For many Americans, the countdown to the holiday season means one thing: winter sports. Skiing is a popular hobby, and for good reason. When else can you take in all of Old Man Winter’s glory as you fly down a mountain? Not only is it exhilarating, ski resorts are notorious for having an abundance of activities that appeal to the whole family.
Killington– Killington, Vermont
A thrill-seekers haven! There’s a reason that this resort goes by the name Beast of the East. It boasts the largest vertical drop in New England. While the drop can seem intimidating, there are slopes for every ability. If hitting the slopes isn’t your thing, take a snow mobile tour through the Calvin Coolidge State Forest, or warm up in a redwood hot tub at the Inn at Long Trail.
Whiteface Mountain– Lake Placid, New York
If you consider yourself to be an expert, Whiteface has a rough terrain that doesn’t disappoint. Not only does it have a large vertical drop, it also includes big-mountain terrain, wide-open spaces, and parks for jumps and tricks. The slopes aren’t the only big thing in town, though. Lake Placid offers Olympic-inspired activities for families, like a bobsled ride, and has numerous shops and restaurants to indulge in.
Brighton– Brighton, Utah
If you want a lot of fresh powder, then head to Brighton. Due to its location atop Big Cottonwood Canyon, the mountain bears the brunt of big-time snowstorms. Brighton is well-known in the ski community for its nighttime skiing. In fact, they have 22 runs lit up over 200 acres six days of the week. And if you’re looking to relax off of the slopes, consider staying at Silver Fork Lodge, a log-cabin-style B&B that’s located five miles off of the mountain.
Keystone– Keystone, Colorado
Keystone is a family-favorite resort, so of course it welcomes both beginners and pros with open arms. It has three lift-accessed mountains for beginners, and a selection of tree-studded black diamond terrain for experts. Don’t worry about waking up early to get your spot in line, because Keystone boasts the state’s longest ski day and is open until 8 p.m.
Mount Bachelor– Deschutes County, Oregon
How does skiing on a dormant volcano sound? At Mount Bachelor, it’s a reality. While the narrow tree-lined paths make the skiing more difficult, the northeast side of the mountain offers family-friendly paths like the Marshmallow and Avalanche courses. While the resort doesn’t offer any lodging, you can stay a half-hour away in the hip-mountain town of Bend. The best part? The majority of properties have shuttles up to the mountain!
Crystal Mountain– Enumclaw, Washington
It’s not all rain in Washington, and Crystal Mountain’s slopes are proof positive of that. Located about two hours from Seattle, this resort is the state’s largest ski area with an abundance of base and fresh powder. While there are multiple courses for every ability, what really sets this resort apart from others is the parking lot that allows overnight campers. If you have an RV or camper van, you can stay on the property without spending an arm and a leg.
Find your innermost daredevil, and start planning the perfect cold-weathered vacation!