This year, I'm embracing the winter and all it has to offer. Just because I live in a less-than-picture-perfect city during the winter, doesn’t mean I have to suffer.
Like many of us, I dream of a family vacation in a winter wonderland: somewhere blanketed by powdery snow, mugs and mugs of hot chocolate, and that Hallmark feel of Christmas Spirit all year-round. Maybe it’s because I’m watching so much of the Real Housewives of Salt Lake City that I’m longing for snowshoes, ski resorts, and fireplaces in the mountains…but I’ve decided my family is going to embrace the winter, no matter what.
I dream of hot tubs with views of snow-capped mountains, and the apres in après-ski. I've even started wishlisting winter outerwear since I learned that the cold isn’t so bad when you're genuinely prepared for the snow and wear your cutest parka. When you look cute, how bad can anything be?
If you’re looking for a winter getaway with your family members that has a little something for everyone (even snow haters like myself), look no further! I've compiled a list of the best family-oriented ski resorts, winter wonderlands, and holiday-year-round haunts that will make even the pickiest traveler smile.
Mountain Lodge Resort, Telluride, CO
Sure, there are Colorado ski towns like Aspen, Vail, and Breckenridge…but my dad swears by Telluride. It's one of Colorado's most picturesque resort-filled towns where you’ll find snow-capped mountains with the softest powder for every snow sport. Resorts pepper the town, but the Mountain Lodge sets itself apart.
You can take a gondola to the town’s center from the resort, which sits amidst the mountains in a Kodak-worthy setting. Go on sleigh rides, snowmobiling, skiing, snowboarding, heli-skiing, on dog sleds, try the hot springs, and check out the bar.
Sun Valley Resort aerial view
Sun Valley Resort
The best part is the fun doesn’t stop in the winter! While there are beautiful mountains for skiing onsite, the joys are in the Sun Valley Village. Reminiscent of your favorite holiday market or movie, the Village has shopping, bowling, pickleball, year-round ice skating, and an Opera House where the whole family can catch movies.
Not only does the Village have it all, but it offers live music and entertainment…even hosting the month-long Sun Valley Music Festival each year. Music is a huge part of Sun Valley, with multiple venues to enjoy crooning voices in the cold weather.
Jackson Hole Mountain Resort
One of the most beautiful destinations in America is Jackson Hole. With wildlife viewing, an area riddled with national parks, group and kids skiing lessons available, snow tubing, shopping, and snow biking, you won’t ever grow bored.
Right now, if you book lodging, airfare, and roundtrip flights, you get a $400 per person credit for your airfare. This means you can save up to $1600 on your vacation until February 15, a smart way to get the entire family involved.
Snowbird, Utah takes your breath away upon arrival: gorgeous, filled with fun, and some of the crispest air you’ll inhale. The resort itself is filled with activities: shopping for the entire family, even a realtor if you’re looking to live in Little Cottonwood Canyon. Whether it’s a wedding, reunion, family getaway, or a solo trip, you can’t go wrong with Snowbird.
One of my favorite features here is the Cliff Spa, where you can enjoy just about any treatment. There are plenty of fine and casual dining spots for family dinners, date nights, solo dining experiences, or impromptu celebrations.