Family ski vacation guide with the best ski resorts for family skiing

Month: November 2020

Top Ski Resorts

We editors at Family Ski Trips love to rank our favorite ski resorts, based on terrain, scenic beauty, lifts, snow, ski village amenities and après ski, plus activities and programs for families. We have our favorites:
Top 10 Ski Resorts of the East
Top Western Ski Resorts for Families
Top Family Ski Resorts in Canada
Top Family Ski Resorts in the Alps

All of these we keep up to date with frequent personal visits (tough job, eh?!) and we reward those resorts with recent capital improvements, new programs for learn to ski, lodging and culinary enhancement, by moving them up (or down) our Top 10 Ski Resorts ranking.

We also love to see how other ski sites rank the top ski resorts in the world. We enjoy comparing their results, and metrics, with ours. Our ski resort rankings are quite similar to those of Ski magazine and their annual Top 50 Ski Resorts readers’ poll, with the occasional anomaly, see this year’s review of Ski Mag’s best ski resort poll.

TurnKey recently released their Top Ski Resort rankings, with cool data about the top three ski and snowboard states – not surprisingly Colorado, California, and Utah. These three states comprise almost 50% of their top 100 ski resorts in the US, Colorado has the most skier visits and 77% of their top 100 resorts. Here’s where we might disagree, since we like to steer families looking for a great ski vacation away from the highly ranked, highly visited ski resorts. We say ski Idaho, Montana and Wyoming… even Washington!

TurnKey’s top 25 ski resorts only has 3 Eastern Ski Resorts, #15 Killington, #18 Sugarloaf and #23 Whiteface. We respectfully have very different New England ski faves: Stowe, Sugarbush, Sunday River, Okemo, Bretton Woods and Smuggs are all deserving ahead of Whiteface! Out West, we agree with Big Sky at #2 but Aspen Snowmass, Steamboat, Vail, Telluride and Deer Valley all move ahead of Park City.

We did find very interesting the lift ticket prices, with Winter Park and Vail topping out at $159 a day. $68 is the average ticket price among the 260 resorts in TurnKey’s study.

Let us know your Top Ski Resorts, and why? What makes a perfect ski resort for you and your family ski vacation?

Copyright 2023, by Heather Burke of FamilySkiTrips.com and Luxury Vacation Guide

Ski Resorts Open for the season

This ski season will look a little different, masks required, social distancing on chairlifts and gondolas – “arrive with your party-ride with your party”, very limited access to inside space in base lodges, and even reservations required to ski. So first up, check with your ski resort so you know before you go… 

But there will be a ski season… so co-operate, boot up in the parking lot, pack a lunch, plan a tailgate après ski party, and wear your mask. These are hardly hardships for the privilege to pursue your favorite winter pastime, get out and make some turns and enjoy the snow! Lift lines may seem longer when spaced out, but with six-feet of separation, it may look worse than the wait…

Here’s a look at ski resorts that have opened so far for the 2020-21 season…

Canada’s Norquay in Banff opened October 24. This is the Banff ski area’s earliest opening on record in their 95 year history!

Wolf Creek Colorado, known for its big snow totals and early start ups, opened October 28, beating out perennial season pushers Arapahoe Basin and Loveland.

Keystone was the first Vail Resort to open for skiing and riding Nov 6, their big emphasis on snowmaking has been “key”! Breck followed on Nov13 and Vail opened Nov 20.

In Utah, Park City opened Nov 20 at the first in the Salt Lake state, Alta opened November 23 for its 85th season.

Killington in Vermont spun lifts Nov 20 for passholders, opening to the public Nov 23. The Big K requires parking resies this season, so book ahead to ski and tailgate at the Beast of the East.

Other New England resorts Maine siblings Sunday River and Sugarloaf both dropped ropes early November, for passholders only to kick off their ski seasons.

Morzine Avoriaz in Portes Du Soleil opened October 29, the earliest date on record for this French Swiss Resort in the Region Dents du Midi.

See you on the slopes, I’ll be the one in the face-covering mask and goggles!

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