Many ski and snowboard resorts in the West rely upon a nearby town that is base for food, lodging and off-slope fun, so SnoCountry took a look at three well-known towns that act as hubs for the mountains that surround them.
In the heart of the Colorado Rockies, the town of Frisco sits among a quartet of major resorts: Breckenridge, Keystone, Copper and Arapahoe Basin. Summit County runs a free and efficient public transport system to all of them.
Eat or drink along Frisco’s eight-block strip, and stay overnight nearby. Favorite eateries include The Breakfast Deli that opens at 6, Butterhorn Bakery and Café for luncheon soup and sandwich, and Vinny’s Euro American for a classy dinner. Silverheels Bar & Grill brings locals together. Enjoy tubing, night skiing and x-c at Frisco Adventure Park.
Farther west is Glenwood Springs, a river-and-railroad town near local-hill Sunlight Mountain, and the Aspen complex of Aspen Mountain, Snowmass, Aspen Highlands and Buttermilk a half hour’s drive away.
The venerable hot springs pools are the main draw after a day on the slopes. Main street Glenwood beckons the window shopper. Fav local bar is Springs Bar, fine gourmet dining at Brava Modern Trattoria, and eye-opener at Daily Bread. All manner of lodging can be found in and near town. Sunlight runs a shuttle from Glenwood hotels to the mountain, and public buses run regularly to Aspen.
Old railroad town Truckee, Calif., straddles Donner Pass and traces by I-80. You’ll find Tahoe Donner ski hill right in town, and close by are Sugar Bowl, Soda Springs, Northstar and Boreal. New this season is a free shuttle to all those areas and more.
Truckee has B&Bs, a Ritz Carlton and franchise motels. Before the slopes, you have to find a way into the Squeeze In Café for breakfast. Once you return – and have room on a credit card – check out the sushi or Cali-cuisine at the Drunken Monkey. Diversions center on shopping, gallery-wandering and wine-tasting.