I know some of you may be dreading the return of cold weather and are starting to think about which warm, tropical destination you’ll be escaping to this winter. But if you’re like me, the cold weather is VERY exciting! Because cold weather means snow, and snow means it’s time to pull out the skis and snowboard and hit the slopes!
Mt. Hood has always been home turf when it comes to snow sports. Growing up only 10 minutes away from Cooper Spur, 20 minutes away from Mt. Hood Meadows, and 35 minutes away from Timberline, I used to spend all my evenings and weekends up on the hill looking for the freshest, fluffiest powder. By the time I was out of high school I was so familiar with every single lift and slope on the mountain that I decided it was time to explore other mountains in Oregon and along the West Coast. Throughout the past several years I have had the chance to visit and frequent Mt. Bachelor, Lake Tahoe, Whistler, Jackson Hole, and Mammoth Mountain. By traveling to each of these places I’ve realized how exciting it is to ski down new terrain for the first time. There is such a sense of adventure that comes with it. I love it!
Now that I’ve had the chance to visit some great snow locations along the West Coast, it may be time to start thinking about snow destinations throughout the rest of the country and the rest of the world. Here are a few destinations on my bucket list to cross off:
Here’s a past Insiders thread that lists some other great winter wonderland destinations that I'd like to visit.
I’d love to hear from fellow snow aficionados on where your favorite snow destination is, and why! It doesn’t have to center around skiing or snowboarding either. If you enjoy snowshoeing, sledding, cross-country skiing, or just taking a stroll through a winter wonderland, you can share your favorite place to do so!
And if you’ve been to any of the above locations, I’d love to hear your experiences and what you liked most about your time there, so that I can start planning out where I’m going to go for my next snow adventure.
Ahh, beautiful Mt. Hood. 2014/2015 was not a good year for snow up on Hood, so I will be doing a snow dance in hopes that this year will be much better! C’mon, snow!
I love Mammoth Mountain. It's huge, and there are so many different and varied levels of ski runs. Great terrain, great lifts, great conditions. It's so much fun to rent a condo with a bunch of friends/family, ski during the day and cook and dine in at night, playing games and sharing conversation and hot adult bevs in front of a warm fire, then going to bed early and getting up and doing it all over again. Good times! Mammoth Lakes is also a great place to visit in the summer time too. There's boating (row, canoe, kayak), fishing, cycling, hiking, and the gondola to the top of the mountain is open in the summer too. Gorgeous scenery.
Zermatt was probably the nicest ski destination I have ever visited. We spent 10 days there almost 15 years ago. The scale of the skiing is mind boggling. Imagine about 5 Whistlers arranged horizontally. Now top each one with Snowmass. Now top those off with a Killington and place a fabulous village in the center of all this. There are hundreds of lifts and something like an 11,000 ft. vertical drop. There are dozens of on-mountain restaurants and bars and on one run from the top of Klein Matterhorn, which is a spectacular glacier you can ske more than an hour all the way to town and pass 14 restaurants and bars on the way.
Other favorite snow destinations include Stowe, Vt., Vail, Telluride, and Snowmass Colorado, and Mt. Tremblant, Quebec.
Another favorite location that is currently closed for a massive renovation, is The Balsams, in Dixville Notch, NH. I do hope that they reopen before I'm too old to ski!
I don't ski anymore, but when I did, here a few places to put on your "Dream list". No Marriotts in these areas, but there are many other great choices! Here's a few:
Skiing the Zugspitzer, in Bavaria, Germany is an experience! It's the tallest point in Germany, and you are skiing in a beautiful "Bowl"! It takes two gondola's to get to the Ski area!
That's the ski area in the middle of this awesome mountain!
If you want a "Thrill", go off that ski jump behind us in St. Moritz! I won't do it, but my wife can't stay off of it, when the snow is deep! She's amazing!
The "Glacier Express" is a "Breathtaking" way to travel from ST. Moritz to Zermatt! If you go, just make sure you make reservations to dine. You have to have reservations to dine on this train, and it is well worth it!
Lastly, you mentioned Park City, Utah. A fantastic place to ski, if you go to Deer Valley.
This is the place to dine, ski and relish Winter! Stein Eriksen Lodge, don't miss it!
Happy "Ski Trails"! as Dale Evans would have said!
The wall is pretty great in winter, as is winterfell. Those are the best cold destinations when winter is coming. Dorne stays pretty warm though, so it's nice as well. (Okay, that was the nerdiest thing I've done yet, but you had me at "Winter is coming."
Disney world in the winter is fantastic, and I'll usually take at least one trip up. It's my only chance to experience disney without it being 100 degrees out. NYC in winter is a given, especially around christmas time.
On my list is iceland during the winter. It always looks so great when I see pictures, so I'm dying to go myself.
Thailand. I watch the snow on TV.
Actually my wife loves the snow and our typical spot is one of the resorts in the Wasatch E of SLC. Alta, Brighton, Snowbird. Neither of us ski. She just plays in the snow. Also Park City.
I was born and raised there. I loved the snow, too, until the first time I had to drive in it. Now it's something to visit once a year.
