Professional freestyle skier Gus Kenworthy, 21, has been on a hot streak the past few years, blowing up almost every contest he enters, be it a slopestyle, halfpipe, or big air event. He's averaging around 50 contests per season, training with the U.S. Ski Team for the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, and trying to squeeze enough time to shoot his own solo film project. He recently won the 2013 Association of Freeskiing Professionals (AFP) World Skiing Invitational (WSI) at the 18th Annual World Ski and Snowboard Festival in Whistler, BC, and took second at the Red Bull Playstreets urban slopestyle competition in Bad Gastein, Austria, as part of the Red Bull Signature Series (airing again on May 4 at 2 a.m. EST on NBC Sports Network).
It's safe to say that Gus is pretty nomadic. He even got rid of his apartment last year and started showing up early for contests, then sticking around to see the sights before jumping off to the next one. "I love getting to a new city and just walking around for a few days to get a feel for the area," he says.
Although he spends the summer chasing snow in places like Austria, British Columbia, and New Zealand, Gus says some of his favorite ski town haunts are fun all year round, even in flip-flops. Here's a wrangling of Gus's offseason recommendations.
When Kenworthy rolls into the Lake Tahoe area, he spends a sizable chunk of time hitting big features at Northstar and running laps at Squaw Valley's mile-long terrain park. Between the two resorts is the laid-back town of Truckee, a fine base of operations for summer fishing in Tahoe, Donner, and Stampede lakes. "There's a really, really cool coffee shop called Coffeebar, right next to a hairdresser where I got a decent haircut," says Kenworthy. "The coffee and snacks are super good and the WiFi is fast, which is useful when you've been traveling and have work stuff to do." Cottonwood Restaurant and Bar is a locals favorite, while Full Belly Deli has the best sandwiches in town – Kenworthy recommends the Italian.
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