Okay, so you won't hear Lutsen ever claim to rival Vail. It doesn't. However, without paying a small fortune for airfare, car rental, and hotel (or making do on your roommate's cousin's pull-out couch...again), it's a Twin Cities ski bum's best bet. Offering nine lifts serving 90 runs, Lutsen is a far cry from Buck Hill, and it also offers Nordic skiing, gondola service, snowshoeing, and sleigh and sled dog rides. What's more, being located on the North Shore grants the four-mountain resort one of the most scenic views in the country. Luxurious on-mountain dining and entertainment venues provide the perfect aprés-ski experience, and a flurry of special events ensures that Lutsen is always the place to be during the winter season.