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Resort Guide 2023

Top 10 Resorts in the West For Nightlife

When you've got energy left over for the bar scene after a bomber day on the hill, here are the resorts you'd best find yourself at.

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Last call, first chair, anyone? You know who you are. Partying hard after the sun sets is not a requirement for your ski vacation, but if that’s your jam, these are the ski resorts most likely to help you get your freak on, according to the 2023 SKI Magazine Reader Resort Survey. See the entire survey results here.

Top 10 Resorts in the West for Nightlife

No. 10: Vail Mountain, Colo.

Score: 7.51
Other Strengths:
Terrain Variety, Challenge
Value, Local Flavor

Vail Mountain Nightlife RG23
(Photo: Courtesy of Vail Resorts/Chris McLennan)

What Readers Say

Vail is the Cadillac Escalade of resorts. Big, rugged but also sophisticated. Wished I could ski it everyday.”

“Superior lift system and terrain variety, may lack for challenging super steeps but there is no shortage of fun skiing here. Immense resort, you can always find good snow conditions somewhere at Vail. Still remains one of the top ski experiences in the U.S., if you take advantage of that you will always have a good experience here.”

“Lots of areas to ski. Great restaurants. Love the European village feel. Easy to get around. Never have to get in my car once I’m in Vail Village.”

No. 9: Telluride Ski Resort, Colo.

Score: 7.52
Other Strengths: Challenge, Overall Satisfaction

Weaknesses: Access, Value

Telluride Nightlife RG23
(Photo: Courtesy of Telluride Ski Resort)

What Readers Say

“We love Telluride. It is one of the last authentic Western ski towns. Abundant choices for dining , après-ski, lodging. Tons of things to do on and off the mountain.”

“It’s the best for advanced skiers and great town vibe!”

“Incredible town, authentic, independent, unique. Views from the slopes are the best anywhere. Easy free public transportation everywhere. Far from Denver = no lines.”

No. 8: Steamboat Resort, Colo.

Score: 7.54
Other Strengths: Local Flavor, Family Friendly

Weaknesses: Access, Value

Steamboat Nightlife RG23
(Photo: Courtesy of Steamboat Resort)

What Readers Say

“The town of Steamboat is one of the best ski resort towns in the west. The restaurants are superb and there is always nightlife. The mountain has something for everyone and is very family friendly! I love skiing the back side of the mountain and wish there was more than just the Morningside lift. Also wish it were cheaper to stay in Steamboat. Lodging is ridiculous now.”

“Steamboat is a cool mountain with steeps, trees, and groomers. Snow was sparse but it was clear they made as much as they could on the open runs. Old Town Hot Springs rec center has a great outdoor swimming pool, and hot tubs filled with natural hot springs water. Exercise equipment and weights upstairs are first-rate too. Many excellent restaurants in town.”

“I love going to Steamboat, partly for the mountain itself, and partly for all the fun things you can do if you’re not on the mountain. I’ve ridden horses, biked, soaked in two very different hot springs, attended movie premiers and free concerts, and even made my own fused glass snowflake souvenir. And there are so many wonderful places to eat, most of them unique to Steamboat. The mountain itself, with terrain for all abilities, is amazing‚ especially after it’s been snowing that wonderful champagne powder!”

No. 7: Deer Valley Resort, Utah

Score: 7.54
Other Strengths: Grooming, Access

Weaknesses: Challenge, Value

Deer Valley Nightlife RG23
(Photo: Courtesy of Deer Valley)

What Readers Say

“Simply the best anywhere. Five-star service from genuinely friendly helpful staff who clearly have pride in working at Deer Valley. Some good expert terrain in Empire but this is mostly intermediate terrain perfect for a family vacation.”

“Deer Valley service even in the post-Covid era was still on par. Drought took a toll on snow this year, like everywhere, but grooming was still top notch. Dining quality and variety was excellent. Friendly staff and services you don’t see in other resorts. Still the best in the business..”

“Deer Valley is Park City plus an additional level of refinement. Grooming and service are a notch better, but the price is higher in exchange. Terrain is mostly groomed to perfection (which is great), but you can find ungroomed steeps and bowls if you seek them out.”

No. 6: Park City Resort, Utah

Score: 7.92
Other Strengths:
Lodging, Access
Weaknesses: Snow, Guest Service

Park City Nightlife RG23
(Photo: Courtesy of Vail Resorts)

What Readers Say

“You can’t go wrong with Park City. There are an abundant options for skiing for all levels and you can’t possible get bored. Take a day off and explore Main Street—plenty of options for dining, après-ski and shopping.”

