10 Surprising Ski Destinations

You don’t necessarily think of Japan or Appalachia when you think of ski country, but these are just two unexpected destinations where you can find powdery slopes.

Tags

You Might Also Like

Best Western Adirondack Inn
This alpine-style Best Western, located in Lake Placid, NY, has a great location across from the Olympic Center and blocks from downtown Lake Placid and Mirror Lake beach. The cozy living-room-like lobby, indoor pool, Jacuzzi, sauna, fitness center, free breakfast and game room are added bonuses.
960 1280

  

The Annabelle Inn
This rustic Aspen, CO, lodge stays true to its unflashy roots with nicely updated mountain-lodge-style decor in the lobby, including tons of old, unfinished barn wood (even the ceilings), comfy leather couches and a cozy stone fireplace. The layout of the Annabelle is unlike any other in the area, with a 4-story, courtyard-style layout exposing all the stairways and walkways to the elements.
960 1280

Picasa  

The Arrabelle at Vail Square, A RockResort
This rustic-luxe, chalet-inspired lodge is one of Vail's premier options, with a location in the heart of Vail Square, near the Eagle Bahn lift. The 62 luxurious rooms feature massive bathrooms, stone fireplaces and scenic balconies. Both the lavish spa and rooftop lap pool pack serious wow factor.
960 1280

  

Crystal Peak Lodge
As one of the higher-end properties in Breckenridge, it has a great winter location on Peak 7, right on the Breck-Connect Gondola line. Upscale details can be found throughout, including exposed wood beams in the open common area and stone fireplaces in the big, individually owned condos.
960 1280

  

Fairmont Chateau Whistler
This 550-room Fairmont Chateau is perched amid Bavarian-styled buildings just outside of Whistler Village, with magnificent views and close proximity to ski lifts. The 2 eucalyptus steam rooms and multiple Jacuzzis make it easy for guests to warm up after a day in the snow.
960 1280

  

High Peaks Resort
Near the Olympic Center and a short drive away from slopes, the High Peaks resort is built on the site of the first Lake Placed B&B, built over 100 years ago. Today, it's a great pick because of its warm, inviting interior and scenic views of the lake (seen from most rooms).
960 1280

  

Loden Hotel
In a bustling coastal metropolis that uniquely offers views of both the mountains and the sea, a boutique hotel is just what you need to come home to in Vancouver. The Loden Hotel will make you feel relaxed after a long day of skiing the nearby slopes.
960 1280

  

Nita Lake Lodge
A luxurious escape from the madness of the touristy parts of Whistler, the 77 suites at Nita Lake Lodge evoke sophisticated, mountain-town style, with high, vaulted ceilings, fireplaces and beautiful balconies with gorgeous views.
960 1280

  

One Ski Hill Place, A RockResort
One Ski Hill Place is located directly on the mountain in Breckenridge, CO, and the on-site Gondola transports guests within walking distance to Main Street. It's a true ski-in/ski-out property, and the views are excellent.
960 1280

  

Pan Pacific Whistler Mountainside
This 121-room hotel has a premier location in the heart of Whistler Village, right next to the ski lifts. Rooms are homey and functional, if not luxurious, with light wood accents, space-saving Murphy beds, kitchenettes and fireplaces. After a day out in the cold, the outdoor Jacuzzi is a wonderful treat.
960 1280

  

The Peery Hotel
The main draw of this quaint, historic hotel is its downtown Salt Lake City location, within walking distance of restaurants, shops, and tourist attractions. The rooms have Tempur-Pedic beds with quality linens and romantic white canopies, iPod docks and Gilchrist & Soames toiletries.
960 1280

  

The Sassy Moose Inn
This homey inn with quaint on-site spa and log cabin decor will help you feel like you’re in your own living room. Its proximity to Grand Teton National Park and Jackson Hole Mountain Resort make it a great, casual destination.
960 1280

  

