The Ultimate Ski Vacation: Winter Park

It’s not every day you get to fill your lungs with the crispest air, bag the highest peaks, or shred some of the most badass terrain in North America. Whether you’re a guy who prefers a high-end, no holds-barred ski vacation, or you’re a ski bum turned corporate dude looking to relive your glory days, your annual ski trip is a sacred, time-honored tradition. In our winter Ski Series, we’re delivering you a go-to guide, so you know where to stay, what to eat, and, in some cases, how to discover things only the locals know.

A place many Denverites call their “home mountain” due to its close proximity to the Mile High City (a quick 67 miles northwest of Denver), Winter Park Resort is a seemingly small spot that packs a lot in. With a 75-year history, seasoned skiers claim this mountain year after year. We guarantee it’ll be a ski vacation to remember.

The vibe

While Winter Park Resort is Colorado’s longest continually operated ski resort, Coloradans and visitors alike have come to not only enjoy the mountain, but respect it. A laid-back, no frills or fuss experience is what people come expecting, and both the terrain and friendly locals vibe speak for themselves.

Where to stay

If you want to be able to walk out your door and be steps from the lifts, restaurants, bars, and shops, The Parry Peak Lofts are the perfect choice. The building consists of three-bedroom lofts with plenty of space for a group of friends or small family. Modern, chic, and mountain-inspired, The Parry Peak Lofts have everything you need. If you’re looking for slopeside accommodations, the Zephyr Mountain Lodge is ski-in/ski-out, and offers one-, two-, and three-bedroom condos, fitness facilities, and four outdoor hot tubs.

Where to eat

Located at the base of the resort, fresh Mexican awaits at Lime. With two other locations in Denver, Lime brings the same quality food and fun atmosphere to the mountains, along with their signature Mighty Margaritas, of course! For mid-day eats, the Derailer Bar is a great go-to, offering pub style fare and a lively après scene at the two-story venue.

Where to shred

Winter Park Resort is home to the Seven Territories, which include Winter Park, Mary Jane, Parsenn Bowl, Vasquez Ridge, The Cirque, Eagle Wind, and the Terrain Parks. Probably the most well-known area of the resort is Mary Jane, where the saying lovingly goes, “No Pain, No Jane.” This bumped out mecca is like the holy land for any freeskiers who call themselves experts when it comes to moguls. Chances are, if you can ski the bumps at Mary Jane, you’ve got the legs to prove it.

Best après watering hole

Regardless of how healthy you might like to think you are, there’s nothing quite like a beer and slice of pizza after a day on the slopes. Located in the Mary Jane base lodge, Pepperoni’s not only provides a dwelling spot for hungry skiers, it offers a seat for thirsty ones, too. Home to Colorado’s largest “Mug Club,” Pepperoni’s has enough beer to keep you busy.

Talk of the town

In its first full winter season being open, the new Lunch Rock Restaurant sits at the top of the Mary Jane Territory and is Winter Park’s largest on-mountain building construction in over 20 years. With a 150-seat heated deck, 250-seat indoor restaurant, bar, and hydration station, this 16,000 square-foot, state-of-the-art facility boasts a price tag of $8 million.

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