The United States is home to some of the best ski resorts in the world. But we live in a vast and diverse country and depending on where you live, you could be a long road trip or a short flight away from those destinations.
But what if you could choose to live anywhere in the country? What county, city, or state should you move to if you’re a keen snowboarder, work remotely (or have retired) and have the country at your mercy?
Let’s find out.
Where to Live if You Like Snowboarding
There are a few locations you should consider moving to if you’re a snowboarder or skier looking for regular action.
Known as “Purgatory” to the locals, Durango Mountain Resort is one of the best snowboarding locations in Colorado, and that’s saying something.
There are plenty of powder days for skiers and snowboarders and the town also plays host to a range of weird and wonderful festivals and events, including the Snowdown Festival.
Lake Placid, New York
Lake Placid is home to Whiteface Mountain and ski season is open for close to half of the year. For the rest of the time, you can hike or enjoy some of the many cultural hotspots in town.
Killington is where you’ll find Killington Mountain Resort. It’s an old ski town that has received a lot of expensive upgrades and renovations in recent years. In addition to the ski resorts, you’ll find a modest selection of spas and restaurants, as well as some great places for hikers and mountain bikers.
Salt Lake City, Utah
You can’t have a list of the best snowboarding cities without Salt Lake City.
Salt Lake City is the largest city in Utah and the best one for skiers and boarders. In addition to the nearby resorts, you can drop by Utah Olympic Park, which was built for the Winter Olympic Games in 2002 and includes a range of winter sports slopes and activities.
Salt Lake is also a short trek from Park City Mountain Resort, one of the largest ski resorts in the United States. It spans over 7,300 acres and includes everything that a skier or snowboarder could ask for.
Denver is a great skiing and snowboarding city and its resorts attract millions of visitors every year. There are close to 20 resorts within a four-hour drive of the city and the nearest (Loveland Ski Area) is just an hour away.
You’ll also benefit from living in a big city, one that will cater to every possible need.
Crested Butte, Colorado
Crested Butte doesn’t just have a great name, it also has over 300 inches of annual snowfall and more than 1,500 acres of ski area. If you have your heart set on Colorado but aren’t attracted to big city life, Crested Butte could be ideal.
Home to Alta Ski Area, the town of Alta is technically part of Salt Lake City, but it has more of an isolated ski resort vibe to it and is perfect for snowboarders who want to avoid big cities.
Not only do you have some great snowboarding on your doorstep, but you’re always just a short drive away from Salt Lake City and everything that it has to offer.
Looking for something a little further north? This Montana town will take you close to the border with the Great White North, without actually crossing the line. It’s cold, it has plenty of snowfall, and you’ll find some great fresh powder snow on Whitefish Mountain Resort.
The small town of Whitefish was once voted as one of the best ski towns in the world by National Geographic, so it has a lot more to offer than great snow and slopes.
Other Snowboarding and Ski Towns In the United States
Can’t find your ideal snowboard/ski town from the list above? There are many more to choose from, including the following:
- Ogden, Utah: A small city with over 500 inches of annual snowfall and easy access to Powder Mountain, the largest ski resort in the United States with over 8,000 acres.
- Telluride, Colorado: Fly down the massive peaks of the San Juan Mountains and explore the many gourmet restaurants in town.
- Jackson, Wyoming: The home of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, Grand Targhee Resort, and Snow King Mountain.
- Truckee, California: Squaw Valley and Mammoth Mountain are nearby, and you’ll also find 12 downhill resorts here, as well as more snow than you’ll know what to do with!
- Stowe, Vermont: There are close to 500 acres here, earning this ski town the nickname of the “ski capital of the East”.
Where Should I Move if I Love Skiing?
The locations above are not just for snowboarders. They are also some of the best skiing cities and towns in the US, and you can switch from skies to snowboards as you wish.
If you’re willing to expand your search to include all of North America, you should also check out some top ski towns in Canada, including Banff in Alberta, Nelson in British Columbia, and St-Ferreol-les-Neiges in Quebec.
Where Should I Live If I Want To Surf and Snowboard?
San Francisco is one of the best cities to live in the United States if you’re looking for action on the surf and the slopes.
It’s just a few hours away from Lake Tahoe, a ski mecca that is famous all over the world. There are a dozen top ski resorts here, including NorthStar at Tahoe, Homewood, Alpine Meadows, Squaw Valley, and Kirkwood. There are options for park riders and free riders.
When you have finished with Lake Tahoe, head for surf spots like Bolinas, Ocean Beach, and Mavericks Beach.
San Francisco is also a very creative and vibrant city and it has a little something for everyone. There are museums, art galleries, great hiking trails, festivals, and parks.
Of course, it’s not without its issues.
San Fran is one of the most expensive cities in the United States. If you’re renting, expect to pay upwards of $3,200 a month for an apartment. If you’re buying, you’ll need to have at least $1.5 million burning a hole in your bank account.
On the plus side, the job market is decent, the unemployment rate is low, and the average salary is much higher than the national average.
What Are the Best Countries for Snowboarders and Skiers?
Thus far, we have only addressed snowboarding and skiing destinations in the United States. But what if there are no limits?
Obviously, you can’t move to another country with the ease that you can move across the United States. Not only is it more of a chore to uproot your life and move around the world, but you also have to think about visas and citizenships, as well as language barriers.
But let’s assume that you have the money, languages are not an issue, and visas are easy to come by…where should you go?
Austria is one of the best countries for skiers and snowboarders. Innsbruck in particular is a haven for winter sports. It’s like Aspen in Europe, and it plays host to some of the continent’s best slopes.
You’ll also find the European HQ of Burton Snowboards in Innsbruck, as well as a vast Christmas market, some amazing restaurants, and everything else you could ask for in a winter wonderland.
Nearby Germany has some great ski towns, too, as does Switzerland. But if you really want the best snowboarding outside of the US, look no further than Canada. Montreal and Vancouver have everything you could need, including lots of little ski towns and resorts.