Friday, December 7, 2012

Family Friendly Ski Vacations

Skiing's a great family activity. It's easy to learn the basics of skiing and have fun on the bunny slopes, and it's fun to gain confidence and graduate to the more challenging runs. What's more, ski areas offer a multitude of things to do once you're off the slopes. Since vacation rentals and condos have long been a part of nearly every ski area, it's easy to find lodging that fits nearly any budget. So whether you're looking for an inexpensive trip just to have fun or want the experience of a lifetime, check out these 4 family-friendly ski areas.

Northstar Tahoe, California
Luxury custom-built vacation home in Northstar.
This is a great choice, and is especially close for anyone living in northern California, the Northwest or on the western side of the Rockies. There are plenty of beginner and moderate runs--making up about 75% of all the trails. Ski conditions are normally enhanced by the lake and the quantity of trees. Northstar has 89 trails, 18 lifts and eight terrain parks. There's also an ice skating rink and a tubing hill. Northstar's experienced growth since 2008, so it's not as crowded. The Village has lots of retail shops and plenty of great places to eat in a variety of styles and price ranges. Plus, Northstar's close to Lake Tahoe and everything it has to offer.

Vail, Colorado
Bring the whole family and make it
a ski trip to remember!
A perennial favorite and it's celebrating its 50th anniversary during the 2012-13 ski season, so there'll be lots of activities. Vail is the largest ski resort in North America, offering over 5,200 acres. Every skill level is catered to with a variety of trails--ski boredom simply won't happen. The trails are so well laid out that a family of differing skill levels can go their own ways, yet still find it easy to meet up at the bottom. Vail is also easy on the budget. Because of its size and popularity, Vail can get crowded, but it has another advantage: it's near other great ski areas such as Beaver Creek.

Killington, Vermont
Relax in a soothing hot tub after skiing or snowboarding!
A popular New England ski destination with 88 miles of terrain over seven mountains. You'll have over 190 trails to choose from, accommodating all skill levels thoroughly. It's popular with the locals, but staying in vacation rentals will help you fit right in. The instructor to student ratio maxes out at 5 to 1, so beginners needn't worry about learning how to ski. Once you're done skiing or snowboarding, you'll find over 100 restaurants and bars, casual family dining, and spas for the non-skiers (or the skiers sore muscles!).

Nendaz, Switzerland
Yes, that would be your view  of the Alps.
Located in the heart of the Four Valleys Ski Area, Nendaz provides easy access to 412km of downhill skiing-205 individual runs and 92 ski lifts. You can purchase a Four Valley's lift ticket and ski eight area resorts. Nendaz itself is scenic and friendly Alpine village that overlooks the Rhone River valley. It's one of 23 resorts in Switzerland that's received the "Families Welcome" designation from the Swiss Tourism Federation. It's a great value and will be well worth the trip--after all, what a memory you'll give your family by skiing in the famous Swiss Alps!