“Winter is coming” isn’t just a line from Game of Thrones. This winter, make it special by heading someplace new for all your skiing and snowboarding fun. The best part about going somewhere that isn’t Aspen for skiing and snowboarding is that it’s often cheaper, and less crowded. You can often find great deals on ski resorts at daily deal sites like Gilt City or Living Social.
– Head to Girdwood, Alaska for a skiing experience that is off the beaten track. The Alyeska Resort is the largest ski area in Alaska, and adventurers can take advantage of the six lifts, two magic carpets, and a sixty person tram. You don’t need to spend a lot of money, either; there is an Alyeska Hostel nearby, and cheap pizza and sandwiches to be had at Coast Pizza in this small town.
– If you want year-round skiing, and you don’t care whether that snow is real, head to Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Ober Gatlinburg Resort boasts nine trails, and an amusement park, so it can be a real treat for the whole family. Look for deals on restaurants and other local amusements at sites like Groupon.
– If you are an advanced skier and you want to soak your aching bones in luxury after a long day of skiing, then Jackson Hole, Wyoming is for you. This ski town is actually busier in summer than in winter, which makes winter the perfect time to check out the amazing terrain and slopes, and take advantage of the wide variety of restaurants in town. Jackson Hole boasts everything from sushi to barbecue, so there’s something for everyone.
– Idaho may not be the first destination in mind for skiing, but it is home to one of America’s oldest ski resorts at Sun Valley. The resort provides skiing that’s accessible to new and advanced users, and also has a wide variety of fine dining options, including Seattle Ridge where trout is cooked to order. Ernest Hemingway enthusiasts can make a pilgrimage to his gravesite nearby in Ketchum.
– Canyons Resort is just north of Park City, and is the third largest ski area in the US, as well as the largest in Utah. It is, also, not very popular, which can be a godsend for those who are trying to avoid crowds. It is easily accessible to most of Salt Lake’s skiing, and its proximity to Park City means you won’t be twiddling your thumbs, looking for something to do in your downtime.
– If you are up for a challenge, head to Mauna Kea, on the Big Island in Hawaii. This peak occasionally gets a lot of snowfall, and die-hard skiers will have to prove themselves up to the challenge, since there are no resorts, lifts, or groomers nearby to assist. You will have to haul yourself and your ski equipment up with you in a truck. Afterwards, however, you can head back down to chill with a cocktail on the beach, and what could be better than that?