When I woke up this morning, I was confronted with the season’s first cold snap. Frost on the ground, the cool air nipping at my nose – yes, fall is certainly giving way to winter – which got me thinking about one of my favorite winter activities: skiing.
As I tap this out, ski season is kicking into full swing in many of the world’s best ski destinations, and there are a bunch to choose from. Does an exhilarating skiing experience sound like how to make the most of your winter? Then join us as we embark on a journey to the top ski resorts and destinations worldwide!
We’ll be taking you on an expedition to some of the world’s most sought-after ski locations, ranging from the corduroy slopes of Whistler, Canada, to the idyllic views of St. Moritz, Switzerland, and the breathtaking mountain ranges of the Rocky Mountains and Colorado in the US.
The best places to go skiing allow you to conquer the most challenging runs and discover the coziest ski spots where you can indulge in a relaxing rest after a long day on the mountain. Read on for destination ideas and epic adventures, and let’s discover the world’s best ski resorts and destinations together.
- Best Ski Destinations to Visit This Year
- 1. Courchevel, France
- 2. Vail, Colorado
- 3. Whistler Blackcomb, Canada
- 4. Niseko, Japan
- 5. Telluride, Colorado
- 6. St. Moritz, Switzerland
- 7. Park City, Utah
- 8. Cerro Catedral, Argentina
- 9. Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Wyoming
- 10. St. Anton am Arlberg, Austria
- 11. Verbier, Switzerland
- 12. Chamonix, France
- 13. Aspen, Colorado
- 14. Mammoth Mountain, California
- 15. Sun Valley, Idaho
Best Ski Destinations to Visit This Year
1. Courchevel, France
Where to Stay
The mountain town of Courchevel, France, nestled in the heart of the French Alps, beckons those seeking a luxurious and thrilling ski vacation. From its world-class ski slopes to breathtaking mountain views and top-notch amenities, Courchevel stands out as the ultimate winter getaway.
Ski enthusiasts from across the globe converge on Courchevel every year to experience its 600 kilometers of immaculate ski runs, groomed slopes, and endless off-piste opportunities. Whether you’re a beginner or an accomplished skier, Courchevel’s diverse trails and runs cater to all skill levels.
Getting to Courchevel is a breeze. Fly into nearby airports, such as Chambery, Grenoble, or Geneva, and embark on a scenic drive up the mountain. Alternatively, opt for a train ride to the nearby town of Moutiers, followed by a bus or taxi ride to the resort.
Upon arrival, be prepared to be amazed by the captivating views, refreshing mountain air, and unparalleled ski slopes. Apart from skiing and snowboarding, Courchevel offers an array of exciting activities.
Take advantage of the resort’s tip-top amenities during your downtime, including world-class dining and high-end boutiques. Whether you’re seeking an adrenaline-fueled ski trip or a serene winter retreat, Courchevel has everything you need for an unforgettable winter escape.
See Related: The Most Beautiful Small Towns in France of All Time
2. Vail, Colorado
Where to Stay
Next, we’re heading to Vail, Colorado, one of the best ski spots in North America. Situated over 5,300 acres of skiable terrain, with a breathtaking vertical drop of over 3,450 feet, Vail offers many exhilarating experiences to suit skiers of all levels. The renowned back bowls of Vail are an alluring attraction for skiing enthusiasts, where one can indulge in the best powder skiing in the world.
Vail is not just a ski resort but a world of luxury and relaxation that one can revel in after a day on the slopes. The resort boasts numerous opulent accommodations, where one can unwind by the warmth of a crackling fireplace or relish in the delectable cuisine served at the many restaurants and bars.
For those who don’t fancy skiing, the Vail ski resort has various winter activities to cater to every whim. There’s no shortage of entertainment, from snowshoeing to ice skating and even dog sledding.
Wondering how to reach this winter wonderland? Vail offers two convenient options. One can fly into Denver International Airport and take a shuttle or rental car to Vail, which is approximately a two-hour drive. Alternatively, one can fly directly into Vail Eagle County Regional Airport, which is only a mere 30 minutes from Vail.
See Related: Best Places to Visit in Colorado in the Winter
3. Whistler Blackcomb, Canada
Where to Stay
One of our top-rated North American skiing destinations is Whistler Blackcomb, Canada – and we’re not alone. If you are in search of an unforgettable ski vacation, Whistler Blackcomb undoubtedly deserves a place at the top of your itinerary too. Why?
