“A NEW YEAR, a new slope” could be the mantra of Lisa Parilla, whose Bay Area family of four like to try out new ski runs during winter breaks. So for our second Trip Quandary, a feature where travel pros recommend problem-solving getaways, we tasked our experts to find exciting but convenient terrain for the peripatetic Parillas. “My husband is an aggressive and enthusiastic skier, as is our son—up at 6 a.m. so we’re the first family on the lift,” said Ms. Parilla, a travel-industry strategy director. While dad and the couple’s 11-year-old son ski all day, she and their 13-year-old daughter like to squeeze in shopping, sightseeing and leisurely lunch breaks. “I want to do other things after skiing for a few hours,” she said. Given high travel costs, booking flights, food and comfortable digs for a five-day spree at $10,000 demands creativity and flexibility. Luckily, the family’s Ikon Pass saves money on resorts and lift access at 54 destinations, including the three suggested here by the ski-vacation specialists we consulted.
OPTION 1: Big-ski Jackson Hole, Wyo.
Skiing may be the wintertime draw of this destination but snowmobiling, sleighing and spying moose, wolves and birds of prey on a wildlife safari in Grand Teton National Park rank high as well. With more than 13 lifts and 130 trails, 40% of them intermediate, “the mountain will exhaust the most intrepid skier before they can exhaust the mountain,” said Alyson Nash, founder of Millburn, N.J.-based Cloud 10 Travel, an affiliate of Cadence Travel. Its iconic Corbet’s Couloir run, however, with a terrifying 45-degree pitch, is not for the faint of heart. For this family trip, Ms. Nash suggests Hotel Terra in Teton Village, or a 1-2 bedroom with full kitchen at Teton Mountain Lodge, a ski-in, ski-out option in Mountain Village. Downtown, the Gaslight Alley area draws seasoned shoppers. Top-notch family restaurants are also plentiful.