Tremblant continues to set an important example for other resorts. For vacationing ski families, the skiing is important, but not all-important. When the lifts close, they want excitement and stimulation long into the night. The jewel of Intrawest Resorts’ Eastern properties puts it all together, and readers reward it with yet another No. 1 overall ranking. What sets it apart (other than the long drive north past Montreal, deep into the Laurentians) is the village. It’s a celebration of Quebec culture, dense, bustling, crowded with boutiques, bars, coffee shops and restaurants—“a lovely, walkable mountain resort,” says one reader. French flair defines the architecture—colorful and human-scaled—but it’s the food that takes center stage. Even the on-hill cafeteria fare is a cut above anything you’d find in a stateside ski lodge, and in the village, it’s almost impossible to go wrong, whether you opt for inexpensive pizza or spring for a special-occasion culinary experience in one of the five-star restaurants. “It’s like being in France,” says one reader. “Feels like Europe, without the airfare,” adds another. And it’s an unbeatable combination: No. 1 for Lodging, Dining, On-Mountain Food and Après; No. 2 for Off-Hill Activities. So special is the village, it’s easy to forget people come here to ski. But the skiing’s great, too. Roll out of your village condo, ski to the lift (the entire village is ski-in/ski-out), hop on the gondola, and in minutes you’re on the rime-frosted roof of the Laurentians, with stunning views of Lac Tremblant and beyond. From there, you’ve got a respectable 2,131 vert and three distinct terrain pods. There’s the front face—Versant Sud—with broad, well-groomed cruisers descending to the village. Skier’s left of that, there are the newer trails of Versant Soleil, which descend more languorously to the big new casino (a whole new facet of Tremblant nightlife). Behind you are the shaded steeps of Versant Nord, where experts find sufficient challenge on trails like CBC and Duncan Haute. One reader calls it “a whole lot of mountain.” What’s not to love? Well, the weather: Even seasoned Easterners are shocked by Laurentian cold snaps. And this close to Montreal, crowds can be a hassle. Nor is Tremblant the bargain it once was. “It’s getting more expensive with the exchange rate,” a reader notes. But all that’s easy to forget when you’re strolling home from a fine French meal, enjoying the joie de vivre that brings the village to life each night. “I’ve skied all over the East,” says one reader, “and Tremblant is the best.” —Joe Cutts
What’s New: A casual restaurant, La Poutinerie, specializes in Quebecois comfort cuisine.
Mandatory Run: A black-diamond with staggering views
Local Secret: Cycle on Versant Nord’s Duncan Express on busy mornings- It takes the masses a couple hours to get back there.