Here is another idea from a budget perspective, for people who live in the mid-Atlantic states.
Canaan Valley, West VA. It's certainly not in the same class as any of the places that have been named in this thread but for a car based three or four day trip from Washington DC, Baltimore, Pittsburg, or Columbus Ohio you cannot beat it. Canaan Valley has a beautiful budget priced hotel (about $124 weekdays, $180 on weekends).
The Valley has two downhill ski areas and three cross country areas. They average about 150 inches of snow per winter. Nearby is Blackwater Falls State Park with spectacular scenery. Restaurants are mostly poor to mediocre but there is a decent Italian restaurant, nearby which, according to Zagat, has the best Pizza in WVA.
There is a free shuttle from the Lodge to the Canaan Valley ski area but Timberline has more slopes and greater vertical drop (1,000 ft.) and greater variety of slopes. There also is a good variety of reasonably priced housing rentals at Timberline.
White Grass cross country ski area is one of the best XC areas I have ever skied and they have a good café, there which is open evenings on the weekend.
If you live within the area that I mentioned above, this is really a treasure. Canaan Valley is also a cool escape from DC in the summer.
I love Vermont...grew up going to Mt. Snow to ski. My family lives on Lake Champlain and I would love to check it out in the winter. Maybe a little ice fishing?
I did a seven-mile snowshoe excursion in Sun Valley, Idaho last January which was INCREDIBLE...will dig up a video and post it here.
Love most all the places already posted - no longer a downhill skier - but some of my favorite places in the heart of winter are Quebec City, especially during the February international ice-carving Carnival , and the Ben Miller Inn, Goderich, Ontario.
.....but, then during the colder months, we don't have to go much farther than our own Lookout Mountain neighborhood....
....when the roads become nearly impassible, such as the 12-15 inches we received Feb. 2014 and 2015, we can still take the Incline Railway to top of Lookout
Will you be skiing there? There is a small ski area?
I believe that it is waffle-free so you don't have to worry!
Wasn't the plan phctourist. Receive pleasure sitting by the pool or on the sand imagining all those souls freezing to death at ski resorts........... (I don't function too well when the thermometer dips below 79 F.
What other winter resort can you get on the plane with a carry on: two paid of shorts - a few underwear - a couple of tee shirts and sandals.
You can buy the toiletries when you get there!!!
Think of the economics - the money we saved purchasing bathing suits instead of ski gear has easily paid for our winter vacations to comfortable warm areas!
We are definitely on the same page (a fact that should worry you)
No question, ski gear is not cheap. But ski clothing is very helpful to have when the temps drop in the winter. I hear neighbors complaining about how cold it is and I'm snug as a bug in a rug, in my ski clothes.
And before you brag about how beautiful your winters are, remember how miserable your summers are.
I was in LA a few years ago in October and I was miserable from the heat. I'll take zero over 90 any day of the week!
The ten worst weather days I have ever experienced have all been in the summer! BTW, I don't function very well when the temp gets above 83, so that gives us a 4 degree range when we might both like the weather.
phctourist What comes in handy where I live when it gets cold is taking out of storage long sleeve garments or when REALLY cold a sweater! (especially the ones from my private Target collection)
It's hard to pick out a favorite as there are so many great destinations. I love winter and may be one of the few. Having lived in Vermont, its hard to beat Stowe. I also tend to spend a lot of time in the Adirondacks during winter. Lake George and Lake Placid are always fun to visit, there is always something to do. However, I'd really love the chance to experience Whistler and Tahoe, they are high on my list at the moment.
Clearly, we have a lot of members who can't enjoy the cold. That's a shame, because many of them don't know how to enjoy a condition that they must endure for many years. People like misterchk live in mild climates and can avoid the winter weather. But I seek it out and have learned to enjoy it. I made the misery of summer more bearable by taking up golf. I recommend that more of you take up skiing. It may change your attitude.
I fancy myself a Vermont girl, although I have been skiing in New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Maine. Pretty much the only state in New England I haven't skied in is New Hampshire, but it's on my list.
I love the variety of mountains that VT has to offer, and ski towns and lodges are so fun after a few hours on the slopes! Whether it's a weekend getaway, or an extended stay, snow destinations are definitely appealing. The fire places, beverages, blankets, hot tubs - they all contribute to the experience, and there's nothing quite like it!
I definitely have aspirations to head out to the Northwest region of the US. I've heard nothing but amazing things about mountains in Oregon, Colorado, Utah, etc. I'm also a solid blue square skier, so I'm not looking for any crazy trails. It's funny, I was so fearless as a kid and now I get nervous I'll fall, break something and be out of commission for a few months, so I'd rather cut the risk and ski leisurely between the green circles and blue squares
My favorite snow destination??? After last year, I don't want to see any snow!!!
OK, for real, my favorite snow destination for 2016 will be Scrub Island!!!! Can't wait to escape the cold and bitter wind chills to go to a nice sunny and warm climate!!!!! Of course that is assuming that it snows here again - it is going to be in the 50's this week!!!!! We don't need no stinkin' snow!!!!!!