The time has come to hit the slopes! All the snow we complain about being piled on top of our car in the morning becomes a godsend as we pack up said vehicle and head to the mountains. It's winter sports season and we have some great ideas of where you might want to shred both in North America and around the world.
Without a doubt these are the holy grail spots to head to for the snow sports vacation of your dreams. Get ready to add these winter wonderlands to your bucket list!
There's a slope for every level in Lake Tahoe. Home to literally tens of thousands of acres of world-class ski and snowboard sites, you'll be absolutely spoiled for choice. Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, Northstar, Heavenly, Kirkwood, and Homewood are considered the best slopes that Tahoe has to offer. When you're done with the slopes, the many and varied base villages are warm and vibrant and offer great places to recoup after a busy day ripping it up! From full spas and resorts to hole-in-the-wall motels, the same way there’s a slope for everyone, there’s a room for everyone too!
The Alyeska Resort is one of Alaska's premiere winter sports destinations. With up to 669 inches of annual snowfall and 1,400 skiable acres, it is the largest ski area in the state and one of the most challenging in North America. It is known for its steep terrain and deep snow! It is located in Chugach State Park, nestled in the glacier carved valley with all that nature has to offer on show from streams to diverse wildlife. Make the most of the daylight because there’s only about 6 hours of it during December and January! When you’re done outside though, the high-end resort boasts an awesome spa and delicious food and is all just a short drive from downtown Anchorage.
Just minutes from Big Bear Lake, Big Bear Mountain Resort is home to two completely different winter settings with their two properties, Bear Mountain and Snow Summit. Bear Mountain is known as one of the most innovative snow sports destinations, while Snow Summit offers the most reliable snow in Southern California with its unbelievable snow-making system that can convert 6000 gallons of water to snow per minute. Residents from southern California flock to the region in the San Bernardino Range because they're "less than a tank of gas away, round trip!" - just 3 hours from Los Angeles, Orange County, and San Diego. You can quite literally head out on a Friday night, hit the slopes all weekend and be back for work on Monday morning!
Only a couple of hours from Toronto, Blue Mountain Resort is a very popular escape for residents of southern Ontario. It is a year round hub, but in the winter it's 42 runs covering over 364 acres draws over 3/4 of a million winter sports men and women, making it the third busiest ski resort in Canada. Blue Mountain Village awaits after a day on the snow with unique sights and sounds like the Blumination Dream Trail, a kilometer winter walk illuminated by innovative light shows!
Matterhorn is not only a Swiss landmark, but easily one of the most famous mountains in Europe with its pyramidal peak summiting at 4478 meters high. A self-described ski paradise, the Zermatt ski area is the highest winter sports area in the Alps at almost 4000 meters. With winter sports available all 365 days of the year, the region is by far one of the best developed, most beautifully situated, most luxurious, and most extensive snow oases in the world.
Japan's #1 ski resort lcoated in Hokkaido, one of Japan’s northern islands. Niseko Ski Resort is actually 4 interlinked resorts and is thus very well known for its consistency and a variety of runs for all experience levels. It is probably most famous for the sheer abundance of snow, it is both extremely dependable and extremely deep! It's also set apart in Japan by a flourishing ski village that includes a variety of accommodation, shopping, and dining options to suit any taste level.
Courchevel is a part of Les Trois Valleés (The Three Valleys), the largest linked ski areas in the world. There are 25 mountaintops and 85% of the ski area sits above 1800 meters. If the altitude doesn't take care of the snow naturally then there are 2,189 snowmakers to quite literally guarantee snow on the slopes all winter long. For those of you who prefer to just watch the action, or those for whom skiing is all about getting to the aprés portion, there are also 52 slopeside restaurants and bars with all you’d the luxury you’d expect from a mountainside French skiing paradise!
You might remember Yongpyong Resort from the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics! It is the oldest and largest ski and snowboard resort in South Korea with 28 slopes and 14 lifts located at the foot of Mount Balwangsan. There are several runs for every ski level and the gondola is supposed to be especially excellent if you’re not a skier. The base village is really coming in to its own due to the steady increase in tourism through the decades.
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