If shopping is a major factor in choice, I second North Conway. Start your virtual quest here:www.mtwashingtonvalley.org
The Red Jacket Inn is very nice for starters...
My crew will be in the valley somewhere after Christmas as usual, we tend to do one day at a mega resort and then hit the smaller hills to keep the cost down. Easily reachable(w/i 1 hour or less) from the valley are:
, Black Mtn
, Bretton Woods
, King Pine
, Shawnee Peak
and of course Sunday River
and Sunday River
can usually be counted on for some of the best conditions you will find in the NE. Attitash
at times can approach same level. I have ski'd these areas extensively. PM me if you need more detail on each. All have good web sites you should be able to link from the above. Slopeside options would be avail for Bretton Woods, Attitash and Sunday River....and perhaps Cranmore...but from your initial post I think you would be happier chosing a 5 star location either in North Conway or Jackson, getting up a bit earlier and taking the short road trip to the hill. This is how we do it. No worries and I am packing up 5 skiers remember. I strongly suggest 4wd for rental if you can....the weather worm turns very quickly.
As for as the mountain goes.....Wildcat
is the best for terrain of the above. Not even close. But it can be cold and sketchy...when it is good, it is very very good.
is in the hunt for you....Manchester is similar to North Conway...factory outlet central...Bromley
is a very nice hill. Mac nailed it I think with the Vail comparison for Stratton
. Manchester is straight jog down Rte 7 from Burlington. Burlington BTW is a great town....home of UVM
, it has a real college ski town feel.....Stowe
, Bolton Valley
and the Mad River Valley (Sugarbush, MRG) are among the hills within easy reach.....and of course Montreal is in the picture from Burlington.....one of my favorite places on earth!
If she likes shopping.......