Guide To Spring Break With Friends

Written by Alexa Owen • Feb 17, 2016

When I was in college, I never once jumped on the bandwagon of a spring break in some tropical party paradise. Were there parties where I went? Yes. Was it paradise? Absolutely. As for the tropical part, if you can count tanning not-quite-topless with margarita in hand on a sun-washed deck at 11,000 feet (after skiing classic Colorado lines all morning), well…perhaps I had that down, too.

I’ll give you a seasoned spring breaker’s tip: forget the sand. Forget the surf. Hit the slopes and the free concerts. Pack the car, drive all night; pile into a hotel room with eight of your best friends; ski, ride, laugh, dance, sleep, repeat. Get ready now, because you’re about to have your best spring break ever.

Spring break skiing with friends is what you’ve been waiting for all season. When there’s not sunshine and goggle tans, there’s bottomless late-season powder and epic conditions. Major musical acts take over outdoor venues for (mostly) free concerts. Deals on lodging, lift tickets, food and drinks are the best of the season. March and April festivals feature local competitions, pond skimming contests, and European-style cultural events. You could even get in on the action and win big money and swag (World Pond Skimming Championships, anyone?)

We’ve compiled a comprehensive guide to your ultimate spring break ski vacation with friends. In this guide, you’ll find out where to sleep, ski, and party; we’ll let you in on how to score the best deals and where the biggest names in music are taking over resorts; you’ll also get insider tips on the not-to-be-missed events and activities of the season. Read on for the ultimate guide to spring break with friends – you won’t regret it.

Eagle and Summit Counties, Colorado

Colorado is the classic destination for spring break on skis. Not only does it boast 300+ days of sunshine per year – the state is home to a seasoned ski culture with an affinity for fun, friends, and celebratory festivals. Colorado locals have been seeking adventures on the slopes since the 1930s, and destination vacationers from all over the world flock to the state every season for a taste of expansive resorts in laid-back ski towns set among some of the highest skiable peaks in the U.S.

The resorts along Interstate 70 are among the most popular for spring break, including Arapahoe Basin, Breckenridge, Copper, Vail, and Beaver Creek. All within a 2 hour drive from Denver International Airport, these ski areas are famed for their accessibility, expansive and varied terrain, and world-class events.

Getting There

Arapahoe Basin is just over 1 hour from Denver International Airport; Beaver Creek is 2. Every other resort in our Colorado list is somewhere in between. Fly in by late morning and ski by early afternoon. Rent a car at the airport if you plan to explore different resorts, or book a mountain carrier that offers direct service to each resort. For a splurge, fly directly into Eagle County Airport if you’re headed to Vail or Beaver Creek.

Resorts Overview

Arapahoe Basin has been spinning lifts since 1946, and is fondly known by locals and industry insiders as The Legend. The nickname holds true for legendary snow, legendary steeps, and a legendary ski culture that has not lost its old-school charm in seventy years. At 960 acres and modest lodge and restaurant offerings, A-Basin offers budget-friendly, no-frills ski experiences on the highest lift-serviced peak in Colorado. If you were hoping to get in some beach time this spring break, kick back in the parking lot on any given day – you’ll find tailgates, birthday parties, even bachelor parties running from morning ‘til night.

Breckenridge made a top 20 list for “Trashiest Spring Break Destinations” in 2015, trashiest translating quite clearly to most happening or easiest to party at. The ranking may be due to Colorado’s legalization of marijuana, but Breck’ has a lot more going for it than that. The spring skiing is prime, for one, and terrain parks are top-ranked in the country. The resort also hosts a month-long festival called Spring Fever, which includes free outdoor concerts and friendly competitions. The annual Breckenridge Beer Festival boasts top craft beer tastings in the country.

