American Thanksgiving is all about giving thanks, spending time with your loved ones and feasting on roast turkey and pumpkin pie. But while our pals across the pond are celebrating with mountains of food, we’re dreaming of the rocky, snow-covered kind. Here are three things we’re thankful for in our favourite USA ski resorts – Breckenridge, Heavenly and Vail.
1. The skiing
The USA tends to get more snow than Europe – Vail alone gets smothered with 9 metres of the white stuff each year. And the climate means that the snow is lighter and drier. (Powder days, here we come.) Most of the slopes are wide, tree-lined and crowd-free – and that’s just the pisted runs. In American resorts, everything within the ski area boundary is patrolled and avalanche-protected, so you’re free to roam wherever your skis take you. Don’t miss Vail’s legendary Back Bowls, seven huge areas of open terrain and unbeatable powder. You’ll hear fellow explorers whooping with delight before you even get off the lift.
2. The food
Forget croissants and cereal – you could start each morning with stacks of fluffy pancakes and made-to-order omelettes. For lunch and dinner, typical American fare like burgers and ribs can be found all over, but that’s just a tiny part of what’s on offer. These resorts are known for their impressive slate of international restaurants, from Mexican to Japanese and everything in between. Dine on classic French at Le Petit Paris in Breckenridge, or handcrafted Italian at Heavenly’s The Loft, with a side of live theatre. If you’re craving Alpine favourites, head to Pepi’s in Vail for Austrian schnitzel and bratwurst.
3. The people
America is known for its friendly people and great service – and ski resorts are prime examples. Whether it’s your waiter, barman or chairlift neighbour, the locals love to chat, so you’re never short of chances to make new mates and swap ski stories. The lifties will wave you off with a smile, and lift queues are actually organised lines, often with marshals around to keep things running smoothly. If you’re new to the mountain, you might find ski school easier without a language barrier. And if you’ve got a bit more experience, you can ski for free with Mountain Hosts, locals who love where they live and are eager to show you around the slopes.
Ready to join the party in the USA? Take a look at our latest ski deals.