With the abundance of winter resorts in Vermont, it’s no wonder we’re the premiere skiing destination of the east. Vermont’s ski areas each have their own style, and small differences make them unique. In a 3-part series, we’re here to help you plan a great winter ski vacation. Below are the ski resorts of Northern Vermont, but we’ll also provide information for the Central and Southern Vermont Ski Areas in future articles, so stay tuned!
Smugglers’ Notch Resort – Jeffersonville, VT
Smugglers’ Notch is a Winter Vacation Wonderland with three big mountains of skiing and snowboarding surrounding their self-contained Resort Village. No matter your skill level, a variety of terrain is available for all abilities, from gentle cruisers for beginners to more advanced trails for intermediates, all the way to the East’s only triple black-diamond trail for the most experienced skiers and snowboarders. If you’re looking to improve your skills, Smuggs also has a world-renowned ski and snowboard school. Not a skier? Not a problem! Smuggs has so much more than just Alpine activities, including cross-country skiing and snowshoeing & snowmobile touring.
Smugglers’ Notch Resort is completely self-contained and offers all the amenities you could wish for. Accommodations are comfortable, fully equipped condominium homes with full kitchen facilities, most with fireplaces and balconies with mountain or woodland views. All are just a short walk or on-demand shuttle ride to The Village Center for dining and shopping, or to their many kids’ program locations, other activities and, of course, their lifts and trails!
There’s always something fun happening at Smuggs. On December 20th, 2014 you can enjoy their Ugly Holiday Sweater Contest & Aprés Ski Party! Join Boston’s 103.3 AMP Radio AMPALANCHE TOUR and Goodtime Charlie from 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm for great music, giveaways and holiday activities at the Black Bear Tavern in the Madonna/Sterling Base Lodge. Wear your ugliest holiday sweater for a chance to win a prize.
Stowe Mountain Resort – Stowe, VT
With an average snowfall of 22 feet, Stowe is typically blanketed in white from mid-November through April. Stowe Mountain Resort has been an internationally acclaimed four-season resort area since the 1940’s and in the winter, skiers & snowboarders come from around the world to experience the “Ski Capital of the East.” A gondola connects the resort’s two mountains, 4,395′ Mount Mansfield (Vermont’s highest peak) & Spruce Peak, and 13 lifts connect 116 ski trails. Each of the trails at Stowe Mountain Resort offers a unique experience, and no two trails are alike.
The Stowe area also offers sleigh rides, dogsledding, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, ice skating, and Stowe is especially famous as one of North America’s premier cross-country skiing destinations, with hundreds of kilometers of groomed and backcountry trails.
65 lodges, 100 shops, 50 restaurants, and special events throughout the year offer everything you need to make your vacation a success. A few great places to stay in the Stowe area include:
The Green Mountain Inn (800-253-7302): With the perfect blend of classic ambiance and modern comfort, a variety of activities, and breathtaking views, the Inn is an ideal location for family vacations, weekend getaways, and destination weddings. The Inn offers over 100 unique guest rooms, luxury suites and village townhouses, two acclaimed restaurants, a year-round heated outdoor pool, and a fully equipped health club.
Stoweflake Mountain Resort & Spa (800-253-2232): With its celebrated world-class spa, luxurious accommodations, and award-winning restaurants, the Stoweflake is unrivaled as New England’s premier spa/resort destination. Whether you are looking for outdoor adventure or a romantic, relaxing escape, the Stoweflake promises to exceed your expectations. And, with many activities included in your stay, a Stoweflake family vacation is fun, yet still affordable.
Topnotch Resort & Spa (800-451-8686): Offering 68 rooms and 23 luxurious resort homes, Topnotch is a majestic mountainside destination, blending the gracious charm of a ski lodge with the luxurious amenities of a world-class resort. While the spa is considered one of the world’s top resort spas and is committed to creating bliss, Topnotch also caters to families, with attention given to activities and amenities designed for both two year olds and teens.
Jay Peak Resort – Jay, VT
Well-known for having the most snow in eastern North America and a liberal in-bounds policy that ensures you can enjoy it, Jay Peak is a four-season resort located in Northern Vermont, only a few miles from the Canadian border. The resort features a year-round indoor waterpark, ice arena, championship golf course and, of course, some of the East’s best skiing & snowboarding. One of the things people love about Jay Peak is that they make big-mountain skiing & riding affordable with special rates for Vermonters, other mountain pass holders, and college students.
