If you’re planning to dodge the heat and engage in some adventurous winter activities, skiing can be an excellent option for your next vacation.
And the U.S. has some of the most welcoming ski resorts famous across the globe, perfect for those just starting out.
The good thing about most ski resorts in the U.S. is that most of them have ski rental shops, so you don’t have to buy everything outright.
Even for your hard-to-impress teens and youngsters, ski resorts in the U.S. are rolling out nighttime sports and relaxed, yet supervised locations to just hang and play games.
Unfortunately, choosing the best place to go skiing can be daunting sometimes, especially if you plan to travel with your kids.
But you don’t have to worry about it because we’ve got your back!
Here, we’ve rounded up 11 of the best ski resorts in the United States for this season, suitable for beginners and skiers of all ages and skill levels.
From beginner-friendly trails and slopes to luxurious ski resorts, these are some of the best ski resorts in the U.S.
So, grab your skiing clothes and get ready for an unforgettable winter vacation.
Table of Contents
- 1 #1. Aspen Snowmass, Colorado
- 2 #2. Beaver Creek Ski, Colorado
- 3 #3. The Mount Washington Resort, Bretton Woods
- 4 #4. Keystone Ski Resort, Colorado
- 5 #5. Okemo Mountain
- 6 #6. Copper Mountain Ski Resort, Colorado
- 7 #7. Breckenridge Ski Resort, Colorado
- 8 #8. Steamboat Ski Resort, Colorado
- 9 #9. Park City Mountain Resort, Utah
- 10 #10. Wilmot Mountain Ski Resort, Wisconsin
- 11 #11. Heavenly Mountain Resort, California
- 12 FAQs
- 13 Conclusion
#1. Aspen Snowmass, Colorado
- Vertical Drop – 4,406 feet
- Skiable Terrain – 5,517 acres
- Ski Lifts – 40
Popular for annual festivals, Aspen Snowmass is an excellent beginner-friendly resort featuring 3,342 acres of perfectly snowy slopes and 98 trails that are accessible by 20 chairlifts.
The resort spreads across four distinct ski mountains, including Snowmass, Aspen Mountain, Buttermilk, and Aspen Highlands.
Aside from those exceptional figures, what beginners and young skiers adore most about this resort is how simple and friendly it makes it for them to get hooked on skiing and snowboarding.
In this case, Buttermilk is best-suited for beginners and kids as it has plenty of bunny hills and a spacious playground.
Another incredible thing about Aspen Snowmass is that you can rent equipment on-site at the Viceroy Snowmass, which has ski-in/ski-out.
Then take the free shuttle to the Treehouse Kids’ Adventure Center, a kid-friendly fantasy with a Colorado theme located in the charming base village of the town.
The facility offers group classes even for beginners aged 2 to 4 on the bunny slopes and charming carpet just outside the door, as well as fully supervised daycare and activities for children from eight weeks to four 4 old.
One of the most well-known ski schools for kids in the nation is located in Snowmass. Furthermore, when the day is over, the ski resort base town shines with complimentary activities like daily s’mores, and free ice skating (rentals included).
Not to forget the hip hangout dubbed “The Collective” with retro games such as skee-ball, foosball, and Pac-Man to foster even more exciting family ski trip and bonding.
Where To Stay at Aspen Snowmass
When you’re not hitting the trails, the Snowmass Base Village has a lovely ice skating rink and a climbing gym at one of the neighborhood hotels.
With towers, bridges, slides, and other features, Buttermilk’s Fort Frog is made to keep kids entertained, while the popular Breathtaker Alpine Coaster could be just the adrenaline-pumping action that adults and those well out of their youth are looking for.
#2. Beaver Creek Ski, Colorado
- Vertical Drop – 3,340 feet
- Skiable Terrain – 2,082 acres
- Ski Lifts – 24
Among the greatest ski resorts in the United States, Beaver Creek definitely is a family favorite.
This kid/beginner-friendly Colorado Mountain combines luxury accommodations with an excellent children’s ski and snowboards multiple ski school that aims to instill confidence in young skiers and snowboarders.
