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Best Places in America for a Ski Vacation in 2024

TripBlog
TripBlog
Nov 6, 2023

Catalogue

  • 1. Park City, Utah
  • 2. Northern, Vermont
  • 3. Aspen, Colorado
  • 4. Lake Placid, New York
  • 5. Bretton Woods, New Hampshire
  • 6. Breckenridge, Colorado
  • 7. Tannersville, Pennsylvania
  • 8. Vail, Colorado
  • 9. Shawnee Mountain Ski Area, Pennsylvania
  • 10. Santa Fe, New Mexico
  • 11. Hendersonville, North Carolina
  • Show More

Winter's arrival elicits a sort of excited delirium in skiers and snowboarders. If you're someone who's not happy unless it's snowing, trust us, we get the appeal. For you it's all skiing, all the time. For the rest of us, we might look forward to enjoying other aspects of a great ski vacation. Think quaint mountain towns with amazing restaurants and avid opportunities for relaxation. That got us to thinking about places with that rare combination of excellent slopes plus plenty of in-town entertainment and excitement. We looked across the United States for destinations offering an ideal wintertime vacation. These top 2024 US ski towns are sure to delight even non-skiers.


Best Places in America for a Ski Vacation in 2024

Even if you’re only an aspiring ski fanatic, there’s an excellent chance Park City, Utah is on your ski vacation bucket list. And for good reason! Located roughly 30 miles east of Salt Lake City, the area is home to multiple ski resorts including Deer Valley Resort and Park City Mountain Resort. Both locations featured in the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympic alpine and snowboarding events. Their eastern-facing slopes help ensure excellent dry-powder conditions. Visitors regularly flock here from around the world to test themselves on some of the best runs.

Park City also offers a wealth great entertainment off the slopes. For starters, one can enjoy a walk around the Park City Main Street Historic District. Home to excellent examples of modern architecture, Historic Main Street overflows with great shops and cafes. Visit the interactive Park City Museum and stop at the Meyer Gallery, which features modern and abstract works housed in a historic former bank building. Or come during the world-famous Sundance Film Festival and watch Park City transform into the epicenter of the film world for two weeks smackdab in the middle of ski season. With so much to do, everyone falls in love with Park City. This place much more than just a ski resort town!




Best Places in America for a Ski Vacation in 2024

Northern Vermont appeals to a particular type of a ski fanatic. Jay, Vermont bills itself as one of the state's last remaining "undeveloped" towns. Here, pristine stretches of wilderness exist alongside excellent recreational facilities. Snowboarding, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, golf, hiking, fishing, and hunting help make Jay far more than a ski resort town. This is the sort of place one's equally likely to visit in winter and summer. If you're thinking about crossing this one off your list, the best bet is to travel from Burlington. Fully-vaccinated travelers might consider crossing the reopened US-Canadian land border on the way from Montreal.

When you arrive, book accommodations near Jay Peak Resort and settle in for some adventure. The resort features an indoor waterpark, indoor climbing, indoor skating, movies, arcade games, and more. You'll have plenty to do when you’re not strapping on your skis or snowboard and barreling down hill. South of Jay and located between Montpelier and Burlington is the Trapp Family Lodge. Enjoy Bavarian-style accommodation and access to some great cross-country and snowshoeing trails. Stowe Mountain Resort is only 15 minutes up Vermont Route 108 so downhillers can get in their fix as well. Treat yourself to some excellent outdoor conditions in beautiful Northern Vermont and book a visit to either of these fantastic winter sports destinations.



Best Places in America for a Ski Vacation in 2024

Aspen is arguably America's premiere ski town. This Colorado gem has long drawn visitors keen to experience the famous Rocky Mountain lifestyle. Set in a remote corner of the Rockies, Aspen appeals to those seeking a sense of adventure and an escape from the mainstream. This is a place where you can literally walk from a downtown café to a ski lift and, in a matter of minutes, be riding some of best trails in North America.

