Top Ski Destinations in North Carolina

Published on January 11, 2021 - Updated on January 11, 2021

Winter is here and snow is blowing. Here are four locations in North Carolina to hit the slopes. Whether you're avid in the sport or just starting out, North Carolina’s ski resorts offer a variety of terrain for both. 


Beech Mountain 

The local favorite, Beech has seventeen runs and a terrain park. This is the highest ski area on the east coast with an elevation of 5,500 ft. There are runs for everyone in the family whether you're a first-timer or advanced on the slopes. Beech Mountain has ski and boarding school too to help you learn or advance your skills. The lodge has its own brewery and restaurant as well as gear rental, restrooms, changing areas and a gift shop. They offer tubing and ice skating too. There are hotels and restaurants nearby in Banner Elk and even on Beech Mountain. 

You can follow them on Instagram @beechmtn ⁣⁣and on Facebook. During the summer, the resort is open for summer tubing, roller skating, and mountain biking. 

Website: www.beechmountainresort.com


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Sugar Mountain

Sugar Mountain

The largest of the four, this mountain has the highest vertical drop and diverse runs. Twenty-one different slopes keep both beginners and more advanced skiers and boarders entertained. The lodge has a cafeteria-style restaurant, restrooms and a changing area, gear rental, and a gift shop. There is plenty of space to hang out and relax between runs. First time hitting the slopes? No problem. Sugar Mountain has a ski and boarding school for the youngest to the oldest of learners.  Sugar Mountain also has ice skating, snowshoeing, and tubing. 

You can follow them on Instagram @skisugar and a YouTube channel. After the winter months are over, hit the trails on mountain bikes. There are several festivals and other fun to be had throughout the year. 

Website: www.skisugar.com


Cataloochee Ski Resort 

Located in the high mountains of Western North Carolina, Cataloochee is the oldest ski resort in the state and known as “Great Skiing in the Great Smokies.” It is generally one of the first areas of the region to open each season. There are eighteen slopes including the Cat Cage Terrain Park. Whether you are new to the sport or want to improve your turns, they offer lessons for all age groups and skill levels. To rent gear, visit Cataloochee Ski & Sports in Maggie Valley. You can rent all your gear plus buy a lift ticket the day before heading to the mountain. The Shop on the Mountain has a variety of specialty items and souvenirs but does not sell the hard gear. Cataloochee offers ski bibs and jacket rentals from both shops. The resort has snow tubing fun for the family too. The resort partners with local lodges to give you discounts on your stay. 

You can find them on Instagram @cataloocheeskiarea and on Facebook. 

Website: www.cataloochee.com


Appalachian Mountain 

Appalachian ski

A family-focused old school ski resort, the slopes are gentle, which is perfect for beginners and families. There are twelve slopes with two terrain parks. This park is most known for its terrain parks with one terrain area requiring you to pass a test before entering. Need lessons? This resort has them as well with French-Swiss Ski College, Burton Learn to Ride, and children’s programs. The large base lodge has complimentary WiFi in the restaurant, an Alpine Ski Shop, restrooms and changing areas. Sit, relax, and warm up by the large stone fireplace, or view the mountain outside on the 200 ft observation deck. Need gear? You can rent ski and snowboarding equipment as well as clothing gear. New to the 2020/21 season is the ice skating rink. Appalachian even has a few campsites to rent. 

You can follow them on Instagram @appalachianskimtn and on Facebook 

Website: www.appskimtn.com


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Sugar Mountain and Appalachian Mountain are not far from the towns Blowing Rock and Boone which have a large variety of hotels, eats, and local shopping. These resorts keep the conditions of the slopes and area up to date so always check the websites for the latest information. The time window on the slopes is small but these resorts are perfect day trips or weekend trips from Charlotte! ⁣⁣


You can find these and more on the happyly app. Download it for free today on iTunes or Google Play. 

Follow us on Instagram @gethappyly and @happylycharlotte as we continue to seek out the best adventures our area has to offer! Have a favorite park, playground, kid-friendly restaurant or hike? We’d love to hear from you at team@happyly.com or just go to the Contribute page on our app or website and we’ll get an ambassador there ASAP!

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Allison Towner
Charlotte, NC
A Charlotte, NC transplant, Allison was born and raised in Texas. She has a degree in Marine Biology from Texas A&M University. Allison loves to scuba dive, travel, garden, and be active. She has a lovely husband and two smart, playful kids, a girl and boy. A love for nature and the outdoors has always been a passion of hers and now she gets to continue that with her family. They love to explore new places and go on family camping and hiking trips. Allison and her family live on a 12-acre homestead with ducks, chickens, and a garden. Outside life is important to their family and wants to share that passion with others.
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