Copper is also known for its spring break festivities, which bring together locals and tourists alike for live music and slopeside entertainment. The annual Sunsation festival on closing weekend hosts most major events, while off-the-beaten-path opportunities like the Moonlight Dinneroffer quieter spaces to kick back. If you want to ski powder this spring break, Copper might be your best bet: since opening in 1972, the snowiest month has typically been March, with an average monthly snowfall of nearly 53”.

When you think neon stretch pants and slopeside grilling on sundecks, you probably think of Vail. The largest Colorado resort on this list, Vail boasts over 5,000 acres of skiable terrain, with beginner and intermediate slopes covering most of the front side and advanced skiers finding plenty to play with in the back bowls. Vail is notorious for slashing food and retails prices by 40% or more the last week of the season, and of any closing day on the I-70 corridor, Spring Back to Vail is not to be missed. If you’re enjoying and après luau on a mid-mountain deck, just remember that you do have to ski down eventually.

While Beaver Creek’s spring events are largely kid-focused, adults can find elegance and quietude here away from the the major party scenes of Breckenridge and Copper, as well as the crowds in Vail. Enjoy late-season deals on luxury digs, softening snow on the otherwise bullet-proof expert steeps, and classy dinners out. The Vilar Performing Arts Center hosts music, theater, and comedy shows several nights a week, so be sure to check their calendar for upcoming events.

Cheat Sheet

Ski… North Pole off East Wall at Arapahoe Basin for serious steeps.

Stay…at Breakaway West Vail; budget-friendly condos with free shuttle service to the resort.

Eat… at Dusty Boot Saloon in Beaver Creek for steaks and craft beer.

Après… with a cooler and tailgate at Arapahoe Basin’s parking lot, a.k.a. The Beach.

Party… at Cecilia’s Night Club in Breckenrigde for dancing and the town’s best martini bar.

Don’t Miss… the Eenie Weenie Bikini Contest at Copper’s Sunsation festival April 16th.

Events

You can party hard, or you can kick back, relax, and watch everyone else do it. There’s something for everyone at Colorado spring break.

The Spring Festival at Breckenridge runs March 18th-April 17th and features live music at the resort base, a beer festival, and specialty après parties.

TheEenie Weenie Bikini Contest is part of Copper’s Sunsation April 16th; contestants (both men and women) dress in their best costumes and bikini wear and ski down to the base for the opportunity to win a season pass.

Taste of Vail features the best culinary creations in the region and delightful fine wine pairings from around the globe; March 30th – April 2nd.

Activities

Besides hitting the slopes and the bars, take advantage of Colorado’s picturesque scenery and outdoor opportunities with ongoing activities.

Get some tips from a pro with Arapahoe Basin’s One Run lessons – held monthly, and totally free!

Catch a concert or comedy act at Beaver Creek’s Vilar Performing Arts Center; upcoming spring shows include A Night with Janis Joplin, Keller Williams in concert, and The Polish Baltic Philharmonic Orchestra.

Book a Tucker Mountain Snowcat ride (complementary with any lift ticket purchase) for a tour into Copper’s backcountry.

Dining

Save on food by booking a condo or suite with a kitchen and cook at home; otherwise, enjoy the delicious, (mostly) healthy cuisine of the Colorado Rockies.

The Dusty Boot Saloon at Beaver Creek features excellent steaks and a $13+ build your own burger menu.

JJ’s Rocky Mountain Tavern at Copper has hearty soups, salads, and sandwiches for lunch; happy hour drink specials daily 3-5pm..

Indulge in fast, gourmet fare and wood-fired Neopolitan pizza at the Flatbread Pizza Company in Breckenridge.

Lodging

Condos or private homes are ideal for big groups and saving on lodging/dining costs; hotels are convenient for couples looking for all-inclusive ski vacations. Either way, you’ll find the best deals of the season from mid-March through closing day.

The Village Hotel at Breckenridge is a beautiful upscale option at the base of the resort, within walking distance of major lifts.

The Ten Mile Hausof Copper lists nearly a dozen properties at the base of Copper, ranging from one bedroom suites to condos that sleep 10.

