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The Agency Top 10: Ski Resorts

by | Nov 27, 2013

It’s time once again to shake off those skis and snowboards, pick your mittens and scarves and earmuffs, and head off to your favorite ski destinations. Here’s our pick of the 10 best places to hit the slopes this holiday season.

Whistler, British Columbia

These breathtaking mountains provide the best skiing in North America, period. The powder is dreamlike, and Whistler boasts the biggest vertical drop on continent. Plus, the charming village offers everything from cafes, international stores and spas, to over 100 restaurants that cater to all tastes. What’s not to like? whistlerblackcomb.com

Cortina, Italy

The host of the 1956 Olympic Games, Cortina’s ski resorts are as good as any you’ll find in the Alps. Like Zermatt, Switzerland, life in Cortina revolves around a pedestrian street – and the people watching and stylish Italian fashion is almost as good as the skiing itself. cortina.dolomiti.org

Zermatt, Switzerland

Although Gstaad and St. Moritz are more popular, most people choose Zermatt as Switzerland’s top ski resort. The village is serene thanks to its car-free environment, and the surrounding mountains – capped by The Matterhorn – is simply stunning. As for the skiing, Zermatt receives huge snowfalls thanks to its altitude, and the vertical drop is one of the biggest in the world. zermatt.ch

Vail, Colorado

Vail markets itself as “America’s favorite resort” and boasts the largest single ski area in the United States. With some 5,300 acres of skiable terrain and world-famous back bowls, you’ll be hard-pressed to see the whole mountain even over a long weekend. Vail Village is a world-class destination in itself, with numerous art galleries, sledding hills, skating rinks, nightclubs and much much more. vail.com

Kitzbuhel, Austria

While St. Anton is probably Europe’s liveliest resort, and Innsbruck is certainly picturesque, Kitzbuhel is called the “Pearl of the Alps” for a reason. The most famous resort in the Austrian Tyrol, this 700-year-old village offers visitors the charm of a true alpine village, where people have been skiing since the sport took off in the winter of 1892. kitzbuehel.com

Chamonix-Mont-Blanc, France

With a vertical drop of 9,209 feet and one of the world’s longest runs (Vallée Blanche) at 13.7 miles, Chamonix ranks among the world’s most elite and well-know ski resorts (it was also home of the first Winter Olympics). Plus, the resort is located at the foot of Mont-Blanc, the highest peak in the Alps and the second highest in Europe. chamonix.com

Cerro Castor, Argentina

Our homage to Patagonia, Cerro Castor is a scenic resort on the southern slope of Mount Krund, 26 km from the city of Ushuaia, in the breathtaking, otherworldy province of Tierra del Fuego. It’s like skiing in Middle Earth, with stunted trees and ethereal light -– and its trails are ideal for cross-country as well as downhill skiingcerrocastor.com 

Aspen, Colorado

We had to mention Colorado more than once, since we couldn’t choose between Vail and Aspen. Home of John Denver, the Aspen Ideas Festival and, of course, some of the finest skiing and mountain scenery on the planet, Aspen represents “Rocky Mountain High” at its finest, and the full-service resorts here are second to none. aspensnowmass.com

Ruka, Finland

For almost 60 years, Ruka has invested significant manpower and money into building a diversified, high-quality ski resort. The slopes are gorgeous – and challenging enough to attract a variety of international ski competitions. ruka.fi

Deer Valley, Utah

In addition to its family-friendly ski mountain, Deer Valley is known for its upscale amenities and is consistently ranked among the top ski resorts in North America. The resort is located in the awe-inspiring Wasatch Range, located in the charming village of Park City, home of the Sundance Film Festival. deervalley.com

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