Take Offs: The Hills Are Alive


The Hills Are Alive

You could attend a mountain festival every weekend this summer and still not experience half the action. Presenting six of the best:

Aspen, Colo. The International Design Conference of Aspen has chosen the "Spirit of Design" as the theme to celebrate its 50th season. Dates are set for June 14-17, and tickets cost $875. Call (970) 925-2257, or visit www.IDCA.org

Lake Tahoe, Calif. This summer the Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival will be performing "Love's Labour's Lost" and "Much Ado About Nothing." The festival runs July 25-Aug. 27, and tickets start at $20 per show. Call (800) 747-4697, or visit www.laketahoeshakespeare.com

Mammoth Mountain, Calif. The Fifth Annual Bluesapalooza and Mammoth Festival of Beers will bring in more than 10 performers and 30 breweries to Mammoth Woods for this two-day party. The festival is Aug. 11-12, and tickets are about $35 for the two-day event. Call (760) 934-0606, or visit www.mammothconcert.com

Park City, Utah The Fidelity Investments Park City International Jazz Festival draws some of the biggest names in jazz, including Ottmar Liebert and George Benson. The three-day festival will be held Aug. 25-27; three-day passes cost $95, and one-day passes start at $30. Call (888) 451-2787, or visit www.parkcityjazz.com

Snowshoe, W. Va. On July 14 and 15, Snowshoe hosts one of the nation's largest chili cookoffs. The weekend opens up Friday with a night of music. On Saturday, the outdoor cookoff features more live music, plenty of food and an arts-and-crafts festival. The cookoff winner takes home $1,000 and goes to Las Vegas to the World Chili Cookoff Championships. Best of all: It's free. Call (304) 572-1000, or visit www.snowshoemtn.com

Whistler/Blackcomb, B.C. The Whistler Summer Session, July 7-16, promises a jam-packed lineup of more than 30 mountain biking, road racing, in-line skating, skateboarding and trail-running events, competitions and activities. There's also live music, theme parties and the Festival Exhibition, showcasing outdoor adventure products. Call (604) 938-7593, or visit www.summersession.com TravelHit
Just 5 percent of the 1.3 billion trips Americans take annually are to foreign countries. Source: National Travel Survey