17 of the perfect ski cities within the US
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Admittedly, selecting which ski city is the perfect is a subjective affair. Some folks solely care concerning the city with the deepest powder, whereas others may want the city with the perfect microbreweries and spas.
Based on Michael Levine — a skier of almost 60 years who has skied at virtually 100 resorts around the globe — the mountain itself is a very powerful issue to consider when choosing a ski city.
“You’ll be able to have a very superior city, but when the snowboarding sucks, it’s not a terrific ski city,” Levine mentioned. “I might somewhat have a sleeping bag at the back of a truck subsequent to a terrific mountain than a terrific resort subsequent to a foul mountain.”
Nevertheless, for these of us who won’t be as diehard as Levine relating to snow sports activities, you’ll be able to’t underestimate the apres ski scene, not less than in most years.
That’s why, to decide on the highest ski spots within the nation, we seemed for mountain cities that provide a bit of one thing for everybody.
From quaint New England villages to outdated Gold Rush cities, stalwart favorites to unsung locations, resorts with masterful child’s programming to hardcore backcountry zones, these are 17 of the perfect locations to hold up your skis this winter.
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Crested Butte, Colorado
Crested Butte might not be the most visited ski city in Colorado, however its small-town really feel and distance from the visitors and crowds of Summit County make it a worthy underdog.
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An outdated coal-mining city become a ski vacation spot, Crested Butte receives greater than 300 inches of snow yearly on greater than 1,500 skiable acres.
The city, which sits simply minutes from the bottom space, has streets lined with boutiques, cafes and eating places. The Sunflower Communal Kitchen, which emphasizes natural substances and wine pairings, is a good place to seize dinner. The Lodge at Mountaineer Sq., within the Crested Butte Mountain Resort base space, is a luxurious property inside strolling distance of the lifts. It even presents suites for households and teams.
The Gunnison–Crested Butte Regional Airport (GUC) is simply 40 minutes from the resort. It presents service to and from just a few choose airline hub cities, in addition to from Denver, permitting vacationers to keep away from spending a day in visitors to get there.
North Conway, New Hampshire
Also known as the birthplace of snowboarding in North America, North Conway’s deep ski historical past is motive sufficient to think about it one of many finest ski cities within the U.S.
Couple that with six downhill ski resorts inside a half-hour drive; eating places and cafes such because the Thompson Home Eatery and Frontside Espresso Roasters; and loads of lodging choices, together with the high-end Glen Home in Pinkham Notch; and this one is a no brainer.
Due to a corporation referred to as Granite Backcountry Alliance, which has been arduous at work making a community of backcountry ski zones across the state, those that want to get off-piste to earn their turns will discover no scarcity of choices.
Taos, New Mexico
Along with a world-class ski resort, Taos is dwelling to a World Heritage Website (Taos Pueblo), distinctive delicacies and an artwork tradition deeply rooted within the historical past of the Southwest.
After a day of Rocky Mountain powder with out the crowds of Vail and Aspen, stroll the walkable downtown and admire the adobe structure that units this ski city aside. When your legs want a relaxation, head to the Edelweiss Lodge and Spa, which is a ski-in, ski-out property.
Earlier than you name it an evening, although, go to La Cueva Cafe for chipotle shrimp tacos.
Vail deserves a spot on each skier’s record, whether or not you’re in search of a hill with steep and deep traces or a city with loads of cocktails and locations to buy.
In spite of everything, everybody wants a relaxation day (or two) following just a few consecutive days of snowboarding over 5,200 acres of terrain and three,450 vertical ft. When that day comes, hold your self within the snowboarding mindset by visiting the Colorado Snowsports Museum and Corridor of Fame, which reopened in 2018 after a $2.6 million renovation.
There’s additionally a European bakery and restaurant, appropriately named Alpenrose, within the coronary heart of Vail Village that gives Austrian and German delicacies in a country eating room.
If you wish to follow the European theme, spend the evening at Sonnenalp, a German-style resort that mixes components of the Previous West with a conventional European ski city.
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Although the Pacific Northwest is notorious for its lengthy, gloomy winters and chronic precipitation, skiers and snowboarders can head to the mountains, the place that rain is remodeled into snowfall. That’s why Mount Baker — Bellingham’s native ski hill — has so many deep days.
Whereas the city of Bellingham is greater than an hour away from the mountain, it nonetheless works as an ideal base for exploring Baker’s slopes, due to its breadth of lodging and eating venues.