The good news is that if you use the ski-in and ski-out Bachelor Gulch as your home base, you can purchase your lift tickets and rentals on-site and board the chairlift only a few steps from the resort’s renowned après-ski terrace.
This is where nightly s’mores sessions are and bottles of champagne popping nonstop.
In terms of capacity, what you get here is 250 acres of nice snowy mountain terrain and 17 trails—nearly all of them beginner-friendly. It is accessible by two chairlifts.
This is because the White River National Forest’s wildlife refuge, where this family-friendly skiing area is located, is closed during the spring break season for elk calving.
Additionally, the adorable warming lodge on top of the mountain, Eaton Haus, offers children an engaging nature experience where they can learn about the local flora while sipping hot chocolate.
Even beginner skiers who are still building their confidence can get to try their spins in the powder on McCoy Park’s simple wooded trails.
Where To Stay at Beaver Creek
There are several hotels in Beaver Creek, many of which let you utilize your hotel points, with the Park Hyatt Beaver Creek being the most opulent hotel around.
The best part is that you can easily send your kids off to ski school from here. Other excellent deals include the Sheraton Mountain Vista Villas and the Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch, which are located farther from the village and on the opposite side of the mountain.
The Sheraton generally involves a shuttle, but all of the accommodations are villas with one or two bedrooms, so your family can spread out comfortably.
Rates typically start at 53,000 points per night, however, you may be able to utilize the Marriott Bonvoy BrilliantTM American Express Card’s yearly free night certificate instead.
#3. The Mount Washington Resort, Bretton Woods
- Vertical Drop – 1,500 feet
- Skiable Terrain – 467 acres
- Ski Lifts – 10
Aside from being one of the most well-known family ski destinations on the East Coast, Bretton Woods, is renowned as New Hampshire’s top place for skiing and snowboarding.
Being the largest ski resort in New Hampshire, Bretton Woods has a wide terrain of 467 acres.
It’s terrain is marked with 62 routes and two distinct parks for freestyle skiing and riding.
The average day at this ski resort involves navigating the slopes, strolling along the well-traveled paths, or taking romantic sleigh rides.
But if you want to spice things up, there are also more challenging activities like canopy tours.
Children will get to enjoy the on-site snowmobile park and have the chance to attend the après-ski party that is specifically planned for them at the Alpine Club, which is regarded as a wonderful ski resort for families with young skiers.
Where To Stay At Bretton Woods
Here, the resort provides a variety of entertainment options for your children, including music performances, storytellers, and clowns, while mom and dad spend some time relaxing at the spa maybe with a couple’s massage while the kids are occupied with these activities.
When you choose to visit Bretton Woods for your ski holiday, you receive a special blend of modern conveniences and the traditional, old-world atmosphere. Thanks to the resort, which is more than a century old.
#4. Keystone Ski Resort, Colorado
- Vertical Drop – 3,128 feet
- Skiable Terrain – 3,149 acres
- Ski Lifts – 20
Keystone is yet another top ski resort for beginners in Colorado, which is located close to I-70.
It delivers a family-friendly experience for both kids and beginners from the minute the car doors open.
Transport from the parking lot to the lift is super simple thanks to free parking close to the resort’s base and free gear wagons.
As for the cost, there’s no doubt that skiing can be costly. But surprisingly, Keystone’s kids ski free program significantly lowers the cost of the skiing experience for families.
Kids 12 and younger ski for free each night booked, plus an additional day of skiing, with all qualified stays of two nights or more.
But visiting Keystone is not just for cheap ski trips. There is plenty to keep an entire family occupied both on and off the mountain thanks to the 3,000 acres of terrain options, a snow fort, night skiing, dog sledding, ice skating, snow tubing, and sleigh rides.
Parents will especially like the complimentary front-row parking spaces and the red carts that may be used to transport skis, boards, or even weary children to and from the terrains.
Keystone’s beginner-friendly terrain is complemented by an abundance of ski-in/ski-out hotel options, dining establishments, and family-friendly activities.
