Typically, no one considers skiing east of the Rocky Mountains, but there’s fresh powder that can compete with the best if you know where to look. No, we’re not talking about the Midwest, either. Believe it or not, southern ski resorts can give you amazing winter experiences. A destination ski vacation is a unique vacation you’ll remember forever. Find your unexpected ski vacation at one of these fifteen southeast ski resorts.
Don’t Miss These 15 Southern Ski Resorts
Depending on which southern ski resorts you pick, you might be on fresh organic snow, or the area may use snow machines. If a destination stays under 32 degrees overnight, they can use snow machines to pack the mountains where snowfall is low.
If you’re accustomed to the Colorado mountains, these resort areas might fall short (literally). They make up for what they lack in altitude in other resort areas. Think of large roaring fireplaces, private ski lessons, and gorgeous spas. They’re pretty dreamy in the most unexpected ways. The best part is that these Southern ski resorts don’t require a plane ticket if you’re a Southerner.
1. Beech Mountain Ski Resort (Beech Mountain, NC)
If you’re looking for a picture-perfect winter wonderland getaway, the 84 inches of yearly snowfall in Beech Mountain, North Carolina, make it a pristine mountain hideaway.Beech Mountain Ski Resort, located within the town, allows guests to hit the slopes and has snowboarding, tubing, shopping, and dining. Beech Mountain Brewing Co. is one of the only breweries owned and operated by a ski resort, making it an all-encompassing destination.
As the highest ski area in Eastern America, with 17 slopes on 98 skiable acres, plenty of runs for every skill level, and a vertical drop of 830 feet, Beech Mountain Resort stands out as the premier ski resort in the South. Those new to skiing and snowboarding need not worry. The Resort offers day camps for ages 3-14 and an extensive Ski & Ride School for those ready to learn the ropes of the snowy slopes. Experienced skiers will ensure that students learn how to ski safely for the first time.
There are lodging options for groups of all sizes, from condos, chalets, and private homes to quaint inns & lodges. After a thrilling day of exploring the area, guests can re-group by a crackling fire. Beech Mountain Ski Resort is very popular on holidays and weekends, so it is best to stay local to get there quickly and without parking hassle.
2. Appalachian Ski Mountain (Blowing Rock, NC)
Located in the High Country area of North Carolina,Appalachian Ski Mountainhas been creating great ski conditions since 1962. With ten slopes, three terrain parks, and a panoramic outdoor ice arena, there is plenty of winter fun. With a ski season lasting from mid-November to late March, they pride themselves on family fun for all ages. One of their most unique offerings is night skiing, seven nights a week, with weekend night skiing until midnight.
Appalachian Ski Mountain is only a few hours from Charlotte, Greensboro, and Winston-Salem. Stay at one of the nearby Blowing Rock hotels, motels, bed & breakfasts, or vacation cabin rentals. If you’re lucky, Appalachian Ski Mountain has a limited number of gorgeous slopeside cabins available.
3. Sugar Mountain Ski Resort (Sugar Mountain, NC)
Sugar Mountain Ski Resortboasts the state’s largest vertical drop (1200 feet) and has over 115 acres of skiable terrain. This Resort has beautiful panoramic views and one of the most well-equipped lodges for all your ski needs. Not only is it a great ski resort, but it offers a snowboarding park that is closed to skiers, a 700-foot-long tubing park, and an outdoor ice skating rink. Sugar Mountain is the only Resort in the area to offer snowshoeing.
If you’re new to skiing, Sugar Mountain Ski Resort offersEasy Street, a gentle-grade hill perfect for perfecting basic skills. If you’re experienced, take advantage of the double-black diamond trail in the area, theWhoopdedoo.
4. Cataloochee Ski Area (Maggie Valley, NC)
Nestled in theGreat Smoky Mountains,Cataloochee Ski Areaprides themselves on thrills for seasoned skiers and beginner-friendly hills for those learning. Smooth, gentle slopes with fresh powder snow help beginners practice their skills. Intermediate skiers find plenty of action on Rock Island Run and Lower Omigosh trails, while seasoned experts can face the challenge of Upper Omigosh. Cataloochee offers something for every level of skiers.
Cataloochee caters to families the most of all the southern ski resorts in North Carolina. A child, 17 and under, will receive a free lift ticket at Cataloochee Ski Area any non-holiday Monday through Friday, with a parent purchasing a full-price adult day, twilight, or night lift ticket.
