The 30 Best Ski Resort Destinations in the World
Whether hurdling down a mountain is your version of fun or you’re more into it for the après game (no shame), there’s a skiing destination perfect for you and your crew. Here’s our bucket list of 30 ski resorts around the world that have a little bit of something for everyone (wine ski safari, anyone?). Hit the slopes.
DEER VALLEY (PARK CITY, UT)
Known for being one of the most luxurious ski destinations in the U.S., Deer Valley is also famous for having some of the best lodge-style grub. (Make sure to try the popular turkey chili.) You’ll also have the unique opportunity to hang and ski with Olympians, while guests staying at The St. Regis Deer Valley can bobsled alongside silver medalists. Not bad.
WHISTLER, BRITISH COLUMBIA (CANADA)
Take an exhilarating ride on Whistler Blackcomb’s “Peak 2 Peak” gondola, the only one like it in the world, which connects the summits of this popular Canadian ski resort. Once you’re at the top, grab a cocktail in the all-seasons outdoor bar (thank you, heat lamps) while taking in the region’s incredible vistas full of gorgeous glaciers.
STOWE MOUNTAIN (STOWE, VT)
Stowe is a quintessential New England ski town and home to some of the best skiing in the Northeast. After a day on the slopes, head over to the Trapp Family Lodge (yes, those Sound of Music von Trapps) for some locally-brewed beers and Austrian-style bites.
Cozy and cute, this is a hidden gem alpine skiing village. Megève’s gentle terrain makes it a great ski destination for families and beginners alike. Plus, you’re in France. So your accommodation options are full of old country charm, like these alpine farmhouses, log cabins and chalets, which are available to rent on onefinestay.
TETON VILLAGE (JACKSON HOLE, WY)
Jackson Hole is a small town filled with little luxuries that hasn’t lost its Wild West roots, and the nearby skiing at the expansive Teton Village offers travelers some of the best vertical height in the U.S. With a high speed aerial tram that shoots guests up some 4,139 feet, you can enjoy the views at the top even if you’re not a pro skier, and then partake in some incredible après bites at The Four Season Jackson Hole’s Handle Bar or bubbles at the Westbank Grill's Veuve Clicquot Bar, both which are located at the base.
ASPEN HIGHLANDS (ASPEN, CO)
Each day, the wildest party in Aspen is right on the mountain at Cloud Nine, the popular après-turned-Bagatelle rager where bottles upon bottles of Champagne are willingly sprayed on a dance floor full of ski bums. The slopes at Aspen Highlands are not half bad either, thanks to the double-black runs of Highland Bowl.
SUN VALLEY, IDAHO
Home of the world’s first chairlift, Sun Valley has stayed somewhat under the radar since European and Hollywood royalty first started coming to this resort in the late ’30s, which explains why the town has Euro roots mixed with a Western cowboy feel. With over 70 runs, stunning surrounding mountain scenery, a 3,400-foot vertical drop and more uphill capacity, per skier, than any other ski area in the U.S., according to Ski.com, it might seem impossible that you’d never have to queue up at the lifts, but you’d be wrong. Bonus: Parking at the base of the mountain is free.
Telluride is a Colorado ski town where you can challenge yourself…and then pamper yourself. For adrenaline junkies, it’s renowned for heli-skiing just as much as The Hotel Telluride is for its luxurious R&R package, which includes a fun-filled day of snowmobiling and a soak in a local hot springs.
Tucked away in the heart of the Chilean Andes and enveloped by the 19,000-foot Los Tres Hermanos (Three Brothers) peaks, Portillo is both remote and unforgettable. Learn to ski from the pros in the renowned ski school during the day before heading inside to sip traditional pisco sours at Tio Bob’s on-mountain restaurant.
YLLÄS, LAPLAND (FINLAND)
Skiing in the enchanting arctic wonderland of Lapland under the northern lights or midnight sun is a traveler’s dream. Snow-dusted woods, rushing rivers and husky sightings are the norm as you make your way down the never-ending trails of Ylläs, Finland’s largest ski resort. Definitely make time to experience the culture of the indigenous people of this land, the Sami, known for their skills in reindeer herding, fishing and foraging of foods.
