Think “ski”, and the first place to pop up most likely isn’t anywhere down South. But, why not? Unknown to travelers and even to native North Carolinians, the South happens to have some of the best ski and snowboard slopes one could ask for. Instead of journeying up north to a crowded, overpriced resort, why not start a winter adventure right around Charlotte. Families and solo adventurists alike are sure to find their perfect skiing getaway at one of the following destinations:
Sugar Mountain Ski Resort
As the largest ski area in North Carolina, Sugar Mountain Ski Resort has plenty to offer for advanced, intermediate and beginning skiers. The resort features 20 trails total, with a vertical drop of 1,200 feet and a summit elevation of 5,300 feet. Want to add a little extra excitement to the trails? Visitors can even try night skiing. Sugar Mountain Ski Resort also features snowshoe trails, snowboarding trails and snow tubing slopes. The resort is open mid-November through March and is only about a two-hour drive from Center Charlotte.
Appalachian Ski Mountain
Appalachian Ski Mountain was the first ski area to open in northwestern North Carolina, and it remains one of the state’s most popular skiing destinations. It features 12 trails, many of which are geared toward intermediate skiers. All are lit for night skiing, and all are easily accessible through lifts. The area’s peak elevation is 4,000 feet, while its longest vertical drop is 365 feet.
Appalachian Ski Mountain has worked hard to not only create excellent slopes, but also to foster a thriving winter community. Visitors can participate in winter gear swaps and even book weddings or parties at the mountain’s private venue. Avid skiers and snowboarders can join the Mountain Host program. This program allows volunteers to help out beginners and start their journey to a membership with the National Ski Patrol (NSP). Appalachian Ski Mountain is expected to open November 22 and remain open until March 29. Visitors driving from Charlotte can expect the drive to take just under two hours.
Beech Mountain Resort
Beech Mountain Resort is a renowned destination for avid ski and snowboarders throughout the eastern U.S.—and for good reason. With a peak elevation of 5,506 feet, Beech Mountain is the highest ski area on the East Coast. It features 17 trails total, with a full range of options for beginners and intermediate and advanced skiers.
Beech Mountain Resort also sets itself apart through its additional amenities. The area boats four restaurants, two sports shops, an ice skating rink and dedicated tubing slopes. Looking to hang somewhere a little more casual? Stop by the Beech Mountain Brewing Company to taste a full flight of the brewery’s latest brews. For somewhere with a little more wow factor, take a lift up to 5506’ Skybar. Visitors to the Skybar can enjoy a drink with an unparalleled view of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The drive from Center Charlotte to the resort is likely to take about two and a half hours.
Wolf Ridge Ski Resort
For those looking to experience the slopes as a family, Wolf Ridge Ski Resort is an excellent choice. The area’s top elevation is 4,700 feet high with a vertical drop of 700 feet. Located near Asheville, Wolf Ski Resort preserves its rustic roots with amenities and lodging centered around the natural area.
The resort also takes great pride in its Snow Sports School, which offers private lessons for those as young as five and group lessons for those ages 8 and up. Because the resort is smaller, many families find it easier to travel through the area and visit each trail on their list. Not the biggest ski or snowboarding fan? The resort also features an area for tubing. Head to Wolf Ridge Ski Resort to experience a fun, serene winter wonderland that’s just right for veteran skiers and families new to winter sports. Visitors from Charlotte can expect to reach the resort after a two-and-a-half-hour drive.