First and foremost, Whistler Mountain itself is truly spectacular. With over 8,100 acres of ski slope, it is the largest ski destination in North America.
The sheer size of the mountain means you will never tire of exploring it. Additionally, the slopes cater to all skill levels, from beginners to experts, ensuring that every visitor has an enjoyable and fulfilling experience.
But the mountain’s size is not the only thing that sets Whistler Blackcomb apart. The region also boasts an average of 35.5 feet of snowfall each year, making it one of the best powder skiing destinations in the world. The powder is so exceptional that locals eagerly anticipate powder days, and visitors lucky enough to experience them can attest to the superior quality.
It seems quality comes at a price, as Whistler Blackcomb’s prices only ever seem to be increasing with every year, with the current fee for the lift and ski passes being quite steep. Whistler Blackcomb is located in British Columbia, Canada, approximately 75 miles north of Vancouver.
You can fly into Vancouver International Airport and embark on a scenic one-and-a-half to two-hour drive or shuttle to reach Whistler. Alternatively, you can opt for a truly unique experience by taking a helicopter or seaplane from Vancouver.
See Related: Powder Alliance Resorts: A Buying Guide to Benefits (+ Map)
4. Niseko, Japan
Where to Stay
I love Niseko! While many ski enthusiasts may immediately think of popular destinations such as the Rocky Mountains, the Swiss Alps, or the French Alps, Niseko is a true hidden gem located on the northernmost island of Japan, Hokkaido. I first visited these slopes just over a year ago and was bowled over by the experience.
From my time on the slopes, Niseko boasts some of the best skiing conditions in the world. It’s no longer a wonder to me that hardcore snow enthusiasts from all over the globe flock to this location every year.
One of the reasons Niseko is so special is its ability to offer the perfect combination of deep powder, world-class tree runs, and incredible après-ski cuisine. With an average of over 35 feet of fresh snow per season, Niseko has earned its place as one of the most world-class ski resorts on the planet.
But there’s more to Niseko than just skiing. You can experience a unique cultural encounter that is difficult to find in other ski resorts. The traditional hot springs, also known as onsens, and delicious traditional fare are just a few things to explore beyond the slopes.
Getting to Niseko is easy, with the closest airport being the New Chitose Airport in Sapporo. From there, visitors have multiple options, including renting a car, taking a train to Kutchan, or hopping on a ski bus that provides direct transportation to the resorts.
Once you arrive, prepare yourself for the experience of a lifetime. Niseko’s unique topography and light, fluffy powder make it a powder hound’s dream trip. If it’s your first time visiting Niseko, be sure to treat yourself to a day with Hanazono Powder Guides.
After an exhilarating day on the slopes, don’t forget to relax and rejuvenate at one of the mountain hosts’ legendary onsens. The natural hot springs offer the perfect opportunity to soothe tired muscles and prepare for another epic day of skiing.
See Related: Best Japan Travel Hacks: Top Travel Tips for Visiting
5. Telluride, Colorado
Where to Stay
Telluride Ski Resort, Colorado, is a top pick for ski enthusiasts from far and wide and a staff favorite here at ViaTravelers. Connected to a “sister town” of Mountain Village gives it a two-for-one punch, and I personally prefer Telluride over Aspen.
Nestled in a picturesque box canyon with towering peaks all around, Telluride is a National Historic Landmark and a true gem. What sets it apart from other ski resorts is its tranquil vibe in the Rocky Mountains and its friendly and welcoming locals.
The resort’s vast 2,000 skiable acres cater to all skill levels, with gentle beginner terrain and runs, magical tree skiing, and thrilling steep slopes and chutes. The jaw-dropping 360-degree views of the San Juan Mountains are a sight to behold and will leave you in awe.
But this place is much more than just a ski destination – it’s a melting pot of local and regional festivals year-round, celebrating music, art, and culture. Mountain Village offers a diverse range of top-rated gourmet restaurants, charming shops, and live entertainment venues that cater to every taste and preference.
Getting to this paradise is easy, with direct flights to Montrose-Telluride Regional Airport or a scenic road trip through the majestic Colorado mountains. With its breathtaking panoramas, unparalleled skiing, and vibrant culture, Telluride is an incredible winter getaway that you’ll remember for a lifetime.
