Sitting on New Hampshire’s Mount Tecumseh, Waterville Valley is a small gem of a resort, perfect for the weekend getaway crowd from New York and Boston. At only 500 acres, it doesn’t quite compete with the sprawling Rocky Mountain and Pacific Northwest, but what it lacks in size it makes up for in character. A good balance of beginner and intermediate terrain make it the perfect place for a long weekend with the kids, or as a tune-up for your spring break trip to Alaska or British Columbia. A handful of terrain parks will keep your little ones entertained while you work on your mountain legs – the longest run is nearly two miles and has more than 2,000 feet of vertical drop. You’ll be surprised how that can sneak up on your weary quads at the end of the day.
Telluride, Colorado: For the Adrenaline Junkie
Telluride Resort sits at nearly 9,000 feet, and with lifts that push up above 12,000, and the surrounding San Juan range towering even higher, Telluride is almost a pilgrimage for many extreme skiers. Known for its backcountry terrain – only accessible on foot after a few lift rides – Telluride boasts some of the steepest drops in North America, and one fo the few places you can ski off a 13,000 foot peak while still in resort boundaries. When the sun sets, a quick gondola ride down the mainstreet will get you to some of the best ski town bars you’ll ever find, as well as more ski shops (including a huge Patagonia gear outlet) than you’ll be able to visit in a week. Don’t be surprised when your next few vacations get planned according to the next big storm to hit Telluride.