The St. Regis Deer Valley
The St. Regis offers a true 5-star experience. Skiiers will love its location in Park City, UT: its is directly on the famous ski resort of the same name, offering excellent ski-in/ski-out access for guests.
960 1280

  

Stein Eriksen Lodge
This luxurious 170-room Park City lodge offers ski-in, ski-out access to Deer Valley Resort, and has a design style that could be described as "wilderness chic." Perks such as free ski valets and free shuttles to the slopes from the parking lots are season-long luxuries.
960 1280

  

Teton Mountain Lodge and Spa
In keeping with its name, hideaway has a distinct mountain-lodge vibe. This cozy hotel is just steps from the base of Jackson Hole Mountain resort, and only a mile from the entrace to Grand Teton National Park.
960 1280

  

Vail Mountain Lodge and Spa
This value-for-money hotel is located in a serene, creek-side spot in Vail Village, close to the Bahn ski lift. Among its many other amenities, the excellent, organic Terra Bistro is a favorite with locals as well as guests, and provides free hot breakfasts.
960 1280

  

Photos

Ice Climbing

Ice Climbing

Travel to Switzerland’s cold tundra to go ice climbing -- if rock climbing isn’t extreme enough for you. Ascend up ice formations like frozen waterfalls, ice slabs or rocks covered with frozen water flow or ice. This adrenaline-driven winter activity is recognized as a competitive sport. The International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation organizes both the Ice Climbing World Cup and International Championships every year. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Snowcross

Snowcross

It’s snowmobiling with an extra kick! In snocross, riders race at a speed of up to 60 mph on a track that usually consists of tight turns, banked corners, steep jumps and obstacles. From November through March, AMSOIL Championship Snocross events are held all over the US, including in Duluth, MN; Traverse City, MI; Deadwood, SD; and Lake Geneva, WI. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Snow Polo

Snow Polo

St. Moritz is just one place sports fans can visit to see snow polo players in action. This variant of polo is played on compacted snow, on flat ground or on a frozen lake. Each team usually consists of 3 players who battle it out by hitting a light, bright-colored plastic ball into a goal. Save the date Aspen, CO, usually hosts the USPA World Snow Polo Championship in Marloth Park on the third weekend in December. 960 1280

REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann  

Skijoring

Skijoring

The first competitive skijoring races were held in Scandinavia as an offshoot of the older sport of pulka. For those unfamiliar with this winter sport, skijoring involves a horse, dog(s) or a motor vehicle pulling a skier. Races are held all around the world where there is snow in the winter. The longest race is held in Kalevala, Karelia, Russia. Skiers pulled by dogs must race 270 bone-chilling miles to cross the finish line. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Snow Scooting

Snow Scooting

Go snow scooting! Cut your snowboard in half, screw on some handlebars and hop onboard. The unconventional sport is popular in Europe, but has yet to catch on in the US. We recommend traveling to Tignes, a ski resort in southeastern France, to experience snow scooting in the Alps. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Ice Swimming

Ice Swimming

Swimming in a body of water with a frozen crust of ice is normal practice in several countries, including the UK, Finland, Belgium, Russia and China. In the US and Canada, members of polar bear clubs take the plunge and go swimming in the winter. Take the plunge yourself and go swimming in the winter or ice swimming. The Coney Island Polar Bear Club (Coney Island, NY) is the oldest ice-swimming club in the US. 960 1280

REUTERS/Andrew Kelly  

Heli-Skiing

Heli-Skiing

Instead of hopping on a ski lift, jump from a helicopter to start your ski run downhill. These off-trail runs sometimes consist of high alpine glaciers, wooded areas and steep slopes. Skiers, looking for an adrenaline-rush adventure, should head to heli-skiing destinations like Alaska, Iceland, Nepal, Chile, Russia and New Zealand. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Ice Yachting

