Top Five U.S. Ski Vacations

Ski resorts all over the United States are about to open for the season, so many are wondering about the perfect ski vacations. This is a guide to the top five ski vacations in the United States, both on the East and West coasts.

Vail, Colorado
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Big Bear Mountain Resorts

Big Bear Mountain Resorts is located in Big Bear Lake, California, and it is one of the best resorts in the state. Bear Mountain is great because it has something to offer skiers of all levels with its Freestyle Park and Skill Builder Park. With its 12 mountain lifts and long runs, Alpine skiers will love this mountain. Kleine Haus Lodge is the best place to stay there because it is walking distance to the slopes. They offer many packages to suit your needs, and it's a great place to wrap up a long snow day.

Vail, Colorado

The best place to stay in Vail is the Vail Cascade Resort because it has a private chairlift and lift ticket office. Even better, it's less expensive than other resorts in the area. Even with the first-class accommodations, you'll want to spend your time out on Vail Mountain. This mountain is unique because it's groomed just for you, with three diverse terrain parks and nine kid's skiing zones. Vail is perfect for a family ski vacation.

Bretton Woods

Bretton Woods is New Hampshire's largest ski area, with over 400 acres that include 102 trails and glades and four terrain parks. Something that makes this location great is the newly added backcountry glades, so there's plenty to explore! With nine lifts, this is the ultimate Eastern destination for Alpine skiers. The best place to stay there is the luxurious Omni Mount Washington Resort. Located in a breathtaking setting, the resort offers a spa, canopy tour, and golf course.

Brian Head Peak

Brain Head Resort is popular among Utah tourists. One of the best and newest places to stay in the area is the Grand Lodge. The rooms are rustic and comfortable, and the lodge offers some great dining and spa choices. Brian Head Peak is unique because it connects to another skiable mountain, Navajo Peak. Recent renovations now allow skiers to ski between both mountains, which offer a combined 65 trails and 650 acres of ski terrain.

Stowe Mountain Resort

Located in Vermont, Stowe Mountain Resort is home to 116 trails and 13 lifts. Stowe mountain is great for beginner skiers, as they have recently added a new beginner's area. Something unique about this mountain is the fully-automated snowmaking on Spruce Peak. Undoubtedly, the best place to stay here is Stowe Mountain Lodge. Located in the Stowe Alpine Village, it is just minutes from the best slopes around.

Note: I began skiing 10 years ago, and I've had a chance to try many of the top ski destinations. I appreciate locations with smooth, steep terrains and plenty of lifts for the ultimate Alpine ride.

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Updated Thursday, Oct 20, 2011