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Northeast resort which one?

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
Im looking to go skiing in Vermont for winter break with my wife and two other couples.My wife and I are both experts. But the other 2 couples are beginners. Im looking for a mountain that has good terrain and a good village in case someone doesnt feel like skiing. I have skied at stowe, Sugarbush, okemo, Stratton. Any suggestions would be nice. thanks in advance
post #2 of 16
Thread Starter 
Forgot to mention were trying to avoid the crowds
post #3 of 16



Trying to resist snarky comments. Everyone wants to avoid the crowds, Everyone wants "good" terrain. You need to provide a whole lot more detail about your likes / dislikes / previous experiences / priorities, or you might as well just visit the Vermont Chamber of Commerce site. Maybe you should do that, actually. But you might start by explaining why Vermont? Especially since the body of your first post does not align with the thread title.

post #4 of 16

"A good village" sounds like Stowe, or maybe Stratton.  I wouldn't call the access road to Killington a "village."  


North Conway in NH is great, and has a lot to offer non-skiers.  There are several mountains nearby:  Wildcat, Attitash, Cranmore, Black, and if you want to drive a bit Bretton Woods, Shawnee Peak.  So plenty to pick from if your base is colorful North Conway.

post #5 of 16

What time frame is "winter break"?  If "winter break" is Christmas week, then everything will be crowded, and realistically, most open terrain will be terrain covered by snowmaking.  If "winter break" is later in the year when the natural snowfall starts to accumulate, then you start to have more options.


Stowe has a village that's straight out of a Norman Rockwell painting with plenty of shopping and dining activities.  There are a couple other nearby quaint villages worth exploring (Waterbury, Warren, Waitsfield) and Burlington (the biggest "city" in Vermont) is only about 45 minutes away as well.  They have legendary expert terrain along with some of the best beginner terrain around.

post #6 of 16

If your trying to avoid crowds go to Middlebury Snowbowl.


or come in prior to christmas or after new years.

post #7 of 16

Stowe for skiing.  Vermont is the best skiing in the east, and more north is more better. Lake Placid or North Conway if the town and cost is more important than skiing.



post #8 of 16

The problem with Vermont is that it is expensive and crowded, especially in the southern and central portions of the state. Lots of people from the mid-Atlantic flock to Killington, but I hate the place. It is the place to go if you're looking for nightlife. The skiing is frustrating though. Their lift system is terrible and the actual sustained vertical in any given run is mediocre at best. Stowe is an option if you don't mind very, very expensive and snobbish.


If you're serious about wanting something to do besides skiing then make the trip over to New Hampshire and stay in North Conway. It is by far the best place in New England ski country if you're looking for a diverse ski town. Be forewarned that the title of your post makes me a little nervous with that recommendation. Most skiing in NH is done at "ski areas", not resorts. Vermont is better if you're looking for a mountain covered by condos. In NH the skiing and lodging / shopping / dining / night life are separate. You ski at the mountain and then drive back to town. The big exception to this rule is Bretton Woods where the Mt Washington Hotel / Omni Resort present a great self-contained getaway for a weekend.


New Hampshire also (in general) has much shorter lines and lower prices than Vermont. There are lots of ski options in the White Mountains of NH. Within an hour of North Conway you have a lot more options than an hour within any point in Vermont, though each individual ski area is smaller than the sprawling Vermont areas. The hardcore will ski Cannon and Wildcat. The tame will stick to Cranmore and Bretton Woods.


If you really are looking for a resort destination and don't care about having a ski town, then I'd go to Jay Peak. The water park, ice skating rink, and spa will provide your options other than skiing. Experts skiers will be in heaven. It is far enough north that the hordes from NY, NJ, and CT tend not to make it there. People driving from elsewhere in New England tend don't tend to make it there either because it's twice as far as many other options. You're average Jay Peak customer is Canadian. Despite being on the Quebec border, they actually get more people from Ontario. Added bonus: because their customers are mostly Canadian they are not nearly as crowded on MLK Day and Presidents week.

post #9 of 16
Originally Posted by Josh Matta View Post

If your trying to avoid crowds go to Middlebury Snowbowl.


or come in prior to christmas or after new years.

Thanks for the plug Josh, Only caveat about the Bowl is that we have pretty limited terrain before mid Jan unless we get good natural snowfall. Yes you won't find lift lines though the parking lot looks full it is just a small lot. The town of Middlebury while not a ski resort town does have charm and expensive little shops like other areas. Lots of B&B's with a small Mariot with an indoor pool.

post #10 of 16

Coming in with a recommendation for a Jay/Burke combo. Burke and Jay both fits the ticket for beginner and expert terrain. Burke is typically far less crowded. You may be able to search for ski and stay packages at Jay that allow you to ski at either of the mountains (they pretty much share the same ownership). As others have pointed out, if "winter break" means one of the U.S. only holiday breaks, Jay and Burke's location farther north in VT keeps the crowds down.

post #11 of 16



Not crowded, inexpensive, terrain for all abilties & your choice of Killington night life or the second largest town in VT. (Rutland). Not to mention just shy of 2,000ft. of vertical.

post #12 of 16
Originally Posted by steamboat1 View Post



Not crowded, inexpensive, terrain for all abilties & your choice of Killington night life or the second largest town in VT. (Rutland). Not to mention just shy of 2,000ft. of vertical.

Rutland is kind of a dump though.


Smugglers Notch might be somewhere to consider. Definitely great expert terrain, and a largely separated beginners mountain. I've only done day trips there, so I'm no expert on the village, but they have a reputation as a good family mountain, so there's gotta be something there beyond skiing.

post #13 of 16
Originally Posted by eagle628 View Post

Rutland is kind of a dump though.



post #14 of 16

[doh - double post]

post #15 of 16

Neither Burke nor Jay, good as those mountains are, has enough of a "good village in case someone doesnt feel like skiing" for people who are essentially non-skiers. @bliz1978 is probably going in the right general direction. If the OP is stuck on Vermont then Burlington is an easy and worthy day trip from Sugarbush, Mad River, Smuggs, and Stowe, among others. A mid-day stroll and lunch stop on Church St. should be right up the alley of the shopping / dining crowd.

post #16 of 16
I am a fan of Killington and Sugarbush. Skiing wise Sugarbush is my favorite. But Killington is so big it has a good diversity of terrain and while there are a lit of people you can always find uncrowded areas unlike Okemo or Stratton. Killington also has good restaurants and nightlife.

For a town and cost I would agree wit another poster and say Lake Placid / Whiteface. Lake Placid is great. Whiteface is not bad like its nickname Iceface implies.

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