Ice Yachting

Go sailing in an iceboat -- also known as an ice yacht. Ice yachting is very popular in the Netherlands and in the Gulf of Finland; Minnesota’s Lake Minnetonka, Wisconsin’s Lake Pepin, Maine’s Bar Harbor Lake are a few hot US destinations for this unique sport. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Ice Cross Downhill

Ice Cross Downhill

The first inaugural race for ice cross downhill was on Jan. 20, 2000, in Stockholm. Wearing skates, hockey players have a head-to-head battle down an ice track packed with gap jumps, ice steps, high vertical drops and razor-sharp hairpin turns. These competitions -- Red Bull Crashed Ice -- are held in various locations like Quebec City, Canada; St. Paul, MN; Niagara Falls, Canada; and Landgraaf, Netherlands.  960 1280

Red Bull Media House  

Snow Kayaking

Snow Kayaking

Forget about sledding down snowy hills -- hop into a kayak for an exciting twist to traditional sledding. Go snow kayaking, an extreme sport not allowed at most ski resorts. Professional competitions consist of bumps, turns and other obstacles to keep competitors’ adrenaline pumping. 960 1280

Red Bull Media House  

Snow Kiting

Snow Kiting

Snow kiting is an outdoor winter sport where people use kite power to glide on snow or ice. This unique sport is similar to kite surfing, but snowboarding or skiing footwear is used. Snow kiting is becoming popular in places often associated with skiing and snowboarding like Sweden, France, Canada, Austria and central and northern US. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Tesoro Arctic Man Classic

Tesoro Arctic Man Classic

More than 13,000 people converge on Paxson, AK, to witness the Tesoro Arctic Man Classic. Teams of 2 compete with the skier starting the race out at a 5,800-foot summit. They then drop 1,700 feet in less than 2 miles, where the skier meets up with his snowmobiling partner. The snowmobiler pulls the skier uphill at top speeds of up to 86 mph. On the final leg of the race, the skier separates from his partner and drops another 1,200 feet to the finish line. 960 1280

  

Best Western Adirondack Inn
This alpine-style Best Western, located in Lake Placid, NY, has a great location across from the Olympic Center and blocks from downtown Lake Placid and Mirror Lake beach. The cozy living-room-like lobby, indoor pool, Jacuzzi, sauna, fitness center, free breakfast and game room are added bonuses.
960 1280

  

The Annabelle Inn
This rustic Aspen, CO, lodge stays true to its unflashy roots with nicely updated mountain-lodge-style decor in the lobby, including tons of old, unfinished barn wood (even the ceilings), comfy leather couches and a cozy stone fireplace. The layout of the Annabelle is unlike any other in the area, with a 4-story, courtyard-style layout exposing all the stairways and walkways to the elements.
960 1280

Picasa  

The Arrabelle at Vail Square, A RockResort
This rustic-luxe, chalet-inspired lodge is one of Vail's premier options, with a location in the heart of Vail Square, near the Eagle Bahn lift. The 62 luxurious rooms feature massive bathrooms, stone fireplaces and scenic balconies. Both the lavish spa and rooftop lap pool pack serious wow factor.
960 1280

  

Crystal Peak Lodge
As one of the higher-end properties in Breckenridge, it has a great winter location on Peak 7, right on the Breck-Connect Gondola line. Upscale details can be found throughout, including exposed wood beams in the open common area and stone fireplaces in the big, individually owned condos.
960 1280

  

Fairmont Chateau Whistler
This 550-room Fairmont Chateau is perched amid Bavarian-styled buildings just outside of Whistler Village, with magnificent views and close proximity to ski lifts. The 2 eucalyptus steam rooms and multiple Jacuzzis make it easy for guests to warm up after a day in the snow.
960 1280

  

High Peaks Resort
Near the Olympic Center and a short drive away from slopes, the High Peaks resort is built on the site of the first Lake Placed B&B, built over 100 years ago. Today, it's a great pick because of its warm, inviting interior and scenic views of the lake (seen from most rooms).
960 1280

  