After a day on the slopes, relax at the lodge’s double-sided fireplace. Local hotels, motels, inns, cottages, and Cataloochee Ranch are located in the nearby Maggie Valley, North Carolina.
5. Hatley Pointe Ski Resort (Mars Hill, NC)
Located in the mountains of Western North Carolina,Hatley Pointe Ski Resortoffers the closest skiing to Asheville and Northeast Tennessee. Hatley Pointe peaks at an elevation of 4,700 feet and provides family ski fun for all to enjoy. Formerly operated under Wolf Ridge, Hatley Pointe Ski Resort redefines North Carolina skiing. They offer new lift technology, fewer lines, shorter wait times, an elaborate new lodge, upgraded snowmaking equipment, and various dining options.
Hatley Pointe offers 54 acres of skiable terrain, 100% snowmaking capability, and 15 lighted runs with one double lift, quad lift, and surface lift. Snow tubing and snowboarding are also available at Hatley. If you want to stay close to the ski slopes, consider Scenic Wolf Resort, which has rustic log homes and picturesque mountain views. It’s an excellent destination for larger families traveling with young kids.
6. Sapphire Valley Ski Resort (Sapphire, NC)
TheSapphire Valley Ski Area& Frozen Falls Tube Park is the premiere of a 5,700-acre, four-season resort in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. The average elevation is 3,400 feet. Serviced by a modern quad-lift, the gem of Sapphire Valley Ski Resort is a 1600-foot main run with a vertical drop of 200 feet. They offer group ski and snowboarding lessons to ensure you feel comfortable on the slopes.
Lodging at Sapphire Valley is among the finest of southern ski resorts. Several ski chalets are located on and around the resort, where you can stay close to the action. An indoor pool, hot tubs, saunas, a fitness center, mini golf, and an arcade are some amenities at Sapphire Valley Ski Resort. Go for skiing but stay for the relaxation.
7. Massanutten Ski Resort (McGaheysville, VA)
Massanutten Ski Resortis just west of Shenandoah National Park. The resort prides itself on catering to all levels, with special instruction available to beginners. Sign up for one-hour group lessons for ages seven and up, including a lift ticket and equipment rentals. Two-hour clinics are available for skiers who want to perfect more advanced skills.
In addition to slopes open for skiing, snowboarding, and tubing, the resort has an indoor water park, a speakeasy-themed escape room, hiking trails on the property, and daily classes and activities like yoga, tie-dye, soap-making, and basket weaving. Or taste the local flavors at 12 onsite dining locations. Massanutten is one of the best southern ski resorts to check in and stay at because they have every amenity you need.
8. Bryce Ski Resort (Bayse, VA)
An adventure-filled wintertime escape is waiting atBryce Ski Resort. Located in the foothills of the Allegheny Mountains, on the edge of the Shenandoah Valley, and just two hours west ofWashington, D.C., Bryce is a four-season sports and recreation resort. Parents can take advantage of the Kinder School ski package, which includes rental equipment, a lift ticket, a helmet, additional indoor activities, hot chocolate, and snack breaks. If they’re not in ski school, Kids 5 and under ski for free with a ticketed adult.
In addition to wintertime skiing, Bryce offers a PGA-rated 18-hole, par 71 golf course in an Alpine setting and Lake Laura, a 45-acre spring-fed lake with beaches, a picnic area, and opportunities to canoe, paddleboat, and paddleboard. Bryce is an all-inclusive ski resort that you’ll want to visit year-round.
9.Wintergreen Ski Resort (Wintergreen, VA)
With over 21 different trails to ski,Wintergreen Ski Resortis sure to thrill every skier. Wintergreen offers group lessons, women’s skiing clinics, private lessons, and family lessons that allow you and your kids to stick together on the slopes. With almost weekly snowfall, you’ll enjoy fresh powder when visiting Wintergreen. After a day on the slopes, watch skiers swoosh down the mountains in the lodge and enjoy a spiked beverage.
For family members not interested in winter sports, the resort has a full spa and salon, indoor tennis courts, and hiking trails around the mountain. On-property Wintergreen lodging options include condos, vacation homes, and guest rooms in the lodge. Stay at the heart of the action and feel refreshed for another day of skiing.
10. The Omni Homestead Resort (Hot Springs, VA)
TheOmni Homestead Resortis for the vacationers who want it all. It’s a winter wonderland with tubing, skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, and even mini snowmobiles for kids ages 6-12 to ride around the property.Does it get any cooler than that?
