Although North Carolina may not have the same reputation for skiing as some of the states out west, it offers some of the best skiing on the East Coast for beginners and experts alike. Whether you’re a long-time skier or just beginning your foray into the sport, areas near Raleigh have great options for you to hit the slopes. The next time you’re looking to channel your inner Olympic athlete, head over to some of these excellent Raleigh-area ski resorts.
1. Sugar Mountain Resort
Located 200 miles west of Raleigh in the majestic Appalachian Mountains, Sugar Mountain Resort is one of the best options in the state. It features 20 different ski runs, a 5,300-foot summit, eight chair lifts, equipment rental, and some of the best ski instruction around. If you’re apprehensive about skiing, you can always opt out and go ice skating, snowshoeing, or snow tubing. Lift tickets range from $43 to $72 for a full day. If you’re planning on spending a week or weekend at Sugar Mountain, the nearby town of Holston has plenty of accommodation options for all price ranges.
2. Appalachian Ski Mountain Resort
If you’re a beginner, then tackling Sugar Mountain may seem like a daunting task. If that’s the case, head just 10 miles east, and you’ll find the Appalachian Ski Mountain Resort. With 10 slopes, five chair lifts, and a summit of 4,000 feet, it’s a lot smaller than Sugar Mountain, giving you a better chance to hone your skills without all the crowds. The resort offers on-site lodging and ski-and-stay packages, making a weekend getaway easy and convenient. There are also several small towns nearby for entertainment or dining after you’re done carving up the mountain.
3. Cataloochee Ski Area
With rates from $20 to $75, Cataloochee Ski Area is one of the more affordable options when it comes to skiing in the Tar Heel State. Although it’s a bit further away than the other two ski areas – about 280 miles from Raleigh – it has offerings for all skill levels. There are 15 runs for beginner and intermediate skiers and snowboarders, as well as two black diamond runs and a terrain park for the thrill junkie. Even if you’re only there for the day, the view of the snow-capped Great Smoky Mountains is well-worth the price of admission. For lengthier stays, the towns of Waynesville and Maggie Valley have numerous lodging choices.
4. The Omni Homestead Resort
Although the Omni Homestead Resort is in Virginia, it’s actually closer to Raleigh than nearly any resort in North Carolina. To get there, head north on US Highway 220 for about 240 miles until you reach the George Washington and Jefferson National Forest in Hot Springs. Once you arrive, you’ll have access to 45 acres of pure skiing bliss, as well as tubing, ice skating, and snowmobiling. Remember to book your lift pass online to save up to 61 percent, and plan ahead to get the best rates at the on-site hotel.
With a plethora of skiing opportunities for everyone, North Carolina is an underrated ski destination, with many great options just a few hours from Raleigh. This winter, get away from it all with a trip to one of these spectacular ski resort.