Snow can be a real nuisance – it can hamper flights and ruin travel plans. But snow also means joy and play, and it’s a great time for your favorite winter sports.
Luckily, the US has an abundance of fantastic winter resorts, either a ski or snowboard heaven, or family-friendly mountain towns that offer a little bit of everything.
Driving in winter can be challenging but if you rent the right, well-equipped powerful wheels, they can take you anywhere you wish. So slide away to some of USA’s best winter resorts.
Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Wyoming
Quite frankly, I wasn’t sure whether to start my list with Jackson Hole. Then I noticed that Forbes has labeled this winter resort as the best ski place in the country for winter 2014. And that’s something! The ski area is in Teton Village, only 12 miles away from the town of Jackson. Jackson Hole is in the valley, some 60 miles long and 15 miles wide – beautiful and offering breathtaking views. It is said that Jackson Hole has consistent slopes, true skiing fall lines and the greatest ski lift in North America.
Most importantly, the newly renovated Jackson Hole Airport is only 35 minutes away from the mountain. You can stay at the Four Seasons built not long ago. If you are visiting with your kids, see the Kids Ranch. It offers daycare programs for children aged 6 months to 3 years as well as ski and snowboard lessons for the older ones. Besides, if you want to go out on the town, there is a special Kids Night Out program to keep your children occupied and entertained.
This famous ski resort has close to 400 residents, but over half a million visitors per year. Alta was founded in 1865 by miners who were exploring the silver mines in Little Cottonwood Canyon. Now the small town thrives around the ski area, which is one of the best in the country. Why? Maybe because of the low lift ticket price – only $79 for the busiest days, compared to $119 in Vail, Colo. Or perhaps it’s because of the laid-back atmosphere due to the fact that snowboarders are not welcome here. Oh, it has to be the snow! Alta gets some 530 inches annual snowfall, which has the perfect precipitation for skiing. Check it out!
Mountain Washington Resort, New Hampshire
Perfect for a family vacation. If you want to teach your kids to ski, this is the place. The Hobbit Ski and Snowboard School at Bretton Woods offers all-day lessons to kids as young as 4. And if you’ve come with your infant, no problem. Bretton’s nursery will take care of your baby (they’ve done it for a 2-month-old already), so you can go skiing. However, if the whole family is out to play, you can go on one-horse-sleigh rides, do ice-skating, tubing or go on scavenger hunts. If you happen to be there the week before Christmas, there will be a snowman building, tree decorating, snow painting and much more.
The Peaks Resort and Golden Door Spa, Telluride, Colorado
Telluride is a magical place in the heart of the Rockies. This winter resort can offer you real pampering at the Golden Door Spa. Bear in mind that Telluride is among the best ski areas in the US. You can try the perfect slopes, or take your children to the ski school. Ice-skating and dog-sledding are also popular. You can even go on a sleigh-ride dinner on a Friday night as children under 3 eat for free. Around the holidays, watch out for carolers and Santa who might be lurking around the corner.
Resort at Squaw Creek, Lake Tahoe, California
This may be a perfect spot to ring in 2014. The place is great for all-family fun because it can throw the most amazing New Year’s Eve party with games, music, crafts and a balloon drop at 9pm and midnight. Considering that the resort is at the center of the Squaw Valley USA ski area, you can ski or take your children to the beginner trails and take it easy. During the upcoming holidays, you can just drink hot cocoa by the fire, breakfast with Santa, or ice-skate with Buddy Bear. Have fun!