It’s no secret that Canada dominates in winter sports. With gorgeous mountains perfect for getting in a few runs to snow-covered prairies perfect for snowshoeing on, there are so many opportunities to get out and get active over the holidays. So, to help you plan a sport-centered trip, we found the top ski destinations that are seeing the biggest increase in traveler interest. You don’t have to go far — all 5 of our destinations are within Canada. Perfect excuse to plan that weekend ski break.
Note: To make our “when to book your flight” recommendations for this list, we looked into our data at last year’s median flight prices to these cities for the holiday season. As always, despite what our data says, if you find a good deal — book it.
5 Trending Ski Destinations (& What to Do Apres-Ski)
1. Sun Peaks, British Columbia
Increase in traveller interest: 101%
As the ski destinations seeing the biggest increase in traveller interest, Sun Peaks is having its time in the… well, sun. This BC resort town is known around the country for its state-of-the-art slopes and charming village. Before you start your run, head to Baby Doh’s for some sugar-and-yeast energy in the form of doughnuts. You’ll probably spend most of your trip in the village (and swimming in those public hot pools) but go off-mountain one night to nearby Kamloops for a meal at Mittz Kitchen. Skiers that booked their flights just 2 weeks ahead of travel last year found the best deals on their flight — around $313 for a round-trip ticket.
2. Quebec City, Quebec
Increase in traveller interest: 58%
Open up a storybook set in winter, and Quebec is its inspiration. During the holidays it comes alive with lights and greens and carols. With several ski resorts to choose from, you can try a new one each day. Just don’t miss Le Massif with its epic drop. While in Quebec City, don your best snowsuit and explore the town. Stop at Benjo Toys to get something for the good little girls and boys in your life. Then warm up with burgers, poutine and hot chocolate at Le Chic Shack in Old Quebec City. Perfect day if you ask us. Based on last year’s data, book your flight at least 6 weeks ahead (when round-trip flight prices were around $288 in 2017).
3. The Blue Mountains, Ontario
Increase in traveller interest: 51%
If you’re headed to the Blue Mountains, plan to book your trip at least 2 weeks ahead. That’s when Canadian travellers found the best flight deals last year (median airfare $383). Gather your skis and hit some of the 42 trails on the mountain before you unwind at the Northwinds Brewery & Craft Beer Store. Try their Arrowhead Ale or Milk Run Stout with a plate of beer pretzels (go for the raclette upgrade, you won’t be disappointed).
4. Mont-Tremblant, Quebec
Increase in traveller interest: 42%
Because the holidays in Quebec just can’t be beat, head to Montreal to hit the iconic slopes at Mont-Tremblant. Its longest trail is a 6km run and you can hit one of the 3 snowparks to try some tricks. At night, head into Montreal for a night on the town. The cobblestone streets of Old Port will be lit up for the festivities. For something truly special, head to The Coldroom — a secret bar tucked behind an unassuming souvenir shop. And If last year’s data is any indication, you can book your flight just 2 weeks ahead of travel, when travelers paid around $257 for a round-trip flight.
5. Banff, Alberta
Increase in traveller interest: 27%
Easily one of the most well-known ski areas, Banff is teeming with winter sports enthusiasts over the holidays. Book your flight at least 3 months before you go — this is when travellers in 2017 found the best deals (median airfare was $290 RT). After taking on the Big 3, spend a day off the slopes. Start by warming up with a coffee and egg sandwich at Wild Flour Bakery before you hit the forest trails to get in a bit of snowshoeing. End the day at the Clock Tower Shopping Mall to stock up on gifts before you have dinner at Park Distillery, a restaurant known for its comfort food with a twist.
Ski destinations with the Greatest YoY % increase from a list of ski destinations curated by the KAYAK Marketing team based on travel dates 11/16/2018-01/02/2019 and search dates 01/01/2018-08/18/2018. Change in Popularity (YoY increase) based on search traffic change from previous year for travel dates 11/17/2017-01/03/2018. Median airfare by month for destinations based on travel dates 11/01/2017-01/31/2018 and search dates 05/01/2017-01/31/2018. For destinations not directly located in an international airport city, the closest international airport was considered for airfare. For when to book data, KAYAK used median airfare as a function of weeks before departure based on travel dates 11/17/2017-01/03/2018 and search dates 08/15/2017-01/03/2018. For destinations not directly located in an international airport city, the closest international airport was considered for airfare. Median hotel rate by month for destination based on travel dates 11/01/2017-01/31/2018 and search dates 05/01/2017-01/31/2018.