Get to the Slopes, Quickly
Lake Tahoe, Nevada and California
Seven major resorts lie about an hour's drive from Reno International Airport (RNO). Yet until recently the airport lacked enough direct flights to make flying in for an easy weekend trip a possibility. No longer. Over the last three years, RNO has added 13 nonstop flights from 11 cities. (Dallas and Atlanta are among this season's additions.) And it's now the second major area (after Salt Lake City) to host uberSki, a ride-hailing service that guarantees room for you and all your gear. Those factors have put a lot of great skiing within easy reach. Family-friendly Northstar is less than an hour's drive away. Meanwhile, Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows — with some of the area's best terrain and 450 inches of snow a year — may have the perfect quick escape; like all Tahoe resorts, it offers a free lift pass on the day you arrive. (Just show your airline stub.) Squaw also has an in-airport concierge service, which lets you book rentals, sign up the kids for ski school, and purchase lift tickets, all while you wait for your baggage to arrive.
Mammoth Mountain, California
Mammoth, 3,500 acres of High Sierra mountains on the east side of Yosemite, has a lot more in common with Jackson Hole than you might think. Both are hulking expanses of incredible terrain with cool mountain towns nearby, set in the shadows of stunning peaks. But getting to Mammoth has never been easy. Fortunately, tiny Mammoth Lakes Airport offers a slew of direct flights from San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Diego, which means you can get there without the five-hour schlep from L.A.
Stowe Mountain Resort, comprising 485-skiable acres spanning four peaks, has spent millions to become the Deer Valley of the East: faster lifts, fancier lodging, and some of Vermont's best restaurants. This season, the renovations are officially complete and include a new high-speed quad on 4,395-foot Mount Mansfield and the just-opened 312-room Stowe Mountain Lodge. Burlington Airport, only 40 minutes away, is more accessible than ever to the rest of the country, with direct flights from New York, Atlanta, Chicago, and a half-dozen other cities.