Published November 2022
As the first coating of snow starts to come down on our favorite mountain towns, it’s time to get moving on booking your annual—or even first time—ski vacations. After all, more travelers (33%) are planning to hit the slopes on a winter vacation this year, up 10% over last season, according to Vacasa’s 2022 Holiday and Winter Travel Trends Report.
When it comes to choosing where to shred this year, survey respondents are prioritizing a few important factors—they may be looking to score a deal or two, but snow bunnies are still seeking fresh powder when booking their ski or snowboard getaway.
Whether you’re looking to soak up some ski town charm, take on the slopes less traversed, or care only about the powder, there’s a ski destination for you (at multiple price points!). And after a day on the slopes, you’ll want an alpine town with an active après-ski (“after skiing”) culture before curling up by the fire at a cozy chalet rental, so we got you covered there, too. With that in mind, let’s snow-plow our way through the top destinations Vacasa guests searched to stay this winter (December 2022-February 2023) using the ski-in/ski-out amenity filter.
A town literally nicknamed “Ski Town USA” is sure to fulfill all your shredding dreams and offer true ski-in/ski-out access. Steamboat Springs promises almost 3,000 acres of legendary runs and terrain parks blanketed with its famous Champagne Powder® snow (yes, it’s actually trademarked). With snow this light, paired with some of the best tree skiing and snowboarding in the state, it’s no wonder this magical valley in the Rocky Mountains has produced the most Olympians in the nation.
For a more affordable and convenient ski destination, make the 1.5-hour drive from Denver airport to Breckenridge’s sprawling family-friendly ski area. Known for its laid-back vibe, ample amount of all-level terrain, and the highest chairlift in North America, “Breck,” as it’s fondly known, offers something for every ski level. Budget travelers will appreciate Breck’s free transportation, which takes you directly to the ski resorts as well as around the town’s historic snow-coated main street.
When it comes to a first-rate winter vacation, there’s no place like Big Sky. The second-largest ski mountain in the country, Big Sky is known for its wide open spaces, breathtaking mountain views, and some of the most technologically advanced chair lifts (heated seats, anyone?) to keep guests moving. Pair that with an average of more than an acre of terrain per skier, 300 diverse trails, plus a handful of double black diamond slopes, and you’ve got a truly premium skiing experience.
World-class skiing meets a magical winter wonderland in Park City. Charming streets and upscale après-ski eateries are backdropped by a massive 7,000 skiable acres of all-level slopes at Park City Mountain—the largest ski resort in the country—and Deer Valley. The walkable downtown is close to both ski resorts (and ski-in-/ski-out accommodations) and is home to high-end art galleries and a serious dining scene, including the world’s first ski-in gastro-distillery, the High West Saloon. You may even find yourself in famous company if you visit during the star-studded Sundance Film Festival.
Don’t let its Southeast location fool you—Sugar Mountain boasts 125 skiable acres and North Carolina’s largest vertical drop. While the state’s largest skiing area offers some of the best expert terrain in the region, Sugar Mountain is also a safe bet for first-time skiers and snowboarders, thanks to several green trails and learning slopes. Adventure seekers can also take on tubing, ice skating, and snowshoeing on the mountain. Nearby Banner Elk is one of the best ski towns in the Southeast, with the bonus of homestyle southern cooking to refuel after a day on the mountain.
Ski-in/ski-out vacation rentals are within easy walking distance of a ski resort or provide direct lift or gondola access for ultimate convenience. Be sure to check a specific home's description for more details on shuttle services and distance from the lifts.
Guests staying at ski-in/ski-out vacation rentals are able to simply clip into their skis and go. With direct mountain access, there’s no need to drive or take a shuttle to the lift, which can be a big time saver.
The mountain west is home to some of the top resort towns for ski vacations, including Sun Valley, Idaho, Beaver Creek, Colorado, and Jackson Hole, Wyoming. And in the eastern U.S., Stowe and Okemo, Vermont, along with New York’s Gore Mountain and Sunday River in Maine are popular for family-friendly ski trips.