Ask any female to name her top requirements for an ultimate girls’ weekend and we’ll bet that good food and fun are high up on the list. While fun comes in many forms—from board games to karaoke to relaxing at a spa—many ski resorts offer all that and more. Here are three big reasons why there is no better place to bond with your besties than at a mountain resort.
1. Amazing Eats
Did you know that some of the world’s best chefs flock to mountain towns? It’s an easy choice, to be surrounded by beauty and have the opportunity to display their talent to a constant stream of foodies from every corner of the world. While it’s true that even a smashed granola bar tastes delicious after a long day on the slopes, you and your crew are here to indulge. The list of culinary offerings at resorts range from authentic Indian to gigantic burgers but the fine dining standouts across Vail Resorts include:
- Whistler Blackcomb: There is nothing quite like a ginger smash cocktail paired with the wild salmon tataki at Araxi. You can’t go wrong with any of Araxi’s nine (yes, nine!) varieties of plump, briny oysters.
- Vail: A shining star in Chef Nobu Matsuhisa’s international restaurant collection, the wine list at Matsuhisa is exotic, the cocktails are inventive, and raw fish is melt-in-your-mouth fresh. Sweet Basil is a long-standing culinary institution in these parts, the Colorado lamb T-bones can’t be beat.
- Beaver Creek: Who would have expected a fresh tangy cocktail served in a baby coconut at this elevation? That’s exactly what you’ll find at Hooked. Also, fresh catches are flown in constantly and cooked to order. From the house-made ricotta to the super tender duck breast, you’ll dream of your meal at Grouse Mountain Grill long after your trip has ended.
- Keystone: Take two gondola rides and don fuzzy slippers before tucking into the best dinner or Sunday brunch of your life at Alpenglow Stube, the highest AAA Four Diamond-rated restaurant in North America. Another option in Keystone is the Ski Tip Lodge, a stagecoach stop dating back 150 years, this rustic and exquisite cabin is a local institution legendary for its four-course creations.
- Breckenridge: Housed in a cozy mansion with spectacular peak views, the creative and seasonally fresh fare includes masterpieces at Hearthstone Restaurant include dishes like elk tostada and Western slope squash capellini. The happy hour jalapeño shrimp is pretty good, too.
- Park City: Stop by Riverhorse for a tower of Wagyu beef with goat cheese on a potato pancake, or check out Chimayo for scrumptious and spicy Southwestern fare, including out-of-this-world guac.
- Heavenly in Tahoe: Dig into the fig jam and honeycomb-accented cheese platter or numerous gluten and dairy-free delights with a jaw-dropping Lake Tahoe view at Edgewood.
2. Women-Only Ski Clinics
Numerous resorts offer opportunities to either learn or hone your skiing or snowboarding skills. The intimate setting at the Women’s Ultimate 4 Ski Lessons —offered at Vail, Park City, Breckenridge, Heavenly, and Keystone—are an ideal way for you and your girl crew to not only become more comfortable on the slopes but also learn turning and terrain techniques from a female ripper instructor. Groups are limited to four females and organized by ability level, ensuring that you spend the day learning with like-minded chicas.
In addition to the Women’s Ultimate 4 lessons offered throughout the season, Vail has a collection of camps and events designed expressly for females who enjoy the outdoors. Skadi Vail Women’s Ski Fest, in particular, offers equipment demos and guided ski tours exclusively for women along with yoga and cheese. Other events designed just for women include Her Turn and Girlz on the Edge. Her Turn offers two, three-day clinics in February, where beginners learn to turn in a supportive, all-female environment, while Girlz on the Edge is a three-day January clinic designed for shaping advanced female skiers into true experts. About 13 miles away in Beaver Creek, you’ll find the Women’s Social Tour. The best part of this two-hour tour, offered every Tuesday and Friday for intermediate and above-level skiers, is that it’s absolutely free. Led by a female ski school ambassador, the social excursion is a great way to explore the mountain and make new friends, complete with coffee and cocoa.
Also along the I-70 corridor in Colorado, Breckenridge Resort offers Women and Wine lessons, which includes two hours of skiing with a group of women and then sipping on a well-earned glass of wine after. Just up the road, Keystone Resort hosts the annual Betty Fest, a two-day camp at the end of February that leads ladies of all ski levels to take their skills up several notches.
Situated in the mountains near Lake Tahoe in California, Northstar offers afternoon sessions for women-only groups (no more than four women) that are geared toward intermediate-level skiers and snowboarders, allowing plenty of specialized attention from a female coach.
About 40 miles south of Tahoe, the rustic experience at Kirkwood Mountain can really ramp up your ski or board skills to tackle a variety of more advanced terrain. Their one-day ladies-only clinics for groups of 3-6 women will put you on the fast track to the steeps.
Up north in British Columbia, Canada, check out The North Face Women’s Ski Camps at Whistler Blackcomb. These storied weekend camps allow female skiers of all levels to skyrocket their skills over two days, each of which features a fun lunch on the mountain and a private après session in between.
Besides chatting on chairlifts and ripping turns, other high-adrenaline, adventurous bonding activities you’ll have on hand during your girls’ weekend at a ski resort include snowmobiling, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and dog sledding.
3. Spa Time
If there is anything better than a day of fresh air and amazing views, it’s ending it with a few hours of pampering at a spa. You’ll find steamy saunas, hot tubs, and heated pools wherever you go, but if you’re looking for hot stone massages, facials and high-end facilities with long lists of offerings, check out The Lodge at Vail, Allegria Spa in Beaver Creek, Scandinave in Whistler , the Keystone Lodge and Spa, or the Waldorf Astoria Spa in Park City.
With endless activities and adventures, women-only clinics, amazing eats, and post-ski pampering, how could you spend your winter girls’ weekend anywhere besides at a ski resort? The toughest decision will be narrowing down the options!
Originally written by RootsRated for Rent Skis.
Featured image provided by © Vail Resorts