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Plan a Ski Resort Vacation!

Snowy adventures are just a hop, skip and jump away! We’ve made it easy to plan the perfect family getaway. See our top ski resort picks and the key steps to decide which ski resort is right for you.

We're now offering discounts on ski resort lift tickets and hotel rooms. Bundle your lift tickets with a hotel for BIG savings!

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Top Ski Resorts

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  • Heavenly California

    Breathtaking views await! Sitting above Lake Tahoe on the California-Nevada border, Heavenly boasts the highest elevation and most skiable terrain in the area—within two hours of two major airports. With 24-hour casinos and on-mountain après ski parties, the fun never stops.

  • Northstar California

    With an abundance of beginner and intermediate terrain, this smaller, village-style California ski resort near Lake Tahoe and some 200 miles from the San Francisco Bay Area, makes for an easy getaway and ideal introduction to the sport.

  • Aspen Snowmass Colorado

    One of the world’s most famous ski resorts, it boasts fine dining, nightlife and shopping—plus plenty of ski terrain among its four peaks—Snowmass, Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk. This former mining town is now the place to see and be seen.

    Image ©Jeremy Swanson

  • Breckenridge Colorado

    Five peaks surround this picturesque former mining town just a hop, skip and a jump from Denver. The Victorian architecture of Main Street makes a cozy backtrop and nice respite from the varied ski resort terrain.

  • Steamboat Colorado

    Widely recognized for having one of the best kids' ski programs in the country, Steamboat offers dedicated kids' terrain and lifts. It is also steeped in history. The oldest ski area in Colorado is also home to more than 150 springs, with some reaching up to 150 degrees.

    Images ©Larry Pierce/Steamboat Ski Resort

  • Park City Utah

    Home to the U.S.’s largest independent film festival, this former mining town also boasts the largest ski area in the United States—with some 7,300 acres of skiable terrain—and is just 35 minutes from a major airport.

  • Kirkwood California

    Nestled atop the Sierra Crest, this ski resort is home to Lake Tahoe’s lightest, driest and most plentiful snow. Kirkwood is known for its advanced terrain, including cliff drops and cornices.

  • Palisades Tahoe California

    Killer views and terrain are the hallmarks of this spectacular ski resort that boasts more than 6,000 skiable acres, including a mountain-top beginner area. Palisades Tahoe has one of the longest ski and snowboard seasons in Lake Tahoe.

  • Beaver Creek Colorado

    This is luxury family skiing, tucked away from the rest of the world. Made up of three villages—Beaver Creek, Bachelor Gulch and Arrowhead—this ski resort has the quaint feel of an Alpine village but all of the modern conveniences.

  • Keystone Colorado

    Kids ski free at this resort just a hop, skip and a jump from Denver. With the largest nighttime ski operation in Colorado, there is plenty of powder time and a variety of terrain among its three mountains and five bowls.

    Special deal: Kids ski free! Learn More
  • Vail Colorado

    One of the nation's top ski resorts, Vail is known for its vast terrain, including seven legendary back bowls and beginner skiing from its main bases. Modeled after a Bavarian town, the pedestrian-friendly Vail Village is upscale yet unpretentious.

Our First Ski Trip

We know planning your first ski trip is exciting — but it can be overwhelming too, especially with littles! Let us use our expertise to make sure you have the most ski HOPPIN' vacation ever!

