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5 Magical Ski Destinations for a Safe Winter Getaway

Here's everything you need to know about navigating a ski vacay in 2021.

ski destinations

Editor's note: As we continue to practice social distancing, we encourage our readers to check the Center for Disease Control website for up-to-date information on how to safely travel during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Skiing is a great way to get some fresh air this winter season, and resorts around the country are taking additional precautions to make sure the experience is safe and socially distanced. Since mountains have reduced capacity compared to years prior, you'll want to make reservations well in advance to ensure you get a chance to ski. (Epic Pass holders get priority reservation access at participating mountains.) Additionally, face coverings are now required at all times. Skiing with buddies? Make sure you stay together, as skiers are only allowed to ride chairlifts and gondolas with their related parties. Most importantly, look into out-of-state travel restrictions on your departure and arrival state's travel website before you head off to your wintery wonderland. Now that you have an idea of what to expect, discover five magical spots that offer safe accommodations for your next ski-cation, below.

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1 Stowe, Vermont

Surrounded by Mount Mansfield—the highest peak in Vermont with an elevation of 4,395 feet—the New England ski destination has more lifts than any other resort on the East Coast.

Stay at Edson Hill

Surrounded by the scenic Vermont countryside, Edson Hill's boutique accommodations are located just 10 minutes away from some of the East Coast's best ski terrain. The 22-room inn boasts the perfect balance of eclectic antique decor and cozy contemporary features—like fireplaces and deep soaking tubs—to keep warm after a brisk day on the mountain. If you'd rather not venture out to eat, Edson Hill offers a casual fine dining restaurant and a tavern area with the option to order room service for just you and your ski buddies.

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2 Jackson Hole, Wyoming

With 133 official trails for all ski levels, Jackson Hole Mountain spans 2,500 acres and boasts the legendary Corbet Chute, where expert skiers can flex their technical skills on the 45-degree drop with permission from Ski Patrol.

Stay at Caldera House

With spacious residential style suites, Caldera House’s accommodations offer a naturally secluded experience ideal for a family or small group. The open kitchen and dining area in each room means you can avoid the stress of eating out, while large patios with fire pits and home theaters are perfect for evening entertainment. Caldera's location in Teton Village means skiing is right outside your door. If you’re not a skier, the hotel provides winter experiences like vintage sleigh rides, snowshoeing, and dog sledding on a reservation basis.

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3 Bachelor Gulch, Colorado

Beaver Creek’s scenic trails are less crowded than nearby mountains. With 150 trails and an average annual snowfall of 27 ft., the area is an idyllic place to ski out west and has several dedicated sections for beginners.

Stay at the Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch

Tucked into an exclusive enclave on one side of Beaver Creek Mountain, the Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch provides a safe, socially-distant getaway with direct access to a private ski lift. Several open air spaces are studded with heat lamps and comfy seating arrangements, allowing guests to have a variety of safe dining and après ski options, including a raw bar and an outdoor taco truck. For some R&R, indulge in the guest-only outdoor pools and hot tubs after a rigorous day on the slopes.

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4 Park City, Utah

With Sundance Film Festival (January 28 to February 3) going virtual this year, Park City Mountain—the largest ski resort in the U.S.— will be far less crowded than usual next week. Ski-in-ski-out access to the historic downtown district, along with 7,300 acres of terrain and 330 trails, makes this a do-not-miss ski destination.

Stay at the Lodge at Blue Sky, Auberge Resorts Collection

Located on 3,500 private acres of ranch property in the Wasatch Mountain Range, the Lodge at Blue Sky offers a tranquil setting removed from the crowds of Park City. Guests are provided private transportation to their very own lift area and have access to Blue Sky's guest-only lodge at the mountain base in town. Ideal for social distancing, Blue Sky’s private dining venues serve up refined mountain cuisine all made with seasonal, responsibly-sourced ingredients.

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5 Telluride, Colorado

Known for less crowds and no lift lines, the slopes of southwestern Colorado will feel secluded and offer well-balanced terrain for every level of skiing. Telluride’s Gold Hill chutes offer some of North America’s steepest ski slopes for adventure seekers.

Stay at Madeline Hotel & Residences, Auberge Resorts Collection

Newly redesigned to embody a modern mountain resort,

Madeline Hotel & Residences, Auberge Resorts Collection is located at 10,540 feet and offers a ski-in, ski-out location in Mountain Village. The new Timber Room has an indoor-outdoor après ski bar and lounge area, where guests can cozy up after a day on the mountain. Another new après option invites guests to rejuvenate tired muscles in the recovery lounge, equipped with Normatec recovery systems and percussion message devices. The on-site Black Iron Kitchen + Bar’s laidback “come as you are” policy means you can refuel in your ski gear.

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