See Related: Best Ski Resorts in Colorado
6. St. Moritz, Switzerland
Where to Stay
The birthplace of winter tourism, St. Moritz has held a timeless allure for travelers from around the globe for over a century. And it’s no wonder why.
With more than 350 kilometers of pristine ski runs, an average of 322 days of sunshine per year, and picture-postcard-perfect views of the Swiss Alps, St. Moritz is a veritable paradise for winter sports enthusiasts, nature lovers alike, and anyone needing to take a break from it all.
Yet, what truly sets St. Moritz apart from other alpine destinations is its unparalleled glamour and storied past. Home to some of the world’s most deluxe hotels, high-end boutiques, and Michelin-starred dining establishments, St. Moritz is a beacon of refined luxury.
Furthermore, with a winter sports legacy dating back to the late 19th century, St. Moritz has hosted the Winter Olympics twice and numerous Alpine Ski Championships, cementing its reputation as a premier winter sports destination.
However, let us not forget the skiing itself. St. Moritz boasts three primary ski areas – Corviglia, Corvatsch, and Diavolezza – each with unique charm and skiing terrain. Corviglia is the largest and most comprehensive resort, offering a well-balanced blend of immaculately groomed runs suitable for intermediate skiers.
Corvatsch, by contrast, is famed for its awe-inspiring panoramas and varied terrain, accommodating skiers of all skill levels, including the legendary off-piste run down the northwest face. For the most advanced skiers seeking a challenge, Diavolezza is the ultimate destination, boasting unparalleled north-facing pistes and breathtaking alpine vistas.
See Related: Experience the Mt. Pilatus Golden Round Trip in Switzerland
7. Park City, Utah
Where to Stay
Let’s head back stateside for another exceptional adventure as we take you to stunning Park City, Utah!
Nestled in the heart of Park City, Park City Mountain Resort is the largest ski resort in the United States! Spanning over 7,300 acres of skiable terrain, boasting 330 trails, 43 lifts, and six terrain parks, the Park City resort remains an unparalleled ski destination for travelers across the globe.
The Park City Mountain Resort caters to every skiing and snowboarding enthusiast regardless of skill level. Whether it’s conquering challenging black diamond runs or enjoying a relaxing and laid-back glide down the slopes, this resort has got you covered. Also, for skiers only, nearby Deer Valley Resort is of equal quality.
The après-ski scene in Park City is top-notch. Ski-in-ski-out access to historic Main Street lets visitors explore charming Park City after a day on the slopes.
This bustling street offers award-winning restaurants, unique shops, and exciting nightlife, all adding to an unforgettable experience. Transportation to Park City is a breeze, just a 35-minute drive from the Salt Lake City International Airport. Although you could opt for a hotel in Salt Lake City, it’s worth considering Park City is also a lovely place to stay, home to many great hotels, resorts, and rentals.
See Related: Best Day Trips from Salt Lake City, Utah
8. Cerro Catedral, Argentina
Where to Stay
For something different, grab your skis or snowboard and adventure to Cerro Catedral, Argentina’s ultimate winter wonderland! Nestled in the heart of Patagonia, this destination ranks among South America’s finest ski resorts.
Boasting an extensive network of runs spanning intermediate terrain of over 120 kilometers, 40 lifts, and breathtaking views of the Andes Mountains, it caters to skiers of all levels, from beginners to seasoned professionals.
However, it’s important to note that the ski season at this pristine location lasts only from June to October, so consider this a summer ski destination. Reaching Cerro Catedral isn’t too hard. Flying into Bariloche will have you close to the resort, and you can take a shuttle or taxi to complete your journey.
9. Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Wyoming
Where to Stay
Are you a winter sports enthusiast on the hunt for the ultimate ski vacation? Are you looking for long treks in the countryside, basking in nature’s glory? Or are you looking to rub elbows with the rich and famous? Look no further than Jackson Hole Mountain Resort in gorgeous Wyoming!
This world-renowned destination offers an abundance of skiing, snowboarding, and winter fun for all ages and skill levels. If JHMR intimidates you, you can start in Jackson at the “town hill” or Snow King Mountain.
