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Recommendations please

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
We've had to change our family ski plans for pres week. As a family, we are not able to do our 1st "out west" ski vacation. I would like to salvage a bad situation and take my daughter (12) skiing for all or part of the week here, in the north east.

We typically ski the Catskill and Birkshire mtns. I am looking for a place that is drivable from Westchester County, NY or a short flight away. We are looking for pleanty of blue trails, but more importanlty, something to do in the evenings other than watch t.v.

Any places that have a family friendly town..movies, mall, hotel(s) with a pool, etc...

Thanks in advance for any ideas.
post #2 of 9
Smuggler Notch, Vermont

I can only speak for the skiing, which they did have a tons of Blue runs from both mountain. and the 'feel' of the place.

Its a place that when I have kids I wish they could grow up skiing there, but smuggs would be a good fit. Its a bit out there in drive time, but well worth it.


on the website there seems to be quite a bit to do but to be honest I have only skied there, never had a chance to stay there. To pricey for me. 15 bucks a night at a hostel was more my style.
post #3 of 9
Definitely Whiteface. Plenty of blues off Facelift, and Lake Placid has all that you need funwise. My wife and I like the Crowne Plaza (pretty good pool), but from what I understand, the Hilton and Mirror Lake Inn (if you have the $$$) are both good. There's a quaint movie theatre in town, and it's a managable drive from where you're at too.
post #4 of 9
Mont Tremblant. The daughter will dig it.
post #5 of 9
I think crank is probably right. It will feel like she went somewhere different from home. The skiing is pretty decent too -- Tremblant "skis bigger" than its statistics would suggest. (One warning - unless things have changed in the ~5 years since I was there, get dinner reservations ahead or you'll have a two hour wait.)

The drive is long, but not as bad as I expected - my mapping software says 7 hours.

Drive times (choosing White Plains as start):
Tremblant 7

Stowe/Sugarbush/MRG 5:15 - 5:30
Smuggs 5:45
Killington 4:15 - just for comparison -- dont go there
Okemo 3:51

Sugarloaf 7:01
Sunday River 6:45

Holiday Valley (NY) 5:38
Greek Peak (NY) 3:19 (also no)

I like the Waitsfield (MRG, Sugarbush) and Stowe towns a lot, but I don't think they are the thing for a 12 year old girl.

So I would say Tremblant if the thought of 7 hours driving is tolerable, or southern Vermont if you want half the drive.

If she is adventurous and into shopping, try to time things so you spend a couple of hours in a Montreal mall as you go through. It's a mall, so that is comfortable, but it wont have the same stores and merch as every mall in the U.S.
post #6 of 9
One place the kids got a kick out of was the Garrison motel near Mad River. It is a strange building, built as a shell around a large indoor pool. They were probably a little younger than yours, and it was a two-family group of kids.

Does your daughter have a skiing friend her own age? (That you know the parents well enough that they'd let you take their daughter along?) Extra kids = more fun than even the best parents.
post #7 of 9
Originally Posted by BushwackerinPA View Post
on the website there seems to be quite a bit to do but to be honest I have only skied there, never had a chance to stay there. To pricey for me. 15 bucks a night at a hostel was more my style.
I am very familiar with Smuggs and their program. Don't let the "family resort" label fool you. There are plenty of challenge there if you're up for it. Or, you can stay on the groomers, which includes the scenic, winding and/or narrow terrain that you find in New England.

All the advertised apre ski activities are self contained within the resort. There really isn't that much to do for a teen when it comes to entertainment. Although they have supervised teen centers that let older kids hook up. But, the rooms are very nice so staying in after a long day of skiing is not a bad idea. Or, you can hit one of their many pools (depending on where you stay).

If you want to spend the money, put your daughter in a lesson. You won't be sorry. They teach to her ability and they don't hold back. As a intermediate you'll probably get to experience some of the milder steeps and trees opportunities. With an older kid, the 1.5 hour group lesson is a good option. That lets you guys spend time together when the lessons are over.

BTW, not that I'm suggesting it, you can opt to sign up for a 90 minute timeshare pitch and get a steep discount. The presentation is relatively low pressure as compared to most other timeshare places.
post #8 of 9
A couple of thoughts:

1 - Lake Placid is a no-brainer. Easy drive, long in miles but mostly on the thruway. The town is fun for kids (and adults). The skiing is great; Whiteface and Gore both get Pres week crowds but much less than VT, and the setting is beautiful and has more "big mountain" feel because of the expanse of wilderness you see up there, without all the development clutter on other eastern slopes. WF has a rep as a tough cold hill but you can dress for it and there's plenty of intermediate skiing as well, especially compared to what you're used to further south. Gore on the other hand while further from LP has much more blue cruising terrain, definitely worth the longer drive. North Creek (town near Gore) unfortunately has much less to offer in non-skiing department than WF.

2 - drive / fly to Tremblant - not a bad idea.

3 - drive / fly to Quebec City, ski Mt Ste Anne and Le Massif. Big mountain feel, tons of blue cruising, and tremendous non-skiing setting - QC is the real deal, Tremblant base is an Intrawest development (Stratton on steroids). Long drive but it goes fast (again, a lot of fast freeway miles); get a good book on tape and it'll fly by. Travel time is not much different than hauling early to an airport, flying west, waiting for bags, waiting for rental car, checking in, etc. And it's a lot easier. And QC has more non-skiing activities than you possibly could cover - historic old city, museums, great food, foreigners talking funny, the Ice Hotel, tobaggon runs, etc. No US vacation crowds either.

4 - Stay in Burlington VT - great pedestrian city, good restaurants, movies, music, bookstores, giftshops and girl-friendly shopping, etc. Drive to Smuggs, Stowe, Sugarbush, MRG, Bolton Valley, etc. Easy JetBlue flight from JFK or a 5 - 6 hr. drive. We did a family trip to Mad River Valley last year and my girls (then 13 and 16) really loved the afternoon we took off to shop and eat in Burlington (the excuse was college visit at UVM but that was just an excuse). Also Ben & Jerry's factory nearby in Waterbury was a big hit with kids. Another option would be to stay at Bolton Valley which is central to all the bigger hills and the closest in to Burlington, you could probably drive in from there.

All things equal though Lake Placid is probably the most efficient way to get what you're after.
post #9 of 9
yes Smuggs terrain for a high end skier is really good. Trust me i wasnt going there and then coming back because of the family resort moniker.
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