10 fantastic family ski destinations--you may or may not have heard about!
You might not know that I’m a skier, because I talk about so many other types of vacations so much. I’ve skiied since I was a teenager, and my own kids and husband all ski as well. (OK, so some of them snowboard. I forgive them!) I live in a fantastic ski destination (surely you’ve heard of the “greatest snow on earth”—Utah’s slogan), but I also love helping people travel to other incredible places. I’ve sent people all over the U.S., plus Canada, heli-skiing in Alaska, to the Swiss and French Alps, and even to South America. (For die-hard skiiers who want to ski in the summer, head south of the equator where it’s winter!)
After all of that buildup: are you looking for an unforgettable winter vacation that the whole family will love? You might want to consider taking a family ski trip! Today I’ve got a list for you of 10 incredible family-friendly ski destinations in North America. Some you’ll have heard of, and others are less well-known.
1. Aspen, Colorado
Known for its world-class skiing and beautiful scenery, Aspen has something for everyone. From gentle beginner slopes to challenging black diamonds, there's a ski run suited for every skill level. After a day on the slopes, explore the charming town with its cozy eateries and boutique shops.
2. Whistler Blackcomb, British Columbia
Nestled in the breathtaking Coast Mountains of British Columbia, Whistler Blackcomb is North America's largest ski resort. Beyond its impressive slopes, families can enjoy snowshoeing, ice skating, and even bobsledding. Don't miss the Peak 2 Peak Gondola for awe-inspiring panoramic views.
3. Park City, Utah (practically in my backyard—if my backyard was 60 miles big)
Home to the renowned Sundance Film Festival, Park City offers an experience beyond skiing. With a historic downtown area filled with art galleries, shops, and top-notch restaurants, there's something to please everyone. The ski slopes here cater to all levels, making it an ideal destination for families.
4. Quebec, Canada
I love Quebec and its European charm. In the winter it’s a true wonderland. Mont Tremblant, a popular ski resort in the region, offers 102 ski trails with breathtaking views of the Laurentian Mountains. After a day on the slopes, wander through the picturesque streets of Old Quebec City. You’ll feel like you’ve stepped into a European village, complete with small shops and cobblestones.
5. Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Jackson Hole offers a unique blend of breathtaking scenery, challenging slopes, and a laid-back western atmosphere. Jackson Hole is known for its abundant wildlife, and it's not uncommon to spot majestic elk, bison, or even a bald eagle while skiing. Besides skiing, you can enjoy snowshoeing, snow tubing, and sleigh rides through the stunning Teton Valley.
And here are a few lesser-known ski destinations that offer great experiences for families:
6. Brian Head, Utah
Nestled in the southern part of Utah, Brian Head boasts more than 650 acres of ski runs perfect for families. With its affordable lift ticket prices and ski-in/ski-out accommodations, it's an excellent choice for budget-conscious travelers. Don't forget to explore the nearby national parks for additional outdoor adventures.
7. Aleyska, Alaska
For a truly unique skiing experience, head to Alyeska in Alaska. With over 1,610 meters of vertical skiing, it's a thrill-seeker's paradise. Other than skiing, you can enjoy dog sledding, ice climbing, and even witnessing the mesmerizing Northern Lights.
8. Stowe, Vermont
Known as the "Ski Capital of the East," Stowe offers a quintessential New England ski experience. With its charming village, picturesque setting, and diverse terrain, Stowe is a top choice for families. Enjoy skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, or taking a horse-drawn sleigh ride through the snow-covered landscapes.
9. Whitefish, Montana
Tucked away in the charming state of Montana, Whitefish is a hidden gem known for its friendly atmosphere and superb skiing conditions. The family-friendly resort offers a wide variety of activities such as snowshoeing, ice fishing, and even winter zip-lining. Don't forget to visit Glacier National Park, located just a short drive away.
10. Sun Valley, Idaho
Embrace the magic of Sun Valley, a beautiful resort destination that offers a true winter wonderland experience. With its elegant lodges, family-friendly slopes, and a wide range of activities including ice skating, sleigh rides, and Nordic skiing, there's something for everyone in the family to enjoy.
Whether you choose a well-known destination like Aspen or venture off the beaten path to lesser-known gems like Quebec or Brian Head, a family ski vacation promises excitement, adventure, and connection. Embrace the winter wonderland! Have tons of fun together in the snowy peaks of friendly ski resorts! You’ll be glad you did.