Whether you're a family of beginners learning the ropes of the mountain or an experienced group of friends ready to tackle the next big challenge, these five North American ski resorts offer great skiing and snowboarding, plus a few extra details that ensure a perfect winter vacation.
Whistler Blackcomb Ski Resort
Just 90 minutes outside of Vancouver is the behemoth known as Whistler Blackcomb. Eight thousand acres of skiing area, 27 lifts, and hundreds of runs and trails make for a skier’s dream. The pedestrian-only village is enticing for those in your group who don't ski; they can shop and dine to their heart's content within the area.
Alta Ski Area
Alta is designated for skiers only, which means snowboarders will have to find another choice. This is great for those who prefer to enjoy the scenery at a slower pace, and Alta certainly provides an incredible amount of scenery. Unlike some of the mega-resorts in the west, Alta has a decidely laid-back, mom-and-pop vibe that lets you truly focus on the snow-covered outdoors.
Heavenly Mountain Resort
Heavenly is located in the Lake Tahoe area, meaning part of it is located in California while the other part is in Nevada. That in itself is a great experience—where else can you ski across state lines? The skiable area of Heavenly is well over 4,000 acres, with trees defining the trails so that it appears untouched by man. With no night skiing, there are plenty of bustling restaurants and cafés open in the evenings, with a great atmosphere for adults in many bars, shows, and clubs.
Breckenridge Ski Resort
With four giant peaks and a skiable area of well over 2,000 acres, Breckenridge is perhaps one of the most impressive ski resorts on the continent. Some of the peaks offer a challenging ride for even the most experienced skiers, while there are also plenty of beginner trails for children and inexperienced adults. Snowboarders can join in on the action, too, with pipes and courses specially designed for boarders. After a day on the slopes, wind down in the friendly town full of restaurants, bars, and cafés.
Jackson Hole Mountain Resort
In the heart of the Teton Mountains, Jackson Hole offers 2,500 acres of skiable area, including two huge peaks named Rendezvous and Apres Vous. There are plenty of classes and ski schools, as well as fun childrens' activities during the day. The famed Jackson Hole Tram is a great way to see the peaks, and the surrounding area of Teton Village offers restaurants, bars, cafes, shops, and other ways to pass the time when you're not roaring down the slopes.
Megan Gates is an active blogger who provides written work to the blogosphere pertaining to NYC Condos, Manhattan Real Estate, home improvement and the latest architecture, design and fashion. Follow her on twitter @MEGatesDesign.
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