Sure, the slopes rule at Midwest ski resorts. But you can have fun even if you never point skis downhill. These resorts specialize in romantic lodgings, cozy bonfires, fine cuisine and pampering spa treatments.
Granite Peak Ski Area at Rib Mountain State Park
Granite Peak Ski Area at Rib Mountain State Park
| Credit: Courtesy of Granite Peak

Few regional resorts can match the offerings at one-stop play-and-stay Crystal Mountain and nearby Boyne Mountain, with a deluxe spa, an indoor water park and tons of lodging options. Others score high for impressive runs, well-tended facilities, and comfortable, satisfying restaurants. New ownership and an extensive renovation transformed Granite Peak Ski Area in Wausau, Wisconsin, from a so-so stop for skiers into a primo destination for winter travelers who use one of the town's bed-and-breakfasts or hotels as a home base for exploring microbreweries, neighboring towns and more.

Whether you're hitting the slopes with your family or seeking a romantic winter weekend getaway within the Midwest, be sure to check out these cool destinations.

Snow tubing at Boyne Mountain
Credit: Courtesy of Boyne Mountain Resort

Boyne Mountain Resort, Boyne Falls, Michigan

Zipline over, ski down or catch some air at some of the Midwest's best slopes. After a day outside, relax with a massage at the lavish Spa at Boyne Mountain, or channel your inner teen in the Avalanche Bay Indoor Waterpark. Accommodations range from luxurious hotel rooms and suites to mountain cabins and villas. 

Skiing at Giants Ridge
Credit: Courtesy of Giants Ridge Old Saw Media

Giants Ridge, Biwabik, Minnesota

Black-diamond thrills, family-friendly tubing and cross-country treks through hushed woods await at this resort in Minnesota's Iron Range, 70 miles north of Duluth. You'll find cozy yet spacious places to stay at the Lodge at Giants Ridge and the Villas at Giants Ridge.

Granite Peak Ski Area at Rib Mountain State Park
Credit: Courtesy of Granite Peak

Granite Peak Ski Area, Rib Mountain State Park, Wisconsin

Five chair lifts, including two high-speed, serve almost 80 percent of the 55 runs at 700-foot-high Granite Peak. Experienced skiers and snowboarders shred black-diamond runs; the same lifts serve acres of beginner slopes and mile-long intermediate runs. End your day at the charming Jefferson Street Inn in downtown Wausau. 

Lutsen Mountains gondola
Credit: Courtesy of Lutsen Mountains

Lutsen Mountains, Lutsen, Minnesota

Moody Lake Superior churns near Spirit Mountain Recreation Area in Duluth and Lutsen Mountains (90 miles northeast of Duluth). Lutsen, home to the Midwest's largest downhill ski resort, has 90-plus runs on four North Shore mountains. Visiting for the first time? We suggest Moose Mountain, with its red gondola and views of Lake Superior. Lodging at Eagle Ridge Resort makes exploring the area easy.

Night skiing at Shanty Creek Resort
Credit: Courtesy of Shanty Creek Resort

Shanty Creek Resort, Bellaire, Michigan

Shanty Creek Resort's hree ski villages provide a variety of powder play, including ski runs, terrain parks and a tubing hill. Ivan's tavern-style restaurant serves local craft beers and specialty pizzas, and Lakeview Restaurant offers more refined dining, including small plates of tender lamb pops with sweet fig jam. Guests retreat to comfortable modern hotel rooms or condos. 

Snow-covered cottages make for a postcard-pretty scene at Crystal Mountain.
Credit: Courtesy of Crystal Mountain Resort

Crystal Mountain Resort, Thompsonville, Michigan

Like a handful of full-service ski resorts in northern Michigan, Wisconsin and northern Minnesota, Crystal Mountain exudes tranquility for travelers needing a little pampering, whether they're interested in the downhill skiing or not. Horse-drawn surrey rides, toasty bonfires and a luxury spa offer calming moments within sight of 45 downhill runs, 30 miles of cross-country trails and snowmobiling trails.

Prices and other details are subject to change, so please check specifics before making travel plans.