Vermont's Off Slope Offerings are Across the Board
Jen Butson, email@example.com
There’s no shortage of opportunities for fun on and off the slopes in Vermont. Enjoy shopping excursions; cuisine for all palettes, relaxing spas and guided snowshoe tours. Charming towns, quality concert venues and diverse museums tempt even the most devoted skier and rider. Sample the other side of the mountains and you’ll find more reasons why Vermont ski vacations are so unique. Good-time attitudes and activities make Vermont a must for fun-loving venturers.
NORTHERN VERMONT SKI RESORTS
Highlights: A new ice arena, indoor water-park, performing arts center, tree-top canopy tours; snowmobiling, dog-sledding, spas, Cabot Creamery Annex, boutique shops and craft breweries
Bolton Valley Resort
Off the slopes, Bolton Valley offers a ski to your door lodging experience. The Inn at Bolton Valley is so close to the mountain you can put your boots on in your room and head straight to the lifts. You can choose from a traditional hotel room, a studio or a one or two bedroom suite all conveniently located in the main base area. Several condos located just a short walk to the main base area are also an option for guests. Bolton also offers three restaurants; The James Moore Tavern, Fireside Flatbread and Bailey’s. Other food and beverage options include a cafeteria and a real deal Vermont country store complete with a deli that is always serving up tasty treats. Don’t forget about the sports center with pool, hot tub, sauna and plenty of games for the kids.
Explore country stores, craft shops, art galleries, historic libraries and museums in the quaint, friendly town of East Burke. Discover the many gifted artisans and crafters throughout the Northeast Kingdom. Find that special gift or unique collectible hand made locally.
The Tamarack Grill at Burke Mountain offers live entertainment, big screen TV's for sporting events, and a friendly atmosphere for the whole family. Our chefs offer delicious nightly specials and a menu that has something for everyone; from crab cakes and burgers to the popular hanger steak or vegetarian panini. Everything on the kids menu is $7 including a drink and dessert. It's a great place to relax and unwind after a day on the slopes or after biking Kingdom Trails. Visit www.tamarackgrill.com
The Bear Den Lounge takes you back to the rustic beginnings of Burke. Home of the Burke Mountain Mug Club, this lounge is decorated with Burke Mountain nostalgia and the laid back, unpretentious atmosphere makes it a favorite among locals, season pass holders, employees and guests. Every Thursday, guests flock to the small lounge located in the Mid Burke Lodge for some of the best pizza in the Northeast Kingdom, a pint of Trout River beer and live music.
The Stepping Stone Spa offers a variety of wellness options, including massages, facials, footbaths, scalp massages, body wraps, exfoliation, sauna therapy and nature-inspired cuisine. Learn more at www.steppingstonespa.com.
Located just minutes from Burke Mountain, Kingdom Trails Nordic Center boasts miles of pristine, secluded trails for XC skiing and snowshoeing: www.kingdomtrails.org.
Explore Vermont by snowmobile on VAST Snowmobile Trails. Burke Mountain is central to miles and miles of snowmobile trails in the Vermont wilderness. Snowmobile rentals are available with free delivery to Burke Mountain.
Jay Peak Resort
Phase 1 of the expansion at Jay Peak is complete, with the Tram Haus Lodge that opened in December of 2009, a brand new Ice Haus arena that opened in May 2010, and the Nordic Center/Golf Clubhouse that opened its doors in June of 2010.
New in lodging: 57 luxury suites in the Tram Haus lodge, three deluxe condominium suites at the Golf Clubhouse.
New in dining: Alice’s Table at the Tram Haus Lodge features a Vermont-inspired menu, the Clubhouse Grille restaurant and bar offers American-style food, and the Tower Bar at the Tram Haus Lodge has lighter fare and appetizers. The Ice Haus Arena has its own heated snack bar and café, and the Aroma Café offers beverages and snacks.
New in recreation:The Ice Haus arena features an NHL-sized rink with room for 700 spectators, and offers skating lessons, hockey games and curling tournaments. The Golf Clubhouse is available for golfers in the summer and serves as a Nordic Ski Center during the winter. The Taiga Spa & Fitness Center at the Tram Haus Lodge is available for massage therapy and spa treatments, as well as fitness and yoga classes.
Jay Peak has also broken ground for the next phase of expansion – the “new” Hotel Jay, which will include 170 rooms, three additional restaurant options and an indoor water park, expected to open in early 2012. The water park will feature a state-of-the-art retractable roof for year-round access. It will have one of the longest indoor rivers in North America, a kamikaze straight drop (the first indoor of its kind in North America) and a double Flow Rider surf machine. There will also be an area available for smaller children.