To top it off, the great Keystone’s Kidtopia provides mini-shredders with everything from playgrounds and snow forts to free fresh-baked cookies and scavenger hunts.
Where To Stay at Keystone
There are plenty of condos in Keystone, which are conveniently located near the lifts, and some of them even offer full ski-on and ski-off access. But the Hyatt Place Keystone is a perfect deal if you want to utilize hotel points to lower the cost of your stay.
This is where you can use your free night voucher that comes with the World of Hyatt Credit Card because rates start as low as 12,000 World of Hyatt points per night- even during times of peak demand.
#5. Okemo Mountain
- Vertical Drop – 2,200 feet
- Skiable Terrain – 632 acres
- Ski Lifts – 20
Another fantastic beginner-friendly ski resort that you can book without a second thought when organizing your first ski vacation is Okemo Mountain Resort in Vermont.
It really doesn’t matter if you are a novice who is just getting started or a seasoned expert skier looking to fine-tune your abilities, Okemo offers a variety of slopes and terrains for skiers and even snowboarders across all ages and skill levels.
One of the major highlights of the resort is its massive fitness and aquatic center, so you might want to visit there if you don’t want all the moves on the terrains on any particular day.
Since this is a family-friendly ski resort, you will find everything here, including swimming pools, water features, and water slides in addition to the magnificent sauna and hot tubs.
Moreover, you can enroll in yoga or Zumba classes or play some racquetball if you’d like to burn some calories.
Parents can take some time off for a date night at one of the resort’s excellent restaurants, as the kids get to enjoy Kids Night Out, which is packed with a variety of activities too.
Summertime activities at this all-year resort include playing golf on the 18-hole course or cycling around the region’s mountainous topography.
Where to Stay At Okemo Resort
After skiing the whole day, the Jackson Gore Inn comes in as one of the most well-liked lodging options on the mountain and offers access to a fantastic pool complex.
Alternatively, you can choose to just stay in a condo and spread out, since there are several ski-in/ski-out spots available. With just 15,000 points per night per bedroom, you can use your Wyndham Rewards points to reserve a property through Vacasa.
Other add-ons include the fact that many of these condominiums have access to the Spring House complex and even on-site pools and recreation areas.
#6. Copper Mountain Ski Resort, Colorado
- Vertical Drop – 2,738 feet
- Skiable Terrain – 2,507 acres
- Ski Lifts – 24
Your whole family will enjoy skiing at Copper Mountain if you’re seeking for a more laid-back experience than what you may get at Beaver Creek and Vail, especially given how much less expensive it is there.
Due to the abundance of on- and off-mountain activities, this ski destination was genuinely designed with families in mind.
In addition to skiing, the mountain offers the Rocky Mountain Roller Coaster, snowshoe excursions, snow tubing, and the immensely amazing Snow Maze, which is entirely made of snow.
So, if you want to escape the outdoors, feel free to visit the Woodward Copper Barn. It has plenty of activities for kids to keep them busy all day long, including skates, trampolines scooters, and BMX zones, full-size skate bowls, and more.
Where To Stay At Copper Mountain
You don’t have to worry about accommodation because Element 29, a new hotel on Copper Mountain, is situated just beneath Center Village.
Being the only hotel in the neighborhood, it features a restaurant and bar on-site, as well as hot tubs and fire pits.
#7. Breckenridge Ski Resort, Colorado
- Vertical Drop – 3,398
- Skiable Terrain – 2,908 acres
- Ski Lifts – 35
The best part about Breckenridge is that it’s actually less than a two-hour drive from the Denver metro region and has more than 11 eateries to complement your family ski vacation.
It’s easy to stay in Breckenridge Skiing Resort without a car because of the variety of ski-in/ski-out hotel choices.
It is a favorite family fun destination, with five peaks to ski and snowboards with your crew and a lovely base village that exudes the real mining town heritage.