Nearly all of the lodging at Jay Peak is ski in/ski out, located near (or in some cases practically on) their championship golf course, and within walking distance of the Pump House Indoor Waterpark and Ice Haus Indoor Arena. If you’d rather stay somewhere a little more intimate, yet not too far from the slopes, we recommend:
Phineas Swann Country Inn – (802-326-4306): Voted New England’s Most Romantic and Most Pet-Friendly Inn by several publications, the Phineas Swann is a historic Vermont inn, conveniently located only 7 miles from Jay Peak Resort. Try their Pet Perfect Ski Package, which includes lodging, breakfast (with a Doggie Bag treat for your pet), ski tickets to Jay Peak Resort, dog-walking services, and a lot of TLC for your baby while you ski the slopes.
Just in case an indoor waterpark, ice arena, nordic center and 78 trails, glades and chutes weren’t enough to keep you entertained, Jay Peak Resort is always featuring some great events. For example, they’re throwing a party for season pass holders on December 13, 2014, complete with complimentary drinks, appetizers and live music!
Q Burke Mountain Resort – East Burke, VT
Located just minutes off I-91 in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont, Burke Mountain is one of the best places in the east to learn to ski or ride. So whether it’s a tune-up clinic, group or private lessons, or a season-long program (kids 4-14), Burke’s trained staff is there to get you where you want to be. Want more? Strap on some XC skis and take to the 80 trails that make up Burke’s nordic system. Suitable for skiers of all levels and ages, the 3K loop is widely groomed to offer both skating and classic skiing, which is perfect for the start and finish lines of the annual Burke Sled Dog Dash.
Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom (also known as “God’s Country” by some, for its pristine beauty) offers breath-taking scenery, outstanding lodging and dining, ecotourism and agritourism, Vermont-made products, and recreational opportunities which have gained the area national and international recognition. Need help planning your vacation in Vermont’s largest and least populated region? Contact the Northeast Kingdom Travel & Tourism Association … and tell them Vermont.com sent you!
Bolton Valley Resort – Bolton Valley, VT
Located midway between Burlington & Montpelier, Bolton Valley offers a 5,000 acre playground buried in 300 inches of annual snowfall with a powerful snowmaking system to lend a hand when Mother Nature needs some help. In addition to skiing & riding from the 3,150-foot summit, Bolton Valley offers unparallelled backcountry and Nordic skiing & snowshoeing on 100km of trails, and while most activities stop when the sun goes down, Bolton Valley keeps the lights on to offer more night skiing & riding than any other Vermont ski area. With all of this at truly affordable prices, Bolton Valley is the perfect vacation location for the entire family.
Need a place to stay within about 30 minutes of Bolton Valley? Here are some suggestions:
The Essex – (800-800-7760): An 18-acre property located just outside Burlington, Vermont. The resort offers 120 inviting rooms, two restaurants, a full-service Spa, Salon & Fitness Center, indoor and outdoor pools, and three public teaching kitchens in Cook Academy. The Essex is one of the country’s only Culinary Resorts, and the Burlington area’s only AAA Four-Diamond hotel. Treat yourself to the warmth & character just a short drive to the best skiing in the East.
Grunberg Haus – (800-800-7760): Located in nearby Waterbury, the Grunberg Haus is a romantic mountainside Austrian Bed and Breakfast chalet that specializes in personalized attention in a classic European country inn atmosphere: rural, informal, rustic, and quiet. Many Vermont attractions are conveniently located nearby, and the innkeepers are very happy to sit down with you to give maps, advice, tips, and directions.
Northern Vermont Ski Areas offer many options for everyone, and yes, you can get there from here!
Jay Peak, Smugglers’ Notch, Stowe Mountain, and Bolton Valley are all less than 1.5 hours from the Burlington International Airport. Bolton Valley is less than an hour south of Stowe. Burke Mountain is about 30 minutes north of St Johnsbury, and Jay Peak is about 30 minutes west of Newport and only 20 minutes from the Canadian border.
So what do you think about our Northern Vermont Ski Areas? Which one is your favorite? Keep checking our blog as we continue to explore all of Vermont’s ski areas, including Central Vermont and Southern Vermont!