Be sure to visit the Aspen Art Museum or the Baldwin Gallery. The latter is well regarded for its exhibitions on modern and contemporary American art. Several additional galleries cluster together in Central Aspen, making it easy to wander around and enjoy their eclectic collections. Wagner Park is a lively spot popular with community residents and visitors. The John Denver Sanctuary features curated gardens and several plaques honoring the singer-songwriter's life and career. Depending on when you visit, you will absolutely want to take a trip out to see the famous Maroon Bells. The iconic Rocky Mountain peaks foregrounded by Maroon Lake create a natural setting seemingly plucked straight from a painting. With a vibrant community and plenty to offer, Aspen is without a doubt one of America's top ski resort towns. Come experience it for yourself.



Best Places in America for a Ski Vacation in 2024

Upstate New York is a highly regarded destination. The largely protected ecosystem is one of New York's greatest natural treasures. Lack Placid sits squarely within the UNESCO-designated Champlain-Adirondack Biosphere Reserve. Having hosted the Winter Olympics in 1932 and 1980, Lake Placid is a winter sports paradise. Whiteface Mountain is home to many famous alpine runs and anchors the region's ski culture. This is where you're going to want to spend some time if you're a powder head.

The Lake Placid Olympic Museum has numerous worthwhile exhibits. Those commemorating the famous 1980 "Miracle on Ice" are quite popular. Visit Herb Brooks Arena and see equipment worn by players including skates and pads from goaltender Jim Craig. Stroll down Main Street and feel the Olympic spirit as you discover the many restaurants, shops, and cafes. Lake Placid is one of America's top ski resort towns, but you don't need to spend all your time on the slopes to have a wonderful vacation here.


Best Places in America for a Ski Vacation in 2024

Bretton Woods is a small town with an outsized history. Visitors to Bretton Woods can stay at the Omni Mount Washington Resort, the iconic location where in 1944 representatives from the United Nations met to plan the post-World War II economic order. The hotel is surrounded by the beauty of White Mountain National Forest. Numerous ski resorts are close by and easily accessible.

The region's principle draw is Mount Washington, the highest peak in the Northeastern United States. Ride the famous Mount Washington Cog Railway, which runs seasonally from April through November. Brave the fierce conditions and often extreme winds at the summit. Mount Washington still holds the record for the world's highest measured wind speeds not associated with a tornado or tropical cyclone. The weather on the mountain is notoriously unstable so be prepared for a variety of conditions and check ahead before you visit. With much to offer, we think you'll find Bretton Woods one of the top ski destinations east of the Mississippi.



Best Places in America for a Ski Vacation in 2024

Like Aspen, Breckenridge is closely integrated with its surrounding ski resorts. While you're wandering around, stop at Summit Ski Museum and check out the exhibits dedicated to the local history. The museum displays equipment worm by early winter sports pioneers. Breckenridge Gallery has an nice collection of Western-themed artwork on display. Catch a film at the Speakeasy Movie Theater or a stage play at the Breckenridge Theater. The Edwin Carter Discovery Center is a great local history museum. Kids will enjoy Mountain Top Children's Museum where they can dress up and explore various themed activities.

Shopping and dining options are abundant throughout Breckenridge city center. Pop in to the many local businesses and popular coffee houses. If sliding down mountains standing up is a bridge too far, take a short ride up Colorado Route 9 to Frisco Adventure Park where you can enjoy snow tubing or some cross-country trails.



Best Places in America for a Ski Vacation in 2024

There's something to be said for a great ski destination located less than two hours from New York City. If you're anywhere in the New York Metro Area, consider a visit to Camelback Mountain Resort. Nestled amongst the Poconos, this is a great day trip destination offering plenty in the way of fun and excitement. Enjoy a range of activities from laser tag, rock climbing, an escape room, an arcade, bumper cars, and more! Parents can take advantage of the resort spa to enjoy a relaxing couple’s treatment while the kids are splashing around the indoor pool.

Camelback’s main draw in wintertime is the snowtubing! Settle yourself onto an inner tube and go sailing down the mountain at speed. Spice things up a little after dark when artificial lighting bathes the dozens of runs in a wide array of lovely colors. You can head out from New York City in the morning and be back in time for dinner when you visit Camelback Resort in Tannersville, PA.