GRAND TARGHEE RESORT (ALTA, WY)
Just a little over an hour's drive from Jackson Hole through windy Teton Pass (pro tip: make sure to take an all-terrain vehicle), you’ll find a resort full of wide-open trails to shred. What truly makes Grand Targhee special is its relaxed vibes, great snow reports and an amazing photo opp of the Grand Tetons as you make your way down the mountain.
MT. SHASTA, CALIFORNIA
In a secluded part of Northern California bordering Oregon, you’ll find this affordable, no-frills mountain full of fun and sun. Seriously, season passes at Mt. Shasta are under $500 and daily lift tickets cost half what many of the popular spots on this list do. The mountain also offers twilight skiing on Fridays and Saturdays, tons of backcountry opportunities and, as of January 2018, they’ll even have a designated ascension skiing day.
BELLEAYRE (HIGHMOUNT, NY)
Located in bucolic Ulster County, this upstate New York ski destination is a favorite of New York City dwellers looking to get in a little skiing close to home. With over 50 trails, eight lifts and four different lodges, Belleayre is a great stop for travelers who might be visiting the big city or one of the Hudson Valley’s adorable, picturesque villages or cozy B&Bs.
BIG SKY, MONTANA
This Montana mountain’s claim to fame is that it’s big—so big, in fact, that it might take you a few days just to explore the enormity of its 5,800 contiguous skiable acres. One of the largest ski resorts in the U.S., Big Sky also boasts two skiable acres per skier, meaning you'll be able to traverse wide-open runs with that big blue sky above you—seriously, it's like skiing in heaven. Big Sky even offers a Mountain Guide Program so that experts can cater areas of interest to your ski level, help you find the best powder that day or show you how to access exclusive runs only available by a short hike. (Don’t worry: The views are well worth it.)
SQUAW VALLEY (LAKE TAHOE, CA)
Home to the 1960 Winter Olympics, Squaw Valley is arguably one of the best ski resorts in North America. With high snowfall, lots of sunshine and stunning views of Lake Tahoe (not to mention one of the longest ski and snowboard seasons in the county), it isn’t hard to imagine why. Stay slopeside in the pedestrian village, home to dozens of bars, restaurants and shops.
SNOWMASS (ASPEN, CO)
Known for being Aspen’s family-friendly mountain, Snowmass recently introduced an après experience for the whole family: complimentary S’mass S’mores served from food trucks in the base village. Psst: Since Snowmass is about a 20-minute drive from downtown Aspen, guests staying in town at The Gant can take advantage of complimentary access to Ski Butlers, a valet service that will schlep your skis around for you.
Anyone who loves powder should look no further than tourist-friendly Niseko. Along with its snowfall, the resort is renowned for its dining with dozens of restaurants serving up traditional Japanese fare as well as Indian, Thai, French, pizza and pub grub.
In the shadow of Mont Blanc, Chamonix is tailor-made for winter adventure seekers. The sprawling ski area, close to the borders of Italy and Switzerland, is home to more than 60 lifts and vast, steep-sided peaks—it’s been described as “the death-sport capital of the world.” With a lively European ski resort feel, it’s also known for its classic après-ski scene. Fondue, anyone?
LAKE LOUISE/BANFF, ALBERTA (CANADA)
If you want to ski or board Lake Louise just for the ’Gram, we won’t judge. Tucked away in Banff National Park in the heart of the Canadian Rockies, the 4,200-acre Lake Louise Ski Resort is quite possibly one of the most beautiful ski destinations in the world. With Sunshine Village and Mt. Norquay nearby, one lift ticket can be used for all three Banff resorts.
CRESTED BUTTE, COLORADO
A funky little mining town that’s off the beaten path, Crested Butte has retained a lot of its small-town charm and avoided the massive crowds that some of its Colorado neighbors are known for. But with over 300 inches of snowfall a year and 1,500-plus acres of trails, it's got all the comparable quality skiing you could want—and even some great pizza, too. (Check out Secret Stash in town for après grub and creative pizzas.)
