North Carolina Skiing

Ski resorts in North Carolina resemble ski resorts on the west coast more closely than they do the blustery ski mountains of New England and some other spots along the Atlantic seaboard. Nevertheless, weather conditions for ski resorts in North Carolina will still be incredibly cold throughout the winter and often quite windy. For many ski enthusiasts, the mostly exciting terrain is worth braving the cold weather, however, and the North Carolina ski vacations are quite popular throughout the southeast.

One of the best places to ski North Carolina is the Appalachian Ski Mountain located high in the Appalachian Mountain range just off of the Blue Ridge Parkway. This North Carolina ski mountain has nine slopes which are spread evenly amongst beginning, intermediate and advanced level options. The ski season here at the Appalachian Ski Mountain begins the weekend prior to Thanksgiving, and usually ends toward the end of March. Hours are form 9am to 4pm during the day, and from 6pm until 10pm for night skiing, and lift tickets are around $30 per person for the day. This is one of the favorite places to ski North Carolina for locals. During the summer, the Blue Ridge Parkway and Great Smoky Mountain National Park, part of the Appalachian Mountains, are a great place for a vacation as well. Hiking, camping and fishing are all popular choices in this area during the summer.

Sugar Mountain Resort is another of the best ski resorts in North Carolina. Sugar Mountain is located near the town of Banner Elk, North Carolina and has a total of 20 different slopes. Banner Elk is about 2 hours by car west of both Charlotte and Winston-Salem for travelers who want to see the Mint Museum or the Discovery Place Museum after they have finished their ski trip. About a quarter of the runs are geared toward experts, while the rest of the mountain is great for intermediate and beginning skiers. North Carolina ski packages here at Sugar Mountain often include access to ski school for children or interested adults; the ski school here is one of the best known in the state. This North Carolina ski area opens in November each year and usually stays open through March. Hours are from 9am until 4:30pm for day skiing, and from 6pm to 10pm for night skiing. Lift tickets are about $50 per person, with a reduced rate offered for children under age 10.

The Hawksnest Golf and Ski Resort is also a great place for North Carolina ski packages. Though it might sound contradictory, this resort does have both a golf course and access to ski mountains, though they are both open on a seasonal basis. Hawksnest Resort is located in the town of Seven Devils, just about 20 miles south of Banner Elk, and has 12 slopes for skiing. One slope is for advanced skiers, while the rest cater to beginners and intermediate skiers as they are not very steep. Lift tickets will cost between $30 and $50 for the day (there are discounts for half day skiers), and there are North Carolina ski packages that incorporate rentals for the length of your ski vacation.

Whether you stay at Charlotte hotels, Winston Salem hotels, or at a ski resort right on the mountain, skiing in North Carolina is a great way to spend a weekend or an entire week. Be sure to bring along plenty of warm clothing and wind resistant items wherever possible. Winds throughout the North Carolina ski regions are strong and temperatures can be quite low. Book holiday stays well in advance to ensure that you will get your first choice on accomodations.

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