It seems these days winters are getting shorter and shorter and with all the holidays during the winter months it can be tough to get out and enjoy your favorite winter destination. Don’t worry, these adventerous girls have you covered. Head to one of our top picks for a Last Chance Winter Getaway to enjoy some snow before you change gears for summer. From action packed ski trips to relaxing spa weekends in the alps here is what made our list, in no particular order!
Whistler Blackcomb is Ivy’s top pick from Kollecting Koordinates.
Home of the 2010 Winter Olympics, Whistler Blackcomb is rated one of the best ski destinations in the world. Just a 2hr drive from downtown Vancouver, Whistler has the recipe for the perfect winter getaway. Whistler and Blackcomb are two side-by-side mountains offering over 200 marked trails, powered by high-speed chairlifts and the Peak 2 Peak Gondola. This winter town has something for everyone, from tubing and ziplining to dogsledding and sleigh-riding to snowmobiling and snowshoeing… you’ll have a great time even if you don’t ski or snowboard! Take a break from all the snow activities to enjoy one of the tasting and brewery tours, perfect for the foodies out there. If you just want to take it easy that’s ok too, as the Village is teeming with tons of restaurants, bars, and shops.
“For the perfect day, I recommend heading up to the Crystal Lodge and ordering their famous waffles for breakfast. Then spend the day riding the mountains or enjoying one of the many other snow activities. After you hit the slopes, unwind at Araxi for their Oyster Happy Hour. End your day by treating yourself to a little R&R at Scandinave Spa, a Scandinavian baths experience and massage treatments overlooking the mountain valley.”
Zell Am See is the top pick from Susanna at Wandering Chocobo.
The Austrian town of Zell Am See is one of the best kept Alpine secrets. A quaint spring getaway with, on average, 10 months of snow you can find cool things to do here even in early summer. There are great options for skiing, dining, casual partying or health & wellness. Originally a small market town in the Salzburg area, Zell Am See has only within the last 100 years been characterized as a resort town.
The fresh alpine air surrounding the glaciers and pristine waters of Lake Zell are known for their healing aspects. It’s a great place to come relax and rejuvenate from a long winter before the intensity of summer begins. You can go all out at luxury spas with panorama aroma saunas or keep it casual with a light pampering and swimming pools for the whole family.
Located on a glacier this is a great place for snow junkies in search of good riding. The two mountains Schmitten and Kitzstein, together total over 135km of pistes. You can easily spend an entire week here getting lost among the expansive network of lifts, gondolas and runs. Schmitten is better for groomed on trail riding while remaining kid friendly. Kitzstein, on top of the glacier area, is perfect for the advanced free-style terrain riders boasting un-groomed snow and epic pow! The ski bus will get you from mountain to mountain if you want to change up the level or style.
Cross-country skiers have a connecting network of 200km of ski trails to enjoy as well!
After a long day of playing in the snow enjoy one of the numerous Après-ski parties around town, or take a mid day break at one of the many restaurants and bars on the mountain.
You can access Zell Am See from a normal S-Bahn from Salzburg, or faster trains run from several Austrian cities, it also has easy access from cities such as Munich, Germany. Hotels range from over the top reports perched on the mountain top, to casual lodges by the lake, to ski in ski out rentals on the mountain.
Salt Lake City is Carol’s top pick from Wayfaring Views.
“Salt Lake City may not have the celebrity factor of Aspen or the huge terrain of Switzerland, but it does indeed have the ‘Greatest Snow on Earth.’ That’s not just a marketing slogan from the convention bureau…it’s a certified fact…according to me! The snow in Utah is dry, fluffy powder that is forgiving in cold conditions and sheer heaven on snowy days. Salt Lake’s ski resorts offer a ‘steep and deep’ terrain suitable for all levels. Salt Lake is a perfect Last Chance Winter Getaway with its close proximity to the ski resorts, affordability and a cool urban scene.”
You can stay in downtown Salt Lake, point your rental car toward one of the four local canyons and in about 45 minutes, you’ll be skiing at one of eight world class downhill ski areas. There is also an abundance of cross-country trails and a few smaller canyons right in the city that accommodate winter hiking and snowshoeing.
Downtown Salt Lake has robust hotel options and rooms can be had for $50-150USD. There is also a thriving Airbnb scene with rooms as low as $40USD. By staying in the city rather than at a resort, you can save a great deal on food & drink. If you plan ahead, you can buy discount ski tickets on Liftopia.
“Contrary to popular myth, you can find plenty of brew in SLC. There are eight breweries in Salt Lake proper plus many bars and eateries that feature creative tap choices and delicious grub. I recommend the Wasatch Brew Pub in the Sugarhouse neighborhood. If your preferred brew is coffee, throw a rock and you’ll hit one of the 20 or so independent coffee shops in the city. If you still have energy after skiing, you can go to the symphony, experience a modern dance concert, take in an NBA basketball game or get a tattoo. ”
The snow is usually great all the way into April and the city awaits you!
Gulmarg, Kashmir is Jo’s top pick from Wander With Jo.
