The Holidays are a time to celebrate with family, and what better way than to escape to secluded cabin in the wilderness? Family time can be spent skiing, enjoying the peace and quiet, and good luxury cooking. However, when it comes to nightlife, unless you know your way around tiny mountain towns, finding a good bar or scene can be a little daunting. Between pre-packaged mega resorts and celebrity hangouts, some of the best mountain town bars have disappeared. If you’re looking to find the best ski town nightlife, we’ve searched out a few favorites from our travels so you can ring in the New Year in the best high altitude bars across the country.
Since 1939, the Sitzmark bar in the Alta Lodge has been a choice destination for skiers and travelers all year long. If ever there was an authentic mountain bar, this is it. The lodge has been updated for the twenty-first century, but the bar maintains its original wood burning fireplace. The slopeside views are perfect to enjoy Alta’s torchlight ski parade and fireworks at midnight. We’d be remiss to leave out that they have the best hot toddy in the Rockies, the perfect way to warm up and wind down after a long day of skiing Utah’s famous powder.
With sixty percent expert terrain, Big Sky is not a destination for casual skiers. Likewise, if you’re planning on a serious night of beer tasting, Montana Jack is a national contender. With a selection of a hundred beers – always at least twenty-four on tap – there is a flavor for everyone. This year’s New Year’s festivities feature an on the snow fireworks show and live local music. We don’t usually think of nightlife when thinking of Bozeman, Montana and Big Sky Resort, but we couldn’t think of a better place to be to throw back a beer or five.
For a cozier evening, we love the Castlerock Pub. Comfort food and good beer are great during the holidays, and doubly important when you’ve been skiing steep Vermont black diamond runs all day. Featuring a locally raised menu, expect to see farm raised beef and cheese specialties – seriously, try the Route 100 Burger. What we’re really after though, is a coveted pint of Heady Topper. The Alchemist brewery is a scant twenty miles away, and you’ll be much more likely to find it in stock here than just about anywhere else.
Not so much a bar as a ready made three day bender, the Snowglobe Music Festival is the ultimate winter party scene. This year’s line up includes Chet Faker, Kaskade, and Lex. Other artists will be keeping the music going for three straight days, so plan on booking an extra night or two to recover from the cumulative hangover of serious partying. If you’re up to it, the resorts in Tahoe have been getting dumped on (with some seeing more snow in the last month than all of the previous season).
Photos Courtesy of The Alta Lodge