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America's Best Ski Resorts

Slide 9 of 21

Steamboat, Colorado

Why Go: Steamboat, a.k.a. Ski Town USA, is home to the most consistent snowfall in Colorado (often upwards of 400 inches annually) and the term "Champagne powder," which refers to snow so light and fluffy that forming a snowball is literally impossible. About three hours from Denver, the area lies outside Summit County and, as a result, sees only a fraction of the crowds typical in Vail-Beaver Creek and Breckenridge. Skiers and riders can enjoy multi-mile-long runs here, such as Why Not, Tomahawk and Heavenly Daze, all with gorgeous views of the Steamboat Valley.

Where to Après: The Mahogany Ridge Brewery and Grill has eight microbrews on tap, including the malty Alpenglow Ale, and an eclectic menu with everything from adobo-rubbed lamb to Caribbean-spiced duck breast.

Photo courtesy of Highmark Steamboat Springs.

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Congratulations to Nicholas Elmi, winner of Top Chef: New Orleans, the 11th season of Bravo's Emmy-Award winning, hit reality series.

Already looking forward to next year (June 19-21, 2015)? Relive your favorite moments from the culinary world's most sensational weekend in the Rocky Mountains.