Also, it’s free to get the BreckConnect gondola to peaks 7 and 8, where youngsters who aren’t ready to hit the slopes may do snow angels with vistas, as well as the Main Street Trolley to tour the town where you get more than 200 stores, restaurants, and taprooms).
There are also childcare services for children of all ages, classes, an alpine coaster, and the Mountain Top Children’s Museum. The well-known green and blue runs are close to Breck’s Kids Adventure Zone.
Young kids will be impressed by the frightening haunted woodland with bridges and tunnels in Riparoo’s Forest.
And with its arcade and pinball machines, Downstairs at Eric’s on Main Street is sure enough to appeal to teenagers.
Where To Stay at Breckenridge
You can get yourself to the popular alpine Gravity Haus. Here, the rooms are parked with queen bunk beds that can accommodate up to eight people, but of course, you can get to the center of it all for a fantastic family stay.
Breckenridge is also renowned for having a virtually non-stop calendar of events throughout the season, from its popular International Snow Sculpture competitions and general fairs to festivals in the bustling Breckenridge Arts District.
#8. Steamboat Ski Resort, Colorado
- Vertical Drop – 3,668 feet
- Skiable Terrain – 2965 acres
- Ski Lifts – 18
Steamboat Ski Resort, is yet another well-known name when it comes to beginner-friendly and family ski resorts in the United States.
From Denver International Airport, Steamboat is around 180 miles away by automobile, and it offers events, amenities, and activities for the whole family from the base area to downtown.
Kids will be entertained over the holiday season by activities such as the Winter Carnival and the Springalicious Festival.
Other resort amenities include the Kids Vacation Center, which provides a range of programs for kids from 3 years old to Kindergarten.
You will also enjoy exploring the broad area of this magnificent ski resort as has everything you would want from a conventional ski lodge, including comfortable family lodging and a range of eating options that are meant to sustain even the pickiest eaters in your team.
There’s also the Outlaw Mountain Coaster, which is one of the longest mountain coasters on the location and is located on the property. This place comes in handy if you’re looking for some adventure in addition to the fantastic skiing trails.
It plunges nearly 400 feet vertically and features a variety of waves, dips, and circles to keep your heart racing.
And if you are traveling with small children and would prefer not to partake in this activity, there are still other options available, such as snowmobile trips you can check out.
The vicinity of Steamboat Springs also provides several natural hot springs to guests who wish to warm themselves up before heading to the slopes- it’s just another important factor in why people pick this Colorado ski resort without batting an eye.
Where To Stay at Steamboat
Right at the mountain, you will find the Sheraton Steamboat Resort Villas- a great hotel choice if you’re traveling with children because you can get a one- or two-bedroom villa and pay using Marriott Bonvoy points for these bigger accommodations.
Another option to utilize your Marriott points, or perhaps a 35,000 point voucher earned through the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card, is the Residence Inn Steamboat Springs, which may have more last-minute availability.
#9. Park City Mountain Resort, Utah
- Vertical Drop – 3,200 feet
- Skiable Terrain – 7,300 acres
- Ski Lifts – 43
Park City boasts a history of serving as an Olympic venue and has two distinct ski mountains, making it one of the biggest ski resorts in the U.S.
This resort has a sheer number of 348 ski tracks around it, and it also provides more laid-back alternatives certainly worth considering.
Not to mention the Canyons Village that presents a greater challenge in terms of skiable terrain.
The quick 30-minute drive to Salt Lake City Airport will greatly cut down on your travel time, which is vital when traveling with little ones. There’s also Little Adventures Children’s Center, which is perfect for kids from 6 weeks old to 6 years old.
This way, you can go skiing with your spouse knowing that the kids to be happy and comfortable while out there.
And after purchasing your tickets in the snow, you may immediately attend the resort’s excellent ski school. In other words, you can start skiing as soon as you check-in.
Besides, lessons for skiing and snowboarding are also available for children under the age of six.
Where To Stay at Park City
Park City provides a wide range of lodging options even for those looking to spend their hotel points.
For instance, you’ll find the Waldorf Astoria Park City, Hyatt Centric Park City, and Club Wyndham Park City, which are located on the resort’s Canyons’ side.
