Scout Picks: Beyond the slopes

It's not just about the mountain. Here are Scout's favorite ski towns and villages.

A ski holiday doesn’t have to mean being stuck on the side of a mountain with nothing to do (other than skiing of course). There are plenty of resorts where the towns and villages are as much a part of the experience as the skiing. Here’s a selection of Scout’s favorites.

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Photo: Telluride Resort
Beyond the slopes

Telluride: A surprise package.

Telluride is Scout’s pick for one of the best ski towns in North America. It has  great shopping, fine dining and a happening nightlife all in one of the most picture-perfect settings. Rocky mountaintops form the backdrop to a historic main street lined with quaint buildings from an era gone by. And it’s one of the easiest resorts to get around- everything is within walking distance meaning there’s no need for a car and rarely a bus. Even if you’re staying in the mountain village there’s a free town gondola that runs until 2am each day.

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Beyond the slopes
Photo: Aspen Snowmass

Aspen: Where Hollywood intersects with friendly locals.

Aspen was made famous by the rich and famous, but is home to some of the friendliest, most down-to-earth ski town locals. This town has it all; historic buildings, galleries, boutiques, designers, jewelers, 5-star restaurants and cocktail bars. When the sun goes down and the fairylights come on, the town transforms into a magical winter wonderland. Don your fur and jump on a horse-drawn carriage for your ride to dinner if you must, but walking the streets at night is equally as fun (and easy).

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Photo: Aspen Snowmass
Beyond the slopes

Beaver Creek: Redefining luxury

Beaver Creeks marketing slogan is “Not Exactly Roughing It” and the saying goes for both the ski mountain and the village. This small area packs in a lot. The ice-skating rink forms the village centerpiece –surrounding it are families roasting marshmallows on open fire-pits, countless high-end stores, restaurants and bars. Gorsuch, Colorado’s famous luxury ski-apparel retailer, dominates the shopping scene, and appropriately so. Yet as exclusive as it all sounds, everyone seems relaxed and happy.

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Beyond the slopes
Photo: Whistler Tourism

Whistler Blackcomb: Come for the skiing, stay for the party

Whistler Blackcomb is one of the most lively ski villages in North America. At any time of day the meandering pedestrian-only village is busy with people shopping, eating, drinking and dancing. Whistler proudly showed itself off to the world during the 2010 Winter Olympics, but it’s like every night is the opening night here as people come out to celebrate a great day on the slopes. 

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Photo: Whistler Tourism
Photo: Vail Resorts

Vail: Where Bavaria meets Wall St

Vail Ski Resort is one of the biggest in North America, and its main village is equally as impressive. Grand hotels (especially the new Solaris) dominate the edges yet it somehow manages to retain a quaint and charming feel. That’s thanks to the Bavarian influence evident on many of the smaller buildings in the center of the village, and the fact that cars are banned. Despite the flurry of activity in, around and above, there’s a sense of peace and calm.

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Photo: Vail Resorts

It's not just about the mountain. Here are Scout's favorite ski towns and villages.

A ski holiday doesn’t have to mean being stuck on the side of a mountain with nothing to do (other than skiing of course). There are plenty of resorts where the towns and villages are as much a part of the experience as the skiing. Here’s a selection of Scout’s favorites.

More

◀ Back to Scout Picks
Photo: Telluride Resort

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