Whether you grew up on ice skates in a frosty corner of Canada or never saw a single snowflake during your childhood in sunny Southern California, it’s hard not to be beguiled by the beauty of snowflake-coated pine trees and blankets of freshly fallen snow. While this magical time of
year is certainly great for holing up in your warmest pajamas with a cup of (possibly spiked) hot chocolate and a good book next to a roaring fire, for winter sports-loving adventure seekers, it’s an even better time to get outdoors and play in the snow and ice. <br><br>Anyone who’s been on the slopes can’t deny the exhilaration of schussing down fresh powder (and the satisfaction of enjoying a hard-earned round of après-ski indulgence). Some of our favorite skiing and snowboarding destinations in the United States include Aspen Snowmass in Colorado (where you can opt in for uphill skiing if you’re looking for an extra challenge), Jackson Hole in Wyoming (home to legendary backcountry terrain), and Mammoth in California (where the ski season runs straight into summer, thanks to all the snow that’s amassed here). But there are excellent ski and snowboard destinations the world over, too, including such ski resorts as Chamonix in France, Honshu in Japan, and Whistler in Canada. <br><br>Or skip the mountains in favor of some of our favorite cross-country or Nordic skiing terrain, from the Indiana Dunes in Indiana to the Peer Gynt Trail in Norway. Unsurprisingly, Nordic areas like Lapland, Finland, and Disko Bay in West Greenland, or closer-to-home Alaska, offer some of the best dog-sledding opportunities—after all, some locals in these areas still use dog sleds for everyday transportation and sport. <br><br>So if you live in an area that sees cold winters, with your surroundings covered in snow and ice, forgo what may be your first instinct to flee to the Caribbean as soon as you see the temperature drop. Winter sports, after all, make for a pretty good argument for sticking around—or for hopping on the next flight toward the freshest snowfall.