Snow in Stowe: “Stowe is a different animal,” says resort staffer Jeff Wise. “It’s a real mountain.”
During winter, the “Green Mountain State” of Vermont is anything but: It is, quite literally, snow-white. And that is a good thing. Killington, Stowe, and Sugarbush resorts, all in Vermont, offer some of the best skiing and premier winter amenities this side of Aspen, and all under three and a half hours from Boston by car. Here we take a look at the skiing but also the shopping, lodging, eating, drinking—that is, not just skiing but living the ski life.
STOWE MOUNTAIN RESORT Stowe provides the whole package: five-star accommodations, renowned restaurants, and, of course, fabulous skiing. “Stowe is a different animal,” says resort staffer and longtime skier Jeff Wise. “It’s a real mountain, a real town.” Stay:Stowe Mountain Lodge (7412 Mountain Road, Stowe, VT, 802-253- 3560) boasts a grand community lobby, top-tier luxury suites, a wellness center and spa, and ski-in and -out access. Ski: Goat for experts, Ridgefield for cruisers. Shop: Gear up in the newest Kjus and Bogner ski wear at First Chair Alpine Company (Spruce Peak, 7320 Mountain Road, Stowe, VT, 877-977-7823). Eat: From hanger steak to coriander-roasted cauliflower, Hen of the Wood (92 Stowe St., Waterbury, VT, 802-244-7300) is an exemplar of sustainable, farm-to-table fare. Warning: Book now!
In town, always-booked Hen of the Wood serves up seasonal fare from land and sea, such as grilled octopus and house-made capicola.
KILLINGTON RESORT Who needs Mont Blanc when Killington is a few hours away? Below its 4,236-foot summit are 212 trails totaling 91 miles in length. That’s a lot of skiing! To rest up, here’s the itinerary. Stay:Mountainside Killington Grand Resort Hotel (4763 Killington Road, Killington, VT, 800-621-6867) was built for discerning skiers. Preston’s Restaurant offers a lunchtime boot-check and slipper service. Ski: Cruise Control, Dream Maker, and Sky Burst. Shop: “If you’re looking to improve your slope style, then head to Killington Sports (2326 US-4, Killington, VT, 802-422-6800) for the best brands” and latest cutting-edge skiing and snowboarding equipment, says Michael Joseph, longtime snowboarder and Killington veteran. Eat: Stay out late at the Wobbly Barn (2229 Killington Road, Killington, VT, 802-422-6171). The steakhouse-cum-nightclub entertains diners into the snowy wee hours.
A skier gets some air at Sugarbush.
SUGARBUSH RESORT Situated in Vermont’s Mad River Valley, this resort encompasses 111 trails over two mountains—Mt. Ellen and Lincoln Peak. In the valley, expect fine dining and condos with insta-mountain access. Stay: Romantic, charming, and relaxed, upscale hotel The Pitcher Inn (275 Main St., Warren, VT, 802-496-6350), three miles from the mountain, is perfect for both an extended ski trip or a short weekend getaway. Ski: Any trail on Castle Rock—all natural and rarely crowded. Shop: For antique paper dolls and nubby sweaters, stroll around the old-fashioned and eclectic Warren Store (284 Main St., Warren, VT, 802-496-3864). Eat: Where do Manhattan chefs go when they opt out of city life? To Mad River Valley to work at The Common Man (3209 German Flats Road, Warren, VT, 802-583-2800), a locals’ favorite serving inventive New American fare in a 19th-century barn.