So you’re not a snowboard shredder or a two-planked. You’d just ski triple black diamonds or dress for a day at the playground. And please, no need to take a chairlift. And, guess what? It’ll be fine. There should be plenty of fun to be had in the snow, particularly at these mountains strewn around the United States that cater to both skiers and riders, as well as those wishing to simply enjoy themselves in the winter.
1. Windham, New York
Do you want to go snowshoeing, winter hiking, and sip some excellent wine? You’re off to the Great Northern Catskills. Before hiking or cross-country skiing (if you’re comfortable with skis in non-downhill circumstances) in Elm Ridge Wild Forest, fuel yourself with s’mores pancakes or the Catskill omelet with herbs fresh from the garden at the Catskill Mountain Country Store. A stroll along the Windham Path for awe-inspiring vistas of the majestic peaks is a more low-key option. If you want to speed down the hill, Windham Mountain also offers snow tubing.
After that, go for a massage or a facial at Alpine Spa before heading to supper at The Windham Local Public House or Millrock Restaurant, both of which are local favorites. To cap the day, stop by Ze Windham Wine Bar or The Vineyard at Windham for a drink.
2. Aspen Snowmass, Colorado
Not only is Aspen Snowmass celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, but the year is shaping up to be a momentous one for the Colorado mountain town. Viewline Resort Snowmass, Autograph Collection, and Wildwood Snowmass, two prominent sister hotels, are reopening after multi-million dollar renovations, each focused on health and culinary offerings.
At Viewline, relax at Lupine Spa, an Ayurvedic oasis in collaboration with Sundari, or get your adrenaline pumping with snow bike instruction or snowshoeing. Choose from snow tubing or snowmobiling in Wildwood, then satisfy your barbeque cravings at Slow Groovin’ BBQ. Important note: At 3:30 p.m., at Snowmass Base Village and on Snowmass Mall, s’mores vendors shaped like enormous marshmallows serve complimentary marshmallow pleasures.
The Breathtaker Alpine Coaster, which swirls through the icy woodland at speeds of up to 35 mph, is a must-see for thrill lovers. Riders control the brakes, so if a slow, scenic trip is more your speed, you can do so. Put your feet up in Limelight Snowmass’ huge hot tub, which overlooks the Snowmass Base Village, for a more relaxed adventure.
The Gant Aspen is celebrating the milestone anniversary with a seasonal pop-up called the “Diamond Dome” in nearby Aspen. The location is only open to resort guests and is located on the property’s rooftop terrace, which offers views of Aspen’s Silver Queen Gondola. With a $250 food and drink minimum, make a reservation with the concierge in three-hour increments at 3 p.m. or 6 p.m.
3. Beech Mountain, North Carolina
Firstly, let’s get the major event out of the process. You’ll want to stop at Fred’s General Mercantile for their famous pastries (our vote: the cinnamon roll). The majority of hotels in this area are condo rentals, so bring some firewood with you.
The tallest town in the Eastern United States has a lot to offer. If snow tubing or snowshoeing isn’t your thing, head to Beech Mountain Brewing Co. instead. Or, for a flavor of Appalachian culture, drive around town on the Avery County Barn Quilt Trail, which features painted or metal quilt squares scattered across Beech Mountain and its surroundings.
4. Breckenridge, Colorado
Breckenridge offers a wide range of non-ski winter activities. This village has everything for everyone, including sleigh rides, dog sledding, fat tire snow bicycling, winter fly-fishing, and strolling down a snow-covered historic Main Street. And cyclists, take note: Gold Run Nordic Center has increased its fat bike rental fleet in the previous year, while the municipality has also expanded its groomed trail network.
The Breckenridge Distillery has just opened an interactive spirits lab, and Broken Compass Brewing Company is celebrating its first winter on Main Street with a new taproom. The newly opened Tin Plate and associated Dynamite Cookies specialize in beer pairing with sourdough pizza and handcrafted cookies for a few bites to go with your suds.
Another good option is the Gravity Haus Snow Cabanas, which serves Cabin Juice favorites like pan-seared diver scallops, winter squash salad, and cookies-and-cream cheesecake in modernized igloos that seat eight people. All of this delicious food pairs nicely with a night at the movies, and the newcomer Eclipse Theater is the perfect place to catch both blockbusters and independent films.
5. Waterville Valley, New Hampshire
Snowshoeing, fat tire biking, snow tubing, and more are all available to visitors in New Hampshire. At Legends Escapes in Waterville Valley, visitors may also put their minds to the test with an escape room challenge. Spend a day at the White Mountain Athletic Club for a more relaxed session, which includes an afternoon massage, tennis, and a sauna session.
Don’t leave town without visiting Ice Castles in adjacent North Woodstock, which features horse-drawn sleigh rides, a woodland light walk, ice slides and tunnels, frozen fountains, and ice thrones that would make the Night King quiver.