The resort is a National Historic Landmark that has welcomed guests since before the American Revolution. Today, The Omni Homestead offers gracious service, elegant accommodations, and distinctive Southern charm. The resort offers 483 guest rooms, with luxury that the Omni brand is famous for, and fine dining restaurants.
After a day on the mountain, the family fun continues inside the resort, which features a full spa, onsite movie theater, and a game room with mini bowling, pool tables, shuffleboard, air hockey, and arcade games. Bring the kids for a family ski vacation, or leave them home and book the resort’s romance package for the ultimate ski vacation to rekindle.
11. Winterplace (Ghent, WV)
The southernmost ski resort in West Virginia,Winterplaceis a popular attraction due to its proximity to Interstate 77. Even if Mother Nature isn’t cooperating, Winterplace can make its snow. The resort was voted the #1 place to learn to ski in the SouthEast. Winterplace has over 90+ Acres of ski terrain, and night Skiing is available on 26 slopes.
If you feel competitive, sign up for the Winterplace adult race league, “Friday Night Gates.” Adults can compete in downhill ski racing in an 8-race season. It’s a thrilling way to experience Winterplace and is perfect for seasoned skiers. Various lodging options are available near Winterplace. From an individual hotel room for your ski getaway to a group campout onsite at the Cabins at Winterplace, you can find the perfect getaway for your ski vacation.
12. Canaan Valley Ski Resort (Davis, WV)
With an average snowfall of 150 inches per year and an elevation of over 4,000 feet,Canaan Valley Ski Resortis a winter paradise. Ski 47 exciting trails and enjoy sweeping mountain vistas. If you’re a daredevil skier, Canaan Valley offers a variety of boxes, rails, and sculpted jumps. They’ve got the winter adrenaline rush you crave.
If cross-country skiing is more your style, White Grass Ski Touring Center is located in Canaan Valley and has 35 miles of maintained trails. Non-skiers will love the sledding options. Canaan Valley Resort’s multi-lane tube park is one of the largest in the Mid-Atlantic. Tube as a family and enjoy the benefits of the chair lifts.
13. Timberline Mountain Ski Resort (Davis, WV)
With two double-black diamond trails and a bunny hill, there’s a slop for every level skier atTimberline Mountain Ski Resort. The ski area provides skiers and snowboarders a peak elevation of 4,268 feet, 200 inches of average annual snowfall, and a vertical drop of 100 feet. Timberline tends to be more crowded with locals on the weekends, so consider booking a midweek trip for the best experience.
Timberline offers guest the option of staying in their slopeside hotel, the Timberline Hotel. The hotel has 20 rooms that sleep four people and family suites that have four bunk beds. The hotel is located at the mountain’s base, so you’re minutes away from the slopes.
14. Snowshoe Mountain (Snowshoe, WV)
Snowshoe Mountainhas two black diamond trails that comprise an area called the Western Territory. It has a 1,500-foot vertical drop, 60% pitch, and 1.5 miles length. It might be West Virginia’s most thrilling slope. With one lift ticket, you can ski two mountains at Snowshoe. Snowshoe has over 244 acres of ski terrain and welcomes skiers and snowboarders of all levels.
The Village of Snowshoe features high-quality lodging, restaurants, and plenty of shopping. There’s also the Spa at Snowshoe if you’re looking for a rejuvenating escape. Lodging options include rustic cabins surrounded by woodland areas, making the perfect winter retreat. Travel empty-handed, and Snowshoe can provide everything you need for a ski vacation with one of their travel packages.
15. Ober Gatlinburg (Gatlinburg, TN)
Ober Mountain Adventure Park and Ski Areais a four-season resort inGatlinburg, Tennessee. It’s one of the only places tourists can ski in the state. The ski season at Ober typically starts in mid-December and runs through mid-March. There are ten runs and two quad lifts, and the difficulty includes beginner, intermediate, and advanced. For those that don’t ski, Ober has snow tubing, where riders fly down the 50-foot lanes. Little tykes will love The Snow Zone at Ober, which is designed for kids under six who just want a chance to play in the snow.
Ober does not offer onsite lodging options, but there are plenty of great places to stay in Gatlinburg. Get cozy in a mountainside cabin, or choose a fun, family-friendly hotel with indoor pool options. Whether it’s a hotel, motel, condo, or campground, there’s a spot near Ober where you can rest after skiing.