While everyone else is booking tickets to the first tropical island they can find, you’re busy dreaming about craggy mountains, snow-covered ski boots, and temps cold enough to make Jack Frost put on a coat. For all of you impervious-to-cold conquerors, we’ve put together this list of the best spots to get your ski on in the States. Go forth and shred those trails:
1. Alta, Utah
This paragon of old-school ski culture has been around since 1939, which means it knows a thing or two about how you youngsters should be doing things. Alta is one of the few States-based resorts that doesn’t allow snowboarding, but don’t lose your cool; its dynamic terrain and killer powder totally make up for that old-fashioned ‘tude.
2. Breckenridge, Colorado
You’re basically a genius on the slopes, but your brother manages to face-plant every three seconds. Rather than trying to cram a set of crutches into your carry-on, get thee to Breck. Its four peaks and five terrain parks cater to newbies and wannabe-pros alike, and the town’s chilled-out charm is ideal for a few off-the-mountain adventures. It’s no wonder that this is considered one of the best ski resorts in ‘Merica.
3. Stowe, Vermont
New England isn’t exactly known for predictable weather – oh, ye of winter and spring in a single day – but that hasn’t stopped Stowe from completely owning the ski vibe. Not only does this spot rack up more than 330 inches of snow every year, but it’s also home to a 4,400-foot mountain and some major backcountry options. Plus, it boasts one of the fastest gondola systems around, so you can race to the peak before summer suddenly descends.
4. Vail, Colorado
We can sum up this destination in a few words: pristine snow, seriously fresh air, and the possibility of running into Brad Pitt on the chairlift. Vail is all kinds of jet-set chic, but its 5,300 acres and nearly 200 trails are just as captivating to the not-so-celeb set. Wait, was that Angelina? Quick, grab the iPhone camera!
5. Park City, Utah
Speaking of celebs, here’s some Park City trivia: When it’s not busy enchanting the world with its groomed runs and world-class peaks, this rustic-meets-luxurious spot hosts the Sundance Film Festival. It’s also home to the official United States Olympic Training Site, so you can regale your entire family with stories about how you could’ve been a medalist had you just applied yourself. It’s all about discipline, people. Anyway, come for the mega-perfect snow. Stay for the potential Shaun White sightings.
6. Alyeska, Alaska
It’s family friendly. It’s crazy adventurous. It’s home to a hotel with a legit heli-pad in the back. Like pretty much everything in Alaska, this resort cranks the OMG factor right up to 11. Trust us: Once your jaw drops at the 2,500-foot peak, it’ll stay wide open across all 1,000 acres of skiable terrain.
7. Big Sky, Montana
400 inches of yearly snow? Check. Nearly 90 miles of runs that cater to all skill levels? Check. A spa where you can ditch that pesky physical activity in favor of a hot-stone massage? Infinite checks. North America’s second-largest ski area may be designed for die-hard fans, but it’s got plenty to entertain those of you who prefer the après to the ski. More hot toddies, anyone?
8. Lake Tahoe, California
If you’ve always wanted to take a vacation that feels ripped from the pages of those luxury travel mags, Lake Tahoe is your jam. The terrain parks alone are enough to send your Instagram followers into an envy frenzy, but the region’s 300 days of sunshine, bluer-than-blue waters, and unforgettable nightlife really bring that #nofilter vibe home. Hello, selfie city.
9. Grand Targhee, Wyoming
Let your friends deal with the sea of skiers at Jackson Hole. You, intrepid traveler, know that Grand Targhee is actually the place to be. Because this resort sits smack in the center of a powder belt, the eastbound snow dumps most of its wintry wonders here before it even reaches the more popular spots across the mountain. Plus, this place is crazy affordable and supremely quiet. Not having to wait 10,000 hours just to get on a lift? Yes, please.
10. Taos, New Mexico
New Mexico may be known for desert terrain, but don’t judge a book by its blazingly hot cover. Perched way up in the Sangre de Christos, Taos is home to one of the most relaxed and unpretentious ski resorts on the planet. It’s a killer spot for experts – the runs on Kachina Peak are extreme enough for a Mountain Dew commercial – but beginners can bask in the beauty of the area’s groomed runs and adobe-flecked landscapes. Rustic? Sure. Boring? No way, Jose.
What do you think is the best ski resort in the U.S.? Tell us.