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When the temperatures drop, many individuals turn their thoughts to hitting the slopes. It’s easier than ever to take in some fresh powder at a few of the world’s top ski sites. Today, ski resorts are more than just a few mountains and some snow, but shopping, dining and entertainment hot spots. Fantastic ski ranges around the globe have developed into full class vacation destinations, and with ranges everywhere from Canada to the Alps, there’s a perfect choice to fit every taste.
The Lake Louisa ski area in Alberta, Canada is famous for its scenic mountain range. Located in Canada’s Baniff National Park, the site has been drawing skiers for its three different skiing ranges: Mount Norquay/Mystic Ridge, Sunshine Village and Lake Louise. Each range is about 30 miles apart, making it possible to experience three excellent ski sites during one vacation.
Vail – Vail, Colorado, United States: Vail has been a Mecca for avid skiers for decades, and it’s not difficult to see why. It’s the largest ski range in the United States, drawing US visitors annually, but it is also a crowd favorite for people around the world. Visitors to Vail are welcome to more than 5,000 acres of skiing land, but there’s more to see and do here than just the slopes. Vail is home to some of the region’s top shopping, dining and museums, making it a cultural capital for the skiing elite and novices alike.
This ski site is famous in its own right, having played host to the world’s first winter Olympics in 1924. There’s no doubt as to why it was chosen, as Chamonix-Mont-Blanc offers up some first rate slopes and resorts. The range is located at the bottom of Mont Blanc, making it the highest peak in all of the Alps. It is also the second highest peak in the whole of Europe. The site is known for its 9,000 foot vertical drop, as well as a run of more than 13 miles, one of the longest on the globe.
Whistler Blackcomb – British Colombia, Canada: Having developed over the last 30 years into one of the most popular ski sites in North America, Whistler Blackcomb now sits in the middle of a destination city. With trendy cafes, restaurants and shops, not to mention some of the longest ski drops in the Northern hemisphere, this Canadian range is a skier’s delight.
Kitzbuhel may not have the glamour of some of its nearby Austrian neighbor sites, like St Anton and Innsbruck, but it certainly has the historical clout to back it up. The 700 year old village of Kitzbuhel has seen skiers on its slopes since the late 1800’s, earning it the nickname of the Pearl of the Alps. Visitors to this site have the added bonus of being able to visit the historic alpine village, which brings charm and whimsy during breaks from the slopes.
Zermatt, Switzerland: The ski resort of Zermatt is known for fantastic snowfall that makes for supreme skiing. The area is as peaceful as slopes come, as the area is a car-free zone. Zermatt also has the world’s second largest lift, a sight to see for any ski aficionado. Look to Zermatt for some of the most picturesque slopes the world has to offer.
Stowe, Vermont: New England is a popular spot for skiers, but Stowe, Vermont boasts the longest vertical drop in the area. Stowe has two ranges, Mount Mansfield and Spruce Peak, both fantastic options. Luckily, visitors can experience both, as the two resorts are linked by one lift. Plus, the area has desirable shopping and dining options, for a complete vacation.
When choosing a resort for your next ski vacation, think outside the box. Some of the top ski resorts in the world are available to enjoy, with as little effort as hopping on a plane. There’s a range for everyone, with plenty of ways to unwind after a day in the slopes.