“I love the town, the people and the vibe of this great town. The 2021-2022 season had quite a few challenges although during my visit I only experienced the closure of most mid-mountain lodges/dining but was not a huge issue. We party in the parking lot at the end of the day and of course at the Pig Pen Saloon.”

No. 5: Sun Valley, Idaho

Score: 7.93
Other Strengths: Overall Satisfaction, Lifts

Weaknesses: Snow, Access

Sun Valley Nightlife RG23
(Photo: Courtesy of Sun Valley)

What Readers Say

“As a ski town, Sun Valley (Ketchum) is authentic as they come.”

“It’s a great ski town, but also a real town with a real year-round community. It’s easy to work and ski the same day. You only encounter long lines on powder days and that’s only first thing in morning, as the powder hounds take a couple of runs and go to work. Generally, you never wait long for a lift, which is a huge advantage. Sun Valley is a little harder to get to on the airlines, but it creates a good balance between accessibility and the ability to really enjoy the place without huge crowds once you get here. It really is a friendly place. It is sort of Aspen at a discount without the ‘see and be seen’ social vibe.”

“Possibly the best all-around resort in the U.S. Good value and most importantly not crowded. Fantastic terrain quality. Authentic town of Ketchum.”

No. 4: Breckenridge Resort, Colo.

Score: 8.04
Other Strengths: Après, Terrain Variety
Weaknesses: Value, Snow

Breckenridge Nightlife RG23
(Photo: Courtesy of Vail Resorts)

What Readers Say

“Breck is a huge mountain with lots of variety on the slopes. The small town feel is great with loads of restaurants and bars downtown.”

“Great resort for families with kids of all ages. Love the easy access to both the ski slopes and downtown without having to drive.”

“We had two great days of skiing, enjoyed the on-mountain amenities, enjoyed the in-town restaurants and had an overall great experience.”

No. 3: Aspen Snowmass, Colo.

Score: 8.31
Other Strengths: Lodging, Après

Weaknesses: Value, Access

Aspen Nightlife RG23
(Photo: Courtesy of Aspen Snowmass)

What Readers Say

“Snowmass has always been my favorite mountain in Aspen and even Colorado. I like staying in Aspen and skiing some of the other mountains but I always end up liking Snowmass the best. I have stayed at Snowmass during the past two years and really enjoyed the base area and village offerings of food, shops, S’mores, and other amenities. Snowmass has more restaurants now than it did when I first began skiing and boarding there in 2002.”

“Great for challenge, snow quality, and variety of terrain. Four separate mountains ensures that there is something for everyone. Never crowded with short to no lift lines. Good variety of lodging and restaurants between Aspen and Snowmass and lots of shops to visit off the slopes. Expensive but lack of crowds ensure that you get a ton of skiing for the money. Mountain staff and ski patrol always friendly and helpful. Flying into Aspen is very convenient and allows for a full day of skiing at Ajax with a late flight out.”

“Aspen Snowmass has a big variety of restaurants and after-skiing nightlife.”

No. 2: Heavenly Mountain Resort, Calif.

Score: 8.42
Other Strengths: Lifts, Value

Weaknesses: Lodging, Terrain Variety

(Photo: Courtesy of Heavenly Mountain Resort)

What Readers Say

“Visited Heavenly for the last three seasons and it’s my favorite place for a couples and friends trip. We love the casinos and bars in South Lake Tahoe. It’s the only place where you can go hard at night and during the day on the slopes!”

“Great trees, great snow, good lodging near the mountain Great terrain for everyone. The scene in South Lake Tahoe includes good dining, fun bars, and even casinos. Really fun!”

“It’s so fun here! The skiing is amazing, the views of the lake can’t be beat, there’s even dancing and live music at night down in town. Heavenly is the best mix of it all for a great ski vacation.”

No. 1: Whistler Blackcomb, B.C.

Score: 8.61
Other Strengths:
Terrain Variety, Après
Access, Value

Whistler Nightlife RG23
(Photo: Courtesy of Vail Resorts)

What Readers Say

“Whistler is awesome in every way. The village, restaurant, and nightlife are second to none but can be pricey. They get so much snow. It’s not as light as the interior mountains but sooo much snow. More like chowder than powder but easy to float on. Only downfall is conditions can vary widely later in the season and lines can be long peak season. So much variety and fun though. Just watch out for the crud on marginal snow days after a thaw freeze cycle. Overall it is easy to see why Whistler has been #1 in North America so many times.”

“I love the resort and village. Been here 17 of the past 20 years. I recommend it to everyone. I have many great memories here and enjoy talking to skiers from around the world.”

“Best and biggest ski resort in North America in categories. When you leave you start dreaming of coming back, it’s magical.”