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Sun Valley, Idaho - A Mountain Retreat is the Perfect Place for Summer Fun

" Today's resorts offer you the chance to combine all your vacation elements under the blue skies and sunshine of summer. "

(ARA) - People have all kinds of expectations for their vacations - relaxation, a beautiful setting, lots of fun events, reasonable prices, doing something unusual, staying active. You may have visited a mountain resort before at the height of the winter season. But today's resorts offer you the chance to combine all your vacation elements under the blue skies and sunshine of summer.

A year-round mountain resort area like Sun Valley, Idaho, offers more than just skiing and snow. Although Sun Valley was the first area in the United States to be commercially developed as a ski destination, it has expanded its year-round activities while maintaining a peaceful, less crowded environment.

Sun Valley and its neighboring historic mining town of Ketchum are tucked away in the Smoky Mountain range of the Rockies in central Idaho. It's the gateway to the Sawtooth National Recreation Area, a region of 460,000 acres of wilderness that is one of the largest areas of untouched land in the lower 48 states. Not only was the resort voted best in the nation by the readers of SKI magazine, but it was also ranked in the top ten for dining, lodging, off-hill activities and family programs.

Sun Valley has long been a retreat for the rich and famous, from Ernest Hemingway, who made his home in the area, to Marilyn Monroe, who filmed "How To Marry a Millionaire" and "Bus Stop" here. "But you don't have to be rich and famous to find affordable packages, whether it be for hunting, fishing, or horseback riding," says Carrie Schiller-Westergard, marketing director of the Sun Valley-Ketchum Chamber of Commerce.

Your favorite warm-weather sports are in abundance, from hiking, biking, golf and water sports to fishing and horseback riding. If less-strenuous luxury is more your style, you can gaze at the mountains while swimming in a glass-enclosed pool or exercising at a modern, elegant health spa.

The Sun Valley Mountain Wellness Festival over Memorial Day weekend gives you a unique opportunity to learn and celebrate the ways to keep your whole life healthy and balanced. The area's natural beauty provides a setting for over 55 activities that explore health for the body and the mind. Lectures, workshops and a "hands-on hall" will feature exhibits and demonstrations of healing therapies such as massage, reflexology, magnets and more.

The fun continues through summer with music festivals celebrating jazz, rock and classical. Other activities include an arts and crafts fair, a writer's conference, home tours and a wine auction. A weekly highlight is an outdoor ice show under the stars that often features Olympic champions.

Sun Valley's tradition of being a peaceful retreat for artists of all types will be celebrated with the first annual Sun Valley Film Festival this fall. The Sun Valley Opera House will host the event, which aims to celebrate and appreciate the practice and art of filmmaking. A portion of the proceeds will go to help local community theater groups that support programs for young actors.

"There are great reasons to make a mountain resort your travel destination all year long," says Schiller-Westergard. "We have an average of 15 hours of sunlight here in the summer and enough activities and beautiful scenery to fill each hour."

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