Cease by Lettered Streets Coffeehouse for a cup of regionally roasted espresso and a pastry earlier than heading out to the mountain for the day. Lodge Bellwether is a good high-end property instantly on Bellingham Bay.
I’m going to be controversial for a minute and sing Ogden’s praises this ski season.
In spite of everything, the mountain vacation spot is the gateway to 3 resorts totaling 11,600 skiable acres with 500 inches of snowfall. This, in itself, makes Ogden an underrated different to Park Metropolis and Alta.
Ogden can be the oldest metropolis in Utah, and it is the jumping-off level for Powder Mountain (the biggest ski resort by acreage within the U.S.), Nordic Valley and Snowbasin Resort, which has a newly-renovated base lodge (Earl’s Lodge).
All three ski areas are accessible from downtown by way of public transportation, eliminating the trouble of getting to waste an excessive amount of of your trip time driving. When you’re there, spend your nights on the trendy 15-room Compass Rose Lodge at Snowbasin, which opened in January 2019.
House to 3 ski areas, Jackson is understood for its deep snowpack and intensive aspect and backcountry terrain. Of the three — Jackson Gap Mountain Resort, Snow King Mountain and Grand Targhee Resort — Jackson Gap is well the most well-liked, and rightfully so.
The mountain’s 2,500 skiable acres ascend over 4,100 vertical ft. Nevertheless, if you happen to’re trying to keep away from crowds, contemplate Snow King or Grand Targhee as an alternative.
Spend your nights on the 96-room Cloudveil, a Marriott Autograph Assortment Property, which debuted in 2021, offering the proper mixture of rustic cabin really feel (assume birch tree room dividers and animal footprint carpets) with upscale, fashionable facilities.
If you’re not snowboarding, discover downtown Jackson’s cafes, eating places, bars, boutiques and artwork galleries. When night rolls round, head to the well-known Million Greenback Cowboy Bar the place you’ll be able to sip drinks atop horse saddles.
Nestled between various 13,000- and 14,000-foot peaks within the San Juan Mountains, the central space of this outdated Victorian mining city is a Nationwide Historic Landmark District.
Now, Telluride’s historic streets and buildings are full of connoisseur eating places, boutiques and artwork galleries, making it an ideal place to remain for a ski trip.
Whereas the city is nice for retail remedy, the prime quality of the resort could have you extra targeted on powder turns than shopping for a brand new jacket.
Earlier than heading out for a day on the slopes, gas up on the locally-owned Butcher and Baker Cafe. Spend the evening on the historic New Sheridan Lodge, just a few blocks from the mountain’s gondola for a stick with some historical past, or try the hospitality on the well-appointed Dunton City Home.
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Bend’s location in Oregon’s excessive desert makes it the proper place to take pleasure in just a few hours of powder within the morning, world-class mountaineering within the afternoon and a night of golf all in the identical day.
Whereas it’s just some miles from Mount Bachelor, which receives greater than 400 inches of snow yearly, town tends to expertise a lot much less precipitation.
Beer lovers will probably be thrilled to search out that Bend is called “Beer Metropolis USA” and boasts a various vary of breweries such because the Crux Fermentation Venture and Deschutes Brewery.
Waitsfield, within the Mad River Valley, is an effective different to the state’s extra crowded ski areas akin to Killington and Stowe. For individuals who need to ditch the automotive for the weekend, the Mad Bus sometimes presents free service across the area in the course of the winter.
Sugarbush and the opposite close by resort, Mad River Glen, each obtain a notable quantity of annual snowfall by East Coast requirements.
Ebook a room on the Sugarbush Inn, which has a chief location on the base of Sugarbush and is simply minutes from city. Down the highway in Warren, The Pitcher Inn is a luxurious inn that makes for an additional nice lodging choice.
For a chew to eat, try Blue Stone for pizza and native brews or the Mad Taco for Mexican. In fact, a visit to Vermont isn’t full with out a cease at a neighborhood brewery or taproom, like Lawson’s Most interesting Liquids, which opened its Waitsfield location in 2018 and is famend for its New England-style IPAs.
Durango is a small city north of the New Mexico border, which suggests it typically will get overshadowed by resorts nearer to Denver. The city is a good jumping-off level for Purgatory, a smaller resort with nice newbie trails and loads of difficult terrain for extra skilled skiers.
Durango can be dwelling to a handful of breweries, akin to Carver Brewing Firm and Ska Brewing Firm, and it has various locations to put your head. Vacationers ought to go to now earlier than Durango goes the way in which of a number of the extra touristy ski cities.
