Best Ski Vacations in the USA
For those who embrace winter's icy winds and heavy snowfall, a ski vacation is the perfect getaway. The U.S. News ranking of the top domestic ski destinations weighs the most important considerations: accessibility, accommodations, acreage and annual snowfall, along with expert recommendations and readers' top picks. Have a favorite slope? Vote to help determine next year's list.
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Situated about 80 miles southwest of downtown Denver, Breckenridge offers travelers nearly 3,000 acres of skiable terrain spread across 187 trails. And with annual snowfalls averaging roughly 25 feet every winter, odds are you'll enjoy superb conditions while on the mountain.
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Located about 30 miles southeast of Salt Lake City, this Utah ski haven played host to the 2002 Winter Olympics. The two premier resorts, Deer Valley and Park City Mountain, offer dozens of diverse runs and unique features like half-pipes for snowboarders. Plus, the luxury accommodations and dining venues up the après-ski ante.
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The chilly temperatures and powder-laden slopes in this Wyoming valley beckon to avid skiers and snowboarders. Though Jackson Hole Mountain Resort features some of the region's best trails, downhill devotees can also hit the slopes at Snow King and Grand Targhee resorts.
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The six peaks that make up Steamboat Springs, Colorado, offer roughly 3,000 acres of trails, making it a popular place for skiers who desire variety. Visitors will find everything from expert chutes to kid-friendly ski areas here. If snowboarding is more your thing, check out one of the mountain's three terrain parks.
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Vail, Colorado, is one of the country's most popular wintertime destinations thanks to its two primo ski areas: Vail Ski Resort and Beaver Creek Ski Resort. The nearby mountain ranges also feature a variety of cross-country paths. But be prepared to splurge: lodging here isn't cheap.
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With more than 2,000 skiable acres, this Colorado town draws snow lovers in droves. The massive Telluride Ski Resort houses some 148 trails and a 4,425-foot vertical drop. Once the lifts shut down for the day, the chalets in Mountain Village provide a warm place to thaw.
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This tried-and-true winter locale caters to all skill levels at its four major ski areas – Snowmass, Aspen Mountain, Buttermilk and Aspen Highlands. And for backcountry skiers, the nearby White River National Forest provides plenty of picturesque cross-country skiing trails.
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Lake Tahoe is beautiful from any vantage point, but it's quite stunning from the slopes. Ski areas like Heavenly, Squaw Valley and Northstar California lure powder hounds from around the U.S. However, room rates here can be pricey, so consider making reservations in advance or book a vacation rental to share with family and friends.
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This region in central New York is an East Coast skier's dream. The area around the 11 lakes offers perfect mountain conditions thanks to the huge deposits of lake-effect snow that blanket the region annually. Plus, the Finger Lakes boasts miles of groomed trails and parks that are ideal for cross-country skiing.
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Big Sky, MT#10 in Best Ski Vacations in the USA
Home to nearly 6,000 skiable acres in southwestern Montana, Big Sky offers plenty of powder for winter enthusiasts. The area sees more than 30 feet of annual snowfall, which makes for excellent conditions each winter. After a day of shredding the slopes, head to the Mountain Village to relax with a drink by the fire or enjoy a meal at one of the many eateries in town.
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