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Some of the world’s best skiing and snowboarding is just north of the border in Canada, and this winter season is especially attractive for visitors from the US, thanks to a 30% advantage on the exchange rate. Try one of these recommendations for the best winter resort for you by category.

Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise Hotel

Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise Hotel

Best for lodging – It doesn’t get much better than the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, perched at the narrow edge of the teardrop-shaped glacier-fed mountain lake. There’s ice skating, snowshoeing and horse-drawn carriage rides on the frozen lake. The Lake Louise Ski Resort, within Banff National Park, is just down the road, with shuttle service every 30 minutes. Shuttles are free with a SkiBig3 lift card, which includes lift access at Ski Sunshine and Mt. Norquay. If you are an above-average skier or snowboarder, feel like a champion when you take a run or several on the Men’s World Cup Downhill or Women’s World Cup Downhill trails.

Le Massif

Le Massif

Best for views – The runs at Le Massif de Charlevois end so close to the St. Lawrence River that it feels as though you will ski or snowboard right into the water. It’s a picture-postcard view all the way, especially on one of the wide-open, groomed trails. The resort’s main lodge is at the top of the mountain, for panoramic views and excellent food cooked to order. Stay in Baie St. Paul, the resort town where a couple of street performers went on to become the founders of Cirque du Soleil. Or, take the daily shuttle from Quebec City.

Related: Don’t leave Quebec City without getting these 5 essential shots.

Best for familiesMt. Tremblant has two special destinations for families. The Tam-Tam Zone is a kids-only area, for ages 3-12. Sculptures of animals are designed to teach kids about the environment, while they learn to ski and ride through the gladed trails. There’s also a Burton Riglet Park with mini obstacles and features for riders to age 6.  The South Side (Versant Sud) of the resort offers both sunnier and quieter slopes for families skiing together. Avoid the two-hour drive from Montreal by flying Air Canada or Porter Airlines directly to the Mt. Tremblant airport, a former military base.

Kicking Horse

Kicking Horse

Best for snowboardersKicking Horse, about three hours northwest of Calgary, is becoming known as the freeride capital of Canada. The trail map doesn’t matter when there are several dozen powder-filled chutes and upper bowls that are nirvana for freeriding.  Just remember to share the stashes with skiers on their all-mountain and powder skis. Stay in Golden, just 15 minutes away.

Ice Hotel | Photo: Quebec Region

Ice Hotel | Photo: Quebec Region

Best for food loversQuebec City isn’t a ski resort, but there are three within an hour’s drive: Mte. Sant Anne, Stoneham and Le Massif.  Stay in town to take advantage of historic restaurants like Aux Anciens Canadiens, for its signature Quebec meat pie, or head for the Ice Hotel, constructed of ice, for an après ski drink out of a glass-shaped block of ice.  The truly adventurous can sleep there, too.

Related: Want to give it a try? These are the best ski resorts for beginners.

Whistler Village

Whistler Village

Best resort village – It should be no surprise that Canada’s largest winter resort also has the largest base areavillage, more like a small city. Whistler-Blackcomb offers more than 200 marked runs, 16 bowls, three glaciers and an uncounted number of restaurants and après ski destinations. The resort celebrates its 50th anniversary this season with the introduction of WB+, an app-like feature which tracks your vertical and speed.

Mike Weigele heli-skiing

Mike Weigele heli-skiing

Best heli skiing – Two companies dominate the world of heli-skiing, perhaps even inventing it. Whether you go steep and deep with Mike Wiegele Helicopter Skiing or with Canadian Mountain Holidays, you are guaranteed lifelong bragging rights with your buddies. Stay in luxurious mountain lodges with gourmet food and play in powder that the rest of us mere mortals can only dream about.

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Tagged: Family time, Top 10 Lists

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Evelyn Kanter

Evelyn Kanter

Evelyn is an NYC-based travel writer who would rather ride a chairlift, river raft or zipline than the subway. She's a regular contributor to major publications, including airline inflights, and has written more than a dozen travel guidebooks. Evelyn's website is www.ecoxplorer.com
Evelyn Kanter

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