking, mountain biking, ziplining, or just going on a local craft brew tour. For accommodations with a twist, splurge at the historic Trapp Family Lodge, which is still owned and operated by the von Trapp family from The Sound Of Music fame.

3. Snowbird, Utah

You won't have to drive far from the airport to get to this playground resort, located just six miles from Salt Lake City. Choose from amusement-park style activities built right into the mountain, including a vertical drop, alpine slide, and roller coaster, all open until October 8. If you get hungry in between all of the adventures, dip into one of the resort's 16 different eateries, ranging from a simple deli, to French, Mexican, and steakhouse cuisine.

Snowbird Resort offers several fall deals to choose from, including an Oktoberfest package and a romantic retreat. (See also: 10 Frugal Fall Getaways You Can Start Packing for Now)

4. Boyne Mountain, Michigan

Boyne Mountain was built for golf lovers and their families. The resort is home to two golf courses, and two different golfing vacation packages are offered until mid-October that include access to some of the eight other golf courses in Boyne. If your family isn't that into golf, don't worry — the resort is also home to Michigan's largest indoor water park, Avalanche Bay. Or you can play disc golf or tennis, go hiking or ziplining, or go on a hayride and make s'mores around a bonfire.

5. Mammoth Mountain, California

Mammoth Mountain offers several fall vacation packages and can serve as a home base for wider exploration among the Sierra Nevada. Mammoth itself is an outdoor lover's dream: A bike park with 80 miles of trails competes with a half-dozen hiking trails and superb fishing in the nearby Mammoth Lakes Basin.

If you want something a little more tame, you can also take a relaxing gondola ride to the mountaintop Eleven53 cafe, or hit the links at the Sierra Star golf course.

6. Blue Mountain, Ontario

Ontario might sound like a flat place compared to the Rocky Mountains, but there are still plenty of ski resorts. Blue Mountain in particular offers a ton of value for a smoking price — and if you're an American headed up north, your dollar stretches even further.

Choose from some of the more traditional autumn ski-lodge offerings, including mountain coasters, zip lines, gondola rides, and even a heart-pounding bag jump. Unlike most landlocked ski resorts, however, Blue Mountain maintains its own private beach right on the shores of Lake Huron.

7. Jackson Hole, Wyoming

If rustic civilization is more your thing, you'll want to check out the Jackson Hole Resort. It offers great packages that'll place you in local accommodations with a list of breathtaking adventures. You can explore the eclectic town of Jackson Hole, visit nearby Yellowstone or Grand Teton National Park, go white-water rafting, scout for bison, wolves, bald eagles, and more on a wildlife safari, or go hiking in one of the most picturesque areas of the country.

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