The Vermont Ski Village: Where to Stay, What to Do
Whether it’s following a perfect ski day, or during a day of rest, no one can resist the charm of a Vermont ski village. Each mountain resort and town has its own irresistible charm, and plenty of non-ski specific activities to keep anyone and everyone entertained. Interested in exploring other snow related activities? Don’t miss moonlight snow-shoe tours, horse-drawn sleigh rides, ice skating, snowmobiling, or even ziplining through a twinkling winter forest. Looking for something warmer? How about an indoor waterpark adventure, world class shopping, concert going, or relaxing fireside at a cozy slopeside condo? After all of this activity, always be sure to book yourself a session at a soothing spa to melt the work of the day away!
Mount Snow Resort
There’s a ton of terrain to explore at Mount Snow while the lifts are spinning, but there’s just as many adventures to be had off the slopes. Guided snowmobile tours leave right from the base area and are available through High Country Tours 802-464-2108. Enjoy a guided snowshoe tour on the mountain with equipment rental available or glide on the many kilometers of the area’s pristine cross country ski trails. If you’re looking for a more unique adventure, dog sledding with Husky Works Mushing Company is where you’ll find it (802-896-3478). After all this adventuring, pamper yourself at the recently renovated naturespa, located in the Grand Summit Resort Hotel (802-464-6606).
Mount Snow offers an abundance of lodging located on-resort including the slopeside Grand Summit Resort Hotel, the recently renovated Snow Lake Lodge featuring brand new beds for this upcoming season and a broad selection of multi-bedroom condominiums. The Mount Snow Valley is also home to many country inns, B&B’s and rental homes all available for your ski vacation. Contact Mount Snow Central Reservations, 800-245-SNOW.
Stratton Mountain Resort
Stratton Mountain delivers the complete resort experience with a range of accommodations, slopeside Village, Sports Center with pool, and scores of activities including moonlight snowshoe treks, snowmobile tours, ice skating under the stars, snowtubing and dog sled adventures. The HUB, at the heart of Stratton Village, is open daily for an inside guide to all that Stratton and southern Vermont have to offer.
Lodging options, all at the heart of the resort, range from the convenient Liftline Lodge and the newly remodeled Stratton Mountain Inn – with Bentley’s restaurant and the airy Living Room yoga studio – to spacious and well-appointed condominiums including the five-bedroom, five bath Penthouse with private elevator. Guests will also enjoy new options in Village shopping and dining for the 2013-14 winter season.
Bromley is the epicenter for a host of off-slope activities. If carving figure eights is your thing, check out the ice at Riley Rink at Hunter Park in Manchester. Horse-Drawn Sleigh rides depart from the Taylor Farm on Route 11, Karl Pfister in Landgrove and Horses for Hire in Rawsonville. Cross-country skiers can check out Wild Wings in Peru, Hildene in Manchester, Tater Hill in Windham and Viking in Londonderry, which also offers snowshoeing. For guided snowmobile rides, there’s Equinox Snow Tours nearby and Alpine Tours on Stratton Mountain. More listings and all the contact info for these activities are on Bromley’s family ski vacations activities webpage.
Outlet shopping anyone? Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, Betsey Johnson, Brooks Brothers, Coach, Escada, Giorgio Armani, J. Crew, Polo and TSE are just a few of the names you'll find down the road in Manchester.
The hub of Magic’s nightlife is The Black Line Tavern on the top floor of its base lodge. It is home to one of southern Vermont’s most relaxed and spirited Après-ski, live music and dinner scenes. It’s a throwback to the original spirit of the 1960s skiing lifestyle—where fun was more important than fashion, and making friends preempted making statements. Just a short walk away is the Upper Pass Lodge which also offers up a warm fireplace and relaxing setting for cocktails. Both the Upper Pass Lodge and Blue Gentian Inn offer convenient walk-to-Magic lodging for guests.
The town of Londonderry is a short drive featuring The Mill for fine dining along with the American Grill and Jake’s. The Vermont Country Store is up the road on Route 100 in Weston and a 20 minute drive takes you down into Manchester with the area’s biggest variety of restaurants and shopping.
Between Magic, Bromley and Stratton, which form Vermont’s “Golden Triangle”, there is an unbelievable variety of winter skiing, cross country, snowshoeing, scenic, entertainment and dining experiences—all within a short 10 miles of each other!
Okemo Mountain Resort
Okemo offers one of New England’s largest selections of slopeside and mountainside lodging options and excels at providing a memorable winter experience off the slopes, as well as on. Visitors can ride an all-season mountain coaster, take a zipline tour, or enjoy ice skating, snow tubing, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, swimming, family après-ski activities, indoor golf, fitness classes, massage, sauna, relaxing by a fire, or soaking in a hot tub.
For those who travel farther afield, the village of Ludlow and the entire Okemo Valley invites visitors to enjoy shopping at classic country stores, specialty shops and galleries. The area offers numerous dining options, après ski locations and community events open to the public. www.okemo.com
Killington Resort & Pico Mountain
Whether you’re in the mood for an après burger and beer, a gourmet meal or just a place to put your feet up and take it all in, you’ll find it at one of over 50 restaurants and bars in the Killington region. After all, it’s only a great day if it’s followed by an awesome evening.
