Winter is almost here and the time to book ski vacations is almost over. Each year the booking season for ski vacations begins in late summer and gradually accentuates until Halloween. Getting bookings early is crucial especially as many of the best and cheapest places fill up quite quickly. Try to book your ski vacation too late and you might not even find enough room on the slopes, let alone in a god hotel. But don’t worry, there are likely plenty of rooms still available right now. Here’s our list of the top 10 ski vacation destinations.
10. Bozeman, Montana
Bozeman isn’t as fancy as many of the resorts on this list and is, really, barely a resort at all but it does feature two fantastic mountains and a wide array of breathtaking backcountry paths that you can tackle at your own risk (and only with avalanche transceivers). If you don’t much care about fine dining but are a fan of great snow, Bozeman might be the place for you.
9. Girdwood, Alaska
Crested Butte is a former mining town turned ski resort. Sound familiar? Perhaps because it is the same as big brothers Aspen and Telluride. Yet Crested Butte has none of the swank of its more famous siblings, opting for a dash of punk instead. It offers the same kind of snow at lower costs and a much lower concentration of Hollywood.
7. North Conway, New Hampshire
North Conway is a little slice of US history, with some of the first slopes in the states prepared here during the twenties and thirties. It is living proof that you don’t have to go to the Rockies or Canada to ski in North America and you can do it with class as well as a lot of the New England elite comes to this part of the White Mountains when they’re looking for some good quick snow.
6. Niseko, Japan
Niseko is the place to go if you want to ski on some of the finest powder in the world, almost year-round. Skiing off-piste is the main attraction here, perhaps apart from the hot springs that you can bathe in after a hard day’s play on the slopes. The town is rather big at almost 5000 inhabitants but feels more like Key West than Aspen.
5. Cortina, Italy
Cortina is a place that is all about the powder. This stylish resort is great in the wintertime as it revolves almost entirely around skiing. There are fantastic sights, fantastic restaurants and some of the most fashion conscious people you’ll find this side of Paris or Milan. And why not, Cortina is well known to be the most fashionable Italian place to be during the winter months.
4. Kitzbuhel, Austria
Austria and neighboring Switzerland have no shortage of great ski resorts but this one is perfect for the typical European Skiing vacation. Kitzbuhel isn’t for powderheads and ‘extreme’ skiers but for gentle skiers who want to experience the snow during the day and some culture and fine dining in the evening. Where else that in this little medieval village turned resort?
3. Jackson Hole, Wyoming
This small town and its fancy resorts might be over-hyped lately but for good reason. It has one of the best slopes in the world, fancy hotels that cater to the jet-setting crowd and a lift ride that is to die for. It also features one of the best advanced skier ‘pro’ camps in the business, where seasoned professional skiers will give you tips on upping your game so you can tackle the best slopes out there
2. Chamonix, France
Chamonix has long been the destination for extreme European skiers and extremely rich Europeans as well. Sitting in the shadow of Mont Blanc, Chamonix caters to the two sets of people equally. To the former it offers breathtaking slopes that are to die for (literally, in some cases!). For the latter it offers expensive restaurants and hotels, fantastic views and lots and lots of Champagne!
1. Aspen, Colorado
Aspen might be ove-rhyped and ridden with Hollywood celebrities and accompanying paparazzi but it is also chock full of everybody who knows what skiing is all about from X-games medalists to Olympic Games medalists. Despite the luxury hotels and lodges all people, regardless of class come here for the ride of a lifetime on the snowy hillsides of one of the world’s premier skiing resorts. The hillsides of Aspen unite us all, anonymous ski bum or Hollywood Superstar.