Who are we to judge? There’s no shame in preferring a mellow ride on a “magic carpet” conveyor belt to the top of the slope. Whether you’re learning to “pizza” or easing in the kids, you can’t go wrong with this ski area’s novice hill.
Snow Tubing at Sapphire Valley Resort’s Frozen Falls Tube Park
Even without an ounce of skiing talent, the whole family can get in on a snowy adventure. All it takes is a running leap onto this 500-foot-long tubing hill — and its 60-foot drop — to get your heart racing. Warning: A face full of snow is still possible.
Ice-Skating at the U.S. National Whitewater Center
While this spot isn’t located in the mountains like the other winter wonderlands on our list, its ice-skating experience is so unique that we couldn’t resist adding it: A 17,000-square-foot “ice trail” is surrounded by festive lights and encircles a charming, on-ice Airstream serving hot cocoa — and cold craft beer.
5000 Whitewater Center Parkway
Charlotte, NC 28214
(704) 391-3900, usnwc.org
Sledding at Beech Mountain’s Youth Sledding Hill
At this popular sledding spot in town, you can feel the wind in your hair even if you can’t feel your toes — no rentals required. You don’t even need a snow day: When Mother Nature doesn’t cooperate, Parks and Rec breaks out the snow gun.
Catch some air at one of the most progressive terrain parks in the South. Appalachian Terrain Park prides itself on design creativity and variety, and is a favorite among thrill-seeking snowboarders from nearby Appalachian State University.
Après-Ski Drinks at Beech Mountain Brewing Company
After a long, cold day, there’s nothing like an après-ski craft beer — at one of the only breweries owned and operated by a ski area — to bring feeling back to your fingers and toes. Try the 5506 Pale Ale, named for the town’s elevation.
Glide over the state’s only Zamboni-maintained outdoor ice-skating rink while enjoying a view of the ski slopes on one side and the Blue Ridge Mountains on the other. Take a spin beneath the stars, then warm up by the rinkside bonfire.
Most of North Carolina’s black diamonds can’t compete with those out West — but Sugar’s can. Its double-black is so steep, the crew hooks their snow groomers up to winches to reach the most vertical pitch. Watch out below.
One of the last old-school fish houses in Onslow County stands sentry on the White Oak River. Clyde Phillips Seafood Market has served up seafood and stories since 1954 — an icon of the coast, persevering in pink.