Nub's Nob wrestled El Niño to the mat last winter and pinned it. While other resorts were whining, Nub's had its best year ever, which may explain why readers ranked it as the top ski-only (no lodging) resort in the Midwest. Celebrating its 40th anniversary this season, Nub's doesn't have a hotel, French cuisine or mints for your pillow. But it does have an award-winning day lodge, a superb cafeteria, excellent childcare facilities, a fanatical passion for making and grooming snow and the attitude that everyone should be treated as a local. Nub's is so focused on skier service that it actually issues "honest" snow reports. The first thing you see when you get out of your car is a pair of black-diamond killers, Chute and Scarface, perhaps the scariest view from a base area east of Ajax. While this pair may headline the show, there are 38 other trails for skiers of all abilities. At Nub's you ski the frontside for steeps, the northside for wide-open bowls and the southside for long, tree-lined winders. Last season, Nub's opened Pintail Peak¿12 new runs spilling through the hardwoods toward Lake Michigan's Little Traverse Bay¿an outback cruising experience that is perhaps the best new set of trails in Michigan in the last decade. Because it's strictly a ski area, you'll have to head to the nearby towns of Petoskey and Harbor Springs.
What's New Two additional runs on Nub's South, a Pipe Dragon halfpipe groomer and an expanded snowboard park; night skiing extended to 25 runs.
A Good Deal Beginners of all ages ski free on the Big Time run (with its own double chair); (616) 526-2131.
High/Low Rank Snow (1), Terrain (3); Lodging (15).
Don't Miss Homemade cinnamon rolls on weekends.