If you’re looking for a ski experience within driving distance of Atlanta, North Carolina offers several ski resorts that’ll satisfy the whole family, from beginners to super skiers.  Before heading out, check snow conditions on each resort’s website, although with snow machines at most of them you are likely to find powdery slopes from about late November to mid-March. Here are some popular ski spots to try:

Sapphire Valley Ski Area

This ski area has an affordable Scout Ski program (select weekends each year. Feb. 2 and 9), and it’s the closest to metro Atlanta. Group ski lessons are available every hour and 15 minutes (call for current schedule) and the resort offers a full rental shop for skiing and tubing. For a change of pace, take a 12-line Zip Line Canopy Tour. Lodging options range from hotels to rental homes and condos. 127 Cherokee Trail, Sapphire Valley. 828-743-7663.

Sugar Mountain Resort

Instruction is offered in a variety of formats, and there plenty of trails and skiable acres here. The resort also hosts an array of events, including the annual winter SugarFest and the Winter Music Series. Lodging options range from hotels to rental homes and condos. 1009 Sugar Mountain Dr., Sugar Mountain. 828-898-4521.

Appalachian Ski Mountain Resort

The highest ski resort in eastern North America has lots of room for skiing and snowboarding, plus ice skating and snow tubing. Take lessons through the ski school to get the basics down. At the top of the resort is a glass restaurant/bar that offers a panoramic view of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Accommodations include the hotel, rental cabins or condos. 1007 Beech Mountain Pkwy., Beech Mountain. 828-387-2011.

Beech Mountain Resort

The highest ski resort in eastern North America has lots of room for skiing and snowboarding, plus ice skating and snow tubing. Take lessons through the ski school to get the basics down. At the top of the resort is a glass restaurant/bar that offers a panoramic view of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Accommodations include the hotel, rental cabins or condos. 1007 Beech Mountain Pkwy., Beech Mountain. 828-387-2011.

Cataloochee Ski Area

Catering to first-time skiers, the resort has trails that are mostly easy to moderate. Make sure to check the calendar on the website for events and special rates. Overnight lodging is available in Maggie Valley. Ski instruction is available, and the adaptive program teaches those with disabilities how to ski. 1080 Ski Lodge Rd., Maggie Valley. 828-926-0285.

Wolf Ridge

This low-key resort offers a ski school for kids and adults (ages 5 and older), with instruction in both skiing and snowboarding. Fifteen ski runs, plus a freestyle terrain park means there are challenges for every level. The lodge area offers rocking chairs in front of fireplaces for warming up apres ski. Townhome rentals on top of the mountain offer great sunset and sunrise views. 578 Valley View Circle, Mars Hill. 828-689-4111.

– Dalia Faupel

Insider’s Guide to North Carolina Ski Resorts
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