Smugglers’ Notch Resort
Dining opportunities at Smugglers’ Notch Resort offer delicious variety with a convenient location in the resort village and at the base lodge. Options include a deli, pizzeria, pub-style, casual family dining and fine dining.
Off-slope activities at Smugglers’ Notch Resort are abundant and provide fun for all ages. Adults enjoy the Snowshoe Adventure Dinner that features a late afternoon lift ride to the top of Sterling Mountain and a gourmet dinner in a candlelit cabin, with a guided snowshoe trek back to the base completing a companionable evening with other guests. For those seeking indoor pursuits, local artists offer sessions in painting, sculpting and beading. Smugglers’ Chocolate Tasting is a palate-pleasing tour of chocolate samples accompanied by a brief history of chocolate from the Aztecs to modern candies. Evening fun in Bootlegger’s Lounge features magic shows, karaoke, dance parties and live music.
Samples of the many family activities at Smugglers’ include the Airboard Family Fun Race, The FunZone indoor family play center featuring climbing inflatables, ice skating, and tube sliding on Sir Henry’s Hill. Two teen centers offer a home base with plenty of activities for ages 13 and older. For complete details, please visit www.smuggs.com.
Stowe Mountain Resort
Chain stores and fast food restaurants are a rarity in Stowe; in fact there is only one (eat-fresh). If that concept appeals to you, you’ll love Stowe’s off-slope atmosphere and amenities. Stowe offers over 70 unique and boutique shops, 40 diverse restaurants and almost 50 different lodging establishments ranging from full service resort spas to quaint bed and breakfasts. Also uncommon in today’s world, almost every business is unique to the region and owner operated in this jewel of a quintessential New England town.
If treating yourself to an après-ski wellness experience is on your list, then Stowe Mountain Resort is a premiere destination. From world-class treatments and state-of-the art facilities to great places to swim and go hot-tubbing, there are multiple options all within a few miles. Try the new mountainside Stowe Mountain Lodge and Spa. Both overnight guests of the lodge and anyone else can gain access to this one-of-a-kind alpine wellness retreat. For more information visit www.stowe.com/press_room.
Trapp Family Lodge
Be it yoga, relaxing in the heated pool or visiting the bakery or brewery, Trapp family recreation abounds. Those seeking more time outside can also venture on a Back Country Ski Guided Tour, as they continue to grow in popularity.
CENTRAL VERMONT SKI RESORTS
Highlights: Moonlight cat tours, snowmobiling, art galleries, spas, New England Maple Museum, Paramount Theatre, dog-sledding, Long Trail Brewery and naturalist programs.
Off-mountain activities including dog sledding, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling and ice skating, are combined with numerous restaurants and bars, plus shopping options throughout the region, making Killington one of the top resorts in the Northeast for après and lively evening entertainment.
Hemingway’s Restaurant in Killington is one of only two restaurants nationwide to receive
Mad River Glen
Have you ever wondered why there are so many snowshoe hare tracks on the slopes? Or seen the bear bites and scratches on trees and questioned the meaning behind them? Perhaps you have encountered Moose tracks and pondered how these huge warm blooded mammals can survive the winters. You can learn more about these animals and the northern hardwood forests of Vermont by taking part in one of Mad River Glen’s Naturalist Programs offered year-round.
These programs provide a window into the world of animals and a unique perspective on the woods. Participants in these snowshoe tours have countless opportunities to explore the signs of life that remain active throughout the year. Custom programs are also available throughout the year and can be tailored to meet the needs of any group and age range. During the warmer months, children ages 8-12 can enroll in the Summer Adventure Camp.
Off-mountain activities including dog sledding, cross country skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling and ice skating, are combined with numerous restaurants and bars, plus shopping options throughout the region. Nearby Rutland, the second largest city in Vermont, offers a wide variety of dining, shopping and entertainment opportunities. The Paramount Theater in downtown Rutland features concerts, Broadway productions and many entertaining performances throughout the winter season.
If you’re opting to relax elsewhere than in Sugarbush’s two new lodges, the health and racquet club offers yet another retreat for those who want to take a break from the mountain. There are new flat screen TVs, expanded program offerings, and a bouncy house for the kids to play in while you get a great workout or indulge in a massage.
Get a different view of the trails with a full-moon tour in the “Lincoln Limo.” Sugarbush’s 12-passenger cabin cat offers guests not only full-moon tours of the resort’s 4,000-plus acres, but also special fireside dinners at Allyn’s Lodge—the cabin that sits on a perch halfway up Lincoln Peak overlooking the entire Mad River Valley.
SOUTHERN VERMONT SKI RESORTS
Highlights: Ice skating, spas, tubing, snow shoeing along the AT, horse-drawn sleigh rides, Vermont Country Store, antiquing and designer outlet shops.
