Embracing Vermont’s Ski Villages
While a day on the mountain is a day well spent, a day in one of Vermont’s quaint villages or mountain base areas is a must-do when visiting the Green Mountain State. Whether engaging in off-slope activities like cross country skiing, fat biking and dog sledding, or choosing a more relaxed path filled with window shopping, local beer and spirit tastings or spa treatments, Vermont’s resorts and villages offer much more than expected, and it’s all here for visitors to explore this season.
Jay Peak Resort
Looks like the folks at Jay Peak didn’t think a 60,000-square foot indoor waterpark and NHL-sized ice arena were enough to keep people entertained off-slope. This winter the resort opens Clips&Reels, a 15,000-square foot entertainment center that features a 142-seat cinema draught house (READ: a movie theater where you can drink beer and cocktails), and a Clip ‘n Climb climbing facility featuring multiple climbing walls along with a horizontal ropes course. If that isn’t enough to keep everyone entertained, a state-of-the-art video arcade is under the same roof.
Bromley Mountain Resort
Manchester and the surrounding mountains create a great neighborhood for family activities both on and off the slopes. If Bromley isn’t having a typically perfect Sun Mountain weather day, check out the great ice at the Riley Rink at Hunter Park. Manchester Designer Outlets are right down the hill for great discount shopping. Prefer on-snow activities? Neigh for sleigh rides at Taylor Farm in Londonderry, or at Horses for Hire in Peru. Really want to be on snow? The local cross country skiing is great Check out Wild Wings in Peru, or Hildene in Manchester. Visitors can even try dogsledding nearby with Husky Works Mushing Company's team of friendly Siberian huskies.
The Woodstock Inn/Suicide Six Ski Area
Located on the Village Green in the heart of Woodstock, Vermont, the Woodstock Inn & Resort offers warm New England hospitality amidst an atmosphere of rustic country elegance with year-round recreation. The facility offers award-winning dining, 142 luxurious guest rooms and suites, 30+ activities, indoors and out. Resort facilities include a 10,000 square-foot full service spa, 18-hole Robert Trent Jones, Sr. golf course, Suicide Six downhill ski area, a Nordic Ski Center, and a 40,000 sq. ft. Athletic Club. Just outside the front door, the Village comprises of tasteful art galleries and antique shops as well as very unique boutiques and restaurants.
Smugglers’ Notch Resort
Abundant off-slope activities at Smugglers’ Notch Resort provide 24/7 fun for all ages. Family activities include guided nature walks on snowshoes, ice skating, and daytime and evening tube sliding. For ages eight and older, the ArborTrek zip line canopy tour offers breathtaking views of the snowy mountains while flying from tree platform to tree platform. The all new 26,000 square foot FunZone 2.0 provides exciting activities for all ages including indoor climbing, laser tag, inflatable obstacle courses, toddler play area and much more. Adults can enjoy a weekly snowshoe summit gourmet dinner in a candlelit cabin, followed by a guided trek rounding out a companionable evening with other guests. Indoors, local artists teach painting and sculpting classes, and massage services and yoga sessions provide soothing relaxation.
Mount Snow Resort
While Mount Snow is all about skiing and riding, they realize there’s more to a vacation than shredding the slopes. Grab the kids and head over to their tubing park, or spend the day touring the woods of Vermont via snowmobile, dog sled or horse-drawn sleigh. Into human-powered activities? Give their snowshoeing and cross-country skiing offerings a try. Looking to relax and treat yourself? Naturespa, located in the Grand Summit Resort Hotel, offers pure, natural and organic spa treatments and massage.
Skiing and riding are just the tip of the iceberg when thinking about activities at Sugarbush resort. Snowshoeing at Sugarbush is a great way to experience the quiet, 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 at Sugarbush 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.
Okemo Mountain Resort
All trails lead back to the base area, and Okemo, known for its big-mountain skiing and snowboarding with superb snow and surface conditions, is also home to some of the East’s best off-mountain activities. Visitors can enjoy a mountain coaster, ice skating, snow tubing, fatbike riding, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, indoor golf, swimming, racquetball, fitness classes, aerobic and weight training, massage, sauna, relaxing by a fire, or soaking in a hot tub. There is also great shopping and dining. Local points of interest and activities in the area include historic sites, country stores, galleries, cheese factories, sugar houses, farm visits and more.
Bolton Valley is mountain living at its most convenient. The resort has the feel of a laid-back neighborhood, that has a ski mountain for a local park. Best of all, the entire area is easily explored on foot, allowing guests to park their car and forget about it until it is time to pack up and head home.