When thinking of a last second winter getaway most of us probably think about European towns in the Alps or the world famous resorts in the U.S, but Gulmarg and Kashmir, in the northern part of India offers a unique experience for the snow and adventure lover. This destination has everything one needs for an awesome Last Chance Winter Getaway.
“It’s hard not to fall in love with Kashmir and it is my favorite getaway for enjoying the snow in India. Gulmarg, the ski resort area, is the most beautiful part of the city. It feels like a page from a story book with snow capped mountains, cute hilltop cottages and breathtaking views in the midst of nature. It’s my favorite hilltop village. Gulmarg offers winter sports a plenty and it’s where I learned to ski. I have been skiing in resorts in Switzerland and Gulmarg takes the cake!”
The mountain has one main gondola up, but the amount of bowls and terrain that can be accessed from this are numerous. For those in search of epic pow and adventure there are plenty of backcountry guides and options for accessing more terrain. Ski down into the village after a long day and enjoy the cozy town with the friendly locals.
The closest transportation hub is located in Srinagar. “I rented a family van from Srinagar for the drive to Kashmir.” There are also busses that run from Srinagar and trains from Jammu. Gulmarg can be done on a shoestring budget or on the budget of a lavish resort experience. Finding a great homestay in Gulmarg is recommended to enhance the experience.
Val Thorens is Vicki’s top pick from Make Time To See The World.
“If I could pick anywhere to go when it’s cold it would be Val Thorens in the French Alps. Val Thorens is part of the famous ‘Trois Vallees’ ski area which links 8 resorts to create over 600km of ski runs with 85% of these runs are located over 1,800m. The area is nestled atop 6 glaciers, so you’re *almost* always guaranteed some great snow! With over 320 individual runs, there is something for everyone’s capability – even if that capability only extends to pulling up a chair in front of the fire in the lodge. There are plenty of dining and drinking options at resort level when the evening rolls round. Val Thorens also boasts access to Le Folie Douce, an upmarket restaurant come Apres-ski heaven, located at 2,500m above sea level. The PartyMakers offer Live music, DJ’s and promote dancing on tables from 2pm-4.45pm each afternoon. With the mountains in the background on a sunny day it makes for one unforgettable afternoon.”
Val Thorens is often included in resort packages with accommodation and transportation taken care of. For those on a tighter budget Val Thorens can be accessed by the closest airpot Chambery or Geneva with bus options and rental cars from both hubs.
Wengen is another top pick from Wandering Chocobo
The top of Europe, Jungfrau Mountain boasts stunning views of the valley below and the charming town of Wengen. This town and view embodies everything a European Alpine village should be. Wengen is a car-free resort, so it’s a great place to escape and enjoy a quiet feel of the old world. It feels as if you’ve been transported to a time long ago where good clean fun can be had by all. You can get around the area by modern or historical trains. The best trip is to take the train to the top of Jungfrau for the best views. It’s also the highest train station in all of Europe!
Skiing and Snowboarding on 206km of slopes is just one of the things you can do here. Curling, ice skating, hiking, snowshoeing are among the others! My favorite would be sledding after dark. If you’re not done having fun after a day of skiing catch the Wengen night train from Alpiglen to Brandegg and experience what is best described as “extreme sledding” on a lit trail after dark. Don’t miss amazing fondue at either Alpiglen or Brandegg to warm up after!
Accommodation can be found at modern hostels for those on a budget, to apartment rentals for the week, to 5 start luxury resorts with spas and wellness centers. Bern and Zurich are the nearest airports with trains running from each city hub. If you’re on a road trip, remember it’s a car-free town so you must park and take the train from Lauterbrunnen.
Mammoth Lakes is another top pick from Wandering Chocobo.
Mammoth Lakes is a charming ski town nestled below the massive Mammoth Mountain. Mammoth Lakes proper is a charming upscale town with the luxury amenities for a 5 start guest with a rustic feel. But, the town seems to focus on a love for the great outdoors, which is why Susanna loves it. Make sure to check out the John Muir Nature Center between all winter activities this spring.
Mammoth is the perfect recipe for a Last Chance Winter Getaway with 400 annual inches of snowfall mixed in with 300 days of good California sunshine. As California’s highest resort you can enjoy 3,500 acres of all terrain suitable for sking, snowboarding, snowmobiling, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.
Susanna’s personal recommendation for Mammoth is to skip the hotel spas and find her secret location called Crab Cooker hot-springs. Located 10 min from the base of the mountain this secluded area is perfect for a post ski dip in natures own hot tub. Rarely crowded and away from light pollution feel free to take it all off and gaze at the beautiful Milky Way.
Mammoth Lakes can be accessed from a small airpot with connecting hubs in major U.S cities. It’s a great weekend get away from the busy city.
All 7 of our top choices have had recent snowfall within the last 5 days, and most of them within the last 24 hours. So, get out there and enjoy the last chance for snow! Where’s your favorite Last Chance Winter Getaway, or where have you seen recent snowfall? Tell us in the comments below!