Texas weather can be nothing if not temperamental, yet winter doesn’t always feel like winter—at least not when we want it to. Luckily, if you’re craving snow caps and ski slopes, there is no shortage of destinations just a hop, skip, and a flight away.
Here’s a look at a few mountains and lodges that will satisfy your winter craving no matter your vacation style.
Texas travelers can get to Mammoth Mountain via the Mammoth-Yosemite Airport with one stop and then hit the slopes in just 15 minutes. This is the mountain for adults who still play like kids, especially in the snow. It offers a glorious winter playground with 150 trails, 11 vertical terrain parks, and three half pipes. And, it’s long-lasting winter season typically extends through June.
Mammoth Mountain is the leading four-season mountain resort in California and the third-most visited ski resort in the United States with a variety of lodging options. One of the most popular is the all-access hotel, The Village Lodge, offering convenient access to the slopes and mere steps from dining, shopping, live music, and nightlife.
The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association named Mammoth Mountain an official training ground for U.S. Freeskiing and U.S. Snowboarding, where the top skiers and snowboarders around the country prepared for the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games.
Mammoth Mountain boasts itself as the adult playground, but it’s equally fit for kids, too, with adventure zones offering pint-sized terrain for those newer to winter sports. It’s perfect for their first introduction to snow and skis.
This is a particularly perfect snowy visit if you’re torn between a trip to Las Vegas with your buddies and a ski trip, because it’s the perfect combination to meet all your partying and adrenaline needs.
Rest assured, this vacation is not for the faint of heart. With a sprawling mountain full of off-the-grid terrain and incredible views of Lake Tahoe, it’s for those who want to go big and forge their own path. Imagine 34 miles of wide-open trails, on either the California or Nevada side of the mountain, with 1,600-foot plunges into double-black-diamond canyons. And the beer follows.
The resort boasts a high-octane, non-stop nightlife for those who want to push their limits into the wee hours, just as if were in Vegas. Heavenly is built for those who are up early enough for first chair yet still going strong after last call.
Aspen Snowmass provides four mountains—Snowmass, Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands, and Buttermilk—on one lift ticket. Colorado’s second largest ski area is full of in-bounds terrain options with a backcountry feel.
Direct flights to Aspen are accessible through Dallas and Houston airports. The slopes are visible from the descent into the Aspen airport, and then it’s just a breathtaking ten-minute drive into town.
If you’re into the scene and being seen, this is the place. It’s more than just skiing and snowboarding in Aspen; it’s culture, live music, and a little bit of everything rolled into a few square miles.
There are many lodging options, including The Limelight, voted No. 1 U.S. hotel by Expedia members. It offers free live music five nights a week with a communal vibe, fit for friendly Texan travelers. The Limelight also provides complimentary breakfast and ski/in-town/airport transportation for guests. The hotel also has a popular "ski free" deal that includes two lift tickets in the nightly room rate, as well as free programs for skiers and free snowshoe outings, which helps with budget.
Vail is much more than a mountain. Vail offers pedestrian-friendly, heated streets and boasts the country’s largest free transportation system, making it an easy destination to not only get to, but get around.
Getting to Vail is easy: a four-hour flight to the city, by way of one stop in Denver, and a 45-minute layover in between. Vail also offers a Fly-In, Ski-Free Program, where travelers flying into Vail/Eagle County Regional Airport can obtain a free lift ticket to ski/ride the same day (so book an early flight to take advantage).
Vail provides a welcoming atmosphere and world-class skiing. Travelers looking for a home away from home (with some additional luxurious amenities, of course) should be sure to check out The Sebastian–Vail, which comes standard with ski valet, gourmet meals, sophistication, and style.
Whether you love to spend your vacation on the mountain, shopping, bar hopping, hanging out with the kids, or relaxing in a spa, Vail has it all—and then some.