Best Ski Towns: Kellogg, ID

Silver Mountain gondolaLocated forty minutes past Coeur d’Alene on I-90 in the Idaho panhandle, the town of Kellogg, Idaho offers year-round outdoor and indoor recreation for a family vacation paradise. Hardly your typical ‘resort town’, Kellogg is not all slick boutiques and over-priced restaurants: it still thinks of itself as a mountain mining town with some really, really beautiful scenery and world-class skiing. It makes our list of Best Ski Towns for families due to its laid-back, friendly atmosphere, reasonable prices, perfect location (just close enough to a major city without being too close), and list of fun things to do as long as your arm.

Where to ski: Silver Mountain Resort offers two mountains of family-friendly skiing and boarding. With 1600 acres of terrain at your fingertips, you can easily spend a long weekend here and still not experience everything. A convenient gondola loads skiers right from the center of town, so there’s no need to cart equipment hither and yon, and for kids, there’s a great tubing center and ski school.

Where to stay: This is a no-brainer. Families will want to stay at Silver Mountain Resort’s Morning Star Lodge, where kids will go wild over their Silver Rapids indoor water park. Open year-round and only to resort guests, thSilver Rapidsis huge complex is housed under an enormous glass roof (you can actually get a sun tan!) and sports a surf simulator, lazy river, and water slides galore. Parents will be happy to hear that resort suites include a full kitchen and lots of space for kids to have their own room. Prices are reasonable, especially if you snag one of Silver Mountain’s many seasonal deals. Oh yeah: and kids ski free when staying at the Morning Star!

Where to eat: With a kitchen at your disposal, you may want to eat in. A grocery store is within easy distance of the Morning Star, and two fast food counter service restaurants are housed in the water park. Also on resort grounds are two full restaurants: a pub and a pizza place.

What to do when not on the slopes: You’ll be in the water park, of course, but also located within Kellogg are a mine museum and tour, hiking and biking trails in the summer, and a scenic gondola ride. Fishing and ATV riding is also offered seasonally. If you’re up for a day trip, head west to beautiful Lake Coeur d’Alene for swimming in the summer!

How to get here: From Spokane, WA, take I-90 east to Exit 49 in Idaho.