The bonus of a small ski town that hasn’t yet crossed over into resort-town territory? The locals aren’t jaded and the tourists aren’t pushy. Stop into almost any watering hole or breakfast spot (like Clansey’s Cappuccino, on the three-block main drag, Columbia Avenue), and you’re likely to make new friends. Look for pockets of activity at the Flying Steamshovel and at Drift Izakaya, where locals go for a sushi fix.
Slopes: With only 112,000 total visitors per year (and only 6 total lifts), the tree-lined trails at Red Mountain Resort ($63 U.S.) stay fairly quiet. Even the newly 300% larger deck at Red’s base lodge shouldn’t dilute the mellow non-scene scene.
Sleeps: There are plenty of hot tub–equipped condos, or try the homey Red Shutter Inn (from $99 U.S.), the closest hotel to the lifts and the base camp for snowcat skiing with Big Red Cats ($352 U.S.). Wake to the smell of bacon wafting from Red Shutter’s first-floor kitchen, where group breakfasts are fuel for days of powering down untracked powder in the surrounding Monashees.
Info: West Kootenay Regional is about 30 minutes away, but connections are pricey; Spokane Int’l is about a 2½-hour drive.