The Best American Ski Towns to Visit This Season

by Jillian Finley

Whether seeking out the best powder this side of the Swiss Alps or simply looking for a decadent mountain retreat to hole up in a five-star spa, these diverse and distinctive towns offer any number of vacation amenities and adventures. Big cities and hamlets alike offer sweeping views, incredible sight-seeing and row upon row of dreamy, athlete-bound slopes. Here is a run-down of the top destinations to hit up in the coming months. 

Aspen, Colorado — Aspen makes the cut of basically every must list. Even if you’re not hitting the slopes. Incredible shopping, five-star spas, and haute cuisine abound in this diverse winter playground that serves up plenty of entertainment day to night. There are four distinct ski areas all within a 10-mile radius (for the price of one lift ticket,) so every level of taste and skill is easily satisfied.

Bend, Oregon — The dreamiest skiing the Pacific northwest has to offer. Over half the mountain is relegated to expert-level black and double-black runs. It also boasts premiere rock-climbing destinations, in addition to a slew of breweries lined up along the Bend Ale Trail. As cosy ski hamlets go, Bend is of the larger city pedigree. The west coast influence means you’ll have easy access to great yoga and healthy cuisine.

Girdwood, Alaska — Nestled into the foot of the Chugach Mountains, and home to the largest ski ground in Alaska, the Alyeska Resort, this chill and idyllic Northern town is a great choice for expert skiers looking to beat the crowd scene. While there are a few beginner and blue runs, those looking to seriously carve will thrive best. Try Hotel Alyeska for posh digs that offer a wake-up call to view the Northern Lights. Just 40 miles away, scenic Anchorage makes for an easy day trip.

Jackson Hole, Wyoming — Jackson Hole boasts the credential of being one of the birthplaces of extreme skiing in the U.S. The slopes are consistently powder-plush and super steep, a dream for those looking to race through some of the most challenging runs stateside. Beginners and intermediate skiers will find a few well-groomed options of their own. The western town masters rustic swank and Yellowstone National Park is an hour’s drive away. 

Ketchum, Idaho —  About a mile and a half from Sun Valley, home of the historically opulent Sun Valley Lodge, where Ernest Hemingway composed For Whom the Bell Tolls, Ketchum is a dream come true for snowboarders. The mountain has virtually no flat areas. Grandly remote, its log-cabin-rife atmosphere is a celeb hot spot during the snow season rush.

Park City, Utah — Every January this charming village goes full tinseltown for the Sundance Film Festival. The bar scene is hopping with industry peeps and celebrities galore. Main street is as quaint yet sophisticated as it gets, with row upon row of cool places to swill hot toddys and people watch. Gorgeous Deer Valley is one mile away, a welcome alternative for skiers looking for killer powder and stately resort amenities.

Stowe, Vermont — The quintessential New England ski village, Stowe is chock full of stellar restaurants and straight-off-a-postcard views. The vibe is quiet and serene, with a mountain scene that offers a diverse range of runs from beginner to expert. Possessing the quaintness and true American beauty of a Norman Rockwell painting, it is a perfect choice for families.

Telluride, Colorado - This Victorian-era silver mining town is as beautiful and dripping in year-round charm as it gets. The area itself is highly isolated and blessedly franchise-free. Telluride is a one-horse town with a killer wine list. A great choice for families and all levels of ski enthusiasts, there’s plenty picturesque scenery to take in on and off the mountain. 

Taos, New Mexico — Situated on Native American spiritual territory, Taos is utterly magical and offers incredible Mexican food to boot. A solid choice for art lovers, you’ll have the option to get lost in galleries that feature local maestros from Ansel Adams to Georgia O’Keeffe.

Vail, Colorado — Idyllic and ultra pedestrian-friendly, Vail is incredible for adventuring on foot. The village was designed as an homage to classic European Alpine resorts and possesses a storybook charisma. Mountain terrain offers an inexhaustible variety from novice to expert runs. Upscale and undeniably gorgeous, Vail offers fine dining establishments, fine retailers, and luxe spas to indulge all the senses. 

What is your favourite place to hit the slopes in the States? Tell us in the comments below. 

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