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Thursday, September 25, 2014

Ski Resorts You Can Drive To From Florida

Snow skiing is just a short drive from Florida
Snow Skiing From Florida is just a short day trip!
You could spend an entire day walking around Florida, talking to people and asking if any of them was born here and never find a single Florida native above the age of 30. Practically everybody who lives in Florida is from somewhere else, it seems.

A large percentage of Florida transplants are from up North and, although most will tell you they headed to the Sunshine State to escape the brutal winters, a great number of those people will tell you that one of the things they miss most about living up north is snow skiing.

Sure, you can jump on an airplane and head West to Aspen, Colorado or fly North and get to Stowe, Vermont but sometimes the hassle and expense of air travel just isn't worth it. If you don't mind a fairly long day of driving, you can reach a number of excellent ski resorts in as little as seven or eight hours – all depending what part of Florida you are traveling from.

What may be more surprising is that all of these southern ski resorts have an average season of about 130 days and some open for skiing as early as late October. That's more than four months available to get your ski fix!

Here are the five closest ski resorts to Florida, arranged in order of drive time:

Wolf Ridge Ski Resort

Travel Time:
  • Jacksonville: 7 hours, 10 minutes
  • Tallahassee: 8 hours, 17 minutes
  • Orlando: 9 hours, 12 minutes
  • Miami: 12 hours, 11 minutes
Elevation: 4,700 ft.

Vertical Drop: 700 ft.

Longest Run: 1,800 ft.

Number of Runs: 22

Snowmaking Machine: Yes

Lighted Slopes: Yes

Cataloochee Ski Area

Travel Time:
  • Jacksonville: 7 hours, 16 minutes
  • Tallahassee: 7 hours, 36 minutes
  • Orlando: 9 hours, 17 minutes
  • Miami: 12 hours, 29 minutes
Elevation: 5,400 ft.

Vertical Drop: 740 ft.

Longest Run: 3,500 ft.

Number of Runs: 17

Snowmaking Machine: Yes

Lighted Slopes: Yes

Appalachian Ski Mountain

Travel Time:
  • Jacksonville: 7 hours, 18 minutes
  • Tallahassee: 9 hours, 8 minutes
  • Orlando: 9 hours, 20 minutes
  • Miami: 12 hours, 19 minutes
Elevation: 4,000 ft.

Vertical Drop: 365 ft.

Longest Run: 2,640 ft.

Number of Runs: 12

Snowmaking Machine: Yes

Lighted Slopes: Yes

Sugar Mountain

Travel Time:
  • Jacksonville: 7 hours, 51 minutes
  • Tallahassee: 9 hours, 10 minutes
  • Orlando: 9 hours, 52 minutes
  • Miami: 12 hours, 52 minutes
Elevation: 5,300 ft.

Vertical Drop: 1,200 ft.

Longest Run: 7,920 ft.

Number of Runs: 20

Snowmaking Machine: Yes

Lighted Slopes: Yes

Beech Mountain

Travel Time:
  • Jacksonville: 7 hours, 55 minutes
  • Tallahassee: 9 hours, 28 minutes
  • Orlando: 9 hours, 56 minutes
  • Miami: 12 hours, 55 minutes
Elevation: 4,675 ft.

Vertical Drop: 830 ft.

Longest Run: 5,280 ft.

Number of Runs: 15

Snowmaking Machine: Yes

Lighted Slopes: Yes

Want More Skiing?

Those are just the closest ski destinations to Florida and they are all located in North Carolina. If you're willing to stay in the car for another hour or so, Alabama, West Virginia, Tennessee and Virginia offer ten more ski resorts for you to choose from. That's 15 different ski resorts – all within a day's drive!

While nobody will ever say that any of these runs match some of the ones that you'll find in the Northeast or Western United States, they'll definitely provide a fun, challenging day for the great majority of skiers and will give you a chance to experience the fun side of snow – not the unpleasant kind you have to shovel!

Florida Travel Sleuth Quote of the Day: "Skiing combines outdoor fun with knocking down trees with your face." - Dave Barry

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