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Five Great American Ski Destinations

by andrew November 2010 - last edited February 2013 by Community Manager

Yes, it's snowing in the UK but we're dreaming of the US slopes. With its massive mountain ranges, giant lakes and Alpine forests, America is made to be enjoyed outdoors and there's no time like winter for making the most of it.  Here we present a handful of the best ski areas the country has to offer...


Loon Mountain, New Hampshire


Loon Mountain © Chee-onn Leong | Dreamstime.com

Loon Mountain © Chee-onn Leong | Dreamstime.com


Gorgeous New England scenery and unconditionally guaranteed conditions make Loon Mountain one of the East’s premier ski spots. The slope-side accommodation is modern and stylish and the park is also consistently rated as one of the top snowboarding destinations.

Essentials: Fly direct to Boston with Virgin Atlantic. Visit Virgin Holidays for accommodation info, great deals and booking. Loon is 2 short hours from downtown Boston and also easily accessible from New York and Montreal.


Mammoth Mountain, California


Mammoth by lgkiii on Flickr

Mammoth by lgkiii on Flickr


Mammoth Mountain didn’t get its name for nothing, it covers a huge area (14 km² of skiable terrain) and is California’s highest resort. Also known for its reliable snowfall and steep slopes, it’s a firm favourite with veteran skiers, but there’s plenty for everyone with dog sled rides, snowmobiles, ice skating, snowcat tours and more.

Essentials: Fly direct to Los Angeles with Virgin Atlantic. For info and great deals on your Mammoth holiday, visit Virgin Holidays. Mammoth is an incredibly scenic five hour drive or an hour’s flight from LA.


Heavenly, South Lake Tahoe


Heavenly Ski Resort by jcookfisher on Flickr

Heavenly Ski Resort by jcookfisher on Flickr


Straddling the California-Nevada border on South Lake Tahoe, Heavenly gives you the option of skiing with magnificent views of the lake or the desert. With so much variety in the surroundings, it could all get quite distracting. And the area’s après ski activities and nightlife are second to none.

Essentials: Fly direct to San Francisco with Virgin Atlantic. For more info, great deals and booking, visit Virgin Holidays’ Lake Tahoe pages. Heavenly is about four hours easy drive from San Francisco.


Breckenridge, Colorado


Breckenridge © Justin Sailor | Dreamstime.com

Breckenridge © Justin Sailor | Dreamstime.com


The most popular American destination for British skiers, Breckenridge is the great all-rounder, famed for its state-of-the-art lifts and facilities and its renovated Victorian wooden buildings.  The range of peaks and parks means equal fun for beginners, intermediates, advanced skiers and snowboarders.

Essentials: For more info, great deals and to book your Breckenridge break, visit Virgin Holidays.


Crystal Mountain, Washington State


Crystal Mountain skiers by Maurice King on Flickr

Crystal Mountain skiers by Maurice King on Flickr


The jewel of the Northwest sits at the edge of the beautiful Mt Rainier National Park and its Summit House restaurant offers incredible views of the mountain itself. Crystal Mountain's wide range of runs make it a great day or weekend trip from Seattle.

Essentials: Fly direct to San Francisco with Virgin Atlantic and take a connecting flight to Seattle with Virgin America. If you're a Virgin Atlantic Flying Club member, you can earn miles with every Virgin America flight - here's how. Crystal Mountain is just a 90-minute drive north of Seattle-Tacoma airport.

If you're all set for where to ski but not what to wear, head over to our guest post from my-wardrobe founder and CEO, Sarah Curran: How To Look Stylish on the Ski Slopes.

Photos courtesy of Igkii, jcookfisher and Maurice King on Flickr and © Justin Sailor and © Chee-onn Leong from Dreamstime.com. Header image: skiers at Breckenridge by AMagill on Flickr.

What are your favourite American ski resorts? Let us know in the comments below.

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About the author: andrew

Andrew Bowman

Andrew is an occasional contributor to the Virgin Atlantic blog. He lived in the Japanese countryside for two years until he could no longer resist the pull of London's galleries, pubs and clubs. He likes to pretend he can speak Japanese and also sometimes writes about music.