A happening bar scene is as crucial to a ski town’s success as stellar snow conditions. “Skiing is a social sport by nature, but it’s the après-ski culture of relaxing with friends and recounting the day’s adventures that really makes a ski vacation awesome,” says Erica Mueller, director of relations at Colorado’s Crested Butte Mountain Resort.
Toasting post-shred—no matter language, location, or libation—is universal. And it doesn’t matter whether you aced a black diamond mogul, skidded down the bunny hill, or spent the afternoon curled up by the fire. Any and all such daytime activities warrant an invite to lift a glass and kick up your heels as the sun begins to kiss the mountaintops.
Après-ski is a time-tested tradition begun in Telemark, Norway, in the mid-1800s. Back then, it was grog or aquavit shared among friends at skiers’ homes. Today, no longer the humble house gathering, wintertime mountain merrymaking is soaring to new elevations.
Twerk in your ski boots at a Vegas-style club in Lake Tahoe, NV; don furs at a bar fashioned from 20 tons of ice in Queenstown, New Zealand; clink glasses of champagne paired with caviar at Aspen, CO’s roving pop-up Oasis Bar; or hug complete strangers while shooting schnapps at Trofana Alm in Austria.
From refined to rowdy, we’ve rounded up 17 bars where you can celebrate post-slopes.