Breakaway West Vail boast simple condos at value prices. A shuttle to Vail runs frequently.

Nightlife

The après après parties at most resorts take place in cozy ski bars and hotel lounges; for DJs and dancing, hit the clubs.

Cecilia’s Nightclub is the hot spot for eclectic crowds and deep house beats in Breckenridge.

Samana Lounge at Vail features funky live music and the best drink specials in the Valley.

Hop on a free bus from Beaver Creek to Avon for live music and balcony bar at Agave.

Whistler Blackcomb

Whistler Blackcomb is a spring breaker’s dream. When it comes to the ultimate ski vacation with friends, there’s nothing quite like the largest resort in North America, and Ski Magazine’s #1 ranked resort for 2016. Set in the majestic mountains of British Columbia, these two mega-resorts, which converge as one at the bustling base village, boast over 8,000 acres of terrain, unparalleled late-season snowpack, and a nightlife to rival any resort town in the world. Bonus? The legal drinking age is 19, so not-quite-21-year-olds can party to their heart’s content.

Getting There

Fly into Vancouver International Airport and take a bus 2.5 hours north on the Sea to Sky Highway through scenic British Columbia. For cheaper options, fly into Sattle-Tacoma and train or bus from there, an estimated 4.5 hours. Buses run daily from Sea-Tac to Whistler for under $100. Remember that Americans need a passport to get into Canada, and the USD is doing the best it has in ten years against the Canadian dollar. So get a move on – this is your time!

Resorts Overview

Whistler Blackcomb is massive, with 8,171 acres skiable terrain, 3 glaciers, 16 bowls, and over 200 marked trails. Over half the terrain is marked intermediate and about 30% expert; with a 5,000 foot vertical drop, you’ll spend more time on the slopes than you will on the lifts. The former Olympic host is bustling with a pedestrian-friendly village, fantastic bars and clubs, and the biggest spring break festival in the Rocky Mountains.

Cheat Sheet

Ski… one of the longest runs in North America, Green Road down Easy Out.

Stay…at the Wildwood Lodge at the base of Blackcomb, complete with hot tub, heated pool, and free shuttle to the village

Eat… at Sushi Village for excellent Japanese fare at even better prices.

Après… at Merlin’s for a lively local crowd, good munchies, and afternoon drink specials.

Party… with hipsters and dance late at Garfinkel’s, which spins hip hop and R&B tunes on weekends.

Don’t Miss… the World Ski & Snowboard Festival, Whistler’s 10 day celebration of arts, music, and mountain culture in April.

Events

Live music events are common, while late-season competitions at state-of-the-art sports venues can be a blast to watch.

Head to the Whistler Sliding Centre to watch the Bobsleigh and Skeleton BC Championships on March 20th.

Join the Robert Mondavi Mountain Wine Tour on March 11th for a guided mountain tour of the best Whistler cuisine paired with Mondavi wine selections.

The World Ski & Snowboard Festival, April 8th-17th, features live music, roller derby, comedy showdown, and film screenings to celebrate the end of the season.

Activities

Whistler Blackcomb is a mecca for outdoor winter activities; some are more pricey than others, but you’ll likely find late-season deals.

Ziptrek Ecotours is not just for kids; fly high above the canopy on this not-to-be-missed zipline, and get discounts on tubing tickets while you’re at it.

Tour the 2010 Winter Olympic Plaza, skate on the massive outdoor rink, and walk around the shops and cafes in the surrounding village area.

Take a guided snowmobile tour through the Canadian backcountry; nighttime bookings are also available.

Dining

We love Whistler for its wide variety of dining options (and price range)! The village boasts fine international cuisine as well as comfort food favorites.

Sushi Village features a full Japanese fare menu and creative sushi rolls; the $5.45 udon noodle soup is a steal.

Zog’s Dogs/Beaver Tails offers no sit-down tables – just fantastic poutine and fry bread with your choice of sweet toppings through a small stand in the Village.