Bromley Mountain Resort
Bromley is the epicenter for a host of off-slope activities. If carving figure eights is your thing, then you'll want to check out the ice at Riley Rink at Hunter Park (802-362-0150) in Manchester. Horse-Drawn Sleigh rides depart from the Taylor Farm (802-824-5690) on Route 11, Karl Pfister in Landgrove (802-824-6320) and Horses for Hire (802-297-1468) in Rawsonville. Cross-country skiers can check out Wild Wings (802-824-6793) in Peru, Hildene in Manchester (802-362-1788), Tater Hill in Windham (802-875-2517) and Viking in Londonderry (802-824-3933), which also offers snowshoeing. For guided snowmobile rides: Equinox Snow Tours (802-824-6628) at the junction of Routes 11 & 30 and Alpine Tours on Stratton Mountain (802-297-1207).
Outlet shopping anyone? Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, Betsey Johnson, Brooks Brothers, Coach, Escada, Giorgio Armani, J. Crew, Polo and TSE are just a few of the names you'll find down the road in Manchester.
Visitors to the Magic Mountain and Londonderry, VT area will find a robust list of activities and options on top of the classic Vermont skiing and riding offered at Magic Mountain. For those looking for shopping options, the outlet mecca of Manchester, VT is only minutes away. The town of Londonderry, VT, only 3 miles from the base of Magic Mountain provides visitors with a glimpse at a classic New England town complete with numerous dining options, shopping opportunities and a small town feel only found in Vermont. For the more adventurous, the nearby Viking Nordic Center provides Nordic skiing and snowshoeing in the same relaxed and family friendly atmosphere found at Magic Mountain. At Magic Mountain, non-skiing and riding guests are invited to sit back and relax in the base lodge and Goniff’s Den bar or head to the Ala Kazam Tube Park for some exhilarating runs down southern Vermont’s longest tube park. Whether guests have come to enjoy the fantastic variety of terrain at Magic Mountain or unwind in classic Vermont style, it can all be found at Magic Mountain.
Mount Snow Resort
You can’t be blamed for wanting to spend all your time on Mount Snow’s slopes, but there is plenty to do once the boots come off. Head to Cuzzin’s or the Snow Barn for après-ski, or indulge in an upscale dining experience at Harriman’s Restaurant. Looking for some family fare? Visit the Timberhouse where kids can make their own s’mores after every meal. Unwind in the Grand Summit Hotel’s full-featured spa, where you can enjoy a soak, steam or sauna before your massage appointment.
Mount Snow is more than a ski and snowboard destination – guided snowshoe and snowmobile tours are available, while miles and miles of pristine cross-country ski trails will charm the Nordic-minded. Also, a short drive down Route 100 is downtown Wilmington, where unique shopping and dining await.
Okemo Mountain Resort
Okemo MountainResort excels at providing a memorable winter vacation experience off the slopes, as well as on. Visitors can ride an all-season mountain coaster or enjoy ice skating, snow tubing, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, swimming, family après-ski activities, year-round indoor golf, racquetball, fitness classes, aerobic and weight training, massage, sauna, relaxing by a fire, or soaking in a hot tub.
Okemo offers one of New England’s largest selections of slopeside and mountainside lodging options and visitors can practically eat their way across the resort with the variety of dining possibilities. The Travel Channel’s Extreme Fast Food Show recognized Okemo for having the only mountainside “ski-thru” restaurant, The Waffle Cabin. More traditional and upscale fare is available at a dozen other locations around the resort.
For visitors who opt to travel farther afield, the village of Ludlow and the entire Okemo Valley serve as a gateway to Okemo Mountain Resort, offering shopping, dining and an assortment of community events for the public to enjoy. Visit Okemo’s online press kit.
Stratton Mountain Resort
For the ultimate in après-ski and for the non-skier in the group, there’s a lot to do right on-resort, like shopping and dining in Stratton’s slopeside village, guided snowshoe hikes to the Stratton Fire Tower and snowmobile tours. The Sports Center (cardio equipment, weight room, massage, tanning, indoor tennis, swimming pool, hot tub) offers classes throughout the day. There is also ice skating on Mill Pond with a big bonfire for making s’mores and much more. A popular choice for many is the Coca Cola tubing park on Big Ben, featuring four lanes that stretch up to 750 feet long.
Southern Vermont is home to museums, covered bridges, art galleries, scores of designer outlets, antique shops and custom crafts all within 30 miles from Stratton Mountain Resort. Whether it’s a drive through the scenic, snow capped countryside, or ice fishing in one of several nearby lakes, there is an option for everyone.
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