Skiing is probably the top choice when it comes to winter sports. Thousands of travelers pick locations around the world to feel the fresh powder, tear down the slopes and fun nights on the town.
There are so many stunning places around the world; many provide top ski conditions but also gourmet dining and luxurious lodgings.
Great ski destinations boast a range of difficulty levels (and Heli Skiing Vacation) so that everyone from the novice skier to the seasoned veteran can find runs to enjoy. When you’re not on the mountain, you’ll be able to enjoy indulgent spa services and excellent shopping.
Here’s some ideas on top Skiing Destinations for the Winter you might like to consider
St. Anton, Austria
This venerated skiing destination is a big part of the sport’s history. The terrain is challenging, with a high season running from December to April.
Gorgeous St. Anton is popular with the wealthy thanks to the world-class slopes and outstanding accommodations. Rated the top ski resort in Austria, St. Anton offers some of the steepest slopes for skiing, not a destination for beginners!
This is North America’s largest ski area, and there are more than 200 miles of ski trails to explore. Visit between November and May for optimum conditions for alpine skiing and snowboarding.
There’s no better place to ski from January to March than this resort town, located about 100 miles north of Venice. This area features nearly 100 miles of ski runs in the Dolomites.
Beginners enjoy the slopes at Mietres while those with more advanced skills choose Tofana-Promedes. Cortina has been named “the most chic winter destination”, the town is packed with amazing antique shops, great food and elegant boutiques.
Located on the state line between California and Nevada, Tahoe boasts 15 outstanding ski resorts. With six peaks and thousands of acres, Squaw Valley is a perennial favorite.
From Thanksgiving to April’s end, the whole region offers spectacular downhill possibilities. Tahoe is known for having “epic powder, tight corduroy grommets, raucous terrain parks and endless moguls”… a can’t miss destination for any winter sports fan.
This is the home of the iconic Matterhorn, and skiers of all levels will find excellent conditions from November through April in this destination that is 150 miles east of Geneva.
Zermatt has three ski areas with famously long runs. Zermatt offers world class skiing with stunning views of Switzerland’s highest peak, Mattertal. The town is well known for being one of the top travel destinations of the Swiss Alps.
Winter Destinations for Some Snow and Sun
Trying to make winter travel plans for a couple or family that fits everyone’s needs can be a little tricky. Some will have a deep love of snow and others can be the lodge-hating type! Winter destinations that appeal to all tastes are pretty easy to find. Most will include enough activities on and off the ice as well as busy slopes and other adventures, anything to avoid cabin fever! Check out some destinations that have a little something for the entire family:
Niagara Falls, Canada
Though often thought of as a summertime destination or a honeymooner’s paradise, Niagara Falls has lots to enjoy for families traveling during the winter. If your children are getting into winter sports, this will be a great destination that will allow downhill and cross-country skiing expeditions as well as plenty of other attractions.
Kids will love Kissing Bridge, a ski area 40 miles from Niagara Falls. It has 36 downhill slopes and all the necessary equipment can be rented there, making it an easy day trip from your accommodation near the waterfalls.
For cross-country fun, Byrncliff Resort is another option. When you’re deciding where to stay, you can visit this website for great deals.
When you’re not skiing, take advantage of the Rink at the Brink, the seasonal ice-skating rink overlooking the Horseshoe Falls and show the kids the amazing Disney-themed light displays lit up every evening during the Festival of Lights, which runs from November through February.
Hawaii is a great destination all year, but most travelers choosing the island state do so for the beaches and palm trees — and not for the skiing. However, if you’ve got people in your party who’d rather ski than sunbathe and others who are adamant they want a warm vacation, Hawaii may fit the bill for both.
The tallest mountain in Hawaii, the volcano Mauna Kea, is tall enough to get snow cover during the winter months. Note that there is no ski resort here, and instead of lifts, skiers will need to drive in with a four-wheel drive and bring their own equipment. Skiing at such a high altitude is also very strenuous.
And, of course for the rest of the party, there’s a beach just down the mountain.
Taos, New Mexico
Explore the Southwest as well as skiing with a trip to Taos, one of New Mexico’s most interesting cities. Though Taos may be more famous for its long-established artists’ colony and the architecture of the many buildings found on the National Register of Historic Places, it also has some good skiing in easy driving distance.
There are four ski resorts in the Taos area, providing skiing opportunities for all experience levels of skiers. The resorts are about 20 miles from the center of Taos.
While your ski-happy family members are enjoying the slopes, stay in Taos to experience the art museums, make some art yourself or explore some of the historical places in the area, such as the adobe church at Picuris Pueblo.
Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Long beloved by the world’s top skiers, a wintertime visit to Jackson Hole may be a dream come true for the snow-lovers in your family. But, in addition to all of the buzz over the powder and pistes, Jackson Hole also has quite a bit to do for non-skiers. For example, check out the world-class spas at the many resorts nearby.
Go on a wildlife safari, try your hand at dog sledding, ride in a horse-pulled sleigh at the National Elk Refuge, visit the National Museum of Wildlife Art, take in a music show or a play, or, well, learn to ski.
The West Coast has a lot of great skiing, but when people think of Portland, Ore., they usually imagine rain — and not snow. And, that’s fair: The City of Roses gets more than 35 inches of rain every year.
However, basing your family in Portland for your next vacation will get your favorite skiers near the Mount Hood Meadows Ski Resort.
It takes about an hour-and-a-half to drive to Mount Hood from the downtown, so your group can enjoy the snowfall in the mornings and come back to the city in the evenings. When off the slope, travelers enjoy exploring Portland’s neighborhoods, visiting the Portland Art Museum and going to the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, especially with kids.