U.S. Ski Destinations That Aren't Aspen Or Vail
There are lots of other places to hit the slopes in multiple regions across the country. Don't sleep on these spots.Special Thanks Caroline Bologna and Huffpost
For many people, winter is a time to cozy up at home, flee to the beach or hit the slopes. If you’re in the latter camp, you’re undoubtedly familiar with big-name ski destinations like Aspen and Vail in Colorado.
But those luxury winter vibes aren’t for everyone — or for everyone’s budget. Fortunately, Aspen and Vail are hardly the only places to shred the gnar this year.
Below, we’ve rounded up 13 other great ski (and snowboard) destinations in the United States. As always, be sure to consider state of the pandemic at the location and in your home community before booking a trip.
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Telluride offers Rocky Mountain skiing and snowboarding, as well as sledding for the non-skiers who still want a little snowy thrill. Visitors can also take in epic views from gondola rides, learn about the area's mining history and Ute heritage at the Telluride Historical Museum, and grab a beer at Telluride Brewing Company.
Taos, New Mexico
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When you think of New Mexico, skiing might not be the first thing that comes to mind. But Taos is a popular ski destination in the northern part of the state, just 50 miles south of the Colorado border. In addition to hitting the slopes, tourists might also want to check out the vistas at the Rio Grande Gorge Bridge, view the artworks at the Millicent Rogers Museum and grab some delicious food at La Cueva Cafe, Lambert's or The Love Apple. Don't forget to try some sopaipillas as well.
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Plan a trip to Bend in the winter and you can get in on the Pacific Northwest ski action at Mt. Bachelor. As one of the largest ski resorts in North America, Mt. Bachelor has winter sports options for everyone. And you can take a break from the elevation by visiting one of Bend's many breweries, nearby hot springs or the High Desert Museum.
Sun Valley, Idaho
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This resort city has hosted many luminaries over the years. Ernest Hemingway wrote portions of "For Whom the Bell Tolls," "Islands in the Stream," "The Garden of Eden" and "A Moveable Feast" during his time here. Today, skiers and snowboarders can find runs suitable for all levels. You can also try snowshoeing, sleigh rides and snowmobiling — or browse the shops in Sun Valley Village and downtown Ketchum.
Crested Butte, Colorado
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Crested Butte is another great winter ski destination in the Rocky Mountains. In addition to scenic runs, visitors may also check out the Crested Butte Mountain Heritage Museum, purchase some craft rum from Montanya Distillers, or visit the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame. And while you're in the Centennial state, see if you can find some some Colorado-style pizza or Rocky Mountain oysters (if you dare).
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If you're looking to ski in the Northeast, Stowe is a classic destination. The resort boasts two mountains — Mount Mansfield and Spruce Peak — and plenty of opportunities for relaxing spa time. And while you're in New England, don't forget to pick up some delicious maple syrup (and use the snow to turn it into equally delicious candy).
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Park City tends to get the skiing attention in Utah, but there are plenty of other places to shred the gnar in the Beehive State. Less than an hour outside Salt Lake City is Snowbird, an unincorporated community with a famous ski resort. And even if snow sports aren't your thing, you can admire the epic views from the tram rides, take avalanche rescue training, and sample the many mountain eateries.
Lake Tahoe, California
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Lake Tahoe is home to many ski resorts, from the large Palisades Tahoe (which hosted the 1960 Winter Olympics) to the smaller and more low-key Homewood Mountain Resort. Wherever you choose to hit the slopes in this California and Nevada border area, you'll likely get some scenic water views. Consider also exploring some of the nearby historic homes, shops and casinos.
Jackson Hole, Wyoming
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Some of the most scenic skiing in the U.S. is in the Jackson Hole area. Snow King, Grand Targhee and Jackson Hole Mountain Resort offer something for everyone's sporting needs. Visitors can also enjoy mountain roller coasters, gondola rides, wildlife viewing, and delicious meals. Jackson, Wyoming, is also home to the National Museum of Wildlife Art.
Sugarloaf Mountain, Maine
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Sugarloaf Mountain's name will appeal to those with a sweet tooth, and its massive skiing area (including above-treeline skiing) will appeal to those with an adventurous side. And when you aren't on a run, enjoy some famous Maine eats like chowder, blueberry cake and whoopie pies.
Powder Mountain, Utah
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Another Utah ski destination is Powder Mountain, which is the largest ski resort in the U.S. by skiable acreage. Just one hour north of Salt Lake City, "Pow Mow" (as it's known to locals) boasts a variety of terrain options. When you're finished skiing, snowboarding or otherwise touring the mountain, you can sample spirits at the nearby New World Distillery.
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Alaska isn't exactly easy to access for most Americans, but if you happen to be up for a trip to Anchorage, you'll find opportunities for skiing. Perhaps the most notable ski destination in the municipality is Alyeska Resort in the Girdwood area. With at least 76 named trails, the resort has options for all levels, as well as other activities like dog sledding. And if you want to spend some time in Anchorage proper, visit the Alaska Native Heritage Center or the Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center.
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If watching "Yellowstone" has you itching to visit the state of Montana, consider making a winter visit to the northwest resort town of Whitefish. Located near Glacier National Park and the Canadian border, Whitefish is home to a ski resort at Big Mountain. Off the slopes, you can explore the town's art galleries, landmarks and restaurants