For the advanced and expert skiers, Jackson Hole is a true paradise, boasting over 2,500 acres of skiable terrain, including some of the most challenging runs in North America.
But don’t worry if you’re a beginner or intermediate skier – the resort has plenty of trails and slopes suitable for all levels of experience, and their exceptional instructors and skill-building programs will have you shredding like a pro in no time.
And let’s not forget about all the amazing amenities the resort has to offer beyond the slopes. Treat yourself to delicious dining options, cozy lodges, and rejuvenating spas. Wyoming’s stunning natural scenery and wildlife lie at your feet, making your stay at Jackson Hole an adventure to remember.
Getting to the resort is a breeze, with Jackson Hole Mountain Resort just a short distance from Jackson Hole Airport. Or, for a truly scenic adventure, fly into Salt Lake City and embark on a road trip through Grand Teton National Park before arriving at the resort.
See Related: Best Tours in Jackson Hole, Wyoming
10. St. Anton am Arlberg, Austria
Where to Stay
St. Anton am Arlberg is a bit of a hidden gem among the world’s most revered spots for skiing. This picturesque village, nestled in the western Austrian state of Tyrol, flaunts some of the most breathtaking mountain landscapes you will ever witness. St. Anton is distinguished for its world-class skiing and snowboarding, an irresistible draw for all adventurers!
With over 300 kilometers of pistes, St. Anton provides a wondrous array of options for skiers of all skill levels, ranging from beginner slopes to daring black runs. For the more fearless adventurer, numerous off-piste opportunities and backcountry skiing terrain await exploring.
But skiing and snowboarding are just the beginning of the magic of St. Anton. After a day on the slopes, one can unwind and relax in one of the many après-ski bars and restaurants, where delicacies and refreshing drinks abound. Additionally, guests can enjoy a soothing soak in the town’s renowned Arlberg-WellCom wellness center, the be-all and end-all of rejuvenation and revitalization.
Learning about the Tyrolian local culture and heritage by exploring the fascinating traditional architecture, museums, and galleries is something I’ll always cherish. St. Anton is teeming with opportunities for discovery and wonder.
Transportation is easy and hassle-free. St. Anton is accessible by car, train, or plane. For those flying in, the closest airports are Innsbruck, Salzburg, and Zurich in Switzerland. Guests can take a train or bus directly to St. Anton from there.
See Related: Best Hotels in Innsbruck, Austria: Top Places to Stay
11. Verbier, Switzerland
Where to Stay
From a hidden gem to a destination that needs no introduction. Welcome to the extraordinary alpine resort of Verbier, Switzerland, one of the world’s premier winter sports destinations, home to popular ski resorts and legendary slopes. This winter paradise is a sophisticated winter playground, a truly exceptional getaway for those who seek to indulge themselves to the fullest.
While it may be true that Verbier is a luxurious and costly destination, its extraordinary skiing opportunities, diverse international clientele, top-notch accommodations, and unparalleled dining and entertainment options make it well worth the investment.
Located within the canton of Valais in the southwestern region of Switzerland, Verbier is bordered by Italy to the south and France to the west. It’s accessible just a two-hour drive from Geneva airport or via a scenic train ride to Le Chable, followed by a smooth gondola ascent to the resort’s center.
Verbier caters to all levels of skiers, from the adventurous off-piste enthusiasts to those preferring a more relaxed glide down the slopes, perhaps concluding their day with a sun-kissed lounging session.
Beyond the exceptional skiing experience, Verbier is renowned for its après-ski scene, boasting a world-famous selection of lively bars and clubs. It is the perfect destination for adventure, entertainment, and luxury, all in one package.
See Related: Where to Stay in Lucerne, Switzerland: Best Areas & Neighborhoods
12. Chamonix, France
Where to Stay
While in the neighborhood, let’s head over to Chamonix, France! Located in the Haute-Savoie region of France and bordering Switzerland and Italy lies the vibrant and beautiful town of Chamonix.
This world-renowned ski resort and mountaineering destination flaunts the incredible Aiguilles de Chamonix mountain chain, peaking at the top of mighty Mont Blanc, which dominates the skyline.
Gazing upon the jagged, snow-capped peaks towering over the town, one cannot help but be awestruck by the spectacular scenery. Chamonix provides the perfect backdrop for an unforgettable ski adventure under the bright blue sky, from ancient glaciers sweeping down towards the valley floor to waterfalls cascading through pine-covered hillsides.
