The Greatest ‘Snow’ On Earth

Charming ski country towns offer great snow and luxury experiences.
(Kevin Ruck -

California has ample mountains for skiers. It also has cities, oceans, freeways, traffic and hassles. So why stay in-state if you’re looking for a true break with reality and a date with the white stuff?

Utah and Colorado’s ski country, dotted with destinations like Vail, Park City and Aspen, is close enough to get away for a weekend yet far enough to get away from it all. And, with elevated ski and chalet experiences and charm-filled mountain towns, you may even want to browse real estate listings to find a winter home. With nonstops soon to pour back into major airports and ski destinations less than an hour away, you can be on the slopes faster than you can get out of L.A. on a trip to Mammoth. And, given the region’s consistent, high-elevation snow, you’ll find experiences that exist nowhere else on Earth.

Start by warming up in the world’s only heated bubble lift. Park City’s Orange Bubble Express glides you up the mountain in spherical style, all while keeping you toasty. Once atop the mountain, you’ll find 4,000 vertical feet of premier powder and slopes for all skill levels.

When it’s time for a break, no matter where you are, find elevated lodge experiences. Forget a log cabin serving microwaved soup in a stale bread bowl. Instead, head to Vail’s summit and find cuisine options for any palate without having to take your ski boots off. Eagles Nest offers food with a view, serving made-from scratch soups and artisan sandwiches in a rustic-but-cozy setting at the Colorado resort’s high base camp. With safety in mind, the restaurant takes timeslot reservations via app: book early.

After all that downhill action, you may have worked up a thirst, or may at least want to toast to a successful black diamond run. So why not ski right in to High West Distillery? The only (ski)boots-on saloon in the world, the Park City mainstay lets skiers and boarders come right in to sample their Rocky Mountain Whisky and amazing gastronomy. For a real warm-up, try the Trapper - rye, Averna, mole bitters and piping hot chocolate and cream.

-Alan LaGuardia, Brand Publishing Writer