Winter is one of the best seasons of the year. It’s a time filled with hot chocolate with the ones you love on a cold winter’s night, admiring the unique beauty of falling snowflakes and best of all, planning those fun-filled winter vacations. I love vacationing during this season because there’s just something so magical about it. Perhaps it’s because there’s still a celebratory feeling of a new year in the air? While there’s plenty of places to go on holiday, these six winter resorts are ideal destinations whether you’re flying solo or packing up the whole family. Who says you have to go somewhere tropical during this time of the year?
1. Sun Valley Resort
Sun Valley ski resort in Idaho is nestled within the scenic Rocky Mountain’s, and offers plenty of exciting activities that will keep everyone entertained. One of my favorite things about this winter resort is all of the restaurant options that they have available. The Roundhouse is one unique dining experience that you don’t want to miss out on! Located on top of Bald Mountain, this restaurant it known for their hot drinks (to warm those chilled bones), stunning views and mouthwatering meals. They even offer a fireside fondue; how many restaurants do you know who have such amazing offers? And that’s just one of many at this resort. Of course, they offer skiing and snowboarding, for those of who are active and love interacting with the beauty of winter. They also have sleigh rides, which are perfect for those of us who may not be very athletic or have children who are too small to be on the slopes. And if you’re that person who loves the snow but doesn’t like to be out in it all day, there are plenty of shops to explore at the resort! At Sun Valley resort, there’s something for everyone.
2. Keystone Resort
Located in Summit County, Colorado, this breathtaking winter resort should be on everyone’s bucket list! It’s in an ideal area where many of the slopes are protected from the winter weather winds, and have some of the best powder the Rockie’s have to offer. It’s a skier and snowboarders paradise for sure! There’s also a plethora of dining and shopping options to choose from. Cures ‘N Curiosities in Lakeside Village is the place to go if you love finding the perfect souvenir during your stay. I personally love picking up souvenirs from places that I’ve visited because, it reminds me of the time spent there and all of the good memories that I gained from it. Keystone also offers a spa and salon! So, if you’re on a trip with the girls, make sure to stop by here for a relaxing detoxifying scrub and massage or to have your hands and feet pampered with a mani-pedi. Another fun activity for those of us who love the scenic beauty of winter, but from an aerial view, should take a ride on the gondola. This takes you from the base to the summit, and offers breathtaking views. Once at the top, you can explore the 9280’ Taphouse or the Summit House, where both are great options for food and drink. And if you have the kiddos with you, definitely check out the Kidtopia Snow Fort, which happens to be the world’s largest snow fort! Keystone is one winter resort that you don’t want to miss out on.
3. Angel Fire Resort
Most people don’t associate New Mexico with any sort of winter activity, but those people are about to be proved wrong because Angel Fire resort in northern New Mexico is one of the best winter resorts out there. This ski resort is located in the Southern Rocky Mountains, and offers some pretty awesome slopes for those skiers and riders out there! Angel Fire is also the only resort in New Mexico that offers night skiing, and if you’ve never been, then you need to as soon as humanly possible. There’s nothing quite like night skiing, and it’s definitely one unique experience that you don’t want to miss out on. Nordic skiing, or cross-country, is another activity that you can participate in while staying at this winter resort. And if you’re up for a seven and half mile journey, then you should check it out, plus it’s a terrific workout! But, if you’re just not one to have skis or snowboards strapped to your feet, then this resort’s four lane tubing hill provides the perfect solution to that, and you won’t have to worry about crashing into anyone or vice-versa since it’s only one rider at a time. For those looking for an authentic Southwestern experience, look no further than Angel Fire.
4. Squaw Valley Resort
Lake Tahoe, California in the Sierra Nevada Mountains is one of the most beautiful areas that I’ve ever had the pleasure of visiting, and has some of the best views California has to offer. Squaw Valley resort is just one of the many that are home to Lake Tahoe, but by far superior. This winter resort hosted the 1960 Winter Olympics, and has been voted North America’s best ski resort three years running. There’s plenty of fun and adventure to be had here! One activity for the explorer in all of us would be the Alpenglow Expedition, where you can ski or board, with a guided tour of course, in the backcountry terrain of Lake Tahoe. This expedition offers tours from beginners all the way up to experts. If you’re looking for the perfect cocktail or craft beer after a long day on the slopes, then the Alpine Bar is the place to be! The Tahoe Toddy is a highly recommended must try on their menu. Squaw Valley is also home to the Aerial Tram which takes you to 8,200 feet above sea level, and has remarkable views of the surrounding mountain vistas and Lake Tahoe. If you’re on the search for a winter resort that offers distinctive views and is world famous, look no further than Squaw Valley.
5. Park City Resort
This stunning winter resort in the Rocky Mountain range of Utah played host to two events in the 2002 Winter Olympics; alpine skiing and snowboarding. Park City is a beautifully picturesque winter resort that is home to some pretty awesome winter activities that you’ll simply love! For those of us who enjoy ziplining, the Flying Eagle Zipline is the perfect choice. And just how many resorts do you know that offer ziplining in the winter? Another activity the resort offers that’s an absolute joy is the Mountain Coaster. Much like the Alpine Slide, except on an actual metal track (think rollercoaster) instead of a cement track, this ride twists and winds its way down the mountain side in a toboggan-like car. A winter-style rollercoaster? Yes, please! Naturally, Park City has tons of gnarly slopes for skiers and boarders from the simple green runs to the challenging double black diamond runs. Trust me, those moguls are not for the faint of heart. If you’re a history nerd, like me, this is one winter resort that offers historic mountain ski tours where you can discover the past of Park City’s mining and skiing. A true gem for those who never want to stop learning. Park City is also home to many shops and restaurants, and one unique dining experience that you don’t want to miss out on is The Viking Yurt. Clear your evening schedule because this fine dining experience is four hours long! You start your evening with a 23-minute scenic sleighride up the mountain, and from there a beautiful candlelit dinner shared with the ones you love. The Viking Yurt is a great place for those of us who hate to be rushed and who seek a more intimate dining setting. Park City Resort is one place where you will cherish those memories forever.
6. Winter Park
Winter Park is one ski resort that will always hold a very special place in my heart. Located on the West side of the Continental Divide in the Colorado Rockie’s, this winter resort offers everything from shopping to Snowcat tours. One unique thing about Winter Park Resort is that it’s skiers and snowboarders can choose to stay on the Winter Park side or head over to the Mary Jane side. Mary Jane is at a higher elevation and connects back into the WP side, which makes it an ideal option for those of us who want to make the most of our day on the slopes. But why name another part of the same resort differently? Mary Jane is named in tribute of a woman who settled in the town of Arrow, now a ghost town on Rollins Pass near Winter Park, and she was a well-known lady of the night. It’s only fitting that such a beguiling woman have part of a ski resort named after her. Winter Park also offers tubing, snowshoeing and ski bike tours. Now, you might be asking yourself what a ski bike is? It’s exactly as it sounds, but with skis instead of wheels and looks more like a tricycle than a bike. This is perfect for those of us who want to find an easier alternative route down the mountain, but heads up, some ski knowledge is still recommended before hopping on. A great dining option for those who crave good food and beer, is Doc’s Roadhouse. Doc’s is a laid-back restaurant and offers a place to relax after a long day on the slopes; it’s also the place where you can view the West Portal entrance of the Moffat Tunnel (one of the most famous railroad tunnels in the country). Winter Park is only growing in popularity in Colorado, and is the perfect winter resort for any and all.