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Destination resort

East: Sunday River in Maine.

One of Maine’s largest ski resorts, Sunday River is located six miles from the charming village of Bethel. sundayriver.com

West: Big Sky in Montana

About 45 miles from Bozeman, Big Sky is enormous — 5,800 acres with a 4,350-foot vertical drop. A down-to-earth vibe prevails, and resort officials estimate there’s about two acres per skier on an average day. Translation: no lift lines and powder that lasts for days. bigskyresort.com

Bucket List: Crested Butte, Colo.

Deep in the heart of the Colorado Rockies, Crested Butte is a former mining town turned vacation mecca without selling its soul. There are no chain restaurants, big-box stores or even traffic lights in the picturesque town, and the mountain serves up unrivaled skiing and riding, eateries and more. skicb.com

In search of steeps

East: Mad River Glen in Vermont. “Ski it if you can,” Mad River’s motto, sums it up: These steeps are among the best — period (i.e.; not just in the East). Unfortunately, snowboarders can’t experience the rush. They’re still not allowed here. madriverglen.com

West: Jackson Hole, Wyo.

Scout your lines during the 4,139-vertical-foot ascent on Jackson’s beloved aerial tram before emerging into a playground of narrow chutes, open bowls and glades so tight they require Jedi navigation powers. Leap (carefully) into Corbet’s Couloir and then bang a left at the bottom into Tensleep Bowl. jacksonhole.com

Bucket List: Silverton Mountain in Colorado. One chair serves this entire no-frills “resort” in southwestern Colorado, and guides are required most of the season. You’ll hike up to 13,000 feet (or higher) and then descend some of the country’s steepest terrain. silvertonmountain.com

Learn the basics in school

East: Smuggler’s Notch in Vermont

This award-winning snowsports school is acclaimed for its personable approach and small class sizes. smuggs.com

West: Keystone, Colo.

Home of “Kidtopia,” a m agical, on-mountain world, Keystone’s ski school focuses on inspiring students and building confidence and skill. keystoneresort.com

Bucket list: Aspen/Snowmass, Colo.

Last year, Aspen/Snowmass opened the Hideout, a 7,500-square-foot children’s learning center (ages 2 to 12) at the base of Buttermilk. This $10 million facility is a one-stop location for everything lesson-related, features an imaginative indoor play center and is conveniently located on the snow. It complements Snowmass’s Treehouse, another impeccable institution for instruction and, for little ones, child care. aspensnowmass.com

Party scene

East: Hunter Mountain, in New York.

A serious ski destination this is not. But if a nightclub/hotel combo with three floors, each with its own D.J., sounds like your ideal vacation, head two hours north of Manhattan to Slopes in Tannersville, “New York’s Infamous Winter Party Destination.” huntermtn.com

West: Breckenridge, Colo.

Most resorts have some sort of “Ullr Fest,” an homage to the Norse god of snow, but few feature a shotski that runs the length of Main Street and has nearly 100 “shooters.” Don’t worry if you miss the actual Ullr Fest (Jan. 13-16); Breckenridge is as devoted to partying as it is to schussing. breckenridge.com

Bucket list: Heavenly, South Lake Tahoe, Calif.

Not for the faint of heart, Heavenly’s nightlife starts with the Unbuckle Après Party at Tamarack Lodge, at the top of the gondola (featuring Heavenly Angel go-go dancers) and rages until dawn at surrounding nightclubs and casinos.

Family-friendly

East: Okemo in Vermont.

Featuring two “bubble” chairs (with retractable covers to protect riders from the elements), scores of ski-in/ski-out lodging and a staff trained to cater to families, a trip with kids of any age is a breeze. okemo.com

West: Squaw Valley in California.

Starting with the mid-mountain base featuring heated pools and hot tubs (seriously), the mountain’s diverse terrain (plenty of greens, blues, and blacks for all), outstanding instruction, a kid-friendly base village, and the best cookies in ski country (Wildflour Baking Co.), Squaw delivers. squawalpine.com

Bucket list: Steamboat, Colo.

Two words: night skiing. Two more: ranch dinner (at the top of the gondola). Actually, it would take many words to describe Steamboat’s commitment to delivering friendly service, impeccable amenities, outstanding skiing and innumerable off-slope activities. steamboat.com

Premium powder

East: Jay Peak in Vermont.

Last season, Jay Peak collected a near-record 373 inches of dry, fluffy powder. The forecast calls for similar conditions this year. Need we say more? jaypeakresort.com

West: Alta/Snowbird, Utah.

Weather experts and locals call the phenomenon that blankets the mountains in Little Cottonwood Canyon the “Lake Effect.” We call it amazing. These adjacent resorts trap powder like a catcher’s mitt snags balls. One ticket allows access to both areas. snowbird.com

Bucket list: Mammoth Mountain in California

Watch the Weather Channel and be prepared to book your ticket when the storm track beelines for Mammoth, whose epic dumps are often measured in feet, not inches. mammothmountain.com

Easy access

East: Ragged Mountain in New Hampshire

About 100 miles from Boston, Ragged recently spent $5 million to replace an old triple chair with a high-speed quad, revamp the lodge and increase dining options. raggedmountainresort.com

West: Park City, Utah.

