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Spend the night in a Denver hotel, then drive out to the slopes. Credit: divemasterking2000.

By Maria Mora

Punxsutawney Phil — bless him so — forecast an early spring, but for snow bunnies, that means less time to hit the slopes. Before it’s time to pack up the North Face and start the bikini diet, consider a February ski vacation witha pit stop beforehand to Denver hotels. Because Denver is a convenient airport hub, it’s reasonable to stay before and after flights instead of rushing right out to the mountains. Easy on the budget without sacrificing quality, Denver hotels lure travelers who don’t mind taking a nice leisurely drive to one of the big resort areas.

Embarking on ski vacations

Ski vacations can be intimidating for beginners. To simplify your planning, look for all-inclusive ski vacations that will  save money on airfare, hotels, fees and rentals. Whether you’re traveling with your family or on a weekend getaway, the area surrounding Denver has excellent opportunities for ski vacations. Check with resorts, lodges and condo-style rentals to find out which best suits your group’s needs. Some resorts are better for others for total beginners, while others cater specifically to experts who are looking to spend most of the time on the mountain.

Off the slopes
Ski vacations can involve more that winter sports. Try booking all-inclusive ski vacations in areas that offer great dining opportunities, tours of local ecosystems and wildlife and shopping. Many areas also have a vibrant nightlife during the ski season. If you’re traveling with kids, look into babysitting options at the resort or book professional babysitting ahead of time to spend some time on the town.

Staying in Denver
If you’re looking to ski for the day and would prefer to stay at one of the local Denver hotels, try one of the nearby resorts in Loveland. These slopes are very beginner friendly and budget friendly. Rent a car and drive out to the mountain, enjoying the picaresque views. Then head back to Denver to enjoy the parks, shopping and dining the beautiful city has to offer. If you’re an expert withyour own gear, you may want to check out Echo Mountain Park, a terrain park frequented by young snowboarders and ski jumpers.

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Maria Mora is a memoir blogger and wannabe photographer. She travels extensively throughout Florida and the Caribbean with her two young sons.

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