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How to Choose a Ski Resort

Don’t know where to start? Use our decision matrix to help determine which ski resort is the best fit for your cozy winter vacation!
 Ski SeasonTrails# of LiftsChildcareSki SchoolKnown for its...Distance
to Airport
Heavenly CaliforniaSki Season: Mid-Nov-Early AprTrails: 
  • Beginner 20
  • Intermediate 45
  • Diamond 30
  • Black Diamond 5
# of Lifts  28Childcare: 6 wks.-6 yrs.Ski School: 4+ yrs.Known for Its: Spectacular views of Lake Tahoe; "off-hill" activities (gambling!)Distance to Airport: Reno/Tahoe -55 mi
Sacramento - 115 mi
Kirkwood CaliforniaSki Season: Mid-Nov-Mid-AprTrails: 
  • Beginner 12
  • Intermediate 30
  • Diamond 38
  • Black Diamond 20
# of Lifts  15Childcare: Not availableSki School: 3+ yrs.Known for Its: Deep, dry snow; diverse & challenging terrainDistance to Airport: Reno/Tahoe - 80 mi
Sacramento - 107 mi
Northstar CaliforniaSki Season: Mid-Nov-Mid-AprTrails: 
  • Beginner 16
  • Intermediate 47
  • Diamond 37
  • Black Diamond 0
# of Lifts  20Childcare: 2 ys.-6 yrs.Ski School: 3+ yrs.Known for Its: Easy terrain & accessiblity (popular with first-time ski families)Distance to Airport: Reno/Tahoe - 41 mi
Sacramento - 114 mi
Palisades Tahoe CaliforniaSki Season: Mid-Nov to MayTrails: 
  • Beginner 25
  • Intermediate 42
  • Diamond 33
  • Black Diamond 0
# of Lifts  42Childcare: Not availableSki School: 3+ yrs.Known for Its: Abundant snowfall and spring skiingDistance to Airport: Reno/Tahoe - 47 mi
Sacramento 115 mi
Aspen Snowmass ColoradoSki Season: Nov-Mid-AprTrails: 
  • Beginner 10
  • Intermediate 43
  • Diamond 19
  • Black Diamond 28
# of Lifts  43Childcare: 8 wks.-4 yrs.Ski School: 2+ yrs.Known for Its: Fine dining, exclusive nightlife, chic ski & après sceneDistance to Airport:  Aspen/Pitkin County - 3 mi
Eagle County - 70 mi
Denver - 220 mi
Beaver Creek ColoradoSki Season: Oct–MayTrails: 
  • Beginner 19
  • Intermediate 43
  • Diamond 21
  • Black Diamond 17
# of Lifts  25Childcare: 2 mos.-6 yrs.Ski School: 3+ yrs.Known for Its: Tucked-away, 5-star locale (fresh-baked cookies après ski!)Distance to Airport:  Eagle County - 28 mi
Denver - 131 mi
Breckenridge ColoradoSki Season Mid-Nov-Late AprTrails: 
  • Beginner 11
  • Intermediate 31
  • Diamond 24
  • Black Diamond 34
# of Lifts  34Childcare: 2 mos.-5 yrs.Ski School (ages 5-adult): 3+ yrs.Known for Its: Former mining, "real town;" affordability & easy accessiblityDistance to Airport:  Eagle County - 63 mi
Denver - 102 mi
Keystone ColoradoSki Season: Oct-MayTrails: 
  • Beginner 14
  • Intermediate 29
  • Diamond 57
  • Black Diamond 0
# of Lifts  20Childcare: 2 mos.-6 yrs.Ski School: 3+ yrs.Known for Its: Night skiing; low-key, affordable, family-friendly experienceDistance to Airport:  Eagle County - 70 mi
Denver - 96 mi
Steamboat ColoradoSki Season: Late Nov-Mid-AprTrails: 
  • Beginner 14
  • Intermediate 42
  • Diamond 44
  • Black Diamond 0
# of Lifts  18Childcare: 6 mos.-6 yrs.Ski School: 2+ yrs.Known for Its: Laid-back cowboy roots, "champagne powder" & hot springsDistance to Airport:  Steamboat/Hayden - 24 mi
Denver - 178 mi
Vail ColoradoSki Season: Oct–late AprTrails: 
  • Beginner 18
  • Intermediate 29
  • Diamond 2
  • Black Diamond 25
# of Lifts  31Childcare: 2 mos.-6 yrs.Ski School: 3+ yrs.Known for Its: Endless terrain, upscale yet welcoming village & après sceneDistance to Airport:  Eagle County - 40 mi
Denver - 120 mi
Park City UtahSki Season: Mid-Nov–Mid-AprTrails: 
  • Beginner 9
  • Intermediate 51
  • Diamond 30
  • Black Diamond 10
# of Lifts  41Childcare: 2 mos.-6 yrs.Ski School: 3+ yrs.Known for Its: Extensive terrain; big-city amenities & Western glitzDistance to Airport: Salt Lake City - 35 mi
  • Ski Run Categories:
  • Beginner Beginner
  • Intermediate Intermediate
  • Diamond Diamond
  • Black Diamond Black Diamond

Planning Tips for your Ski Resort Vacation

  • When You Visit

    When You Visit

    When to Visit

    When you visit is the single biggest decision you can make around planning your family ski vacation, affecting which destination you choose, how many days you'll need, crowd levels and overall how much you pay for your trip.

    Best times to Visit:

    • When the tadpoles are in school (not the days around holidays)
    • Early in the season; the weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas (but not the actual holiday weeks)*
    • Weekdays in January and February (not the weeks of Martin Luther King Day or President's Day)
    • Weekdays in the first week of March
    • Late in the season*

    * Snowfall amounts vary at this time, and there may not be any!

  • Where to Stay

    Where to Stay

    Where to Stay

    While a variety of accommodations are available at every destination, it's important to decide whether you want the pampering and convenience of a hotel vs. the affordability and space of a condo or vacation home. Some ski resort destinations are heavier on one versus the other. Some vacation condos offer ski lockers and shuttles to the ski resort, but generally if you want someone else to store your gear, want to be near the slopes and/or shuttles, you'll want to stay at a hotel. Keep in mind that slopeside and ski-in/ski-out accommodations will get you near the slopes, but may not be near ski school. If your tadpoles will be spending the bulk of their days at ski school, we think it's worth the splurge of staying at a nearby hotel, especially for a first visit.

  • Which Ticket

    Which Ticket

    Which Ticket

    While you can always purchase additional days for ski school, lift tickets and rental equipment, usually you will save more money the more days you stay and by purchasing in advance. Always do the math! Generally, if you plan to ski more than five days, you will likely save more by purchasing a season pass.

    A few points to consider:

    • Depending on the resort, a lift ticket may be required for ski school, or it may be factored into the cost of the ski lesson.
    • You can rent ski gear from most ski schools. No matter where you get your gear, you'll have fewer hassles if you can store it there overnight.
    • Gratuity is not included in your ski lesson, so factor this into your budget and bring cash!
  • Transportation Options

    Transportation Options

    Transportation Options

    When it comes to getting to and from your ski resort destination, car rentals, shuttles and car services are all viable options. Shuttle and car services offer both group and private transport to the destination and charge per person. Renting offers the most flexibility, especially if you plan to visit other ski resorts or destinations. If you rent, consider an SUV or other 4-wheel drive option for winter road conditions. While many ski resorts are on major highways and driveable even with heavy snow, snow chains may be required during blizzard conditions.

  • What to See and Do

    What to See and Do

    What to See and Do

    Even skiers need a day off from the slopes, but if you have non-skiers or are planning a multi-generational trip, you'll want to make sure the ski resort has plenty of non-skiing fun to keep the whole family entertained. Most ski resorts nestled around villages or towns offer shopping, dining, spas and après ski options. Some offer fun winter activities such as scenic gondola rides, on-mountain dining, ice skating, ice tubing and other winter activities.