Drop Everything and Go to Big Sky, Montana
Travel has been undoubtedly difficult this year, but with COVID-19 restrictions beginning to slowly lift, my family and I were able to take a ski/snowboard trip to Big Sky, Montana for spring break. We love to ski, but we have never been to Big Sky before. Let me tell you- Big Sky is something else.
Lotus Pad: Located in the Big Sky Town Center, Lotus Pad is a vibrant bar and restaurant that serves Thai and Asian food. We ate a family style meal and ordered Shrimp Pad-Thai, Crab Fried Rice, and Drunken Noodles with chicken. It was amazing and even for a family of four we had leftovers to eat the next day.
47 Town Center Ave D1, Big Sky, MT 59716
Copper — Whiskey Bar and Grill: Located in the Wilson Hotel in Big Sky, Copper Whiskey Bar and Grill is a dinner restaurant with a tasty menu. It is dimly lit and fairly nice, but it is also somewhere delicious to go after a long and tiring day of being out on the slopes. The portions are generous in size and I had a chicken Caesar salad that was outstanding. My brother and dad split a 24 oz. filet and finished it in it’s entirety. The pretzel bites with jalapeño beer cheese are a must-get appetizer.
Wilson Hotel, 145 Town Center Ave, Gallatin Gateway, MT 59730
Olive B’s Big Sky Bistro: This restaurant is an easy-going bistro that is locally sourced and one-of-a-kind. It was reasonably priced with decent portions. I had the lobster mac-n-cheese with green beans, my mom had the shrimp and grits, and surprise, my brother had another steak. If you go to Olive B’s, save room for dessert because the menu is tempting. The Mud Pie was an easy choice for my family and the second it was set in front of our table we dug in. The Mud Pie is a giant ice cream cake with chocolate and coffee ice cream, with an Oreo pie crust and a homemade hardened chocolate fudge coating on top- and let me tell you- it is to die for!
151 Center Ln, Big Sky, MT 59716
The Wilson Hotel Review
If you’re staying in Big Sky, you have to stay at The Wilson Hotel. Built just before the outbreak of the pandemic, the Wilson is modern, homey, and very welcoming. Not to mention, the hotel is dog friendly, so it was fun to see so many furry friends walking around the lobby. The staff is helpful and welcoming with open arms and truly makes the best of your stay at the hotel during a pandemic. While staying at a hotel looks different because of COVID-19, the Wilson hotel makes your stay feel “normal” and definitely worth-while. It is in reasonable proximity to the ski slopes (about a 10 minute drive) and also close to West Yellowstone National Park. Some accommodations include a pre-packaged breakfast, a lobby bar that is open from 3–6 p.m. with happy hour from 3–4 p.m., a heated pool and hot-tub, a full kitchen in your room, and a locker room to hold your skis and boards during your stay. It is within walking distance to downtown Big Sky and even shares a parking lot with most of the restaurants and boutiques. There is a grocery store/market right across the street from the hotel, so if you forget a toothbrush or need a post-ski snack, you are in luck! Since Big Sky is more of a hidden gem and less developed than other ski towns such as those in Colorado and Utah, the Wilson is the only hotel in the Big Sky town center. But, not to worry, because this is the only hotel I would ever stay in if I was to visit Big Sky again. The Wilson Hotel is truly something special, and if you are planning to visit Big Sky, you need to book a room at The Wilson Hotel.
145 Town Center Ave, Big Sky, MT 59716
Hitting the Slopes
One thing I will say is that if you are not an avid and talented skier or snowboarder, Big Sky may not be the best place for you to start your skiing journey. When we were visiting, many locals told us that this particular season had not been the best snow-wise. They had not gotten much snow because of the unusually warm weather, and the conditions were icy first thing in the morning until around 11 a.m. Most of the runs are difficult, long, and steep, but definitely fun if you like bombing hills like me. Green runs are the easiest, blue runs are medium in difficulty, and black diamonds are the hardest. We found that some of the blue runs were easier than some of the green ones. We were used to Park City, UT and Breckenridge, CO where most of the runs were easier and shorter. This had it’s advantages and disadvantages. In Big Sky, we weren’t waiting in lift lines for a long time because of the length of the runs, and there were many different lifts at the top of the mountain and paths to choose from. Don’t be intimidated by the difficulty of the snow, though, because the beauty of Big Sky truly trumps everything. Riding up the lifts and stopping at the top of the mountains was my favorite part about the skiing in Big Sky. There is so much to see.
Big Sky Mountain Village
At the base of the mountain, you will find yourself in Big Sky Mountain Village. It is a basic ski village, but the restaurants and lounge in the village is something I enjoyed and will never forget compared to the other ski resort towns that I have visited. I spent a lot of time soaking up the warm sun in the midst of the cold weather on the porch of the lounge in the Mountain Village. Inside the lounge, there are many restaurants to choose from such as a sushi and poke and ramen bar, a pizza restaurant, a deli, a bakery, a Mexican grill, and burgers. I was able to get something new every day and enjoyed everything that I ate.
While it’s fun to come back from spring break tan, you can’t beat the rewarding soreness and bruises and calories burned from skiing. If you are getting tired of spending every break on the beach, I encourage you to try something new and go to Big Sky to ski. It was the best family oriented vacation, and not to mention, so much fun racing each other down the slopes.