When considering your next ski destination you will probably evaluate the area’s terrain, the total cost, and the accessibility. These are all important things to consider when planning your next ski trip, but most of us commonly forget about the fourth important factor of any great ski trip; apres skiing and nightlife. Various resorts across the country all claim the best nightlife and party scene. In my mind there are only three truly impressive ski resorts whose base camp offers a nightlife that will leave you struggling to make first chair every morning, no matter how much it snowed the night before.
West Coast: The west coast has quite a few ski resorts that offer outstanding nightlife, but in my opinion Heavenly Resort on Lake Tahoe takes the cake. Not only does Heavenly offer up some of the best skiing on the West Coast, spectacular views of Lake Tahoe and 400+ inches or snow per year; the resort straddles the California-Nevada state line. Every ski resort has a decent bar scene; Heavenly has over 100 bars and 5 casinos. Imagine combining the best of Las Vegas with world class skiing and you can begin to imagine just how hard it would be to stumble out of bed for a powder day. There is also one extra bonus point for Heavenly, if you own a Colorado or Epic season pass from Vail Resorts, your pass allows you to ski for free at Heavenly too. This what you would call icing on the cake.
Rocky Mountains: The Rocky Mountain region in the U.S. stretches from Montana all the way down to Taos, New Mexico. There are over 40 great resorts each with their own nightlife festivities. After considering each ski town, we have come to the same conclusion Ski Magazine as well as numerous other publications have come to; Aspen, Colorado has the best nightlife in the Rockies and also makes a very strong case for the best skiing in all of North America.
The town of Aspen is located in the Roaring Fork Valley and perhaps is one of the most picturesque ski towns in the world. Somehow, its nightlife matches its scenery. The most amazing part about Aspen’s nightlife is, it blows away its competition. With over 20 world-class restaurants, multiple high-class hotels, and some of the best bars west of the Mississippi, Aspen surely lives up to its title of best nightlife in the Rockies. The culture created by the combination of movie stars and ski bums, just cannot be found anywhere else.
East Coast: Just because the East Coast doesn’t have the vertical elevation, snow levels, or snow quality as other areas in the U.S., doesn’t mean they don’t know how to have a good time after a long day on the ice. The East Coast has some great ski towns within a couple of hours of America’s greatest metropolises, like New York and Boston.
One such town is Killington, Vermont. Not only does it boast some of the best skiing on the East Coast, it is also known for the best nightlife, highlighted by some of the best live music schedules in the country. Killington boasts over 50 restaurants, pubs, and lodges packed with skiers and riders of all ages. Each January, Killington hosts their annual Collegiate Snowfest for 2 weeks. Snowfest brings in some of the top performers and movie premiers from around the world for 2 weeks of epic parties and festivities lasting well into the morning. Snowfest is just one of the many events that compliment Killington’s classic ski town nightlife, and will definitely leave you wondering if perfect corduroy or 12 inch powder days are worth fighting a hangover.
If you have comments on any of these areas, or have some recommendations of your own, feel free to post your favorite resort nightlife. We would love to get some tips…and we’re sure that other readers would be interested to know of some other great areas.