Looking to make unforgettable memories this holiday season? A ski trip may be just the ticket! There’s no shortage of options in the U.S. from dreamy, romantic resorts for two to wintery dreamscapes the whole family can enjoy. If you need help narrowing your list of destinations down, we’ve gone searching for the consensus best ski resorts in the U.S., at least according to travel experts.
And according to a recent survey, a winter vacation is overdue for millions of Americans! The poll of 2,000 individuals reveals that approximately 42% of travelers have “never partaken in other winter activities such as skiing.” The study also found that 25% of the individuals polled “never experience snow.”
Moreover, a snowy vacation may help induce positive feelings about body image, according to another recent study. This study reports that “spending a short amount of time in a snowy landscape, in this case around 40 minutes, had the power to boost a person’s appreciation of their own body.”
But where do you start planning, especially if you have never traveled to a snowy destination before? StudyFinds set out to find the best ski resorts, according to travel experts. To do so, we visited 10 “expert” websites to see which snowy dreamlands they recommended the most. We used the top ten recommendations from each site to determine the overall top five picks. If you’ve got your own suggestions to offer, please do so in the comments below the post!
The List: Best Ski Resorts In The U.S., According To Experts
1. Aspen/Snowmass, Colorado
While this one may seem a bit cliche, the beauty of Aspen, Colorado continues to draw visitors year-round!
Travel + Leisure says, “This celebrity-favorite ski resort has something for everyone, from expert skiers to complete beginners. The resort’s four mountains offer everything — from easy bunny slopes to runs that will really test your endurance and skills. Later, rest your legs and have a drink at a high-end après ski bar, or head to Ullr Nights, a festive event where you’ll find the Breathtaker Alpine Coaster. End the night with s’mores and hot chocolate by a bonfire.”
The many unique dining options and the dreamy skating rink make this resort a winner for everyone! “Aspen is truly the king of après-ski with endless dining and nightlife options! It’s also one of the few ski resorts in Colorado where you won’t be affected by altitude sickness,” explains Snowpak.
“The most expansive of Aspen Snowmass’s four mountains also has the most lift-served vertical feet of terrain in the U.S., with a 4,406-foot elevation drop and enough variation to make it an all-around hit with families,” adds CN Traveler.
2. Telluride Ski Resort, Colorado
Due to its remote location and dreamy mountain villages, this resort is another fan favorite!
“For such a well-known mountain, Telluride is a relatively quiet mountain with small crowds — if any at all — situated in a quaint town that has been labeled a National Historic Landmark. Its high altitude also allows for an extended season,” explains Business Insider.
Ski Magazine Adds: “Telluride serves up a triple treat of wonderful and varied terrain, jaw-dropping views, and an authentic Western ski town, making it a lock for a great ski destination that’s less crowded than most.”
3. Steamboat Springs Ski Resort, Colorado
When it comes to ski destinations, Colorado takes the cake! Coming in at #3, Steamboat Springs is another great option for a snowy getaway!
“A historic epicenter where the Old West meets winter sports, the aspen-strewn slopes of Steamboat lie at a lower elevation than most of Colorado’s resorts. But don’t be fooled—you’re still bottoming out at nearly 7,000 feet above sea level. Plus, the town is rife with culinary fare that’s surprising for such a casual place,” explains Thrillist.
From authentic French cuisine to steamy hot springs, this resort has it all!
This pick made CNN’s list of top “favorite family ski resorts for all ages and skill levels.” “With night skiing also offered during select days of the week, your kids can continue their love for skiing as the sun falls. Or, if you prefer, you can finish off the day by ice skating on the square’s brand new ice skating rink. For those looking to take a break from the mountain, you can embark on a completely different activity by visiting one of the many natural hot springs nearby — the perfect way to warm yourself up before returning to the slopes,” adds CNN Underscored.
4. Park City Mountain Resort, Utah
As one of the largest ski resorts in the U.S., this destination is sure to offer many options for the whole family!
“A real town, dating from 1884, with a historic main street packed with restaurants and shops, provides a laundry list of options for après ski activities,” says Planetware.
Timeout Adds: “Park City, Utah, is the quintessential ski town thanks to its proximity to a major airport, its collection of bars and restaurants, and its ability to please both rich folks and regular Joes alike.”
5. Sun Valley Resort, Idaho
Described by tourists as having a “backcountry feel,” this resort is another great choice for a wintery escape!
Sun Valley is Ski Magazine’s #1 ski resort in the U.S. “Visiting Sun Valley is like entering a winter wonderland that’s just far enough off the beaten path to have a magic all its own, from the perfectly groomed slopes with amazing Wood River Valley views to quaint yet sophisticated Ketchum, lined with trendy restaurants, shops, and bars,” says Ski Magazine.
Like its predecessors, the slopes aren’t the only commodity. US Travel News adds: “Stay at Sun Valley Lodge for a spa and glass-enclosed pool, or at Sun Valley Inn for a cozier experience reminiscent of a European ski lodge. Wherever you bed down, you’ll have access to all the exciting activities in Sun Valley, including sleigh rides, ice skating, and ice shows.”
So, whether you are looking to plan a cozy getaway for two or a snow-filled vacation for the whole family, these picks are sure to satisfy!
- Ski Magazine
- Travel + Leisure
- Business Insider
- CNN Underscored
- US Travel News
- CN Traveler
Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations.
Great survey. I tend to agree however I am from Colorado & now live in Montana. Great skiing/boarding here too.