Loden Hotel
In a bustling coastal metropolis that uniquely offers views of both the mountains and the sea, a boutique hotel is just what you need to come home to in Vancouver. The Loden Hotel will make you feel relaxed after a long day of skiing the nearby slopes.
960 1280

  

Nita Lake Lodge
A luxurious escape from the madness of the touristy parts of Whistler, the 77 suites at Nita Lake Lodge evoke sophisticated, mountain-town style, with high, vaulted ceilings, fireplaces and beautiful balconies with gorgeous views.
960 1280

  

One Ski Hill Place, A RockResort
One Ski Hill Place is located directly on the mountain in Breckenridge, CO, and the on-site Gondola transports guests within walking distance to Main Street. It's a true ski-in/ski-out property, and the views are excellent.
960 1280

  

Pan Pacific Whistler Mountainside
This 121-room hotel has a premier location in the heart of Whistler Village, right next to the ski lifts. Rooms are homey and functional, if not luxurious, with light wood accents, space-saving Murphy beds, kitchenettes and fireplaces. After a day out in the cold, the outdoor Jacuzzi is a wonderful treat.
960 1280

  

The Peery Hotel
The main draw of this quaint, historic hotel is its downtown Salt Lake City location, within walking distance of restaurants, shops, and tourist attractions. The rooms have Tempur-Pedic beds with quality linens and romantic white canopies, iPod docks and Gilchrist & Soames toiletries.
960 1280

  

The Sassy Moose Inn
This homey inn with quaint on-site spa and log cabin decor will help you feel like you’re in your own living room. Its proximity to Grand Teton National Park and Jackson Hole Mountain Resort make it a great, casual destination.
960 1280

  

The St. Regis Deer Valley
The St. Regis offers a true 5-star experience. Skiiers will love its location in Park City, UT: its is directly on the famous ski resort of the same name, offering excellent ski-in/ski-out access for guests.
960 1280

  

Stein Eriksen Lodge
This luxurious 170-room Park City lodge offers ski-in, ski-out access to Deer Valley Resort, and has a design style that could be described as "wilderness chic." Perks such as free ski valets and free shuttles to the slopes from the parking lots are season-long luxuries.
960 1280

  

Teton Mountain Lodge and Spa
In keeping with its name, hideaway has a distinct mountain-lodge vibe. This cozy hotel is just steps from the base of Jackson Hole Mountain resort, and only a mile from the entrace to Grand Teton National Park.
960 1280

  

Vail Mountain Lodge and Spa
This value-for-money hotel is located in a serene, creek-side spot in Vail Village, close to the Bahn ski lift. Among its many other amenities, the excellent, organic Terra Bistro is a favorite with locals as well as guests, and provides free hot breakfasts.
960 1280

  

Aspen Snowmass (Colorado)

Aspen Snowmass (Colorado)

The longest run on Snowmass is a whopping 5.3 miles long while the peak called Buttermilk is lauded for having the best terrain park and pipe facilities. During the ski season, there are competitions, big-ticket concerts and lots of great dining. 960 1280

Gary Tognoni/Getty Images  

Aspen Snowmass (Colorado)

Aspen Snowmass (Colorado)

Aspen has a well-earned reputation as a glitzy resort town popular with big spenders and Hollywood A-listers. There are the fancy shops on Galena Street and even Aspen Fashion Week every March. The town takes its skiing just as seriously as its style with the 4 peaks that make up Aspen Snowmass.
960 1280

Kanonsky/Getty Images  

Beaver Creek Resort (Colorado)

Beaver Creek Resort (Colorado)

There's no roughing it at Beaver Creek, a high-end Colorado ski resort in the Rocky Mountains known for its luxurious hotels, great restaurants and 1,815 acres of impeccably groomed slopes. 960 1280
Beaver Creek Resort (Colorado)

Beaver Creek Resort (Colorado)

