5 Cities for Snow Lovers
Some people are skiers and others are snowboarders. Some like to go tubing while others prefer snowmobiling. And there’s even the few odd ducks that enjoy snow blowing their driveways. But what if you love all of it – bundling up for snowy days, putting chains on your car tires, drinking hot cocoa in a lodge after a long ski day?
If you identify with the Starks of Winterfell and look forward to winter every year because of the fluffy white goodness it brings, you know full well how disappointing the holiday season is without snow. Here are five awesome cities where snow lovers can get their fix and where every Christmas is white.
Called the “City of Lakes,” bisected by the Mississippi River, and boasting 13 large lakes within its borders, it’s no surprise that water is one of Minneapolis’ defining characteristics. And snow is no exception. In fact, AccuWeather found that Minneapolis residents have a 77 percent chance of enjoying a white Christmas – more than any other major city – the second highest likelihood is Denver, with a mere 50 percent probability.
So yeah, Minneapolis has the snow. But what can you do with it? Well for starters you can lace up your skates, because this Twin City loves ice hockey. It’s home to the annual U.S. Pond Hockey Championships (which is as cool as it sounds) and has also hosted Red Bull Crashed Ice, a downhill ice cross competition, for the past four years. Minneapolis’s long cold winters make for an abundance of snowy activities including everything from ice castles to ice fishing.
It makes sense that the site for many of the events of the 2002 Winter Olympics is also a great place for snow lovers. Park City is situated 40 minutes east of Salt Lake City and has just a fraction of its population, yet boasts nearly five times as much annual snowfall. And while Salt Lake’s snowfall is no slouch (the 4th highest among major cities), Park City’s higher elevation brings in over ten feet of the white stuff every year. Indeed, the city is just one mountain over from the snowiest incorporated place in the US: Alta, Utah.
What’s more, Utah’s “Greatest Snow on Earth” is famous for its fluffy, dry consistency that comes as a result of lake-effect from the nearby Great Salt Lake. And locals can enjoy that snow in spades, with recreation like snowmobiling, bobsledding, tubing, and of course, skiing.
It’s no secret that Upstate New York has some brutal winters. Between the Finger Lakes and the Great Lakes, lake-effect snow is in full force. Indeed, the area is so well known for heavy snowfall that the National Weather Service awards the Golden Snowball to the Upstate city with the most inches of snow each year. Between 2002 and 2017, Syracuse won the award every year except two, averaging around 10 feet of snow each year. This makes sense, considering Syracuse receives more annual snowfall than any other metro area in the country. So if you’re looking for staggering amounts of snow, Syracuse is the place to be.
If you’re interested in a ski town that gets tons of snow, you can’t do much better than Crested Butte. Receiving more than 18 feet of snow annually, this small town nestled in a small river valley offers some of the best skiing in the state, if not the country.
Crested Butte is famous for its myriad festivals that happen in both winter and summer. For skiers and snowboarders looking to get away from it all, Crested Butte and its tiny population of just 1,500 could be a godsend.
Resting within the snowbelts of the three largest Great Lakes, Sault Ste. Marie receives more than its fair share of snow, totaling an average of more than ten feet per year. The Soo’s location on the upper Michigan peninsula makes for harsh, cold winters that ensure snow rarely melts. This abundance of snow makes Sault Ste. Marie a mecca for snowmobilers. The city hosts the largest single-day snowmobile race in the world, the I-500, and is currently pursuing the world record for the largest snowmobile parade.
The city also hosts an annual ice festival, featuring award-winning ice artists carving out their newest creations. What’s more, just across the river (and border), lies Sault St. Marie, Ontario – a city nearly six times the size of its American counterpart with even more winter activities for the snow-obsessed.