MN Travel Guide: Where to Ski

Afton Alps    
With nearly 300 acres of skiable trails, 18 lifts, and four terrain parks, there’s plenty to do at this family-friendly ski and snowboard spot just outside the Cities. “Terrain Park Village” boasts its own warming spaces and food truck, craft beers are on tap in the dining facilities, and a recent revamp to the snowmaking system means that vacation plans are no longer at the mercy of Mother Nature. • 6600 Peller Ave. S., Hastings, 651-436-5245, aftonalps.com

Giants Ridge    
Offering 35 downhill ski and snowboard runs and 60 kilometers of groomed cross-country ski trails, Giants Ridge is a one-stop shop for winter fun up north—it also features two terrain parks for boarders, a snow tubing park, and snowshoe trails. And with on- and off-site accommodations, there are plenty of warm places to relax at the end of a cold-weather play day. • 6325 Wynne Creek Dr., Biwabik, 866-409-6650, giantsridge.com

Lutsen Mountains    
The North Shore’s largest ski resort consists of four interconnected mountains with the highest ski-hill peaks in the state. 95 runs are the closest thing to mountain skiing in the state. For those more wary of the hills, the resort also offers sleigh rides, dogsledding, Nordic skiing, and snowshoeing. Special rates and packages for families, weekdays, and long weekends make staying on-site even more appealing. • 445 Ski Hill Rd., Lutsen, 218-663-7281, lutsen.com

Mount Kato    
For thrill-seekers in southern Minnesota, Mount Kato has plenty of runs clearly divided by skill level, four terrain parks, and a snow-tubing hill. • 20461 Hwy. 66, Mankato, 507-625-3363, mountkato.com

Spirit Mountain    
This Duluth resort not only boasts downhill and cross-country trails, but it also has the largest terrain park in the Midwest, a snow-tubing park, and, open year-round, the Midwest’s only Alpine Coaster, a six-minute roller-coaster-like ride with hairpin turns and views of Lake Superior. • 9500 Spirit Mountain Pl., Duluth, 218-628-2891, spiritmt.com

Welch Village    
Located just an hour outside the Twin Cities, Welch Village attracts both skiers and snowboarders. A progressive terrain park for boarders of all levels and ski runs that range from beginner trails to double-black-diamonds make this a great family spot. • 26685 Cty. Rd. 7 Blvd., Welch, 651-258-4567, welchvillage.com

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