Head to Mongolie Grill to sate a hearty appetite; you create your own dish from self-serve veggie and noodle bar, and chefs stir-fry it to perfection.

Lodging

Luxury hotels are abundant, but so are budget-friendly condos. The closer you are to the resort and village areas, the pricier it gets; complementary shuttles run from condos that aren’t ski-in/ski-out.

The Marketplace Lodge is popular and known for good value; shops and services are just outside the door, as well as a shuttle to the resort.

Book a 1-2 bedroom suite at Marquise for ski-in/ski-out access to Blackbcomb and an easy drive to Whistler Village.

The Wildwood Lodge offers classic ski-style rooms that are great for packing in a lot of people (think queen-size bunk beds and pullout couches).

Nightlife

Whistler Blackcomb nightlife includes everything from exclusive, up-scale dance parties to casual sports bars. Check calendars to see what the DJs are spinning most nights.

Garfinkel’s is trendy with young crowds, and gets particularly packed on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

Catch live music at Moe Joe’s, a popular locals’ watering hole, or talented DJs on late nights.

Enjoy microbrews and a heated patio at Longhorn Saloon & Grill; you can also shoot pool, catch a sports game on TV, and mix with an eclectic crowd.

Lake Tahoe

The Tahoe area is renowned for abundant snowfall (especially in El Nino years), laid-back California vibes, and a high-end party scene. Spring Break in Tahoe amplifies the fun, and in seasons like this one – in which the snow gods have planted 25 feet and counting onto Tahoe resort slopes – the spring skiing is stacking up to be the best in years. There are 12 major resorts that scatter around Lake Tahoe, and while we bow down to all of them, you’ll see in this guide just a few we chose to feature based on resort ratings, special events, and best overall scene for spring break with friends.

Getting There

Fly into Reno-Tahoe International Airport, which takes direct flights from most major US airports and regional ones like Boise and Orange County. The airport is located minutes from downtown Reno; spend a night trying your luck at casinos in “the biggest little city in the world” if you dare; otherwise, hop on a shuttle to your destination resort. For Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows, you’ll book a ride to North Lake Tahoe; for Heavenly and Kirkwood, you’ll head south.

Resorts Overview

Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows officially merged under single management in late 2011; although the two are not yet connected (a gondola pass between the two peaks has been proposed) Squaw ticket holders can enjoy free access to Alpine, and vice versa. A shuttle runs between the two resorts, which boast 6,000 skiable acres and average annual snowfall of 450+ inches. Springtime events include the traditional pond skim, annual snow golf tournament, bluegrass festival and Earth Day celebration. After all, what’s spring in California without a little tree hugging?

For those looking for full-on ski days with a very light party scene, head to Kirkwood to the south of the lake. With the highest elevation of Lake Tahoe resorts and an impeccable annual snowfall record due to its specific location in the mountain range, Kirkwood gets the most and highest quality snow of Tahoe resorts. The terrain caters to intermediate and advanced skiers, and much of the expert terrain is best skied late-season after months of heavy snowfall. Entertaining competitions like the annual banked slalom in April create a late-season social atmosphere. If you really need to just go twerk in a dance club for a night, there’s always nearby South Lake Tahoe.

It’s safe to say that Heavenly is the mecca for spring break in Lake Tahoe. Conveniently located on the California/Nevada state line, you can not only ski between states all day, but you can hit to super-mini-Vegas town of South Lake Tahoe casinos all night. This area brings on big musical acts, tons of energy, and an all-out spring break mindset unlike anywhere else. Splurge at a major resort or go easy on your budget with motels starting at $40/night. The area has every option for every budget (and great views to boot).

Cheat Sheet

Ski… anything off K-22 at Squaw Valley if you get a powder day.

Stay…at the budget-friendly Alder Inn, halfway between Heavenly resort and South Shore nightlife.

