One of the saving graces of wintertime is the ability to participate in winter sports (and being able to drink hot chocolate!). Skiing, snowboarding, snow tubing…They can only be done with the presence of snow. Below are a list of some of the best places to shred in each region of the United States (and they probably all have hot chocolate available, too).
Southeast: Appalachian Ski Mountain, North Carolina
Appalachian Ski Mtn is the first ski area in northwestern North Carolina, and the second ever to exist in the state (the first being Catalooche Ski Area). Home to the French-Swiss College, it has taught over one million people how to ski, so you can rest assured your family will be in good hands. It’s the closest of the nearby ski areas to the bustling city of Charlotte, and is in proximity to over fifty delicious restaurants and lodging accommodations. It’s also the only ski area in North Carolina that works with those offering lodging to come up with personalized, inclusive packages.
Southwest: Sun Valley, Idaho
Sun Valley in Idaho is a wonderland year-round. During the winter, you can ski and snowboard the resort’s multiple mountains or try your hand at Nordic (cross-country) skiing if rapidly moving downhill isn’t your thing. The facilities also host sleigh rides, entertainment events, and there’s even an ice-skating rink. In the summer, visit one of the two swimming pools, sign up for a kid-friendly summer camp, check out the bowling alley or movie theater…the list goes on. With multiple lodge accommodations to choose from, and various specials and packages, there’s something for every price point–and with so many activities to choose from (did we mention the spa services?) there’s something for everyone in your group.
Northeast: Jay Peak Resort, Vermont
Jay Peak is a year-round resort located just below the Canadian border, nestled in Vermont’s Green Mountains near the city of Burlington. In addition to shredding the many exhilarating trails available for all skill levels, visitors can take advantage of the indoor waterpark, the ice arena (named the Ice Haus, a full-fledged NHL-sized ice-skating arena), or the championship golf course. The resort also boasts various accommodations and lodges, as well as onsite restaurants, bars, cafes, and retail shops.
Northwest: Mount Baker Ski Area, Washington
The ski area in northern Washington’s Mount Baker averages the most annual snowfall in the entire world at a whopping 641 inches! (And in the late nineties once had over 1,100 inches of snowfall!) So it’s no surprise that it’s the home of the Legendary Banked Slalom, a huge snowboarding race held every year. It also hosts an entertainment series called Music on the Mountain, attracting acts of all kinds to its White Salmon Lodge. Mount Baker is located in the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, but guests without access to cars can take the Baker Bus, transportation provided throughout the Whatcom County to the ski area.
Midwest: Ski Brule, Michigan
It’s hard to argue with Ski Brule’s credentials. It was voted Visitor’s Choice for Best Overall Ski Resort in the Midwest six years in a row. Located in Michigan, Ski Brule is an affordable, family-friendly ski resort, boasting a Kids Center, where those over four years old can use games to learn the basics of skiing. For children too young to ski, there are daycare facilities onsite. While there are trails of varying complexity, the Homestead might be the finest family skiing and cruising terrain in the entire Midwest. Ski or snowboard through picturesque views, including an 1890s homestead, and an apple orchard, all set alongside the beautiful Brule River.