Vital Stats 50 skiable acres; 306 vertical feet; 950-foot base elevation; 64 annual inches and 100 percent snowmaking coverage; one quad, one triple, two doubles, one J-bar, one handle-tow, three ropetows, one Wonder Carpet.
Java Joints Minnesota's answer to Starbucks is Caribou Coffee in Burnsville. Try the Turtle Mocha.
Dining Restaurant Aquavit (612-343-3333) in downtown Minneapolis' IDS building is the only restaurant in town where you'll find seahorse foam on the menu. Café Barbette (612-827-5710), a French bistro, serves a delicious salade Niçoise.
Lodging If you're here to ski, stay at the Holiday Inn (888-463-7200; hiburnsville.com) in Burnsville, the only full-amenity hotel within five minutes of Buck. Downtown, opt for the Nicollet Island Inn (612-331-1800; nicolletislandinn.com), a renovated limestone-façade factory in the middle of the Mississippi River.
Après-Ski Suck down an "Olympian" at base-area Buckstone Lodge. Then save yourself for upscale après and dining in Minneapolis. Start at Brit's Pub (612-332-3908), a Guinness-pouring, lawn-bowling pub. Follow it up with Nye's Polonaise Room (612-379-2021), where senior-citizen Poles mingle with hipsters. Wind down at Bryant Lake Bowl (612-825-3737), a bar/bowling alley/cabaret.
Locals' Tip Avoid I-35 between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. Either take your last turn by 4 p.m. or ski until 6:30 p.m. to get a shimmering view of the city from atop Milk Run before heading downtown for dinner.
Getting There From Minneapolis, take I-35 south nine miles south of 494, and exit west on County Road 46 in Burnsville.