Eat… at Taqueria Jalisco near Heavenly for fresh tacos, huge burritos, and other Mexican fare.

Après… at the Kirkwood Inn for $2 drafts and small bites.

Party… at the infamous Unbuckle Après Party in South Lake Tahoe with DJs, dancers, and high-end debauchery.

Don’t Miss… Winter WonderGrass Tahoe, 3 days of world-class bluegrass music with California craft beers and lift ticket specials at Squaw Valley, April 1st-3rd.

Events

Tahoe tends to celebrate spring-break style year-round; that said, there are some pretty great events going on in March and April that should not be missed.

Catch a DJ CAT Party at Heavenly; Sundays in March and April, watch for the snow cat with 52 speakers and 12,000 watts of amps making its way up the slopes.

For world-class bluegrass/acoustic roots music, head to Squaw Valley the first weekend of April; Winter WonderGrass Tahoe features all-day live music on three different stages.

Watch the best local skiers of Kirkwood throw down in the annual Banked Slalom, complete with costumes, crashes, and fantastic skiing and riding.

Activities

Tahoe has plenty of gambling and booze, but the outdoor activities are also a major draw this time of the year.

Take a guided dog sled tour through Squaw Valley Meadow for a quiet look into the resort’s untouched borders.

Spend a night on the town at Harvey’s, the South Shore’s first (and very classy) hotel casino.

Rent snowshoes and hike around Kirkwood’s trees and trails for a great workout and quality outdoor time.

Dining

Tahoe resorts certainly don’t lack in upscale cuisine; what we like most though is that most chefs source from local farms when possible and use only the freshest ingredients.

For a journey back to the late 1800s, stop into the Kirkwood Inn & Saloon, which features old American west fare and cowboy town décor.

Start the morning right at Mountain Nectar in Squaw, which features fresh-pressed juices, smoothies, and wraps to go.

After a day at Heavenly, stop into Basecamp Pizza for hearty Italian fare and (of course) the best pizza in South Lake Tahoe.

Lodging

You’ll find plenty of cheap motels in the South Lake Tahoe area; for affordable slopeside spots, consider a condo.

The one-bedroom suites at the Olympic Village Inn at Squaw Valley sleep 4; location is prime, at the base of the resort.

Kirkwood Towers are the best value condos at the resort, with easy access to the slopes.

The 1970s Alder Inn was recently renovated, and themed rooms feature eclectic patterns like zebra print throws and local art.

Nightlife

Each Tahoe resort has a distinctly unique nightlife scene; for a quiet scene, nestle into Kirkwood. You can drop big bucks after a day at Heavenly in South Lake Tahoe; Squaw Valley has more traditional ski town vibes.

Sit on the sunny deck of 7800 Bar & Grill at Kirkwood, then stay late for cheap drafts and music.

Don’t miss the Unbuckle Après Party, hosted by Tamarack at Heavenly; festivities last long into the night, with music, dancers, drink specials, and more.

Catch classic ski movies and the best weekend parties at Rocker@Squaw in Squaw Valley.

Vermont

For spring break close to home (that means you, East Coasters), head to the Green Mountain State. While Vermont may not boast as much snow as its west coast cousins, there are still plenty of parties to be crashed, ponds to be skimmed, and costume contests to win. Vermont resorts are also easier to get to and cheaper to stay at. Cold temperatures in January and February boosted snowmaking efforts, which means there should still be some snow on the slopes by spring.

Getting There

Drive 3 hours from Boston or 4 hours from New York City to reach mid-Vermont, and slightly longer for northern Vermont resorts. Fly into Logan International Airport in Boston for cheapest fares, or Burlington International Airport for closer proximity to resorts like Stowe. Car rental services are available on-site. Note that having a car on Vermont spring break is helpful, as the layouts of these resorts are quite different from all-inclusive styles of the West.

