Snow way! Discover five top skiing destinations around the world
If you’re searching for global destinations with snow that’s perfect for skiing, our expert ski resort guide has got you covered. | By Cassandra Brooklyn | November 16, 2022
Whether you’re seeking family-friendly fun, a unique outdoorsy getaway with friends or a romantic weekend with your special someone, here’s where to go and what to do during your next great ski trip.
Look up: In addition to daytime skiing, you’ll also find nighttime ski trips that are great opportunities for stargazing
Pack a passport: If you like collecting passport stamps, you’ll appreciate that our round-up spans Canada to Switzerland, and everywhere in between
Enjoy provincial picks: After a long day on the slopes, soak it up at a spa, enjoy a small-batch craft beer or indulge in the local version of après-ski
Considering Denver is less than 90 minutes away from half a dozen notable ski resorts, it’s the perfect place to consider for your next winter getaway. One great ski destination is Arapahoe Basin (locally referred to as A-Basin), which is about an hour and 15-minute drive from downtown Denver. This area’s unique approach to après ski includes tailgating at The Beach, which tends to attract a younger crowd that’s looking for something fresh and far from the usual ski resort experience.
For a more traditional ski adventure, head to Winter Park Resort. Though only 67 miles (108 kilometers) away from downtown, you’ll feel like you’re tucked away into a cozy corner of the Rockies, with easy access to 765,000 acres of public land. Make Hilton Garden Inn Denver Union Station your home base and you’ll be within walking distance of Union Station where you can hop on the Winter Park Express for direct access to the ski resort. To round out your ski trip to Denver, consider trying out one of the Mile-High City’s famous craft breweries, visiting the four-story mind-bending Meow Wolf immersive arts experience or making a daytrip to nearby Rocky Mountain National Park.
For a quintessential New England skiing experience, head to New Hampshire for all the skiing essentials and more. In addition to classic New England landscapes, stunning mountain views, dense pine forests and an array of activities to complement any ski vacation (think snow tubing, cross-country skiing, Nordic skiing and snowshoeing), you’ll also find one-of-a-kind options for ski season that can be hard to come by elsewhere.
At both Cranmore Mountain Resort (near North Conway) and Whaleback Mountain (near Hanover), you can try your hand — or feet, rather — at night skiing, which is available for skiers and snowboarders of all skill levels and is a great opportunity for stargazing. In Bretton Woods (near Littleton), you’ll find plenty of family-oriented activities, winter canopy tours and adaptive skiing designed for people with various physical limitations.
Travelers who want to bring along their furry friend should consider Home2 Suites by Hilton North Conway, a pet-friendly hotel close to Cranmore Mountain Resort, Attitash Mountain Resort, Black Mountain and Wildcat Mountain.
This Western state is often blanketed with snow and several mountainous regions turn into winter wonderlands that are perfect for all sorts of ski trips.
Taos Ski Valley is an eco-friendly paradise for skiers and snowboarders who want to hit legendary slopes while families will enjoy the attractions (including an outdoor fireside skating rink) of Taos Ski Valley Plaza.
About 90 minutes south of Taos, you’ll find the charming city of Santa Fe, a highly walkable destination with enticing eateries, quirky shops and historic churches dating back to the 1600s. Santa Fe is also a surprisingly affordable ski destination and some resorts, like Ski Santa Fe — just 16 miles (26 kilometers) from Santa Fe — can be reached by public transportation.
Visiting families will also appreciate that Ski Santa Fe’s Chipmunk Corner offers children’s lessons and ski rentals. Meanwhile, kid-free couples may want to escape to nearby Japanese-themed bathhouse, Ten Thousand Waves, located a few miles from downtown Santa Fe.
Switzerland is world famous for its high-altitude slopes and coveted après-ski scene, and the alpine resort town of Davos is a pristine place for powder. You’ll find incredible skiing — and an impressive 58 ski lifts and 180 miles (290 kilometers) of slopes — along with world-class snowboarding, 60 miles (96 kilometers) of cross-country ski tracks, nearly 100 miles (161 kilometers) of snowshoeing and winter hiking trails and several ice rinks for hockey and skating.
As the highest town in Europe, Davos sits at over 5,000 feet (1,524 meters) of elevation and its highest peaks exceed 9,300 feet (2,835 meters) so you couldn’t pick a better place for a ski vacation. Hilton Garden Inn Davos is the perfect place to base yourself for a Swiss ski trip. The hotel is within walking distance of excellent restaurants and the Kirchner Museum Davos, and just five minutes from the Jakobshorn cable car for easy mountain access.
If you plan ski trips for the après-ski vibe just as much as for the actual skiing, then you’ll want to seriously consider Whistler in British Columbia, Canada. Not only does Whistler have over 8,000 acres (3,237 hectares) of snowy terrain, 16 alpine bowls, three glaciers and over 200 marked trails, but this frosty ski town is world-famous for its remarkable dedication to all things après-ski.
Choose from places like Dusty’s Bar & Grill, which offers a family-friendly dance vibe, Mallard Lounge’s for a more refined and upscale setting or HandleBar, the go-to spot for craft beer and pizza. Another top après-ski bar, the Cinnamon Bear Bar, is located inside Hilton Whistler Resort & Spa. The hotel is a great choice for slope-bound travelers, as it’s just a 3-minute walk from the Whistler Village Gondola, offers on-site ski valet and many rooms have fireplaces that are perfect for drying out wet gear.
Though the season officially starts in November, December is an ideal time to visit Whistler as it hits its highest snowfall level and more alpine lifts are open.
No matter which one you choose to explore, with top-rated slopes, activities in town and plenty of après-ski options, any of these ski destinations will provide a fun and memorable winter vacation.
Cassandra Brooklyn is a freelance writer specializing in travel, culture, and all things outdoors. She's the author of the cycling guidebook, Cuba By Bike, and has bylines in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, National Geographic, Forbes, The Daily Beast and Lonely Planet, among others.