Whether it’s your first or thousandth time strapping on skis, a wintertime getaway on a ski mountain will make for a truly memorable vacation. Luckily, the US is home to several great mountain resorts where skiers of all skill levels can spend the day zipping down powdery slopes—be it bunny or black diamond—and breathing in the pristine mountain air before winding down at an après-ski hotspot. Renting a mountain chalet is the perfect way to get away from it all while still having all of the comforts of home right there at your door.
Ski in the Great Smoky Mountains in Gatlinburg, Tennessee
Take in the natural beauty of the Great Smoky Mountains while hitting the slopes or playing in the snow at Ober Gatlinburg, Tennessee’s only ski resort. There are several trails for beginner and intermediate skiers, as well as a few runs designed to challenge the expert skier—or snowboarder, for that matter. And if you decide skiing or snowboarding aren’t for you, the park also has several lanes dedicated to snow tubing. Mountain chalets in Gatlinburg are centrally located and equipped with everything you need to fuel up for a day on the slopes or wind down afterwards, including full-sized kitchens, washers and dryers, and heated outdoor pools or jacuzzis.
Train like an Olympic skier in Steamboat Springs, Colorado
This ski mountain vacation destination, which calls itself Ski Town, USA, has been around since the 1960s. There over 160 trails of varying degrees of difficulty, and lessons are available for the true newbies. Given that plenty of Olympians have trained on the resort’s slopes, it’s safe to say the level of instruction and powder quality at Steamboat Springs is top-notch. Many vacation homes are ski-in/ski-out for quick access to the slopes, and some have free shuttle services to and from the lifts as well as nearby shops, restaurants, and bars. In-unit amenities include hot tubs, cozy wood-burning fireplaces, and TVs for the perfect night in after a long day of activity.
Hit the powdery white slopes in Sugarloaf, Maine
Maine’s Sugarloaf Ski Resort is an East Coast magnet for skiers, but its large ski area ensures that even crowded days don’t feel too packed. Beginners, intermediate-level skiers, and expert ones will love the variety of gentle slopes, cruising trails, and challenging steep terrain. And when you need a break, there are tons of dining options, from pubs and cafes to food trucks, so you’re sure to find something that satisfies your taste buds. And after a packed day of activities, vacationers can kick off their snow boots and curl up in front of the fireplace or take a dip in the jacuzzi of a private ski-in/ski-out condo or mountain chalet.
Attend a ski lesson and a concert in Killington, Vermont
Killington Ski Resort in Vermont is popular with beginners and advanced skiers alike. The largest resort in the East, Killington spans 6 mountain peaks and has over 150 trails. For absolute beginners, lessons are offered, but those who already have their ski legs can go right to the more advanced slopes. The mountain resort also has a strong après-ski scene, and there are plenty of other activities and things to do, including lounging by the fire and listening to a jam session at the base lodge. Vacation homes range from ski-in/ski-out condos on the mountain with saunas, heated pools, and other luxurious amenities, as well as free shuttles to and from the resort, to pared down, budget-friendly options closer to town.
Ski all the slopes when you rent a mountain chalet in Park City, Utah
The largest ski resort in the US, Park City Mountain Resort is a favorite among families, groups, and individual skiers from around the world, and it's under an hour’s drive from Salt Lake City’s international airport. Over half the runs are dedicated to beginner and intermediate skiers, but there are plenty that will challenge more advanced skiers. The resort is just one of many in the area, too, so renting a mountain chalet in Park City puts you in a prime spot to visit multiple ski areas in one trip. You'll find vacation homes that are just a short walk from the slopes and come complete with fully equipped kitchens and stunning mountain views. Some even come with your own private ski locker at the resort.