By Hillary Latos
When the first snowflakes of the season begin to fall and the Northeast begins to glisten in white merriment, skiers and snowboarders begin to count down the days until the slopes open. In just a few short hours by train or auto, transport yourself to the charming ski resorts in Vermont that has something for everyone – charming villages, daredevil mountains, snow bunny hills, luxury spas, unchartered Nordic trails and fine dining.
Stowe is the quintessential Vermont resort town. For generations, visitors have been coming to Stowe for their venerated trails, luxurious spas, cultural activities, and historic village. Home to Vermont’s highest peak, Spruce Peak at Mt. Masfield, the resort has been undergoing a major expansion recently and introduced state of the art alpine facilities and a Performing Arts Center attracting top tier talent from the worlds of theater, music, dance, and comedy year round. Sports enthusiasts come for the two famous mountains that encompass 485 acres of 116 skiable trails with the majority of runs in the Intermediate (59%) and expert (25%) levels. Leave plenty of time to explore the historic and charming New England town of Stowe and meander through museums and galleries featuring local artists as well as small boutiques and shops selling one of a kind pieces.
One of the best resorts to escape the stress of the city is at TopNotch Resort surrounded by a 120 acre wooded estate. Designed in a contemporary zen style, nature is brought inside with expansive windows overlooking the majestic scenery creating a serene and intimate escape. Consistently ranked as one of the top spas in the country, indulge in one of their spa packages focused on individual wellness pathways such as discovery, revive, rejuvenate, or restore, and you will leave as a new person. Signature treatments include a maple sugar body scrub, aroma mountain massage, Carita lagoon facial, or custom healing energy sessions. Accommodations range from oversized contemporary country chic double or King rooms and suites with luxurious touches like pillow top mattresses and Keurig coffee makers serving Vermont Green mountain coffee to exquisitely appointed two to three bedroom townhouses with expansive views of the mountains, providing a perfect country retreat for families. For après ski, The Roost is a perfect spot to unwind by the fire pit with friends over a craft beer or a creative cocktail along with light Vermont inspired small delicacies such as stuffed clams, pork belly tacos, shrimp dumplings, or fried avocado. For casual contemporary fare in a magical setting, the Flannel restaurant serves comfort food with a sophisticated flair with stand out dishes such as honey glazed pork belly and tenderloin, New England Halibut with saffron and chorizo, and confit leg of duck with a cherry balsamic reduction. Afterwards retreat to your balcony and take in the sights and air only found in Vermont.
4000 Mountain Road,
Stowe, VT 05672
The largest and perhaps the most famous ski resort in Vermont is Killington, aka the Beast, that sits on a massive 3000 acres spread over 140 trails across 6 peaks with 28% of the trails at the easy level and 39% at the Expert level that include classic runs, moguls, steeps and trees, as well as a natural terrain park for snowboarders. With the most expansive lift network in the East, Killington has one of the best après ski scenes in the Northeast with skiers, snowboarders, and après skiers converging at the Roaring Brook Umbrella Bar that serves light bistro fare and strong concotions with breathtaking views of Killington Peak and live music. From November through March, Killington hosts a jam packed schedule of bands, festivals, and national competitions.
4763 Killington Road,
Killington, VT 05751
Okemo is the ideal destination for family travel with 120 expertly groomed trails that extend through pristine meadows and rolling hills and offer 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. Their flagship restaurant, Coleman Brook Tavern serves some of the finest culinary farm to table fare in South Central Vermont such as maple pepper seasoned NY Strip steak or braised beef shortribs with gruyere gremolata that are complemented by an extensive wine list. •
Okemo Mountain Resort
77 Okemo Ridge Rd,
Ludlow, VT 05149
HOW TO GET THERE:
The easiest way to get to Vermont is by Amtrak with direct trains on the Ethan Allen Express to Rutland, VT or by plane to Burlington Airport.