Yes, we know, the “best” ski town really boils down to personal taste. Some people prioritize deep powder, while others place more importance on the après ski scene.
See our best credit card bonuses here. If you want to read about great places to visit with the points and miles earned with credit cards and loyalty programs, see this list of best travel destinations.
When making our list of the top 10 ski towns in the United States, we included a variety. From popular ski destinations like Vail, to hard-to-get-to Taos and “Beer City USA” Bend. There’s something on our list for everyone.
Bend is a prime location in the Oregon high desert, where you can ski in the morning, rockclimb in the afternoon and golf in the evening – all in the same day. At night, end up at one of the many craft breweries in the area, including Crux Fermentation Project and Deschutes Brewery.
Closest airport(s): Roberts Field Airport (RDM) is only 20 minutes away.
Crested Butte (Colorado)
Crested Butte has a small-town vibe with significantly less traffic compared to nearby Summit County. The mountain gets more than 300 inches of snow a year and features 1,500 skiable acres. The town itself is mere minutes from the base area, and is filled with cafes, restaurants and boutiques.
Closest airport(s): Gunnison/Crested Butte Regional Airport (GUC) is a 40-minute drive from Crested Butte.
Jackson is home to three ski areas known for its deep snowpack and loads of side and backcountry terrain. The very popular Jackson Hole Mountain Resort has 2,500 skiable acres and 4,100 vertical feet. If you want to avoid the crowds, opt for Snow King Mountain or Grand Targhee Resort instead.
Closest airport(s): Jackson Hole Airport (JAC) is a 30-minute drive from town
If you’re looking for a ski town with a vibrant après scene and nightlife, Killington is a top choice with plenty of restaurants, clubs, bars and après parties. It’s also the largest ski resort east of the Mississippi with over 1,500 skiable acres and 3,050 vertical feet.
Closest airport(s): Rutland Airport (RUT) is about 25 miles from Killington, and West Lebanon Airport (LEB) is a one-hour drive away.
North Conway (New Hampshire)
North Conway, known as the birthplace of skiing in North America, is home to six ski resorts within 30 mins of town and plenty of backcountry skiing options. The quaint village offers a variety of accommodation, as well as restaurants and cafes.
Closest airport(s): Laconia Airport (KLCI) is 50 minutes south of North Conway.
Ogden is the base for three ski resorts which are all easily accessible from downtown via public transportation. The resorts have a total of 11,600 skiable acres and 500 inches of snowfall every year, making Ogden an excellent alternative to much more crowded Park City and Alta resorts.
Closest airport(s): Ogden-Hinckley Airport (OGD) is a few minutes southwest of town, and Salt Lake International Airport (SLC) is 35 miles south of Ogden.
Taos (New Mexico)
Not only is Taos home to world-class ski resorts, it’s also a World Heritage Site with distinct and delectable cuisine and an art culture that reflects the Southwest region. We like its uncrowded ski runs, its walkable downtown area and its unique adobe architecture.
Closest airport(s): Santa Fe Regional Airport (SAF) is an hour and a half south of Taos, and Albuquerque International Sunport (ABQ) is a three-hour drive south.
Truckee boasts 12 downhill resorts (including Squaw Valley) within a 10-mile radius. Couple that with 400 inches of snowfall each year and an average of 275 days of sunshine, and you’ve got yourself a pretty sweet ski town.
Closest airport(s): Reno-Tahoe International Airport (RNO) is 25 miles away from Truckee.
Vail has it all: great skiing, tasty eats, plenty of cocktails and shopping galore. The area boasts over 5,200 skiable acres and 3,450 vertical feet. Trust us, you won’t have a boring moment in this ski town.
Closest airport(s): Eagle County Regional Airport (EGE) is 30 miles west of Vail, and Denver International Airport (DEN) is 100 miles east of town.
Whitefish is a small, bustling town in a wild setting at the edge of Glacier National Park. Nearby is the 3,000-acre Whitefish Mountain Resort featuring excellent terrain. The town is lined with ski shops, restaurants, cafes, breweries and distilleries, so there’s plenty of things to do after a day on the slopes.
Closest airport(s): Glacier Park International Airport (FCA) is only 15 minutes away.
Best Credit Card To Redeem For Flights
We have outlined several great destinations in this post. What would make visiting them even greater is you didn’t have to pay for the flight itself. Here are several co-branded airline credit cards to consider for redeeming for flights.
The Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card is the best Delta Air Lines rewards card for elite flyers. You’ll get an annual companion certificate, access to Centurion Lounges and Delta Sky Clubs, fast-track to elite status and plenty of other travel benefits.
DELTA SKYMILES RESERVE AMERICAN EXPRESS CARD
The Delta SkyMiles Reserve American Express Card has an offer for 50,000 bonus miles and 10,000 MQMs after you spend $5,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months.
This card earns 3X Miles on Delta purchases and 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases.
Upon the annual renewal of your Card, receive a Domestic First Class, Delta Comfort+® or Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate. *Payment of the government-imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
You and up to 8 travel companions get your first checked bag free on Delta Flights. You’ll also receive Main Cabin 1 Priority Boarding on Delta flights.
This card gets a Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
Another great benefit is the complimentary Delta Sky Club access. You’ll also get complimentary access to The Centurion® Lounge or Escape Lounge – The Centurion® Studio Partner when you book your Delta flight with your Reserve Card.
There are no foreign transaction fees and the annual fee is $550.
The Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card is the best Delta Air Lines card for regular flyers. You’ll get bonuses on hotel, restaurant and supermarket spending, an annual companion certificate and much more.
