To keep its promise as the first resort in the state to open each season and last to close, Ski Brule doesn't leave things to chance. They boost their already impressive snow totals with some of the best snowmaking in Michigan — a science they claim even produces ice-free snow. And with super consistent skiing on its front and back sides, it has 150 acres, with a near perfect split between beginner, intermediate, and expert terrain, with 17 runs that are nice and wide to handle the crowds. Brave hucksters get especially excited over the Midwest's only "acrobag," a giant air pillow under the huge terrain park that allows you to practice aerials and ensures a soft landing. Lift tickets are $46 (or $36 if purchased before Dec 24th).
Where to Stay: Brule Village is full of self-contained options, from studios to entire log cabins. For nearby après, grab local beer at the antique-ski-decorated Brule Saloon.
Insider Tip: You can't leave Brule without experiencing a night of BBQ and live music at the mid-mountain Homestead Lodge, accessed by sleigh ride on Thursday and Sunday nights.