Travel time: 6.5 hours

With 8,171 acres spanning everything from halfpipes and terrain parks to seven-mile runs and an Olympic Alpine skiing racecourse, Whistler Blackcomb ( is the Disney World of North American ski resorts. While its two mountains—connected by a spectacular 2.73-mile lift line—offer more beginner and intermediate runs than anything else, this is the place to push yourself. At the ski and snowboard school, tackle avalanche preparedness, lessons with former Olympians (such as 2010 ski cross gold medalist Ashleigh McIvor), and steeps clinics, where guides lead you off trail, including down the choose-your-own-adventure chutes of the heart-arresting West Bowl.

Lift tickets: From $96

While there: The Dine Out Vancouver Festival (, Canada’s largest food and drink fest, runs from January 16 to February 1 and is worth the mountainous (literally) 75-mile drive from Whistler. Grab lunch from one of the food trucks at Street Food City, watch Tony Shalhoub and Stanley Tucci in Big Night at the Film Feast, or listen to local chefs talk shop (and sample their best dishes) at Six Course Discourse ($50 last year).

Where to stay: Life is easy at the 273-room Four Seasons Whistler (from $439,, a luxe retreat at the base of Blackcomb Mountain, with perks including a ski concierge to tote and tune your gear and, for an additional fee, gourmet lunch delivered slope-side (you name the spot).

Getting there: Fly to Vancouver in four and a half hours, then drive two hours to Whistler on the Sea to Sky Highway.

Lift ticket prices are per day and based on purchase at least a week in advance.