With a median of 275 days of sunshine, 400 inches of annual snowfall and 12 downhill resorts (together with the world-class Palisades Tahoe) inside a 10-mile radius, it’s no marvel that skiers from throughout the nation select Truckee and the Lake Tahoe space for his or her annual household ski journey.
Beer and pizza followers ought to head to Previous City Faucet to attempt the mushroom pie and a neighborhood brew, whereas wine lovers will admire the choice at Uncorked.
The historic Truckee Lodge is centrally positioned inside strolling distance of many outlets and eating places, permitting you to ditch the automotive for the evening.
One other prime contender is the Mammoth Mountain ski space, which vacationers can expertise lengthy after winter ends, due to its northern-facing slopes and excessive summit elevation. Additionally, Truckee is only a quick drive from a excessive focus of downhill resorts.
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Many consider Stowe, one other traditional New England ski city, as “the ski capital of the East.”
Along with the 314 inches of snow which are dumped onto 485 skiable acres yearly, the city is dwelling to top-of-the-line microbreweries within the nation, The Alchemist.
Deal with your self to a spa day on the Stoweflake Mountain Resort & Spa after which pattern a few of Vermont’s most interesting beers at Doc Ponds. For those who’re hungry after a day of snowboarding, seize a housemade beer and a burger at Idyltime Brewing Firm, which is minutes from the village middle.
If you wish to discover new terrain after just a few days on the mountain, head over to Smugglers’ Notch, simply an hour’s drive away.
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One other Colorado mining city, Breckenridge Ski Resort (or Breck, because the locals name it) is dwelling to the very best chairlift in North America. The city is full of native eating places, distilleries, galleries and breweries, so that you don’t need to really feel unhealthy about taking a relaxation day.
The Mountain Thunder Lodge is a good property for vacationers who need the comfort of a ski-in, gondola-out resort in a secluded setting.
Whereas on trip, cease by the Breckenridge Distillery, which claims to be the very best distillery on Earth, and discover just a few of the world’s different mountains. The Summit Stage bus presents free service to Copper Mountain and Keystone, for instance. The latter is among the finest ski resorts for households within the nation.
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On the fringe of Glacier Nationwide Park, Whitefish is a bustling small city in a wild, untamed setting. Initially settled within the early Twentieth century due to the Nice Northern Railway, the city continues to flourish with assist from the three,000-acre Whitefish Mountain Resort.
Whereas Huge Sky Mountain Resort’s 5,800 acres get all the eye, Whitefish deserves recognition for being a modest, unflashy vacation spot with wonderful terrain. The resort is constant virtually a decade of regular enhancements, together with new glading tasks and new groomers.
The streets are lined with superb eating institutions, ski outlets, cafes, distilleries and breweries. Earlier than beginning your day, seize a cup of espresso at one in every of two Montana Espresso Merchants areas on the town. Spend your nights on the Grouse Mountain Lodge, which presents upscale lodging only a mile from downtown.
Usually recognized for its vibrant nightlife and apres scene, Killington can be the biggest ski resort east of the Mississippi. Rightfully generally known as “The Beast of the East,” Killington has a 3,050-foot vertical drop and greater than 1,500 acres of skiable terrain.
The mountain is commonly the primary to open and the final to shut on the East Coast. This 12 months, the resort is focusing on a mid-November opening date. For a Killington staple, head to the Wobbly Barn Steakhouse and Nightclub, which frequently hosts reside music occasions and events, guaranteeing your Killington expertise extends lengthy into the evening.
Aspen‘s popularity could seem inflated, however this Twentieth-century mining city continues to reinvent itself.
Aspen Snowboarding Firm’s 4 resorts — Aspen Highlands, Aspen Mountain, Buttermilk and Aspen Snowmass — provide loads of assorted terrains, however a number of are standouts for kids nonetheless mastering their pizzas and french fries. The Aspen/Pitkin County Airport (ASE) is just some miles from city, making Aspen simply accessible for vacationers (not less than when the climate cooperates).
Vacationers ought to ebook a room (or not less than try the scene) on the W Aspen, which opened in August 2019 on the location of the previous Sky Lodge. There’s additionally The Little Nell, which boasts the one ski-in/ski-out entry in Aspen.
After a day on the slopes, attempt the Pan-American and French fusion menu at Betula. Imagine it or not, it’s attainable to go to Aspen on a price range — so benefit from the terrain and powder with out blowing your complete pockets.
Extra reporting by Summer season Hull.