Not Just Sliding on Snow: Top Off-slope Activities at Vermont Ski Areas
Not Just Sliding on Snow: Top Off-slope Activities at Vermont Ski Areas
A visit to a Vermont ski area is about far more than just sliding on snow. Now more than ever, guests can choose from a slew of off-slope activities. Those looking to keep their adrenaline flowing can reach new heights at a climbing gym or try to nail a triple-axel at the skating rink; others in search of a more laid-back vibe can find it browsing retail shops, perusing an art gallery or melting into a massage table. The options have never been so plentiful, such that even the non-skiing/riding members along on a trip will have no shortage of fun things to do.
Ready for a look at what’s offered beyond the stellar on-mountain experience in Vermont? Here are some of the top off-slope activities offered at the state’s ski areas:
Bolton Valley: When folks need a break from skiing and riding they head to the Sports Center. The Sports Center is located a short walk away from the base lodge and Inn at Bolton Valley. Guests gather in the Poolside Lounge for food and drinks. As the name implies, the lounge is located next to the pool, hot tub and sauna. There are arcade games for the kids as well as an open floor for basketball and other games. The Indoor Amusement Center offers bouncy houses for kids who just want to keep moving. New this year will be the skateboard bowl and mini ramps moved from Talent Skate Park. All this fun falls conveniently under one roof at the Bolton Valley Sports Center.
Bromley Mountain: Located in the heart of Southern Vermont, Bromley’s neighborhood is filled with great food, activities, and picturesque views. Top off your ski days with a scenic sleigh ride at beautiful Taylor Farm, take a stroll through the sculpture garden at the Vermont Art Center, treat yourself to a fabulous shopping experience at the Manchester Shopping Outlet center, and much more, all within a 10-mile radius.
Jay Peak Resort: If you can be guaranteed one thing during a Jay Peak vacation, it’s exhausted children. Just in case the close-to 400 inches of annual snowfall isn’t enough to have the little one begging for slumber, Jay Peak’s 60,000-square foot indoor water park, Ice Haus Skating Arena or Clips and Reels entertainment center should get the job done.
Killington Resort: Sure, skiing and riding are our winter staples, but there are so many other ways to fill your winter days at The Beast. Beyond skiing and snowboarding, Killington offers several winter activities for all ages including ski biking, tubing, mountain coaster, a spa and snowmobile tours. Visit https://www.killington.com/things-to-do/activities-amenities/winter-activities?season=winter for more.
Mad River Glen: Join one of MRG’s staff Naturalists for a guided snowshoe trek tailored to your interest in the ecology and wildlife of Stark Mountain! Our outings and content vary each week depending on snow conditions and participants. Learn about the hardwood forests of the Green Mountains, as well as our resident moose, bear, deer, fisher cat, coyote, red fox and more!
Mount Snow: Snow tubing is always a hit with families young and old, but if you’re looking for a rush of adrenaline and adventure, look no further than Snowmobile Vermont. Whether it’s a leisurely sunset tour to the summit of Mount Snow, or a trek across Somerset Reservoir, there’s something for everyone at Snowmobile Vermont. Trips book up fast, so please visit mountsnow.com/snowmobile to book your trip today.
If that’s not your style, relax and unwind at Mount Snow’s Naturespa, located in the Grand Summit Resort Hotel. Naturespa offers pure, natural and organic spa treatments, guided mountain treks, holistic health, and fitness specialties. The Naturespa staff is trained in a variety of healing arts and their approach to wellness is styled after a provincial nature retreat.
Stratton Mountain Resort: There’s fun for everyone with lift-served snow tubing, moonlight snowshoe tours, and 12km of cross country trails for skiing and fat biking. Unwind with a massage from the Village Day Spa or enjoy a dog sled ride through Vermont’s wooded terrain. Stay active off the slopes at Stratton’s Training and Fitness Center – equipped with an Olympic-sized, salt-water swimming pool, cardio and weight room and the Cliff Drysdale Tennis Center. Stroll through the Village and outfit yourself for all your adventures at shops like Burton, The North Face or First Run; Venture 20 minutes down route-100 to Manchester and discover more than 40 designer outlets.