Resorts Overview

Stowe boasts 116 trails across 485 skiable acres and some of the most challenging terrain in Vermont. The town is quaint and charming – exactly what you might expect from and old New England community – with artsy shops, cafes, and ski-stoked locals. It’s further north than hot spots like Mt Snow and Killington, so it tends to get less crowds. March and April are the most fun times of the season to ski Stowe for its late season special events and fabulous theme parties.

Killington, otherwise known as The Beast, prides itself on its sheer size, which can be overwhelming for families with kids, but ideal for big groups of friends with varying interests and ski abilities. Beginners can hang at Ramshead Peak while advanced skiers go shred Superstar bumps. At the end of the day, meet for outdoor après parties or live music at the famous Pickle Barrel. Late season events include the multi-day Nor’Beaster festival, bump clinics with Donna Weinbrecht, and the Dirty Girl Mud Run.

Mt Snow in southern Vermont is the closest destination for spring breakers from the tristate area. The resort has gone through many changes in the past several years. After Peak Resorts bought the mountain in 2007, millions were invested into developing infrastructure, snowmaking, and terrain expansion. It’s our top pick for spring skiing if your primary goal is partying; however, there’s a lot of great skiing to be had, too.

Cheat Sheet

Ski… Highline at Killington for your first run of the morning – steep and perfectly groomed.

Stay…at the base area condos at Mt Snow for slopeside access at unbelievable rates.

Eat… at Bender’s Burritos in Stowe for cheap, fresh Mexican fare.

Après… at Cuzzins Bar & Grill at Mt Snow with craft microbrews and live music.

Party… at the Pickle Barrel, Killington’s four bar, two level hot spot for big name bands.

Don’t Miss… the 80s Weekend Ski Ballet and Retro Jam at Stowe for a chance to dress fierce, throw down, and win big.

Events

Warm late season temperatures coax crowds out of the lodges for good-hearted competitions, special clinics, and live music.

The Nor’Beaster festival at Killington, Saturdays in April; events include a mogul challenge, pond skimming, on-snow demos and concerts.

Check out Reggaefest at Mt Snow March 25th-27th for the biggest party of the season, along with the Sink or Skim competition Saturday and Sunday’s Duct Tape Derby.

Watch the 1984 classic Hot Dog for fashion tips and a crash course on ski ballet; then compete in Stowe’s '80s Weekend Ski Ballet and Retro Jam March 11th-13th to win rad prizes (and look good doing it).

Activities

Vermont is big on family activities; be a kid again with simple outdoor fun, or explore surrounding areas for a taste of the state’s history and culture.

Rent fat bikes at Killington to tour the golf course, or challenge yourself on snowy single track through the trees.

Stop by the Ben & Jerry’s factory near Stowe for a tour of the famous duo’s ice cream creations.

Hit the tubing park at Mt Snow for some innocent après fun or a break from the slopes.

Dining

You’ll find plenty of authentic hippies in Vermont, and therefore fantastic, farm-fresh foods in and around major resorts.

For an upscale option, make a reservation at Harriman’s Farm to Table at Mt Snow; the menu is crafted from unique, local ingredients for everything from simple salads to gourmet entrees.

For hearty Mexican fare, head to Bender’s Burritos in Stowe; ingredients are fresh and wholesome, and nothing is over $12.

Sushi Yoshi at Killington has surprisingly great Japanese fare; get take-out for a quick dinner, or bring the whole crew for hibachi.

Lodging

Spring Break lodging deals offer anywhere from 20-40% off multi-night stays; if booking a hotel, check for lift ticket bundles as well.

Check out the Sun & Ski Inn and Suites at Stowe for an upscale option if you’re lodging with a group.

The Sunrise Condominiums at Killington offer ski-in/ski-out access in a quiet location – great value, and ideal for dinners and small parties in.

Mt Snow has a good collection of condos at its base area; units are older, clean, and convenient – and you can’t beat the price.

Nightlife

Most late night events involve live music at bars and clubs; some only allow ages 21+ after dinner – check ahead so you don’t get left at the door.

