Perfect Ski Days, 3 Ways
For a family trip, a romantic getaway or a reunion with friends, there’s an idyllic ski vacation for you. Here’s where to ski and stay this winter.
Looking for a memorable ski getaway with friends or family? The American Mountain West offers world-class skiing destinations guaranteed to suit your every powder-infused whim — from a gathering with friends to a fun-filled family sojourn to a romantic couple’s retreat.
1. Reconnect with Friends: Lake Tahoe, California
Planning a ski getaway with a group of friends can be a challenging prospect. Varying skiing skill levels, different interests and high expectations can add up to an impossible-to-find destination. Fortunately, with a clear-blue lake flanked by snowcapped mountains, the Lake Tahoe area offers an unmatched winter experience. The California getaway boasts a wealth of amenities for all interests — from expert alpine runs to heart-rate-boosting Nordic skiing to a world-class après-ski scene. The powder-inclined will delight in Tahoe’s generous snowfall — the area receives an average of 300 to 500 inches each year at alpine skiing elevations.
Of course, quality time with friends often happens off the slopes, and a celebratory reunion is a memorable experience at
The Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe. Tucked away in the quaint mountain town of Truckee, California, the resort sits at the mid-mountain location of the Northstar ski resort and keeps things simple with ski-in/ski-out access, mountain concierge services and a wide variety of amenities. Gather midday at the Backyard Ba & BBQ, the resort’s alfresco “blues, brews and barbecue” concept. A sunny ski day is easily capped off with the resort’s lively après-ski scene and evening fireside gatherings over a bottle of wine. For those in the group inclined to relaxation, there’s also an impressive 17,000-square-foot slope-side spa. If your getaway with friends includes children, the resort has a vibrant kids program with interactive crafts, games and Marshmology, a deliciously gooey signature experience.
2. Family Fun in the Rocky Mountains: Beaver Creek, Colorado
Centrally located in the heart of the Colorado Rockies and just a few hours’ drive from Denver, Beaver Creek is a unique proposition in the ski world. While many resorts were built around old mining towns, this family-friendly enclave was created from the ground up with a singular ski resort-focused purpose. The result is a well-designed, easy-to-navigate, beautiful little ski village nestled at the base of a mountain, making it a perfect getaway for families. And the skiing here is truly family-friendly. Corduroy-lined blue and green runs are a specialty. Yet, there is an ample amount of black diamond steeps to keep skilled teens and parents satisfied. Best of all, the deep, dry snow and minimal lift lines are a constant in Beaver Creek.
The Ritz-Carlton, Bachelor Gulch elevates the experience with mountainside accommodations that evoke the great lodges of the American West. The resort’s convenient ski-in/ski-out access eliminates the need to bundle up the whole family for a long trek before beginning an active day on the slopes. Parents and little ones will appreciate the Ski Nanny program for children between the ages of 5 and 12. The program is designed to transport children to Beaver Creek Group Ski School in Beaver Creek Village, while allowing parents to make first tracks on the mountain. And for a grand finale on a big day, the Bachelor's Lil' Campout package brings the fun of a Western camping experience indoors, with a teepee bed in which the kids can rest up for their next big day on the slopes.
3. A Chic, Romantic Getaway: Vail, Colorado
What could be more romantic than a mountainside winter wonderland? The enclave of Vail is a cozy Colorado village brimming with elegant boutiques, art galleries and, of course, world-class skiing. In fact, with more than 5,200 acres of ski terrain, the winter destination is Colorado’s alpine crown jewel as one of the largest ski resorts in the world. When the sun sets, the town of Vail beckons with an enticing and romantic pedestrian village. Couples in search of a quality time together will enjoy the town’s celebrated fine-dining scene and a wealth of après-ski options, including craft breweries and elegant cocktail lounges.
The Ritz-Carlton Club, Vail is a romantic destination that evokes a Bavarian hideaway. Situated at the base of Vail Mountain, the Club Residences offer private balconies, stunning mountain views, elegant furnishings and gourmet kitchens. It is the perfect spot for a sojourn to this enchanting mountainside town.