Some people vacation this time of year to escape the dreary weather, but for anyone who relishes the cold and snow, a ski trip is the ultimate winter getaway. Whether you’re an experienced skier or you’re in it for the après, the allure of the slopes goes far beyond the thrill of skiing itself. A well-planned ski trip brings together all the best elements of winter: cozy layers, crisp air, fresh blankets of snow, and warm seasonal beverages, just to name a few.
Since the setting is what truly makes the experience, we’ve rounded up the best ski trip destinations around the U.S. From resorts with luxurious spa treatments to mountains with the best double black diamond runs, there’s a ski trip destination for everyone. All you need to do now is wrangle your travel companions (and decide what to pack).
1. Steamboat Springs, Colorado
There’s a reason Steamboat is known as Ski Town U.S.A. This down-to-earth retreat is the perfect backdrop for your snowy adventures. Thrill-seekers will love tackling the renowned Champagne Powder, but you’ll find plenty of beginner slopes, too—and it’s all tucked amidst the laid-back Rockies charm.
Stroll around downtown Steamboat Springs with hot cocoa in hand, or check out the Steamboat Art Museum to appreciate some local art. At night, grab some tacos at Salt & Lime for dinner or head to T Bar for a brew and some international-inspired bites. Bonus: Steamboat is significantly more affordable than nearby Aspen or Vail.
Where to stay: Sheraton Steamboat Resort Villas (from $149 a night), The Steamboat Grand (from $159)
2. Park City, Utah
Planning a ski trip for a larger group? As the largest ski and snowboard resort in the United States, Park City Mountain has hundreds of trails for skiers of every level. Those more experienced can spend their days on double black diamonds, while others can stick with beginner trails or grab a lesson. There’s more than enough for non-skiers to do, too. Head to Stein Eriksen for a tranquil spa experience, do a tour and tasting at High West Distillery, or walk around the local shops in the downtown area. Who knows, you might even run into an Olympic skier on or off the trail—or you could head over to the Olympic Park to see where the athletes train.
Where to stay: Hotel Park City, Autograph Collection (from $237 a night), Stein Eriksen Lodge Deer Valley (from $462)
3. Mount Hood, Oregon
A beacon for ski enthusiasts, Mount Hood is a year-round destination. In fact, Timberline is the only ski resort in the U.S. that’s open 12 months of the year. You’ll find snow-capped evergreens and a backdrop so breathtaking you’ll think you’ve stepped into a cozy winter rom-com. Timberline boasts some of the most challenging, adrenaline-pumping slopes, while Meadows is a family-friendly destination for all levels. Even better: You’re only about an hour from downtown Portland, where you can explore the eclectic art scene and check out local restaurants and craft breweries.
Where to stay: Collins Lake Resort (from $120 a night), Timberline Lodge (from $240)
4. Stowe, Vermont
Want to feel like you stepped into a Norman Rockwell painting? Stowe will have that effect on you. It’s got black diamond thrills, beginner-friendly trails, gorgeous snow-covered scenery, and a slew of local spots beyond the slopes. Check out Stowe Mercantile for unique finds, grab a reservation at Hen of the Wood for a farm-to-table meal, and perhaps indulge in some maple-infused goodness (you’re in Vermont, after all). At night, head to The Matterhorn, which offers local Vermont craft brews and comfort food to refuel from your runs on the slopes.
Where to stay: Trapp Family Lodge (from $287 a night), The Lodge at Spruce Peak (from $320)
5. Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Seeking adventure? Jackson Hole is famed for its challenging terrain—and you’ll be hard-pressed to find an experienced skier who doesn’t have Teton Village on their bucket list. It’s home to more than 100 trails, jaw-dropping views, and a lively aprés ski culture, too. With cozy lodges, upscale dining, and authentic Western ambiance, Jackson Hole is the perfect blend of exhilarating skiing and rustic winter charm.
Where to stay: Hotel Terra Jackson Hole (from $329 a night), Rusty Parrot Lodge (inquire for pricing)
6. Vail, Colorado
A true winter wonderland in the heart of the Colorado Rockies, Vail has slopes for black diamond skiers and those who prefer to stick to the blue trails. And if you’re in it for the cozy fireplace and Instagram-worthy scenery? There’s something for you here, too. Vail Village features quaint architecture that looks straight out of Europe, as well as tons of cute boutiques, luxury spas, and gourmet dining options. Basically, you’ll feel like you just walked into a snow globe.
Where to stay: Lodge at Lionshead (from $290 a night), The Arrabelle at Vail Square (from $460)
7. Big Sky, Montana
Another paradise amidst the Rockies, Big Sky is basically an Instagram filter come to life. It’s got hometown charm (think Stars Hollow, but with nearly 6,000 acres of skiable terrain), adventure, and the most picturesque backdrop. Beginners and thrill-seekers will love Big Sky’s variety of slopes—and when you’re ready for some relaxation, you can head to the local boutiques and restaurants. Just make sure to bundle up in your warmest winter gear.
Where to stay: Lone Mountain Ranch (from $290 a night), The Summit at Big Sky (from $380)
8. Sun Valley, Idaho
An OG of ski trip destinations, Sun Valley makes skiing a lifestyle. Black diamond lovers and bunny slope explorers will each find trails to fill their days—and there’s plenty of aprés ski to be had, as well.
Cozy up in alpine-chic lodges and sip some spiked hot cocoa by the fire, or head to the thriving downtown scene with shops, farm-to-table dining, and an incredible array of art galleries to peruse.
Celebrities are known to ski these slopes, but it still maintains a laid-back cool vibe that will have you wondering why you ever considered hibernating through the winter.
Where to stay: Knob Hill Inn (from $290 a night), Sun Valley Lodge (from $375)
9. Hunter Mountain, New York
A New Yorker at heart, I couldn’t leave Hunter Mountain off this list. This cozy retreat in the Catskills is home to trails for every level, with plenty for non-skiers to do as well. Hunter’s laid-back vibe makes this destination the perfect blend of adventure and charm. After a day on the mountain, head to the Kaatskill Mountain Club for fireside cocktails and unbelievable views, or drive over to Tannersville, a neighboring town with a booming art scene and lively restaurants.
Where to stay: Scribner’s Lodge (from $192 a night), Kaatskill Mountain Club (from $237)
10. Snowmass Village, Colorado
A celeb favorite, Snowmass has four mountains with trails for every skier. It’s also very kid-friendly, which makes it perfect for a family ski trip. The Snowmass Base Village is a sight to be seen, with an ice skating rink, climbing wall, holiday pop-up events, multiple restaurants, and rotating shows and workshops.
End your night at NEST Bar & Grill for burgers and beers, head to the Limelight Lounge for wood-fired pizza, or grab a cocktail at Moxibar to watch the ice skaters. If you are traveling with kids, might we suggest a family game night at The Collective game lounge?
Where to stay: Viewline Resort Snowmass, Autograph Collection (from $265 a night), Viceroy Snowmass (from $291)