No need to cross the Atlantic for memorable skiing and socializing by the fireplace.
The good old U.S.A. has some wonderful ski resorts that will cater to every interest and sports level, from slopes to the pros to indulgent spa goers.
Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Wyoming
Boasting the best ski lift in the U.S., Jackson Hole is one rocking site, with a DJ whose rock&roll tracks will supersede the altitude ear popping, making for one groovy incline. New lifts will take skiers to slopes that currently requires hike access so this resort is always happening. The resort is a convenient 40 minute drive from the main airport, with direct flights from major U.S> cities like Chicago, New York, LA and Dallas. Summer is actually a top season for visitors at Jackson Hole, with easy access to Yellowstone National Park. Lodging will be easier to find and closer to the resort at more competitive prices than the winter.
Eat: Head to Handle Bar at the Four Seasons or Mangy Moose for drinks. Spur Resto & Bar – beef is of high quality thanks to organic feeding.
Sleep: Hotel Terra – two minute walk to the tram and great accommodations.
Professional skiers love this site for holy snow experiences – more than 12 meters are sprinkled here every year. Intermediate skiers will find tailored slopes for easier gliding. Snowboarders can head to nearby Snowbird for a taste of their own adventure. Early December and late April are great periods for visiting Alta, letting you choose between ski, mountain biking or early golf sessions at the local clubs.
Eat: The towns here are quiet, with a small selection of bars and restaurants. Your best bet is to buy fresh food and prepare your own cuisine indoors.
Sleep: You’ll find a selection of private homes and villas in the areas just west of town; check out AirBNBs offers. Otherwise, Snowboard is home to Cliff Lodge, the ‘biggest’ hotel in the area, featuring a swimming pool and rooftop spa.
Vail boasts almost 5,300 acres of slope grounds, making it one of the most popular sites in the U.S. and the biggest among Forbe’s Top 10 sites for 2015. Every year sees the opening of new resorts that cater well to incoming tourism. Some of the key sites are Game Creek Lift where you can admire the trees and open views, while Blue Sky Basin will feed your need for speed. Looking for adventure? Nearby Silverton town offers pro ski slopes – no beginners allowed. In you’re traveling with kids, pencil in a day tip to Beaver Creek where you can with the kids. No car needed, there’s a shuttle to keep it simple and accessible.
Eat: The Little Diner has a great menu with German pancakes to devour every morning.
Sleep: Vail has two lodging villages for all travelers (singles, friends, families), so quality beds are plentiful. Head to the Ritz-Carlton for first class hospitality.
Mammoth Mountain, California
Surprised to find the sunshine state on the list? Mammoth boasts consistent snowfall, impressive size and a minimal elevation of 2,000 feet for good skiing. The Mountain Collective pass applies here, as well as in Vail’s resorts, making this a great program package for those planning at least two trips. Mammoth offers access to all ski levels with nine parks in total, and more than 50 jumps and 100 acres of freestyle terrain. There are regular flights from San Francisco, L.A. and San Diego, making this an easily accessible resort town. Weekdays are the best to enjoy the slopes of the West Coast, while weekends are considerably full. Head to Canyon Lodge, Mill Lodge, The Village or the Eagle Lodge for an afternoon chill session, drinks and snacks.
Eat: McCoy Station right on the slopes – satisfy your appetite with a good ol’ American burger and head back to slicing the slopes.
Sleep: The Westin Monache Resort is top, but there are many quaint lodges that are equally hospitable and comfortable.