For the most European skiing experience in North America, Whistler-Blackcomb delivers two huge mountains worth of terrain; a small ski-city where you could hit a different apres venue every night for a month; and serious lines on giant glaciated peaks that go on forever. Whistler-Blackcomb is just 75 miles north of Vancouver — and the coast — and, as you may remember from the Winter Olympic showing in 2010, it can get wet. But on a normal year expect a ridiculous 462 inches of annual snow. This is one of the biggest resorts anywhere and skiers and riders come from all over the world for its 8,000 skiable acres, 5,200 foot vertical drop, and 200 marked trails (one of which is seven miles long). Thirty-seven chairlifts means you can basically ski an entirely new area each time you unload. Whistler isn’t the most extreme ski resort in the West, but it has the sort of variety and off-mountain excitement that makes it great for big groups with varying abilities, from first-timers to pros. Two-day tickets are $250; save about 15 percent with online pre-purchase.
Where to stay: The posh slope-side Four Seasons in Whistler's Upper Village has fireplaces in the rooms and serves up juicy venison steaks at its intimate restaurant, Sidecut.
Inside Tip: The PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola connects Whistler and Blackcomb, and is the longest unsupported lift span in the world at nearly two miles. Ride it for the best view of British Columbia’s high alpine scenery.