Idaho offers fantastic skiing outside of Sun Valley. In Boise, the slopes start just 16 miles from the city center with low ski pass prices. The drive from Boise to McCall is gorgeous, and in college-town Boise, a strong craft-beer scene, hearty restaurants and an interesting Basque culture make the town a great visit off the slopes as well.
Red Lodge, Montana
An Old West vibe permeates Red Lodge, where you’ll find both cowboys and skiers drinking at a 19th-century saloon after a long day. It’s a great place for beginners, since the slopes usually aren’t packed and there are lots of instruction packages. But daredevils will love it, too, since there are more than 1,600 acres of skiable terrain, a summit elevation of 9,400 feet and an average annual snowfall of 240 inches.
Wildcat Mountain, New Hampshire
The Wildcat Mountain area has New England charm in spades, especially in nearby North Conway, where places like Zeb's General Store (pictured) showcase the local flavor. The mountain itself is excellent for beginning skiiers, but also has a vertical drop of 2,112 feet—one of the steepest in the region.
Park City, Utah
Once a fringey mountain town, Park City and its environs officially became hip when Robert Redford established the Sundance Film Festival. Luxe boutique hotels—like the Washington School House Hotel (pictured), set in a restored 19th-century school—a ski-in distillery and farm-to-table cuisine are new draws. What hasn’t changed: Utah has what is surely among the best snow on earth. Dry and powdery, it’s a skier’s (and other snow-sport fanatics’) dream.
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