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Where to go in Utah, I mean East Coast

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

I was planning a trip with the wife to Utah, but due to certain circumstance, it looks like we might have to shorten our trip and head to the east coast.

 

I have never skied out east, and really don't know too much about the resorts out there.  We'll be flying from Detroit and meeting some family from PA.  What we are looking for is some good skiing, no double-blacks required, and a nice place to stay on the mountain.  A rippin' party scene is not necessary, just a place to grab some good food, have some good local brews then head back to a hot tub is more our speed.


Ability level: Blue and black runs - I like to explore more than the wife, who seems to gravitate to the groomers.

 

I don't mind a bit of a drive (up to 3 hours), so would flying direct to Boston from DTW be the best way to access the resorts in NH and VT?

 

The trip will likely be a long weekend, i.e. fly out on a Thursday and leave Sunday (or Friday to Monday). 

 

We're not a big fan of crowds, but realize that sometimes that can't be avoided, especially on weekends.

 

I'm open to suggestions since everything will be new for us out there.  Appreciate the feedback!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

post #2 of 15

I'll throw a few things out though not sure anything will really meet all of your needs. If you were skiing midweek non-holiday I'd probably say take a look at Loon -- lots of blue terrain with on-mountain lodging but tends to get very busy weekends and holidays. You might go a little further and take a look at Bretton Woods. BW is a very mellow mountain with lots of easy cruisers. The most likely place to stay would be the Mt. Washington which would likely be a great, albeit expensive, experience. Not a lot else in the immediate BW area. BW is often criticized as not being sufficiently challenging but a great place for timid intermediates and very nice views. Just down the road is Cannon if you're looking for somewhat more challenge. You might also take a look at Sunday River in Maine - I've never been but think it would meet most of your needs. I think SR is probably 3.5 hours from Boston? I think Mount Snow, Stratton Mountain, and Okemo, all in VT, would also be places that would meet most of your needs. All have good intermediate terrain and all are reputed to be busy on weekends. I've only skied Okemo 1 time; it was a Saturday and it was painfully busy. Mount Snow has lots of intermediate terrain and while it too can be very busy it just hasn't had the frenetic feel that we experienced at Okemo. There are many options within 3 to 3.5 hours of Boston.

post #3 of 15

If you are going to get on an airplane it's pretty tough to recommend a New England place over the Rockies, and that's coming from a devoted East Coast skier.  You can be skiing Alta or Solitude faster than you can be skiing Sugarbush or Wildcat.

But if you were heading East I'd look at the latter two.  Sugarbush has some slopeside and near slopeside lodging and lots of varied terrain on two distinct mtns.  Wildcat does not have slopeside lodging, but there is the quaint town of Jackson about 10 miles away and a larger town with inexpensive motels 15 miles away in N. Conway. Wildcat has some of the most beautiful intermediate-advanced terrain in the East and is usually not too crowded.

post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the quick feedback.  If crowds are really an issue, we might consider doing something mid-week.  I agree that it would be better to head west, but heading east is more to accomodate our family who we will be joining out there.

post #5 of 15

If you fly into Boston, your drive to NH mountains will be 2 1/2 to 3 hours.  You can fly into Manchester, NH, and cut that by 1 hour.  Manchester has a nice small airport, much easier to negotiate than Boston.

 

For good eats and brews, nothing can beat North Conway in NH.  If you choose to stay there, it's a big skier's town, with lots of places to stay and plenty of variety in eats, plus the obligatory "outlet malls."  The mountains to look at within a short 1 hour or less drive from North Conway are:

 

1.  Sunday River in ME - ! 1/4 hour drive (big mountain, multiple summits, varied terrain); check out staying in Bethel; small town however

2.  Wildcat  - 25 minutes drive (medium-small mountain, stunning views, old school winding trails)

3.  Attitash - 15-20 minutes drive (medium mountain with some short steeps; actually two connected mts)

4.  Cranmore - 5 minutes (small mountain, lots of kids)

5.  Shawnee Peak in ME -  40 minutes  (small mountain with terrain variety)

6.  Bretton Woods - 45 minutes (big mountain, multiple peaks, great views but no steeps at all; nice intermediate groomers; has some nice glades for all levels of skiers); check out Mt. Washington Hotel, old, classic, and magnificent, and right there within driving distance to N. Conway

7.  Cannon - 1 hour (a "skier's mountain," it can be considered small but it is also tall;  if Mittersill is open and you want to ski it the place is medium in size;  if you're a diehard sidecountry skier it's large; the mt. is state-owned, with varied terrain); no apres unless you go to Lincoln, Woodstock, or N. Conway.

