The temperatures are still dropping and in the early morning the ground is covered with frost. To some people this is merely a portent of runny noses, shoveled sidewalks and crawling through traffic in blizzard after blizzard. To others, however, it means only one thing…….yeah you guessed it right – Skiing! Unless you happen to own a home in Telluride, Aspen, Sun Valley or any one of those other happy locations where geology and meteorology combine to form perfect skiing conditions, you will probably need to travel to your favorite ski resorts. The question, of course, is where to go. Because of the high price involved, choosing the right ski resort for a holiday is never a light choice, because it is about much more than just the trails, snow conditions, and incline. Most of the best ski resorts offer much more than simply a place to rest weary bodies at night and warm toes and feet. For many people, what they do après-ski is just as important as the hours you spend schussing down the slopes. Gourmet food, spa plus gym facilities and other winter activities like sleigh rides, snow-shoeing and ice-skating are also considered significant. To help narrow down the choices, we have listed ten of the top U.S. ski resorts (not in any specific order). What these resorts have in common is proximity to the slopes–most offer ski-in, ski-out access–as well as extra amenities like spas, gyms and nannies.
Aspen – A perennial favorite, this resort seems to be geared towards adults, with few beginner runs on the ski slopes and lots of great restaurants and shopping in town, as well as a satisfying mix of romantic and luxury accommodations.
Vail – Lots of lifts and more groomed terrain than any other resort on the planet, Vail is great for skiing, but the resort is so large that you won’t have a problem finding off-mountain activities, from luxury spas to excellent eateries.
Kirkwood – This California resort is somewhat off the beaten path, but all the better for it, as it provides skiers with the steep slopes and great snow they could want, with plenty of relief from the crowds at other mountains. The town is quiet, but only a short drive from Tahoe.
Jackson Hole – Not for beginners, Jackson Hole is a favorite of experienced skiers for the breathtaking views and breathtaking runs. Few other resorts can offer as exciting runs on the mountain and an atmosphere that is equally relaxing off it as Jackson Hole can.
Sun Valley – The first ski resort in the country, Sun Valley opened up back in 1936 and has been drawing crowds ever since. The runs are great (70 years and still going strong really says something!), but so is the après ski scene, with lots to offer in the way of entertainment and dining.
Deer Valley – Near Park City, Deer Valley is quieter and more refined than its larger neighbor and usually offers great powder, perfectly groomed runs, and a mix of terrain sure to please those who seek smooth sailing and those looking for more of a challenge. It’s one of the most expensive resorts in the country.
Telluride – Historic Telluride contrasts with the ultra-upscale newer developments in this resort, but that just means there are more options for vacationers here. The mountain is fairly uncrowded and breathtakingly beautiful – as are many of the people who ski there.
Big Sky – Just as the name suggests, Big Sky in Montana is the place to find amazing views as you cruise the runs of Lone Mountain, which never quite feels crowded even when it’s busy
Mammoth Mountain – With a huge number of runs and a nice mix from beginner to advanced, all skiers will find something on this California mountain to like. The town is cute, but busy in winter and a perfect escape from the city.
Heavenly – This is the largest resort in California acreage-wise and is situated above Lake Tahoe on the border of California and Nevada. You can ski all day and hit the casinos for some action at night, or just take in some of the most beautiful views in Northern California.