More than 90 percent of readers cite Breckenridge's "wonderful ski town" as one of the resort's major strengths. They're right: In the age of purpose-built Bavarian-style resorts, Breckenridge's authentic Victorian Main Street creates an ambience that is "refreshingly real." For every ticky-tacky T-shirt shop, there are two homespun restaurants (Rhasta Pasta, Café Alpine) and stores (Tom Girl, A Racer's Edge). On the slopes, as in town, "there's lots and lots of variety." Credit Breckenridge's four mountains. Test your limits in the bowls of Peak 7 or on the steeps of Peak 8. Love to cruise? This season Breck adds 30 percent more intermediate terrain and a high-speed six-pack on Peak 7. With seven new trails on 165 acres, the whole family can have fun here. The resort has also installed a high-speed quad above Beaver Run Resort on Peak 9 to whisk riders to Peak 8, near the Vista Haus. And a mid-station loading point allows skiers to board the lift where Chair 4 previously began. This should quell those who gripe, "Long liftlines! Too many people!" This is a fact of life on busy weekends and holidays. After all, Breck does draw more than a million skiers per season. But that's because Breck is big (2,043 skiable acres), has "affordable slopeside lodging" and "great nightlife." What's not to like? -Natalie Kurylko
(-) "In a low-snow year, expert terrain suffers." "Needs about half the visitors."
Great Lodging Deals here.