ST. MORITZ, SWITZERLAND
The chic Swiss ski resort of St. Moritz is known as the birthplace of Alpine winter tourism. Skiers have been hitting its well-groomed and sunny slopes since 1864. With high-end designer shops like Armani, Gucci and Dolce & Gabbana lining its village streets, it’s no surprise that it has also long been a holiday destination for the rich and famous.
BOYNE MOUNTAIN (BOYNE, MI)
While it can’t compare with the mountains out west or even with the lower peaks along the East Coast, Boyne Mountain offers some of the best skiing in the Midwest. With 60 runs and four terrain parks, it’s the region’s largest ski resort. Plus, it’s also home to the 88,000-square-foot Avalanche Bay indoor waterpark, a favorite for kids after a long day on the slopes.
CERRO CASTOR, USHUAIA (ARGENTINA)
At the very tip of Argentina, the remote and spectacular Cerro Castor is the southernmost ski resort in the world. Its location promises deep snow, icy temperatures and the longest winter-sport season around. Once you’ve had your fill of the slopes, follow your trip to Ushuaia with an excursion south to Antarctica (yep) or head north to Patagonia.
SUNDAY RIVER (NEWRY, MAINE)
If you’re willing to make the trek to eastern New England, you won’t be disappointed by Maine’s Sunday River. With 870 accessible acres across eight connected peaks, this favorite ski destination is the second largest winter sports resort in the Northeast and has one of the longest ski seasons in New England. Thanks to reliable snow making and more than 2,000 snow guns, it’s possible to ski Sunday River well into May.
Set in a historic, medieval town an hour from Innsbruck in the Wilder Kaiser Mountains, Kitzbühel, also known as "Kitz," is one of the ritziest and most beautiful ski areas in all of Austria. It's perhaps best known for the annual Hahnenkamm, the toughest downhill ski race on the World Cup circuit, but it’s also charming and family-friendly with a resort village that appeals to skiers and non-skiers alike.
ALTA BADIA, DOLOMITES (ITALY)
Gorgeous scenery, 300 days of sunshine and 750 miles of terrain make Italy’s Dolomites one of the world’s best alpine settings. One ski pass lets you access all 12 Dolomiti Superski resorts. Our favorite is Alta Badia, home to some of the best food and drinking options in the area, including three Michelin-starred restaurants and an annual “wine ski safari.” And for those feeling extra adventurous, you can try Inspired ITALY’s Dolomites Ski Safari—a seven-night, six-day guided tour through the region.
MONT-TREMBLANT, QUEBEC (CANADA)
Quebec’s Mont-Tremblant feels like it belongs in France. A charming European cobblestone pedestrian village, with restaurants, hotels and shops, sits at the base of the longtime ski destination in the Laurentian Mountains. The skiing is great for beginners with long runs of green terrain spread among its nearly 100 trails. The resort also boasts one of the only ski-in, ski-out casinos in North America. Cha-ching.
Located in the heart of Les Trois Vallées—the largest ski region on the planet—the area has endless skiing for all tastes and lots of Frenchie cuteness to boot. Speaking of tastes, Courchevel is a gastronomic destination in its own right, with numerous Michelin-starred restaurants—like the epic restaurant Le 1947 at ski-in, ski-out maison Cheval Blanc.
WHITEFACE MOUNTAIN (WILMINGTON, NY)
This is Adirondack skiing at its finest. With the charming, nearby town of Lake Placid, Winter Olympics nuts can relive the glory of the 1932 and 1980 Games. After you’ve put your lift pass to good use, you can enjoy a slope-side Bloody Mary, check out the Olympic Jumping Complex and the Olympic Sports Complex in town or book yourself a relaxing treatment at the famed Mirror Lake Inn’s snug spa—you've earned it.
Additional reporting by Kristen Boatright