2. Vail, Colorado

2. Vail, Colorado

When you think of Vail, “large” will most likely be the first word that comes to mind. With 5,289 ridable acres, 33 lifts, and a 425-foot halfpipe, Vail is definitely livin’ large.

The resort’s terrain is broken up into three main areas: Vail Front, Vail Back Bowls, and Blue Sky Basin. Each area offers unique riding for every level. “I like Vail because even if it hasn’t snowed in a while, there’s always something fun to do,” says Barrett Christy, longtime Vail rider. “The pipe and park are also really good and maintained well.”

Both the pipe and park are highlights for Vail. “The halfpipe is groomed by a Super Pipe Dragon, which means it’s bigger than most pipes,” says Liz Weiss, Vail’s snowboarding marketing consultant. “There’s also a smaller pipe for beginner pipe-riders.”

A yurt close to the park features video screens, vending machines, and a pumping sound system. Our readers agree that Vail is the most accessible and has the best weather of any resort in our poll. A location less then two hours from Denver on a major highway makes getting there a breeze.

Off-hill activities scored high, and nightlife is easy to find. “A new club called 8150 opened and lately has been a hot-spot for going out at night,” Liz adds. “DJs come from San Francisco and New York, as well as bands from all over.”

Although the positives of Vail are many, with lift tickets going for 59 dollars for adults and 37 dollars for kids, our readers found Vail to be rather, shall we say spendy. So start saving your stock dividends now for a swanky, action-packed snowboarding experience.

–Jardine Hammond