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. Have kids that just can’t stop moving? Let them bounce away their energy at the Indoor Amusement Center.
Stratton Mountain Resort
No car needed at the amenity packed Village at Stratton’s base. Shop for winter essentials at First Run Ski Shop, dine by the fireside at Table 43.1 or unwind with a massage from the Village Day Spa. Stay active off the slopes at Stratton’s Training and Fitness Center – equipped with an Olympic size salt water swimming pool, hot tub, cardio and weight room and Cliff Drysdale Tennis Center. The possibilities are endless with more than 10 retail shops and 13 bars and restaurants all just steps from resort lodging and the gondola.
Burke Mountain Resort
Not only is Burke Mountain home to some of the best “old-country” skiing and riding in the state of Vermont but they are also home to an extensive network of fat biking and cross country trails. Having lay dormant for several years, the trails at the Dashney Nordic Center located just a mile from the Burke Mountain Hotel & Conference Center are back and proudly boast over 15 km of groomed cross country and snowshoe trails. Kingdom Trails, the famous cross country network boasting over 100 miles of flow mountain bike trails in the summer is equally as fun in the winter months having some of the best fat biking terrain in the Northeast.
Killington Resort and Pico Mountain
While known for their skiing and riding, the Killington valley offers plenty to do other than sliding on the mountain. For close-by activities at the resort check out the Beast Mountain Coaster, snowshoe tours, fat biking, scenic gondola rides or the tubing park. Nearby, visitors will find a plethora of breweries, local shopping in downtown Rutland and more restaurants and bars than one can count on the infamous Killington Access Road. Whether it’s for live music, the world-famous soup and salad bar at dinner time or dancing the night away, Killington’s Wobbly Barn is a must-visit spot.
Stowe Mountain Resort
Stowe Mountain Resort’s new outdoor Ice Skating Rink and Stowe Rocks indoor climbing center are just where the journey begins when venturing off the ski slopes. Complimentary snowshoe tours, live entertainment in the base venues, a world-class spa, Performing Arts Center, dining, shopping and more await visitors right as they come off the mountain. Add to this the historic and vibrant Town of Stowe with its galleries, museums, lifestyle shops, breweries and restaurants.
Trapp Family Lodge
What do you do when you go to the first cross-country center in North America? When it’s Trapp Family Lodge, you celebrate the 50th anniversary by exploring the 2500 acres on which the center was found! During that exploration, wind your way down to the Bierhall to enjoy a cold lager, head to the cabin for some homemade lunch or come during the celebration week – January 20-26 – and participate in celebrations, activities and skiing with the von Trapps!
The Quechee Club
The Quechee Club, Vermont’s four-season recreational community, offers off-slope activities for all ages and interests. The Recreation Department coordinates on and off campus excursions like fat biking, Twilight Nordic ski tours, dog sledding, and mobile laser tag. Their Teen Adventure Programs include indoor skydiving, indoor rock climbing and more. Juniors will have a blast at Kids Night Out, which offers on campus activities like Flick n’ Float movie night and other themed activities.
Magic’s top amenities are its simple throwback ski experience and ski community vibe. It’s all accessible from one easy, centralized lift and lodge service area with its famous Black Line Tavern at the top of the lodge. This coming season they will be extending the social vibe up the slopes as they create more “snow bar” happenings half way up the hill at Magic’s special Sunshine Corner spot. Located above the new Green Lift, the Sunshine Corner boasts gorgeous late afternoon sunset views and on-snow camaraderie with fellow skiers and riders.
Mountain Top Inn and Resort
Mountain Top Inn and Resort sits at the top of a mountain road offering an abundance of amenities on their 350-acre property. Luxurious accommodations, a tavern and dining room, 60km of cross country ski and snowshoe trails, horse drawn sleigh rides, ice skating, snowmobiling, sledding, hot tub, sauna and spa. Looking to explore Vermont’s quaint villages? Mountain Top Inn & Resort is just miles away from central Vermont where visitors can find breweries like Long Trail and alpine mountains like Killington and Pico.
Mad River Glen
The Mad River Valley is a unique combination of community and resort that has to be visited to really appreciate. The Valley is tucked between two legendary mountains, Sugarbush and Mad River Glen, and it’s no surprise that the town of Waitsfield was voted the best ski town in the East by Outside Magazine. The Valley is breathtaking and easy-going all at once, yet rich with diversions for every taste. The Mad River Valley’s vibe is hard to define, and impossible to forget.