On the Park City side, there is Marriott’s MountainSide. Moreover, the ski lifts are located close to these hotels, providing you with quick access to the mountain.
Alternatively, you can choose to go with the Marriott’s Summit Watch, which is close to the town ski lift and Main Street’s abundance of eateries and stores.
#10. Wilmot Mountain Ski Resort, Wisconsin
- Vertical Drop – 200 feet
- Skiable Terrain – 120 acres
- Ski Lifts – 12
The Wilmot Mountain Ski Resort in Kenosha County, Wisconsin, doesn’t just focus on skiing; it also emphasizes snow tubing, with 22 lanes available all throughout the resort.
The resort, which spans 120 acres, features 23 designated trails that can be reached with the use of seven lifts located around the site.
Children between the ages of 3 and 6 may attend classes in the childcare program run by the facility, and once you’re done skiing, you can always try zip-lining or participate in one of the village’s snow-sculpting contests. The smaller ones will enjoy an ice palace.
Where To Stay at Wilmot
Of course, aside from the ski areas, there are a variety of places to stay, including The Cove, which has a beautiful location, nice accommodations, and a pool.
Free Wi-Fi is available to everyone who enters the resort’s lounge and bar, which can be very useful when you want to upload those images.
Otherwise, for the meals, even the youngsters will love the menu selection of kid-friendly foods such as burgers, hot dogs, and pizza.
#11. Heavenly Mountain Resort, California
- Vertical Drop – 3,500 fee
- Skiable Terrain – 4,800 acres
- Ski Lifts – 28
This is yet another mountain resort that offers a bunch of activities to keep the whole family entertained. The resort’s 97 routes cover hundreds of acres of terrain, providing skiers of all skill levels with terrain that is appropriate for them.
What’s better, kids above the age of four can take lessons, and the whole family will have the option to take private lessons too, thanks to the Heavenly Resort ski school run by the property. There’s also the adventure Peak, which is easily accessible and offers UTV rides and snow tubing.
Where to Stay at Heavenly
The good news is that families of all sizes can stay on the property in a variety of accommodations.
You can visit one of the many local stores if you’re seeking activities other than skiing or snowboarding.
Additionally, there are many options for dining out. But if you prefer to prepare meals on your own you may also pick up items from the neighborhood grocery store and get along.
Interestingly, there’s a multiplex movie theater and an ice skating rink nearby for relaxation.
Q: What Type of Skiing is Best for Beginners?
A: The best type of skiing for beginners is one that focuses on building confidence and skill on the ski slopes.
In this case, downhill skiing on gentle slopes is the best way for beginners to get their feet on the snow and gain confidence.
Beginner skiers can also benefit from cross country skiing as it helps build stamina and improve balance.
Q: Where Should I Go for My First Ski Holiday
A: The best destination for your first ski holiday will depend on several factors, including your budget, where you live or the country you want to visit, and the type of experience you are looking for.
If you are going to travel with kids for your first ski holiday, then you need to consider the best ski resorts for families.
The best ski resorts in the U.S. for a first ski holiday Aspen Snowmass, Heavenly Mountain, Deer Valley Resort, Stowe Mountain Resort, Smugglers Notch Resort, Vail, Beaver Creek, and more.
If you are looking for a more laid back and uncrowded skiing environment, you can try Wolf Creek, Telluride, Sun Valley, or Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows (Palisades Tahoe).
There you have it! A list of some of the best family ski resorts for kids and beginners who can’t wait to hit the slopes.
From the East coast to the West coast, the U.S. offers plenty of ski resorts for everyone.
And they provide benefits like supervised daycare, ski lessons, kids’ ski routes and kid-friendly activities for the best family skiing experience.
Most resorts also have a ton of cross-country skiing trails, snowshoeing tours, and tubing parks to ensure that beginners have loads of entertainment after skiing and snowboarding.
Hopefully, you can now pick the best destination for your first ski trip and enjoy the slopes with confidence.