Quechee Ski Area
The Quechee Club is pleased to offer to the public a brand new paddle tennis facility. They also have ice skating, cross country skiing and snowshoeing all available to the public. A simple call to the clubhouse will get you the information you need (802) 295-9356.
Adventures at Sugarbush include sunset groomer rides, fireside dining at Allyn’s Lodge via cabin cat, guided evening mountain hikes, parents’ night out, family rock climbing parties, bounce house, tennis, snowshoe tours, teen nights and more. For overnight guests, Clay Brook Hotel and Residences is absolute winter vacation convenience. Ski and gear valet, concierge services, outdoor pool and hot tubs accompany studio to five-bedroom suites just steps away from the lift. Guests are within walking distance of multiple dining choices, a general store, and ski and ride schools. For more affordable options, check out the Sugarbush Inn and resort condominiums; please visit http://www.sugarbush.com/.
Mad River Glen
Have you ever wondered why there are so many snowshoe hare tracks on the slopes? Or seen the bear bites and scratches on trees and questioned the meaning behind them? Perhaps you have encountered Moose tracks and pondered how they can survive the winters. You can learn more about these animals, mountains and forests of Vermont by taking part in one of Mad River Glen’s award-winning Naturalist Programs. These programs provide a window into the world of animals and a unique perspective on the woods. Learn more at www.madriverglen.com
Off the slopes, Bolton Valley offers a ski to your door lodging experience. The Inn at Bolton Valley is so close to the mountain you can put your boots on in your room and head straight to the lifts. You can choose from a traditional hotel room, a studio or a one or two bedroom suite all conveniently located in the main base area. Several condos located just a short walk to the main base area are also an option for guests. Bolton also offers two restaurants; The James Moore Tavern and Fireside Flatbread. Other food and beverage options include a cafeteria and a real Vermont country store complete with a deli that is always serving up tasty treats. Don’t forget about the sports center with pool, hot tub, sauna and plenty of games for the kids.
Stowe Mountain Resort
At Stowe Mountain Lodge, the spa and recreation teams go beyond what most people think is “healthy” to ensure that all guests connect with nature and feel inspired by Stowe’s surroundings, which in return exudes the true meaning of health and wellness
Activities in 2013/2014 include a Rustic Furniture Class at a local furniture maker’s riverside studio; mountain meditation sessions at sunrise and sunset; “Bach to Nature” boot camp that involves core work, cardio and classical music outdoors; customized bird watching and guided hikes; a “Java Hike or Snowshoe” that includes coffee and a morning hike/snowshoe; and “Stowega” - an outdoor and on-snow yoga class; as well as many other activities that involve the surrounding beauty and natural setting of Stowe, Vermont.
Topnotch Resort & Spa
The Green Mountains are renowned as a vacation paradise throughout the year, with cold and warm weather outdoor pursuits. The village of Stowe is the very definition of Vermont and New England, as well as a thoroughly inviting destination for shopping, dining and nightlife. A vibrant art and culture scene includes numerous galleries with work by local and regional artists, museums, theatre guilds, and performing arts spaces.
Smugglers’ Notch Resort
Off-slope activities at Smugglers’ Notch Resort are abundant and provide fun for all ages. For ages 8 and older, the ArborTrek zip line canopy tour offers breathtaking views of the snowy mountains in winter on travel from tree platform to tree platform on three- or six-line options. Adults enjoy the Snowshoe Adventure Dinner that features a late afternoon lift ride to the top of Sterling Mountain and a gourmet dinner in a candlelit cabin, with a guided snowshoe trek back to the base completing a companionable evening with other guests. For those seeking indoor pursuits, local artisans teach painting and sculpting classes, and massage services, foot reflexology and yoga sessions provide soothing relaxation. Evening fun for adults in Bootlegger’s Lounge features magic shows, karaoke, dance parties and live music.
Family activities at Smugglers’ include playing in the indoorFunZone featuring climbing inflatables; ice skating; and tube sliding. Two teen centers offer a home base with plenty of activities for ages 13 and older. (www.smuggs.com)
Burke Mountain Resort
The Burke area offers a variety of lodging options ranging from quaint B&B’s, to slope side condominiums, rejuvenating spas and family-friendly hotels. Explore your options at www.skiburke.com
Hungry? The quaint town of East Burke has (surprisingly to some) excellent options. From make your own waffles in the morning to a perfect rack of lamb finished in a wood oven, to a burger and craft beer at a pub, there’s something for every palate.
Located minutes away, Nordic skiing and snowshoeing are offered at the home of the best mountain bike trail network in North America, the Kingdom Trails Network. Explore these world famous trails in the winter too! www.kingdomtrails.org.
Or, explore Vermont by snowmobile on VAST Snowmobile Trails. Burke is central to the miles of trails in the Vermont wilderness. Snowmobile rentals are available with free delivery to Burke Mountain.
Or explore the local country stores, craft shops, art galleries, historic libraries and museums for that special gift or unique, locally-made collectible.
Jay Peak Resort
Why worry about the weather when planning your winter vacation. Jay Peak Resort has invented the weather-proof getaway. With the 50,000-square foot Pump House indoor waterpark and the NHL-sized Ice Haus skating arena, no matter what’s happening outside, you are guaranteed a vacation.