8.  Loon - large multi-peak mountain.  If interested, stay in Lincoln not North Conway.  Lincoln is a strip of shops catering to the Loon crowd, but there is Woodstock nearby, a very small quaint New England village also catering to the ski crowd.  Nice eats in Woodstock.

 

Am I forgetting anything? 

post #6 of 15

Manchester is an airport option if you go to NH, Burlington if you go to Northern VT.  Since it hasn't been mentioned, Stowe is pricey, but the quintessential Eastern ski area/ ski town.  

If you get picked up at an airport in PA or NJ closer to relatives then Southern VT resorts may be more convenient, if a bit more crowded.  If you go the weekend after Pres Weekend or later everywhere will be close to empty.  Midweek will be empty everywhere unless you coincide with New England grade school break in Feb.

post #7 of 15
Whiteface doesn't have slopeside lodging but the town of Lake Placid would fit all of your off the hill requirements. I'm guessing you could fly into Albany and have the relatives pick you up along the way.
post #8 of 15


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by MiRider View Post

...a nice place to stay on the mountain.

 

This can mean many different things. If you are looking for a deluxe place that will make you feel richer than you are (while making you poorer), Sugarbush, Stowe, Jay have new luxury hotels at their base.

(Disclaimer - haven't been to the last two since they were finished.  Never stayed at any of them.)

 

If you are looking for a roomy place with amenities (like that hot tub), there is a well established market of nearby (access road, essentially) places at various price points at all the larger mountains.  Condos, B&B, motels, etc. Stowe, Sugarbush, Killington, have good access roads.  Stowe and Sunday River (Bethel) have nice towns. Sugarbush used to have a nice town (Waitsfield) but it seems that a lot of it has gone out of business.  Sugarloaf is a great mountain, but it is a long ways away and kind of isolated.

 

North Conway seems to be the default spot for Boston people -- lots of condos, lots of restaurants, lots of outlet shopping.  But I don't like it, myself.  Feels too much like the suburbs.

 

 

post #9 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by MiRider View Post

I was planning a trip with the wife to Utah, but due to certain circumstance, it looks like we might have to shorten our trip and head to the east coast.

 

I have never skied out east, and really don't know too much about the resorts out there.  We'll be flying from Detroit and meeting some family from PA.  What we are looking for is some good skiing, no double-blacks required, and a nice place to stay on the mountain.  A rippin' party scene is not necessary, just a place to grab some good food, have some good local brews then head back to a hot tub is more our speed.


Ability level: Blue and black runs - I like to explore more than the wife, who seems to gravitate to the groomers.

 

 

Maybe more precisely targeted suggestions could be made by us easterners if you wouldn't mind telling us where your favorite skiing as been in the past - what mountains, what runs, what towns. Sort of like when you come into my wine store as a stranger and tell me you're having trout for dinner and would like something mellow and agreeable for everyone attending, I'll sell you one thing. It will fill the need and no one will hate it. But if you add that the last bottle your family genuinely got into was some funky single vineyard Alsace Riesling, I have a whole lot more to go on and and will be able to to recommend something much different (and more interesting).

 

 

post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 



I suppose I was a bit general in my original post.

 

"what mountains, what runs, what towns." - Loved our last trip to SSV, we stayed in a condo outside of the town (maybe 1/2 way between SSV and Banff) so it was a lot more quiet than the places in town, and the runs off Goat's Eye were our favorites.

 

"If you are looking for a deluxe place that will make you feel richer than you are (while making you poorer)," - Not looking to break the bank on this one.  Definitely not 5-star guests, but wouldn't mind paying a little extra for a little something extra, like a hot tub.

 

"North Conway seems to be the default spot for Boston people -- lots of condos, lots of restaurants, lots of outlet shopping.  But I don't like it, myself.  Feels too much like the suburbs." - This is exactly what we are trying to avoid.  Not into shopping at all and would prefer a "mountain" experience vs. staying in the burbs.

