Snow-filled adventures translate differently among skiers. For some, hitting the slopes is all about the fresh powder and high-thrill, adrenalin rush. Others prefer the après side of the sport – the chic lodgings, high-end restaurants, dog sledding, relaxing spa treatments, and sheer romance of it. Whatever category you fall into, we have you covered with these five USA-based ski resorts worth traveling for.
For Celebrity Sightings: Aspen, Colorado
In the US, the one ski destination to head to for luxury and the celebrity factor is, and has always been, Aspen. From the epic trails and stunning snow-capped mountains, to the opulent hotels and seriously chic après-ski spots, celebs – including Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russel (who spend much of the year on their Old Snowmass estate), Kate Hudson, Kim Kardashian, Elle Macpherson, Katy Perry, and Orlando Bloom (to name a few) – consider this their home away from home. There are actually four ski resorts in and around Aspen – each united by a single ski pass. Aspen Mountain features advanced terrain that descends directly into town; Highlands is loved by locals for its steep runs; Buttermilk is the ultimate beginner’s mountain; while Snowmass, the largest, is most popular.
Where to Stay in Aspen, CO
The Little Nell is a favorite celeb haunt and the biggest draw is its ski-in, ski-out access. The 92 rooms and suites also offer fabulous views of town and mountains and come with fireplaces, marble baths, and comfy beds (it’s also dog-friendly). Head to the hotel’s Ajax Tavern for their signature truffle fries or indulge in wagyu beef and delicious homemade pasta at Element 47.
For Wellness Seekers: Lake Placid, New York
Lake Placid village first entered the world stage in 1932 when the small Adirondack town hosted its first Olympic games. In 1980, the town again welcomed the games, securing its reputation as a forever winter-sports destination. There are no hotels on Whiteface Mountain – skiers stay ‘in town’ in chic mountain lodges and luxurious inns. While there are expert trails – Skyward, Cloudspin and Mountain Run were used during the Olympics for downhill and slalom competitions, Bear Den is perfect for beginners, and Wilmington Trail clocks in at 2.1 miles, making it the longest uninterrupted intermediate trail in the Northeast.
Where To Stay in Lake Placid, NY
Guests love the rustic luxury of the all-suite Whiteface Lodge. Built from hand-milled timber, the lodge’s interior is exactly what you’d expect: cast-iron fireplaces, deep leather armchairs, and hand-crafted Adirondack furnishings. But it’s the spa that really has skiers talking with signature treatments like the Whiteface Arnica Recovery Wrap, gentle exfoliation with arnica-infused sugar, followed by an arnica shea butter wrap and deep tissue massage.
For Foodies: Telluride Ski Resort, Colorado
In recent years, après-ski offerings have become just as important as on-the-slope action, especially when it comes to food. No ski town has upped the culinary ante like Telluride, which is known for its gourmet ski-in/ski-out dining options including Alpino Vino – which offers the highest elevation dining in the US, paired with a five-course Italian meal and a notable wine list.
Where to Stay in Telluride, CO
Element 52, a (you guessed it) 52-condo hotel by Auberge, is Telluride’s only true ski-in, ski-out spot downtown — a private funicular whisks skiers straight up the slope to the chairlift. We also love the pair of pools – which are actually suspended on steel structures – so you can literally walk under them. Needless to say, the views are wow.
For Powder Seekers: Jackson Hole, Wyoming
It doesn’t get much more wild, wild west than Jackson Hole Wyoming, located near Yellowstone National Park and offering stunning views of the Tetons. The fresh snowfall (average 459 inches annually) isn’t too shabby either. Known for its expert trails – “big red” (as the aerial tram is known here) can carry up to 100 skiers to the top of Rendezvous Peak (10, 450 feet) in just 12 minutes to begin the tough ski run down. The mountain also offers access to beginner and intermediate trails right from the base.
Where To Stay in Jackson Hole, WY
We love Amangani, a luxury ski resort that’s home to 40 suites and four, four-bedroom homes. Suites feature high ceilings, balconies, and picture windows that frame the incredible mountain views. Wood and stone materials reference the surrounding mountains and forest, while woven cowhide chairs and faux-wolf throws give a nod to the region’s wild soul.
For Romance: Bernard, Vermont
One of America’s greatest love stories comes from Barnard Vermont (population less than 1000), where, in 1932, Nobel prize-winning novelist Lewis Sinclair bought a 300-acre property for his then-fiancée, journalist Dorothy Thompson. The couple lived and wrote here for decades. In the ’90s, the couple’s love nest was transformed into the luxurious hotel, Twin Farms. While Killington ski resort isn’t far (less than an hour), the most romantic skiing is here on Twin Farms’ private ski slope. Admittedly, the trails aren’t difficult, but where else in the world can you ski hand-in-hand on your own slope.
Where to Stay in Bernard, VT
For the most romantic winter stay, book into Twin Farms’ ultra-private two-story Aviary loft cottage, featuring a sunken indoor natural-stone hot tub and wood-burning fireplace. Constructed of glass, stone, and cedar, floor-to-ceiling windows frame a natural canvas of the forest that’s so beautiful you’ll never want to leave. Except to ski, of course.