For many winter sport enthusiasts, as soon as the first snowflake hits the ground, they’re strapping on their skis and snowboards and road-tripping to the nearest snow-capped mountain. Whether you are a tried-and-true Olympic snowboarder or a beginning skier with eyes on the bunny hill, these three towns boast the best powder for your shredding and the best cozy lodges for those days off the slopes.
For beautiful snow-capped mountains, glamorous lodges and all the hot cocoa you can drink, look no further than these popular winter sports cities, no passport required!
Beaver Creek, Colorado
This very small town, just 30 minutes outside of Vail, was rated one of the best cities and resorts to ski in the United States by Condé Nast in 2011. This small town is less crowded than Vail or Aspen and still boasts more than 1,800 acres of prime skiing and snowboarding terrain, including challenging slopes for advanced athletes and smaller slopes for the beginners. This city also sees nearly 330 inches of snowfall a year, making it a perfect place to visit all winter long. In addition to great slopes, this town also has some of the best and most beautiful resorts in the country, including the Beaver Creek Resort, Border’s Lodge and the Pines Lodge.
Jackson Hole, Wyoming
This Western town, which is nestled in the Grand Teton Mountains, is home to two large ski-able mountains, Rendevzous (more than 10,000 feet) and Apres Vous (more than 8,400 feet). These two mountains alone have more than 2,500 acres of both advanced and beginner slopes. Jackson Hole is not only a place for the rich, famous and elite to come and relax, it’s also a mecca for snowboarders. Burton, the snow clothing and equipment manufacturer, created a freestyle snowboard park called the Stash, the only one of its kind in the Rocky Mountains. In addition to snowboard parks, Jackson Hole is home to first-class resorts and some of the finest hotels in the country, including the Four Seasons, Hotel Terra and Amangani. If snowboarding or skiing isn’t your thing, Jackson Hole is also known for its microbreweries, shopping and art galleries.
Not everyone lives or travels to the western states, but just because you are East Coast-bound doesn’t mean you can’t find some fabulous trails. Stowe, a picturesque town in northern Vermont, sits on two mountains, Mount Mansfield and Spruce Peak. There are almost 500 acres of ski-able terrain and the city sees almost 350 inches of snow a year. In addition to skiing, you can also stay at the very moderately priced Stowe Mountain Lodge, which was ranked No. 4 in Condé Nast’s top 50 ski hotels, and has gourmet food and spas for those who’d prefer to stay indoors.
Grab your skis, snowboard and hit the slopes — or the lounge!