Best Places in America for a Ski Vacation in 2024

Hugging the banks of Gore Creek in the White River National Forest, Vail is home to the massive Vail Ski Resort. Comprising over 5,000 acres of ski trails, a Switzerland-inspired village, plus plenty of shops, restaurants, and nightlife, the resort is a favored get away. Enjoy a stroll through Central Vail and tour the small but fun Colorado Snowsports Museum and Hall of Fame. Take your picture on the bench next to the Albert Einstein Statue and visit the Raitman Art Galleries. Vail Village Arts is a charming establishment highlighting contemporary American sculptors and painters. In spring and fall, there is normally a lot to see at the Betty Ford Alpine Gardens. Nearby, the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater stages concerts and other dramatic acts at its scenic outdoor venue during the summer months.

Gore Creek Covered Bridge is a lovely spot to visit, especially on a crisp winter’s day when you can pose for pictures near a frozen Gore Creek. With much of Vail closed to vehicular traffic, this is an ideal place for a stroll. Enjoy hopping between cafes or stopping at the many pubs where you can enjoy a good beer or glass of wine. Innovative restaurants feature delicious menus catering to diverse tastes. Basically no matter how you look at it, Vail is a quintessential ski resort town that’s certainly one of America’s best.



Best Places in America for a Ski Vacation in 2024

East Coast travelers looking for a more traditional ski or snowboard experience will enjoy the action at Shawnee Mountain Ski Area in Eastern Pennsylvania. Reachable from New York City in less than two hours, Shawnee Mountain is an excellent option for residents in the New York Metro Area. Visitors can choose between 23 slopes and trails of varying difficulty. Several lodging partners in the area provide special so-called "Ski & Stay" packages with options suited to everything from family fun to a romantic getaway. No matter if you’re a beginner or someone with more of a mountain pedigree, you can find something at Shawnee Mountain to suit you.


Best Places in America for a Ski Vacation in 2024

Though traditionally considered a top ski destination, the Desert Southwest is no slouch when it comes to good slopes. Pay a visit to the Georgia O’Keeffe museum before exploring the nearby Manitou Galleries and the New Mexico Museum of Art. Nearly a dozen additional small galleries and spaces are set throughout town as well. When you’re ready for some mountain time, you’ll have two great opportunities to choose from. Ski Santa Fe is located approximately 30 minutes from downtown along New Mexico Route 475.

If you’re looking to get away for a bit longer, consider making the trek out to Angle Fire Resort, a popular ski resort destination with hundreds of acers of slopes. The condos and hotel rooms on premises mean you can turn this into a great staycation. Come experience some of the best snow in all New Mexico.



Best Places in America for a Ski Vacation in 2024

North Carolina likes to claim it was “first in flight.” Though Ohio might dispute that, one thing is for sure, you can catch some gnarly air at Moonshine Mountain Snow Tubing Park outside Hendersonville. Located roughly two hours west of Charlotte or about an hour northwest of Spartanburg, SC, Hendersonville is small town Carolina par excellence. Be sure to spend time in Historic Downtown Hendersonville. You’ll find an array of shopping, dining, art galleries, and museums. There’s even an aquarium.

At Moonshine Mountain, you can enjoy the thrill of speeding down the snowy slopes on an inflatable inner tube. A good recommendation is to book yourself some local accommodations in Hendersonville so you can spend the morning or afternoon at Moonshine Mountain before returning to town in the evening to enjoy yourself over a good meal, drinks, and some entertainment. Moonshine Mountain is group-friendly so feel free to organize an outing, just be sure to contact them ahead of time if you’re arriving in large numbers. Snow tubing is a wee bit different from skiing and snowboarding, but it’s every bit as fun and thrilling.


These top US ski towns are just what the doctor ordered for a great winter vacation. No matter if you’re a seasoned powerhead or just starting out, there’s something for everyone on our list. Best of all, the geographic diversity means you're likely to find somewhere nearby to visit this year. Make sure to consider these destinations as you plan your upcoming ski vacation.

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