 

"But if you add that the last bottle your family genuinely got into was some funky single vineyard Alsace Riesling, I have a whole lot more to go on and and will be able to to recommend something much different (and more interesting)." - Just for S&G's, it was a 2004 Dierberg Pinot Noir :)

 

Thanks for all the suggestions so far!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by qcanoe View Post

 

Maybe more precisely targeted suggestions could be made by us easterners if you wouldn't mind telling us where your favorite skiing as been in the past - what mountains, what runs, what towns. Sort of like when you come into my wine store as a stranger and tell me you're having trout for dinner and would like something mellow and agreeable for everyone attending, I'll sell you one thing. It will fill the need and no one will hate it. But if you add that the last bottle your family genuinely got into was some funky single vineyard Alsace Riesling, I have a whole lot more to go on and and will be able to to recommend something much different (and more interesting).

 

 



 

post #11 of 15

New Hampshire is very popular with Boston skiers for good reason.  But lots of Boston skiers head for Vermont.  Taking I93 then I89 out of Boston will get you easily into the heart of Vermont.  From there you have your choice of Okemo, Killington, Sugarbush and Stowe.  All have their pluses and minuses.  Okemo has the best collection of groomed cruisers but limited expert terrain and Ludlow is not the greatest town.  Sugarbush has great terrain for all levels and definitely the choice if you like small quiet towns versus bustling larger towns/small cities.  Stowe also has great terrain and nice long runs and the the town is classic Vermont.  Killington is the largest resort in the East with extensive snowmaking and great nightlife, but lacks the classic Vermont charm as there is no village, just the business that grew up on the access road over the years.  You really can't go wrong with any for a long weekend.

post #12 of 15

I can vouch for Okemo as a great place to stay slopeside. Don't know if they have any units with hottubs though. And Ludlow is fine if you just need a few establishments to choose from for beers and a bite to eat out, since you are only there for a bit. And the skiing will be just what you described you wanted. The main quad to the top can get quite busy peak times during weekend days, but don't know where you'll something like that.

 

Stowe doesn't have a lot in the way of on-mountain options (does have $$ hotel at base) but there are a ton of places to rent minutes from the mountain.

post #13 of 15

My choice for the east (also coming from the Detroit area) is Tremblant.  It has exactly what you're looking for, and is actually closer than the Vt or NH resorts.  About 10 hours door to door if you're driving, about an hour in the air plus 90 minutes from the airport to the hill if you're flying.

 

Of course, Tremblant is not all that convenient for your family from PA, so you're probably looking at Vt or NH since I don't think you want to ski PA or Mass and Maine is a bit far for your PA relatives. 

 

I liked Bretton Woods a lot - it's almost all easy cruisers with great grooming so the less advanced skiers will be happy there.  We rented a condo w/HT a short shuttle ride from the lifts. I'd skip Sunapee as it's more of a day destination from Boston - in fact, try to get as far from Boston as you can in order to avoid the weekend crowds.  Think about flying into Burlington, Manchester, or Albany.

 

Mt Snow would meet your needs I think, but it seemed a bit "generic", like you weren't really anywhere once you got there.  Sort of like Vail. But lots of easy groomers.  I liked skiing Bromley, but it's more of a day area - I don't remember any nearby lodging.  KMart is massive and  can be overwhelming.  And that's my $.02 based on my limited experience skiing the east.

post #14 of 15

if you are flying, your best bet would be to fly into manchester, nh for new hampshire areas, burlington, vt for vt...for easier access to southern vt areas, you can fly through boston to rutland, and portland, me for maine locations.

 

in nh, the mt. washington resort gives you across the street access to brettton woods, with cannon 30 min away and loon, wildcat, waterville and others within an hour.

 

burlington vt brings you within an hour's drive of stowe, sugarbush, mrg, smuggs and bolton valley

 

rutland vt brings you within an hour's drive of okemo, killington/pico, stratton, magic

 

portland, me is probably the closest airport to the maine resorts - sunday river (2h) , sugarloaf, saddleback (~3h) 

 

these are all great eastern resorts, each with its own unique appeal.  

 

sounds like a family trip - smuggs is consistently a top ranked family resort in VT.  same can be said for bretton woods in NH 

 

getting some snow finally...

post #15 of 15

I'll throw my vote in for Bretton Woods, for the criteria you're saying.  I was there on Sunday, and it's cruiser heaven.

 

Also, the Mt. Washington Hotel is offering a ski & stay package, for $99/night per person.  I'd read the fine print, but that's a great place to start.

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