Finding ski resorts here for your clients is easy, with options for all skiing skills and for non-skiing family members. Families with young children will need a resort that offers top instruction and a good variety of terrain for all skill levels, while avid skiers may want more demanding mountains. One of the advantages of the northeast is the abundance of options within short distances. Clients can stay at one resort and ski at others nearby.
Four of Vermont’s best-known ski resorts are reached via Burlington International Airport (www.burlingtonint
Smugglers Notch (www.smugs.com), a full-service and self-contained destination resort is consistently rated #1 Kid-Friendly Resort in the East by readers of SKI Magazine for its child care, off-slope activities and ski instruction from age 2 1/2. Its three mountains offer 40 intermediate trails and 25 for experts, so there’s plenty of skiing there for the whole family.
Also close to Burlington, laid-back and casual Bolton Valley has lodging and dining at the base of its 70 downhill trails In addition there are 100 kilometers of Nordic trails, some lighted for night skiing. One of the earliest ski mountains, full-service Stowe Mountain Resort is still one of the most popular, an upscale ski destination with on- and off-mountain accommodations and dining as well as trails across two mountains. The post-card village of Stowe has several resorts close to the slopes, plus dining and shopping.
For skiing in southern Vermont, book travelers through Hartford’s Bradley Airport or, Boston-Logan. The Okemo Mountain Resort, in Ludlow, stands out for the high quality of its snow making and grooming. Its 121 trails are almost evenly divided among skill levels, and boarders will like the longest Superpipe in the east and its innovative terrain parks. Last year Okemo added the east’s first enclosed 6-passenger bubble lift with heated seats. Okemo also offers extensive options in lodging and dining, a spa, tubing, a mountain coaster and a wide variety of activities for the whole family.
Farther south, Stratton Mountain (www.stratton.com) has the highest elevation in southern Vermont with 97 trails, more than 100 acres of glades and five terrain parks. With 41% of its trails marked green, it is a good choice for learners. The Alpine-style ski village includes a fitness center, spa, dining, tubing and ice skating. Closest to Boston and Hartford is Mount Snow Resort (www.mounts
now.com). Among the 20 lifts that carry skiers to its 80 trails is a six-passenger bubble lift. It is a great place for families because of its wide variety of skill levels. Suggest clients staying a week at Stratton or Mt. Snow spend a day at nearby Bromley Mountain (www.bromley.com), a solidly intermediate ski area with some nice expert challenges.
New Hampshire’s top ski resorts are clustered even closer together, in the White Mountains, so skiers can experience several mountains during one trip. This is particularly true of the area surrounding Mount Washington, the highest mountain in the northeast. The best access is via New Hampshire’s
North Conway was one of America’s first ski resorts, and in the 1930s special ski trains ran here from major eastern cities. Cranmore Mountain is still one of New England’s most popular, its beautifully groomed trails within walking distance of the attractive village filled with lodging, dining and lively aprés-ski options (www.mtwashingtonvalley.org). TripAdvisor has rated the Mount Washington Valley one of the most affordable family ski destinations. Cranmore Mountain Resort offers top of the line ski instruction using innovative Terrain-based Learning. North Conway is the best choice for families with non-skiers, with one of New England’s largest collections of outlet shopping malls.
A few miles north, Attitash Mountain (www.attitash.com) is a full-service resort with lodging and dining at the base of its two mountains. Attitash ski lift passes can combine with nearby Wildcat Mountain (www.skiwildcat.com), which draws expert skiers to its challenging trails and spectacular views of
Skiers staying in the Mount Washington Valley can easily ski a different mountain each day for a week. The smallest mountain is King Pine, a sweet family ski area at Purity Spring Resort (www.kingpine.com). This old-fashioned family-oriented resort offers affordable packages that include lodging, dining, skiing and other winter and indoor sports. In Jackson, also near North Conway, Black Mountain (www.blackmountain.com) was one of the earliest ski areas and had the first overhead lift...using shovel handles. Lodging and dining is available at the mountain (www.whitneysinn.com) and in Jackson at Christmas Farm Inn & Spa (www.christmasfarminn.com).
The Bretton Woods Resort is the largest ski area in the state, and it’s most upscale, with outstanding Alpine trails and an extensive Nordic trail systems. Lodging, dining and ski packages are available with the Omni Mount Washington Resort (www.brettonwoods.com/winter_sports/alpine).
Skiing in the western White Mountains is even closer to Boston-Manchester Airport. Waterville Valley Resort (www.waterville.com) includes several hotels, condos, multiple dining options, a large sports center and ice skating rink, all in a purpose-built village. Frequent free shuttles connect the village to the downhill and cross-country ski areas, making the resort ideal for families with skiers and non-skiers.
Loon Mountain Resort (www.loonmtn.com), also close to I-93, has 50 trails across two areas of the White Mountain National Forest. Hotel and condo accommodations and a variety of dining choices are available slope-side and in the village of Lincoln. A few miles further north on I-93, Cannon Mountain has some of the most challenging trails in the state, where Olympic star Bode Miller honed his skills. It is easily accessible from the other resorts, but has no on-site housing; Horse and Hound Inn (www.horseandhoundnh.com) in Franconia is a good nearby choice.