The Pickle Barrel at Killington brings in musicians from acts like Dave Matthews Band and Phish, and you can count on it rocking every night of the week.

Stop by the Rusty Nail in Stowe for tributes to classic rock and ‘80s bands every weekend; most shows are 21+.

The Snow Barn at Mt Snow brings in live music and DJs for weekend parties; the bartenders are great – you’ll rarely wait for a drink.

Jackson Hole/Grand Targhee

For a big step out of the mainstream spring break crowds, you best be heading Forever West. In the northwest corner of Wyoming, a state where jagged peaks rise up out of valleys worked by 5th generation ranchers, skiing enthusiasts seek out some of the most challenging lines in North America. The Teton Range offers one-of-a-kind ski experiences, staggering scenery, and the perfect backdrop to a mountainous spring break. Wyomingites have a way of blending authentic good times with utmost class, and you’ll arrive in these mountains stunned that this kind of place still exists. Then you'll ski, hard.

Getting There

Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and nearby Grand Targhee are remote, and while road trips can be fun, the weather at this time of year is unpredictable and roads close periodically. Budget extra time if coming by car. Fly into Jackson Hole Airport to land just 35 minutes from Jackson Hole Mountain Resort. Salt Lake City International Airport adds a 5 hour drive or shuttle ride, but fares are substantially cheaper. Grand Targhee is a 1 hour 20 minute drive over Teton Pass and through parts of Idaho. An airport shuttle runs three times daily to/from the resort.

Resorts Overview

Jackson Hole Mountain Resort celebrates its 50th anniversary season this year. Since its beginnings as a favorite local ski hill to massive world-class resort, Jackson Hole has maintained a reputation for wildly challenging terrain, no-nonsense ski culture, and soulful community of people living the good life and having fun while doing it. March snow storms are common, but long, sunny afternoons enjoying live music under the tram are a favorite spring break pastime for locals and tourists alike.

Grand Targhee consistently boasts the highest average annual snowfall in the region, and its small-scale, laid-back approach to big-mountain skiing and riding is the resort’s biggest draw. Everything from lift tickets to dining to lodging is cheaper than nearby Jackson Hole, and closest town Driggs, Idaho doesn’t boast much of a party scene. Head to Targhee this spring break for small town vibes in big time mountains, and the best photo opps of the majestic Tetons. 

Cheat Sheet

Ski… the chutes off Peaked Mountain at Grand Targhee; it’s a short hike and traverse from Dreamcatcher Quad, and worth it.

Stay…at The Hostel in Teton Village for the best slopeside value at Jackson Hole.

Eat… at Teton Thai for an off-the-beaten-path lunch at Jackson Hole.

Après… at the Trap Bar & Grill at Grand Targhee with cold beer, live music, and locals’ ski stories of days gone by.

Party… at the Town Square Tavern on weekends with local acts and late-night DJs.

Don’t Miss… Spring Break Away at Grand Targhee for powder ski demos, live music, and unforgettable ‘80s-inspired weekend March 25th-April3rd.

Events

Wyoming loves retro ski attire, whiskey, and the good life; live it up at outdoor concerts late-season theme parties.

Zac Brown Band headlines Jackson Hole’s Rendezvous Spring Festival, which features three days of live concerts at the resort and in town, March 17th-20th.

For its 50th year anniversary, Jackson hole is hosting March Radness: 31 straight days of free live music and slopeside events; check the events calendar for bands and updates.

For a small(er)-scale spring festival, head to Grand Targhee for Spring Break Away; don’t forget your one-piece and 210cm straight skis.

Activities

When you go to the Tetons, there’s no escaping the beauty of the jagged peaks and wide open spaces; take advantage of bluebird days to explore.

Splurge on untouched powder with a guided backcountry tour through the wilderness near Grand Targhee.

Mingle with wildlife on a sleigh ride through the National Elk Refuge in Jackson Hole.