Step one: fly into Salt Lake International Airport. Step two: Hop on a $45 shuttle. Step three: Drive 40 minutes and land in Park City, home to two world-class resorts (Park City and Deer Valley). parkcitymountain.com

Bucket list: Vail, Colo.

It’s 120 miles from Denver International Airport to Vail on Colorado’s notorious Interstate 70, but don’t worry. The Colorado Mountain Express offers door-to-door service, and once you arrive in Vail, a pedestrian village at the base of superlative skiing and snowboarding, cars are unnecessary. vail.com

For the foodies

East: Stowe, Vt.

Indulge in Plate’s California-meets-Vermont’s blend of hearty flavors and healthful food, to the surf-and-turf at the Bistro at 10 Acres, to the small plates at Green Goddess Cafe and more: Stowe’s culinary options are many. stowe.com

West: Telluride, Colo.

A prosciutto di Parma Panini and crisp glass of rosé would taste good most anywhere. But from the deck at the on-mountain Alpino Vino (11,966 feet), complemented by the jagged silhouettes of surrounding mountains, it’s sublime. Add the myriad dining options in town, and gourmands are in bliss. tellurideskiresort.com

Bucket list: Jackson Hole, Wyo.

The question isn’t what to eat in Jackson Hole, it’s where. The magazine Dishing JH (in print and online), founded in 2011 by two local foodies/writers, has all the answers. One favorite? Teton Thai for hot soup after a cold ski day. jacksonhole.com

Budget-friendly

East: Mount Sunapee in New Hampshire

Full day tickets top out at $84 during peak periods, but Sunapee’s got lots of tips on how to avoid paying full price, like frequent-skier cards, Sunday and Wednesday specials and more. Check out the steals and deals on the website. mountsunapee.com

West: Loveland, Colo.

Straddling the Continental Divide, Loveland delivers high alpine skiing and riding on a shoestring budget, with day passes ranging from $53 to $65 and $429 season passes (which includes three free days at Monarch Mountain, Crested Butte, Purgatory and Powderhorn). skiloveland.com

Bucket list: Targhee, Wyo.

With $272 four-packs, $75 day passes and free skiing for kids 5 and under, this remote resort on the east side of the Tetons won’t break the bank.

grandtarghee.com

DESTINATION RESORT IN SEARCH OF STEEPS LEARN THE BASICS IN SCHOOL PARTY SCENE FAMILY-FRIENDLY PREMIUM POWDER EASY ACCESS FOR THE FOODIES BUDGET-FRIENDLY
DESTINATION RESORT IN SEARCH OF STEEPS LEARN THE BASICS IN SCHOOL PARTY SCENE FAMILY-FRIENDLY PREMIUM POWDER EASY ACCESS FOR THE FOODIES BUDGET-FRIENDLY

Destination resort

East: Sunday River in Maine. One of Maine’s largest ski resorts, Sunday River is located six miles from the charming village of Bethel. sundayriver.com

West: Big Sky in Montana. About 45 miles from Bozeman, Big Sky is enormous — 5,800 acres with a 4,350-foot vertical drop. A down-to-earth vibe prevails, and resort officials estimate there’s about two acres per skier on an average day. Translation: no lift lines and powder that lasts for days. bigskyresort.com

Bucket List: Crested Butte, Colo. Deep in the heart of the Colorado Rockies, Crested Butte is a former mining town turned vacation mecca without selling its soul. There are no chain restaurants, big-box stores or even traffic lights in the picturesque town, and the mountain serves up unrivaled skiing and riding, eateries and more. skicb.com

In search of steeps

East: Mad River Glen in Vermont. “Ski it if you can,” Mad River’s motto, sums it up: These steeps are among the best — period (i.e.; not just in the East). Unfortunately, snowboarders can’t experience the rush. They’re still not allowed here. madriverglen.com

West: Jackson Hole, Wyo. Scout your lines during the 4,139-vertical-foot ascent on Jackson’s beloved aerial tram before emerging into a playground of narrow chutes, open bowls and glades so tight they require Jedi navigation powers. Leap (carefully) into Corbet’s Couloir and then bang a left at the bottom into Tensleep Bowl. jacksonhole.com

Bucket List: Silverton Mountain in Colorado. One chair serves this entire no-frills “resort” in southwestern Colorado, and guides are required most of the season. You’ll hike up to 13,000 feet (or higher) and then descend some of the country’s steepest terrain. silvertonmountain.com

Learn the basics in school

East: Smugglers’ Notch in Vermont. This award-winning snowsports school is acclaimed for its personable approach and small class sizes. smuggs.com

West: Keystone, Colo. Home of “Kidtopia,” a magical, on-mountain world, Keystone’s ski school focuses on inspiring students and building confidence and skill. keystoneresort.com

Bucket list: Aspen/Snowmass, Colo. Last year, Aspen/Snowmass opened the Hideout, a 7,500-square-foot children’s learning center (ages 2 to 12) at the base of Buttermilk. This $10 million facility is a one-stop location for everything lesson-related, features an imaginative indoor play center and is conveniently located on the snow. It complements Snowmass’s Treehouse, another impeccable institution for instruction and, for little ones, child care. aspensnowmass.com

