Best winter getaways

Best winter getaways


by Randy Johnson

Posted on January 17, 2013 at 1:20 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jan 23 at 1:56 PM

1. Family Resort/Place to Learn

Appalachian Ski Mountain, 50 years old in December 2012, home of French-Swiss Ski College and great instruction. Best place for snowboarding in the High Country (many terrain parks).

2. Serious Skiers Spot

Sugar Mountain Resort—greatest vertical drop in Deep South (1,200 feet), longest run (mile and a half), best expert slopes including a double black diamond.

3. Adult Ski Spot For Fun with Friends

Beech Mountain Resort—highest ski area—and highest town—in the East. Great snowy spot to ski and stay with friends at an atmospheric inn and enjoy drinks by the fire.

4. Places Beyond the Slopes

Drive up Grandfather Mountain, go to a tasting at any of three wineries, visit a spa (one just praised in Travel & Leisure), shopping (one-of-a-kind shops and galleries). Could include a few dining spots/inns?

5. Tips

A. One great High Country Web site has deep, substantive coverage of the entire area—

B. The High Country's high-tech snowmaking and grooming quickly create great ski conditions when cold arrives—as it is predicted to  do before MLK weekend with the year's coldest temps ...

C. Ski midweek—Charlotte is so close: Watch the weather, take a vacation day or two, have great snow and no crowds.
Randy Johnson
Travel Editor
National Parks Traveler

National Parks Traveler is the nation’s No. 1 website dedicated to coverage of national parks. With nearly 1.3 million annual visitors, Traveler has been featured in USA Today, Peter Greenberg Worldwide Radio, Los Angeles Times, San Jose Mercury News, The Charlotte Observer, and more.