Vermont has the Green Mountains, yearly snowfall of approximately 25 feet, and miles of ski trails, making this state one of the top vacation destinations for skiing. There are a few amazing ski destinations in Vermont, including family-friendly Smugglers’ Notch and expert-level Killington Resort. Plenty of Vermont vacation rentals surround the resorts, giving you quick access whenever you are ready to hit the slopes. Many resorts offer dining, shopping, and other entertainment, so you can enjoy a spa treatment at Okemo Mountain Resort or experience fine dining at Sugarbush/Mad River Glen during your skiing vacation. Read about six of the best ski resorts in Vermont, and start planning your winter getaway.
1. Stowe Mountain Resort
Stowe Mountain Resort opened in 1937, and since then, it has been one of the state’s most popular resorts. It includes Vermont’s tallest peak, Spruce Peak, as well as Mount Mansfield, and a gondola connects these two spots. The resort has 116 trails, with 55 percent of them dedicated to intermediate-level skiers. Both beginners and experts find trails that suit their levels, so there is something here for everyone to enjoy. Stowe is not just for skiers. The village boasts plenty of shopping, dining, and luxury spas. Indulge in a spa treatment at Stoweflake Mountain Resort & Spa, or grab a burger at Doc Ponds before heading to the Vermont Ski Museum to learn more about the area’s history. Stowe also offers sleigh rides, twilight dogsled tours, and snowmobile rides.
2. Sugarbush/Mad River Glen
Sugarbush offers 111 trails covering two mountains, a full-service resort village, and plenty of activities to keep the entire family busy. Take a ride on Vermont’s highest chairlift to reach the trails of Mount Ellen 4,083 feet above. To see what it’s like to ski along a mountain’s natural contours, stop at Mad River Glen. Nearby Mad River Valley is packed with restaurants and bars, so no matter what your taste, you can find something to enjoy. Kids and adults alike love Friday pizza nights at American Flatbread. For more upscale dining, stop back at your vacation rental to change clothing, then head over to Chez Henri or Pitcher Inn.
3. Smugglers’ Notch
Families with younger children love visiting kid-friendly Smugglers’ Notch, less than one hour from Burlington International Airport. There are plenty of activities for kids and teens, including an indoor FunZone, slope-side nursery, and dedicated teen club. Ski lessons are available to beginners as young as 2.5 years old. There are daily activities suitable for all ages, including snow tubing, ice skating, and hot chocolate warm-up parties. Guests enjoy roasting marshmallows and watching torchlight parades at night. Guided snowshoe hikes teach you about nature, and the ArborTrek Zip Line offers views of the canopy. Smugglers’ Notch is not just for kids; experienced skiers can choose from 40 intermediate and 25 expert trails on its three mountains.
4. Jay Peak
As the northernmost of Vermont’s ski resorts, Jay Peak receives the most natural snowfall in the state. This, along with the resort’s excellent snow-making ability, allows it to open as early as November and close as late as May, so ski lovers have plenty of time to enjoy a winter vacation. The resort is only 4 miles from the Canadian border and welcomes many skiers from Quebec, giving this resort an international feel. Jay Peak has 24 glades and 78 trails, with 15 dedicated to beginners. Guests can ride Vermont’s only aerial tramway up to the mountain’s 3,968-foot summit. Before hitting the slopes, be sure to stop by Alice’s Table for brunch or High Country Deli to pick up lunch for the day.
5. Killington Resort
Killington resort offers 155 trails and 22 lifts covering six different mountains. Its lively after-ski scene makes this resort a good option for adults and families with older teens. Killington has more expert trails than any other mountain, and less experienced skiers have plenty of beginner and intermediate options. Free skiers and snowboards can head to The Stash, an all-natural park with more than 50 creative features. Test your ability on the 5,000-foot-long Superpipe and its 18-foot walls. Killington also hosts concerts, festivals, competitions, and other events every weekend, so there is always something to do on and off the slope. There are many dining options, such as the fresh pasta at The Foundry and tasty salads at Choices Restaurant.
6. Okemo Mountain Resort
Okemo Mountain Resort is a family-friendly resort offering 121 trails over 655 acres. This resort is a great option for families skiing with little ones, because about 30 percent of its trails are suitable for young beginners. Okemo also offers skiing and snowboarding programs for kids, including the Little Dippers program for 3 year olds. There are plenty of activities to keep older kids and experienced skiers occupied, including over a dozen expert glades, the East’s longest superpipe, and eight terrain parks. At the base, there are swimming pools, a full-service spa, and plenty of casual and fine dining options.
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