It’s that time of year, when the cold settles in, emerging the wintery snow bunnies and ski aficionados who live for some of the best slopes in the nation. Vermont is just a short and enjoyable paradise of snowy adventures right in the heart of New England and features the most coveted mountains in the United States.
Vermont’s highest peak, Mount Mansfield, is a must see as are both double-black-diamond trails and plenty of beginner runs. Aside from skiing six distinctive areas at Stowe Mountain Resort, there are simple pleasures like the Ben & Jerry’s ice cream plant, old-fashioned Shaw’s General Store, and Solstice, whose dreamy views of Spruce Peak and seasonal, locavore dishes conspire to make it one of America’s most romantic restaurants. If you’re in the mood, splurge on a stay at Topnotch, where a hot-stone massage caps off a day on the slopes.
Vermont’ maple sugar shacks steam during a statewide “sugaring-off” festival, but you can taste all things maple any time of the year from the crème brulee at Stowe’s Green Mountain Inn to Sapling’s Maple Liqueur to Lawson’s Finest Liquids Maple Tripple, a rare strong ale.
Bostonians and New Yorkers are increasingly flying to ski in the West but with its stopovers and winter delays, Vermont is becoming known as the Vail or Aspen of the East.
Killington Resort boasts more than 70 miles of diverse terrain spread across six peaks and offers the most expansive lift network and snowmaking system in the East. Furthermore, the numerous après, dining, shopping and lodging options have made Killington a world-class destination for East Coast skiers and riders for over 50 years.
Killington provides skiers and riders of all ability levels a choice of wide-open groomed cruisers, narrow classic New England runs, moguls, steeps and trees, all serviced by 22 lifts including two express gondolas. The Resort offers multiple terrain features for snowboarders and freeskiers in six terrain parks including the all-new Skier/Boarder Cross Courses, Burton’s The Stash, an all-natural terrain park with more than 50 features as well as a 500-foot long Superpipe with 18-foot walls.
Take an Adult Ski lesson, group Snowboard Lesson or just partner with friends on an easier terrain. After your ski morning fun, have lunch at The Long Trail Pub and try their Snowshed Red Ale. The pub offers great après at the base of the mountain in Snowshed Lodge. It’s part restaurant and part sports bar, which features spectacular views and live entertainment, including lots of fun for groups of friends. After you work off your lunch and take two more trips down the mountain, head over to one of my favorite social spots, Umbrella Bar. You’ll be warm from the last run and enjoy looking up at the skiers coming down to the base of the mountain right where New Yorkers and Bostonians meet in a colorful round bar of crisp cold mountain air. Listen to live music, sip Bloody Mary’s and watch the deep blue sky turn to a dark black behind the beautiful bright lights shining on the glistening snow and talent of experienced skiers.
Head back to your Trail Creek condo, take a nap, then head out for some fun entertainment and music at the Pickle Barrel. The Pickle Barrel has 3 levels of dynamic entertainment space, performance stages, dance floors and bars housed within one of the area’s most storied buildings. The Pickle Barrel has been a favorite party spot and gathering place since the 1960s, and today its legendary stage is home to the top names in music.
The next day, take an hour and a half drive to Ludlow and enjoy a relaxed atmosphere at Okemo Mountain. It is the ideal hub from which to launch family fun and adventure at any time of the year.
Their expertly groomed 120 trails extend through pristine meadows and rolling hills offering cross country skiing and snowshoeing as an alternative to alpine skiing. The Jackson Gore Inn is conveniently located slopeside at the base of the mountain with rooms facing the incredible peaks of Okemo Mountain where you can essentially ski out of the hotel and onto the slopes. Even kids with the shortest attention span will find plenty of distraction in the adventure zone from the winter zipline to the exhilarating Mountain Coaster and snow tubing park. Adults can take in the invigorating mountain air while taking a dip in their outdoor Jacuzzi with forever views of the mountain range.
Coleman Brook Tavern
Coleman Brook Tavern is all about settling in and unwinding in comfort and ease. Wing-back chairs and cozy sofas are the first step in making this the ultimate ending to your adventurous day.
The menu prepared by Executive Chef Scot Emerson includes many inspired specialties that cater to a discerning palate, with plenty of favorites for the kids to enjoy as well. Look for the table-top s’mores, a favorite with families of all ages. Our award-winning wine list features over 600 selections and 7,000 bottles. Try the pan-seared jumbo lump crab cake and the line caught Yellowfin Tuna, sesame coated with vegetables and noodles tossed in a peanut sauce.
After dinner, sit in front of the fireplace at the Jackson Gore Inn and people watch while you sip some of the best whiskeys around or try a locally inspired vodka Vermont Gold®. It is a pure, delicate vodka distilled from the sap of maple trees and lightly filtered to allow the distinctive quality of the maple fermentation to shine through in the finished vodka.
Head back to The Mountain Lodge where conveniently located just steps from your door are all skier services including lifts, just waiting for you to walk out and jump on, the second you wake up.
After enjoying the slopes at Okemo, treat yourself to a lunch at Epic Restaurant located at the base of the Solitude lift. Enjoy the wonderful food, superb service, breathtakingly beautiful views and a circular fireplace in the middle of the dining room to ensure an unforgettable culinary experience.
Vermont resorts are an easy, convenient drive from anywhere in the East. Interstates 89, 91 and Vermont Route 100, the fabled skiers’ highway, provide excellent access to Vermont mountains and villages. With excellent air service, Burlington International Airport is a convenient point of access to northern and central Vermont resorts. Heritage Aviation is ideal for chartering a flight. For a convenient, fun, scenic ride, Amtrak offers local service up and down the East Coast.
We definitely recommend Columbia Sportswear for your skiing and socializing needs. Durable ripstop nylon repels stains and rain while the Omni-Heat thermal reflective lining give this super lightweight insulated jacket points in the warmth department. It helps regulate your temperature with little silver dots that reflect and retain the warmth your body generates. Not to mention that you’ll be one of the most stylish skiers on the slopes.
For more information, visit www.skivermont.com