But Chamonix is more than just natural beauty; it is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. The town boasts an international community of residents and tourists, giving it a vibrant and cosmopolitan feel.
Now, the question is, how does one get to this breathtaking place? A mere 1-hour drive from Geneva, Switzerland, or a 2-hour train ride from Lyon, Chamonix, is easily accessible. Once you arrive, the town is well-connected and can be explored by car, bus, train, or on foot.
See Related: Italy vs France: Which is Better to Visit?
13. Aspen, Colorado
Where to Stay
As an avid skier, you probably crave the perfect combination of good weather, pristine slopes, comfortable amenities, great food, cool places to stay, and exciting nightlife, right? So, where can you find all that and more? Look no further than the one and only Aspen, Colorado!
Aspen boasts four distinct ski resorts, catering to skiers and snowboarders of all skill levels. With over 300 days of sunshine annually, the region offers an extensive ski season that often stretches from November to May. Aspen’s exceptional snow quality – soft, powdery, and abundant – contributes to the area’s reputation as a winter sports Nirvana.
Aside from skiing, the area around Aspen Mountain is also a hub for entertainment and culture. The après-ski scene is second to none, with various restaurants, bars, and cafes to satisfy any craving. Meanwhile, the region hosts numerous prestigious ski events throughout the year, including the renowned X Games at Buttermilk and the Audi Power of Four Challenge at Snowmass.
For those seeking adventure in reaching Aspen, the airport in Pitkin County offers convenient air travel. Alternatively, travelers may opt for a scenic drive through the mountains after landing in Denver.
See Related: Where To Stay In Denver: Best Areas & Neighborhoods
14. Mammoth Mountain, California
Where to Stay
Mammoth Mountain, nestled in the heart of California, is regarded by many as one of the best ski resorts in the world. With a staggering elevation of 11,053 feet, it’s no wonder this resort consistently ranks among the best ski trips in North America.
Thanks to natural snow, its impressive snowfall, and diverse terrain, Mammoth Mountain is a haven for both skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts.
The resort boasts over 300 days of sunshine annually, ensuring spectacular winter sports conditions. Its location within the stunning Eastern Sierra region further enhances the breathtaking experience visitors can expect at this world-class ski destination.
Beginners can instill confidence in their skills at the resort’s ski and snowboard school, while more advanced skiers will relish the opportunity to carve tracks on its challenging slopes.
When it’s time to unwind after a long day hitting the slopes, Mammoth Mountain also offers delightful restaurants to refuel and relax. Furthermore, embracing the vibrant mountain town spirit enables visitors to experience an authentic Californian adventure off the slopes.
With its majestic peaks, diverse terrain, and accessible amenities, Mammoth Mountain is a must-visit destination for anyone seeking a memorable skiing or snowboarding experience. Aside from its winter sports offerings, California’s remarkable attractions ensure an unforgettable mountain getaway.
See Related: Best Vacation Rentals in California
15. Sun Valley, Idaho
Where to Stay
Sun Valley, Idaho, is a top vacation destination in Idaho with a world-class ski resort that attracts skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts from all around the globe. As one of the best ski resorts in North America, it offers diverse slopes, modern facilities, and stunning natural beauty.
Sun Valley Ski Resort caters to varying skill levels, providing gentle slopes around Dollar Mountain for beginners, as well cross-country trails as well as more advanced tracks on Bald Mountain for experienced skiers. The quality and accessibility of Sun Valley’s terrain make it a premier choice for winter sports enthusiasts.
Along with exceptional ski conditions, Sun Valley Resort boasts an average of over 2,000 skiable acres, 44% of which are intermediate slopes and 18 lifts. The resort area truly lives up to its name, renowned for clear, sunny skies and excellent snow quality throughout the season.
Visitors to Sun Valley will find a wide range of lodging options, from luxury ski-in ski-out accommodations to budget-friendly choices. In addition to the impressive ski scene, Sun Valley also offers an array of recreational activities, including a relaxing spa, a bowling alley, and outdoor heated pools for enjoyment during the spring season.
Sun Valley’s seamless combination of small-town charm, warm hospitality, and world-class skiing make it an unrivaled destination for winter sports enthusiasts across North America and beyond.
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