Okemo Mountain Resort: While the major draw for people visiting Okemo during the winter is alpine skiing and snowboarding, there are plenty of activities off the slopes. Visitors can experience a thrill, sharpen a skill or kick back and chill. For a thrill, try Okemo’s Timber Ripper Mountain Coaster or snow tubing down a specially groomed chute in the Jackson Gore courtyard. Learn a new skill or re-experience a favorite childhood pastime like ice skating at Okemo’s skating pavilion, rent a fat bike for riding on snow, go snowshoeing, cross country skiing, or even work on your golf game at Okemo’s indoor golf facility. Chill out with an after-hours snowcat excursion to the top of the mountain, take a swim or soak in a hot tub at Okemo’s Spring House Pool & Fitness Center. Enjoy a massage or a facial at the spa. And there’s always a comfy seat by the fire, where you can indulge in a hot chocolate or lose yourself in a good book.
Magic Mountain: Well, it really is about sliding on snow at Magic, whether its skiing, snowboarding or snow tubing. Magic’s top “amenity” is its simple throwback ski experience and ski community vibe. It’s all accessible from one centralized lift and lodge service area with its famous Black Line Tavern on the top floor of the lodge. This coming season there will be more “snow bar” happenings half way up the hill at the special Sunshine Corner spot above the new Green Lift. Sunshine Corner offers gorgeous late afternoon sunset views and on-snow camaraderie with fellow skiers and riders. It’s all about winter sports and those who love it.
Smugglers’ Notch Resort: There seem to be two types of people in the world. Those who love being outside in Winter, and those who could do without. Luckily, Smugglers’ appeals to both. With FunZone 2.0, guests of all ages and interests are delighted to have a warm place to play, regardless of what the weather throws out. With 26,000 square feet of indoor fun, an on-site café, and beer and wine available, there’s no reason to have to step outside when the weather turns sour! Outdoor hits include snowmobile tours through the historic Smugglers’ Notch pass, and CatTrax heated-cabin snow cat rides to the summits of Smugglers’ most popular peaks.
Sugarbush Resort: Skiing and riding are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the activities at Sugarbush. Snowshoeing is a great way to experience the quiet of winter, see signs of wildlife, and get some exercise. The resort offers both self-guided access and guided tours. Guided tours include photography tours, twilight tours, and the more endurance-based outback tours in the Slide Brook Basin. Cabin Cat Adventures also offer a great way to experience the mountain, whether it’s Allyn’s Lodge Fireside Dining at the top of Gadd Peak, Cabin Cat First Tracks on a powder day or Sunset Groomer Rides to the top of Lincoln Peak. Sugarbush’s uphill policy, which allows for skinning and hiking on designated routes outside of operating hours, is another great way to enjoy the mountain. Guests will also find that the Mad River Valley boasts numerous activities from ice-skating and an Icelandic horse farm to a locally owned movie theater and cross country skiing.
Suicide Six Ski Area/Woodstock Inn: Woodstock Nordic Adventure Center at the Woodstock Inn & Resort provides adventurers with 30 kilometers of trails to explore via cross country skis, fat bikes or snowshoes.
After a day outdoors guests can warm up by the Inn’s iconic lobby fireplace or retreat to The Spa. The 10,000 square foot facility is complete with a relaxation space, Shaker wood stoves, a hot tub and a Scandinavian sauna. The nature-inspired ambience is achieved through natural light and vaulted ceilings while personalized spa treatments utilizing organic products melt away any last traces of tension.
The guest-favorite game room, draped in cozy Vermont flannel, is fully equipped for game night with a giant Scrabble board, foosball table, vintage pinball machines, board games, and more.
The Woodstock Athletic Club is a complete facility with indoor and outdoor tennis courts, racquetball courts, a 30-by-60-foot heated indoor lap pool, a whirlpool, workout equipment and steam and sauna rooms.
Trapp Family Lodge: Trapp Family Lodge is about more than skiing – it’s about experiencing the best of Vermont. Take a horse-drawn sleigh ride with your loved ones through the meadows with stunning views into the valley. Enjoy any number of tours to learn about everything from the history of the von Trapp family and property to how maple sugar is made. Don’t miss von Trapp Brewing for a tour of the state-of-the-art brewery onsite or dine in the Bierhall to sample the lagers and enjoy the authentic Austrian experience and cuisine.