Party scene

East: Hunter Mountain, in New York. A serious ski destination this is not. But if a nightclub/hotel combo with three floors, each with its own D.J., sounds like your ideal vacation, head two hours north of Manhattan to Slopes in Tannersville, “New York’s Infamous Winter Party Destination.” huntermtn.com

West: Breckenridge, Colo. Most resorts have some sort of “Ullr Fest,” an homage to the Norse god of snow, but few feature a shotski that runs the length of Main Street and has nearly 100 “shooters.” Don’t worry if you miss the actual Ullr Fest (Jan. 13-16); Breckenridge is as devoted to partying as it is to schussing. breckenridge.com

Bucket list: Heavenly, South Lake Tahoe, Calif. Not for the faint of heart, Heavenly’s nightlife starts with the Unbuckle Après Party at Tamarack Lodge, at the top of the gondola (featuring Heavenly Angel go-go dancers) and rages until dawn at surrounding nightclubs and casinos. skiheavenly.com

Family-friendly

East: Okemo in Vermont. Featuring two “bubble” chairs (with retractable covers to protect riders from the elements), scores of ski-in/ski-out lodging and a staff trained to cater to families, a trip with kids of any age is a breeze. okemo.com

West: Squaw Valley in California. Starting with the mid-mountain base featuring heated pools and hot tubs (seriously), the mountain’s diverse terrain (plenty of greens, blues and blacks for all), outstanding instruction, a kid-friendly base village, and the best cookies in ski country (Wildflour Baking Co.), Squaw delivers. squawalpine.com

Bucket list: Steamboat, Colo. Two words: night skiing. Two more: ranch dinner (at the top of the gondola). Actually, it would take many words to describe Steamboat’s commitment to delivering friendly service, impeccable amenities, outstanding skiing and innumerable off-slope activities. steamboat.com

Premium powder

East: Jay Peak in Vermont. Last season, Jay Peak collected a near-record 373 inches of dry, fluffy powder. The forecast calls for similar conditions this year. Need we say more? jaypeakresort.com

West: Alta/Snowbird, Utah. Weather experts and locals call the phenomenon that blankets the mountains in Little Cottonwood Canyon the “Lake Effect.” We call it amazing. These adjacent resorts trap powder like a catcher’s mitt snags balls. One ticket allows access to both areas. snowbird.com

Bucket list: Mammoth Mountain in California. Watch the Weather Channel and be prepared to book your ticket when the storm track beelines for Mammoth, whose epic dumps are often measured in feet, not inches. mammothmountain.com

Easy access

East: Ragged Mountain in New Hampshire. About 100 miles from Boston, Ragged recently spent $5 million to replace an old triple chair with a high-speed quad, revamp the lodge and increase dining options. raggedmountainresort.com

West: Park City, Utah. Step one: fly into Salt Lake International Airport. Step two: Hop on a $45 shuttle. Step three: Drive 40 minutes and land in Park City, home to two world-class resorts (Park City and Deer Valley). parkcitymountain.com

Bucket list: Vail, Colo.It’s 120 miles from Denver International Airport to Vail on Colorado’s notorious Interstate 70, but don’t worry. The Colorado Mountain Express offers door-to-door service, and once you arrive in Vail, a pedestrian village at the base of superlative skiing and snowboarding, cars are unnecessary. vail.com

Budget-friendly

East: Mount Sunapee in New Hampshire. Full day tickets top out at $84 during peak periods, but Sunapee’s got lots of tips on how to avoid paying full price, like frequent-skier cards, Sunday and Wednesday specials and more. Check out the steals and deals on the website. mountsunapee.com

West: Loveland, Colo. Straddling the Continental Divide, Loveland delivers high alpine skiing and riding on a shoestring budget, with day passes ranging from $53 to $65 and $429 season passes (which includes three free days at Monarch Mountain, Crested Butte, Purgatory and Powderhorn). skiloveland.com

Bucket list: Targhee, Wyo. With $272 four-packs, $75 day passes and free skiing for kids 5 and under, this remote resort on the east side of the Tetons won’t break the bank. grandtarghee.com

For the foodies

East: Stowe, Vt. Indulge in Plate’s California-meets-Vermont’s blend of hearty flavors and healthful food, to the surf-and-turf at the Bistro at 10 Acres, to the small plates at Green Goddess Cafe and more: Stowe’s culinary options are many. stowe.com

West: Telluride, Colo.A prosciutto di Parma Panini and crisp glass of rosé would taste good most anywhere. But from the deck at the on-mountain Alpino Vino (11,966 feet), complemented by the jagged silhouettes of surrounding mountains, it’s sublime. Add the myriad dining options in town, and gourmands are in bliss. tellurideskiresort.com

Bucket list: Jackson Hole, Wyo. The question isn’t what to eat in Jackson Hole, it’s where. The magazine Dishing JH (in print and online), founded in 2011 by two local foodies/writers, has all the answers. One favorite? Teton Thai for hot soup after a cold ski day. jacksonhole.com