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Top Ten Skiing Destinations

Updated on July 15, 2011

Even though the ski season is almost over, that doesn’t mean you can’t start planning your next year ski adventures. Instead of staying purely stateside, why not plan your next winter vacation to include one of the world’s top ten ski destinations? Although a couple of the best actually do land on the North American continent- lucky us- but most will take you to foreign lands and fabulous slopes.

Counting down from number ten is where the rich and famous go to get their powder fix: Aspen, Colorado. Aspen encompasses four main mountains that are actually not linked together. Aspen is known for its luxurious ski resorts and international dining cuisine. Aspen obviously offers a wide variety of slopes for the expert skiers out there, but it also has many slopes for the intermediate skiers as well. While in Aspen, you have many options for where to stay, but the ski resorts that tend to get the best ratings are the Sky Hotel and the Hyatt Grand Aspen. Aspen offers world class skiing and classy resorts which will satisfy your desires for nature and comfort.

Number nine will take you across the seas to Cortina, Italy. Cortina lands in the heart of the Alps, so who wouldn’t want to experience that kind of rush? This city has a long history as it served as the host for the 1956 Olympic Games and holds one of the world’s only traffic-less streets. Cortina offers 87 miles of trails with 51 different lifts to transport the skiers to the top. For those skiers with a passion for extreme skiing, Cortina slopes have an excellent half-pipe for all of your tricks and landings needs. When you head to Cortina, expect relaxation, elegance and a lot of really great slopes.

Head back to North America for number eight which happens to be Mont-Tremblant, Quebec. This French Canadian paradise will encompass you with luxury and beauty. Tremblant is Eastern Canada’s best-known ski resort and happens to be the first ski resort ever opened in Canadadatingback to 1939. During one of your leisure days off, take a quick trip over to Montreal and experience the magic of the only French speaking province in Canada.

Number seven is Stowe, Vermont, close to home and elegant as ever. Keeping up with traditional New England style, Stowe lures you in with its charm and traditionalism as well as the biggest vertical drop in the area. Stowe offers two ski resorts which are Mount Mansfield and SprucePeak. Stowe also happens to be one of the only American resorts that has a lift-link between the two resorts, so you can ski both of these famous slopes.

After hanging out and skiing at those two pervious North American resorts, it’s time to fly back over to Europe and indulge in the slopes of Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, France. Mont-Blanc happens to be home of world’s first Winter Olympic Games back in 1924. Chamonix is constantly battling for the elite title of the “World’s Most Famous Ski Resorts.” This European paradise offers the highest peak in the Alps and is the second highest in all of Europe with its vertical drop of 9,209 feet. It also has one of the longest runs in the world at 13.7 miles of fresh, lush powder.

Banff/Lake Louise, Alberta is number five on the list and is located in the heart of Canada’s BanffNational Park. Banff/Lake Louise offers three separate ski areas including Mount Norquay/Mystic Ridge, SunshineVillage and Lake Louise. All of these ski resorts are just a short 30 miles apart, giving you the opportunity to try them all. When staying in Banff/Lake Louise, try either the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise or the Banff Aspen Lodge. Either will be sure to please your tastes for scenery and luxury.

Number four takes you back to the states and over to Vail, Colorado. Vail just so happens to be the largest ski area in the United States and offers around 5,300 acres of ski areas. Not only will you be happily pleased by the excellent skiing, but Vail is also home to several fantastic art galleries, museums, and places to participate in ballooning, dog sledding, ice skating, and hockey. There is sure to be something for everyone in the family in Vail, Colorado.

Number three lands back in the world famous Swiss Alps in Zermatt, Switzerland. Zermatt neighbors another popular ski site, Gstaad, so if you are wanting to stay in one of the world’s top resorts or five-star hotel, then plan on staying there and then skiing over at Zermatt. Zermatt is known for being an incredibly peaceful escape because of its care-free environment. Zermatt is home to the world’s second biggest vertical drop and will never leave you without fresh powder because of its high altitude.

Keeping your feet on European soil, travel over to Kitzbuhel, Austria for number two on the list. Kitzbuhel is known for being one of the liveliest and most beautiful cities in Europe as it was the city that hosted two Winter Olympics, one in 1964 and one in 1976. This ancient city dates back over 700 years and has a long history of skiing, dating back to 1892. When staying in Kizbuhel, try either the Apartment-Hotel Almhof or the Best Western Premier Kaiserhof.

After a long journey of switchbacks from North America to Europe, the number one ski destination lands back on American land at Whistler Blackcomb, British Columbia. This world famous ski destination offers the biggest vertical drop in North America and is constantly ranked as the “World’s Greatest Ski Resort” by people from all corners of the Earth. Whistler not only offers the best skiing that you can find, but it also caters to people who enjoy all tastes of cuisine from Chinese to Greek to Mediterranean because of its popularity among so many international visitors.

Although it may be a bit difficult (and expensive) to try and visit all of these ski destinations in just one season, that doesn’t mean you can’t break it up over a couple of years. Maybe make all of Canada’s slopes the destination for one year, then head on over to Europe and ski down those famous Alps the next year after that. Grab your travel gear and don’t forget the skis, and check out the world’s top ten best ski resorts in one of the next few ski seasons coming up.

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