Rent a fat bike or snowmobile and trek into Granite Hot Springs for a soak in the natural pools.

Dining

For its small size, this region boasts an impressive amount of good international cuisine; you’ll also find high-end steakhouses and a handful of health food cafes.

Chefs of The Spur at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort craft gourmet favorites like bacon avocado grilled cheese and spicy margaritas.

Dine mountain casual at the slopeside Branding Iron Grill at Grand Targhee; the Wyoming-raised beef burgers are the best around.

Take the Ranch Lot bus or 10 minute walk from the base of the tram at Jackson Hole to Teton Thai; the Pad See Ew and spiked Thai tea are a must.

Lodging 

Grand Targhee has the best deals on condos and houses in the towns of Alta and Driggs; book early at Jackson Hole if vacationing during prime Spring Break dates.

The Sioux 2 Bedroom Suites are located slopeside at Grand Targhee, and sleep up to 10.

Book early for a dorm bed or private room at The Hostel; the long-time Jackson Hole mainstay is the best slopeside deal we’ve seen at a major resort.

The Antler Inn in downtown Jackson Hole has simple rooms within 2 blocks of the town square; a $3 shuttle runs to the resort every 30 minutes.

Nightlife

Ski hard, grab an après drink, catch a nap, then head out for a night on the town; Grand Targhee’s party scene ends early, while Jackson Hole can take it to 2 a.m.

The Town Square Tavern in downtown Jackson books popular local bands; sometimes DJs transform the spacious bar into a dance club.

The Trap Bar & Grill hosts live music more nights than not; get there early – like, really early – because the nightlife quiets down by 9.

If you’re staying at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, don’t miss a night at the Mangy Moose; the old-time raucous ski bar continues to bring in excellent musicians and a lively crowd.

Honorable Mention

Aspen Snowmass

The second half of March in Aspen is chock full of festival events, all taking place during the Bud Light Spring Jam. Aspen has been throwing some of the best parites in Colorado since its beginnings, and continues to host world-class events like the X Games and Kick Aspen Big Air competition. You can stroll around in your faux fur boots and tortoise-print shades window shopping in the glamorous village streets, or kick back and relax with a cold beverage after a day on the slopes with old-time locals. Be sure to get some skiing in; the steep slopes are prime late season.

Cheat Sheet

Ski… International to Silver Queen for powder stashes.

Stay…at Mountain Chalet Aspen for value rooms 2 blocks from the gondola.

Eat… at the Grateful Deli for huge $8 subs and Jerry Garcia inspired decor.

Après… at Ajax Tavern for good drinks and addictive truffle fries.

Party… at Belly Up Aspen, which brings in live music of all major genres that will get you movin' and shakin'.

Don’t Miss… Bud Light Spring Jam in late March for daily live music, free giveaways, and end-of-season festivities.

Park City

Park City is just less than an hour's drive from Salt Lake City International Airport, making it one of the most easily accessible spring break destinations in the Rockies. Many of the events cater to families with kids, but we like it for spring break because of its size and diversity of terrain. Park City Mountain Resort recently merged with The Canyons to boast over 7,000 acres skiable terrain. Nearby Deer Valley is a luxury option that's ideal for intermediates. The month-long Spring Concert Series kicks off March 5th, with live outdoor concerts in both Park City and The Canyons villages. Spring Gruv takes place March 12th-27th, and features a costume-clad pond skimming competition, Alpenhorn showing, and live music.

Cheat Sheet

Ski… 94 Turns at The Canyons for the best snow around 10:30am.

Stay…at the budget-friendly Prospector Accommodations for close shuttle access to major events.

Eat… at Davanza's Pizza for a hearty lunch break under $10.

Après… at Ajax Tavern for good drinks and addictive truffle fries.

Party… with life-long ski bums at Park City's finest gem, No Name Saloon.

Don’t Miss… Michael Franti & Spearhead headlining the Spring Gruv festival March 26th.