DELTA SKYMILES PLATINUM AMERICAN EXPRESS CARD
The Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Card has an introductory offer for 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 MQMs after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months.
This card earns 3 miles per $1 on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels. It also earns 2 miles per $1 at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets. You’ll earn 1 mile per $1 on all other eligible purchases.
Upon renewal of your card each year, you will receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. The cost of government imposed taxes and fees will be no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments). Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
You and up to 8 travel companions get your first checked bag free on Delta flights. You’ll also receive Main Cabin 1 Priority Boarding on Delta flights.
You’ll also get an application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓. There are no foreign transaction fees and the annual fee is $250.
The Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card is the best Delta Air Lines card for occasional flyers. The card offers bonuses on restaurant and supermarket spending and comes with a handful of travel perks.
DELTA SKYMILES® GOLD AMERICAN EXPRESS CARD
Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Enrollment may be required for select American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.
The Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card has an offer for 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months.
Ongoing rewards are 2 miles per dollar on Delta purchases, and purchases at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets. You’ll earn 1 mile per dollar for all other eligible purchases.
Spend $10,000 in purchases on your card in a calendar year and receive a $100 Delta Flight Credit.
You’ll also get Main Cabin 1 Priority Boarding and your first bag checked for free on Delta flights.
Enjoy a $0 introductory Annual Fee for the first year, then $99. See Rates & Fees, Terms Apply.
The Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card is the best Southwest Airlines rewards card. It gives cardmembers bonus points on partner hotel and car rental spending, fast-track to elite status, Southwest travel credit every year and more.
SOUTHWEST RAPID REWARDS® PRIORITY CREDIT CARD
Earn 75,000 points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. We value each Southwest point at an average 1.5 cents a piece, or $750 for the 50,000 points. The best value will be redemption for flights. As with most other airline rewards cards, point value can vary a lot depending on flight time, destination, etc.
You’ll also get 7,500 bonus points after your Cardmember anniversary, fast-track to elite status, and a $75 annual Southwest travel credit.
Earn 3 points for every $1 spent on Southwest Airline purchases. Also, earn 2 points for every $1 spent on local transit and commuting, including rideshare, and on internet, cable, phone services, and select streaming. You’ll get 1 point for every $1 on all other purchases.
There are no foreign transaction fees with this card. Unfortunately, the $99 annual fee isn’t waived for the first year.
The United℠ Explorer Card is the best United Airlines rewards card. It offers bonuses on hotel and restaurant spending and plenty of travel perks.
CHASE UNITED℠ EXPLORER CARD
The Chase United℠ Explorer Card from Chase has an offer for up to 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 total in the first 3 months. We value these 50k miles at around $700.
The card earns 2X miles on dining and eligible delivery services, hotel stays and United® purchases. United purchases include:
- Economy Plus
- Inflight food, beverages, Wi-Fi
- Other United charges
You’ll earn 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases.
Other benefits include up to $100 as a statement credit for the Global Entry or TSA PreCheck™ application fee every 4 years. You and a traveling companion on the same reservation will each receive the first standard checked bag free. This card provides priority boarding privileges and 2 one-time passes each year to United Clubs.
The Chase United Explorer Card has a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95 thereafter.
The Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® is the best American Airlines rewards card. It offers bonuses on dining and gas spending and a handful of travel perks. And the key reason American Airlines travelers use this card: complimentary Admirals Club lounge access and 10K EQMs!
CITI® / AADVANTAGE® EXECUTIVE WORLD ELITE MASTERCARD®
The Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® has a 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage bonus miles offer. Make $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening to earn this bonus. See our valuation of AAdvantage miles are worth. You’ll easily receive at least $500 in value from these bonus miles.
The card earns 2 AAdvantage miles for every $1 spent on eligible American Airlines purchases and 1 mile for every $1 spent on other purchases.
You’ll receive expected perks like no foreign transaction fees and your first checked bag for free on domestic American Airlines flights. Up to 8 companions traveling with you on the same reservation will also receive this free checked bag perk.
The main reasons travelers choose this $450 annual fee card are:
- Complimentary Admirals Club lounge access
- 10,000 AAdvantage Elite Qualifying Miles (EQMs) after you spend $40,000 in purchases within the year
The JetBlue Plus Card is the best rewards card for JetBlue frequent flyers. It offers bonuses on restaurant and grocery store spending, fast track to Mosaic elite status and a few other travel benefits.
JETBLUE PLUS CARD
The JetBlue Plus Credit Card has an offer for 40,000 TrueBlue bonus points when you spend $1,000 within the first 90 days. We value these points to be worth around $520.
This is a card designed for the JetBlue loyalist. With the 40K welcome bonus, you can begin earning and redeeming points for award flights, seat upgrades, and more. Read our guide to the TrueBlue program for more information on how to use these points. One of the great features of the TrueBlue program is that its points never expire. You can earn and redeem at your own leisurely pace.
The JetBlue Plus card rewards members with 6x points on JetBlue spending, 2x points on dining and grocery purchases and 1x points on everything else. It also offers a variety of value-added benefits, like 5,000 anniversary bonus points, one free checked bag for you and up to 3 companions, and a 50% discount on eligible inflight purchases.
Other card benefits include a $100 statement credit after purchasing a JetBlue Vacation package of $100 or more, Mosaic elite status after you spent at least $50,000 on purchases, and the ability to pool your points with other members at no extra cost.
There are no foreign transaction fees and the annual fee is $99 for this card.
READ MORE: SEE THE BEST BANK BONUSES HERE AND THE BEST INVESTING BONUSES HERE.
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