Once the magic of the holiday season has ended, the remaining winter months can sometimes feel bleak and stagnant. Spring can seem like the next most exciting event. However, there is a way for us to enjoy and celebrate winter while it lasts. Ski season is upon us until early April. And while the southeast may not seem like an ideal destination, there are plenty of skiing locations only a few hours away.
Appalachian Ski Mountain, North Carolina; source: appskimtn.com
Located in the Blue Ridge region of North Carolina, Appalachian Ski Mountain is described as a place for families, run by a ski family. Skiers and riders of all abilities are welcome. Even if you have no skiing experience, you can learn from some of the very best at the French Swiss Ski College, which is located on site. Instruction is offered to groups and individuals on a daily basis. There are eleven ski trails on the mountain, with varying levels of difficulty, along with three terrain parks. Inside the ski lodge, modeled after historic European ski lodges, a restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Visitors will also find a gift shop and ski supply shop. There is also an outdoor ice skating rink open day and night. For more information, visit appskimtn.com.
Beech Mountain Resort, North Carolina; source: beechmountainresort.com
At 5,505 feet in elevation, Beech Mountain is the highest ski resort in eastern North America. It is home to fifteen slopes that are open around the clock. These runs aren’t only for skiers. Snowboarders can take advantage of the half-pipe and terrain park, as well as Meadow Park, an area dedicated to beginner skateboarders. New at Beech Mountain is the glass-walled sky bar. It sits at the top of the mountain, offering skiers a place to catch their breath in between trips down the slopes. Refreshments are available and can be enjoyed on the large deck that offers amazing views of the Appalachians. Not only are there ice skating rinks and youth sledding hills for kids twelve and under, there are also snowshoe tours and rentals available on site. For more information about Beech Mountain Resort, visit beechmtn.com.
Ober Gatlinburg Ski Resort, Tennessee; source: tripping.com
Situated in the Smoky Mountains, Ober Gatlinburg is far more than just a ski resort. In addition to the resort’s nine trails for skiing and snowboarding, there is an amusement park on site and an aerial tram ride. The Aerial Tramway offers the best views of the Smoky Mountains on a two-mile ride up to the resort. The Scenic Chairlift is another, perhaps more intimate, way to enjoy the views and scenery. There are alpine slides, an ice rink, a carousel and even a wildlife habitat. After a day of skiing and exploring the resort grounds, guests can warm up in the Ober Gatlinburg Restaurant and Lounge beneath cathedral ceilings and in front of a large wood stove. For more information, visit obergatlinburg.com.
Alyeska Resort, Alaska; source: alyeskaresort.com
For the ultimate winter enthusiast, Alyeska Resort is a gem hidden among the vast landscape of Alaska. As the only four-diamond hotel in the state, the resort’s luxuries rival the stunning views and International Ski Federation-certified downhill courses. The Alyeska Resort Aerial Tramway is a seven-minute ride from the resort to a viewing deck with panoramic views of the mountains and hanging glaciers. The resort is home to a saltwater pool, whirlpool, fitness center and spa. Also accessible via tram ride is the AAA Four Diamond award-winning Seven Glaciers Restaurant, offering signature Alaskan entrees. With over 1,000 acres of terrain, Alyeska guests can take guided nature hikes, glacier treks and wildlife cruises or take part in flightseeing and world class fishing. No matter what your interests are, there are opportunities for you to immerse yourself in the beautiful Alaskan outdoors. For more information, visit alyeskaresort.com.
While this list features resorts on both coasts of the United States, there are countless unique destinations everywhere in between as well. To find out about more ski resorts and locations, visit onthesnow.com.
Author: Olivia Varnson – Travel and sports enthusiast living near Gainesville, GA and working with Travel Bags With Annita.