Beaver Creek is family-friendly with quality ski programs and gentle runs for beginners. The other side of Beaver Creek, known as BC-EX, features extreme terrain for the most accomplished and daring skiers. 960 1280

Robert Morton/Getty Images  

Heavenly Mountain Resort (California)

Heavenly Mountain Resort (California)

There aren’t very many places in the world that can call themselves "heavenly" and get away with it. Lucky for us, California’s Heavenly Resort lives up to its name in every way. 960 1280
Heavenly Mountain Resort (California)

Heavenly Mountain Resort (California)

The crisp snow powder and rugged mountainside in Lake Tahoe are waiting to make this winter’s family ski trip the best yet. 960 1280
Okemo Mountain Resort (Vermont)

Okemo Mountain Resort (Vermont)

With over 200 inches of average snowfall on the mountain every winter and 632 acres of winter wonderland, there's rarely a bad day at Okemo in Vermont.
960 1280
Okemo Mountain Resort (Vermont)

Okemo Mountain Resort (Vermont)

Okemo works hard to accommodate skiers on a budget. Kids under 6 are always free while older kids may ski free on select days with a paying adult. The first hour after opening is free on the slopes every day, giving skiers the opportunity to sample the snow and forgo buying a lift ticket on the rare occasion that conditions aren't ideal. 960 1280
Park City Mountain Resort (Utah)

Park City Mountain Resort (Utah)

Park City Mountain Resort has all of the ingredients for a perfect family vacation. The signature kids ski school limits classes to just 5 children, making for lots of personalized attention. The slope's tiniest skiers can enroll in the Signature 3 Program, with just 3 children aged 3-1/2 to 5 years old. 960 1280

Erik Isakson/Getty Images  

Park City Mountain Resort (Utah)

Park City Mountain Resort (Utah)

Once the kids are worn out from their 2 75-minute sessions, it's inside for crafts, reading and playing on the indoor jungle gym. While the kids enjoy ski school, adults can explore the 3,300 acres of fun spread out over 7 snowy peaks and 9 bowls. 960 1280

By Rudi Riet from Washington, DC, United States (Eagle Race Arena at Park City Mountain Resort) [CC BY-SA 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons  

Snowshoe Mountain Resort (West Virginia)

Snowshoe Mountain Resort (West Virginia)

Snowshoe Mountain in West Virginia is a great option for a long weekend of family winter fun with ski school, terrain parks for practicing tricks, tubing hills and snowy adventures on snow mobiles or snowcats. 960 1280

Hero Image/Getty Images  

Snowshoe Mountain Resort (West Virginia)

Snowshoe Mountain Resort (West Virginia)

Skiers in the mid-Atlantic and Southern states don't need to fly out west or drive to New England for first-rate skiing. 960 1280

Gary Tognoni/Getty Images  

Whiteface Lodge (New York)

Whiteface Lodge (New York)

As host of the 1980 winter games, the Lake Placid region has 6 million acres packed with facilities made for wintry fun. There's alpine skiing at Whiteface with the greatest vertical drop east of the Rockies. 960 1280
Whiteface Lodge (New York)

Whiteface Lodge (New York)

Then the entire family can enjoy ice-skating, bob-sledding and old-fashioned toboggans. Explore the snowy acres on cross-country skis or snowshoes or hitch a ride on a fast-moving dogsledding tour. 960 1280

By Martin Bravenboer (Speed Skating in Lake Placid) [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons  

Bretton Woods (New Hampshire)

Bretton Woods (New Hampshire)

Located high in New Hampshire's White Mountains, Bretton Woods is the state's largest ski area with 101 trails and glades and 4 terrain parks. An unusual addition to the outdoor fun is the mountain's extensive canopy tour, made up of several treetop zip-lines and suspension bridges. 960 1280

coleong/Getty Images  

The Hot List

Explore America’s most stunning scenery.
Join the conversation on Social Media!
Stay updated on the latest travel tips and trends.
Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss Travel Channel in your favorite social media feeds.