OFF-SLOPE ATMOSPHERES: LODGING & ADVENTURES
Jen Butson, firstname.lastname@example.org
OFF-SLOPE ATMOSPHERES: LODGING & ADVENTURES
There’s an abundance of good times on and off the slopes in Vermont. Enjoy impeccable cuisine, relaxing spas, shopping excursions 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. Kindred spirits and sweet activities make Vermont a must for fun-loving ventures.
NORTHERN VERMONT SKI RESORTS
Highlights: A new ice arena, indoor water-park, performing arts center, tree-top canopy tours; snowmobiling, Vermont ski & Snowboard Museum, dog-sledding, spas, Cabot Creamery Annex, Green Mountain Coffee, Ben & Jerry’s, boutique shops and craft breweries
BOLTON VALLET RESORT
Bolton Valley offers a slopeside lodging experience. The Inn at Bolton Valley is so close to the mountain, guests put their boots on in their room and can be at the lift in less than five minutes. Options include a traditional hotel room, a studio or a one or two bedroom suite all located in the main base area. Several condos located just a short walk to the 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 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.
BURKE MOUNTAIN RESORT
The Burke area offers a variety of lodging options ranging from quaint B&B’s, to slope side condominiums, rejuvenating spas and family-friendly hotels. Explore your options at www.skiburke.com.
Hungry? The quaint little town of East Burke has, surprisingly to some, excellent options. From make-your-own waffles in the morning to a perfect rack of lamb finished in a wood oven, to a burger and craft beer at a pub, there’s something for every palate.
Located minutes away, Kingdom Trails Nordic Center boasts miles of pristine, secluded trails for Nordic skiing and snowshoeing: www.kingdomtrails.org. Or, explore Vermont by snowmobile on VAST Snowmobile Trails. Burke is central to the miles of trails in the Vermont wilderness. Snowmobile rentals are available with free delivery to Burke Mountain.
Or you can explore the country stores, craft shops, art galleries, historic libraries and museums for that special gift or unique, locally-made collectible.
JAY PEAK RESORT
Cost of a Hawaiian Surf Vacation: $5,600. Cost of a Vermont Surf Vacation: $199. But it’s not the same, you yell? Darn right it’s not. If you come up for a Surf and Stay vacation in Jay Peak’s new Pump House, you won’t have to pay to fly your surf board. You won’t have to worry about sand in your bathing suits. And it’s guaranteed that there are no sharks. Just $199/night for a suite in the new Hotel Jay includes four passes to the Pump House and its Double Barrel Flowrider surf wave, and access to the weekly lineup of Jay parties. Then, there’s the ice arena and brand new hotel to enjoy too.
SMUGGLERS’ NOTCH RESORT
Off-slope activities at Smugglers’ 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. Daytime and evening dogsled rides are popular with all ages, as is the ArborTrek zip line canopy tour, Vermont’s first year-round tour with breathtaking views of the snowy mountains in winter. For those seeking indoor pursuits, massage services and foot reflexology and yoga sessions provide soothing relaxation. Evening fun for adults in Bootlegger’s Lounge features magic shows, karaoke, dance parties and live music.
Samples of the many family activities include playing in the indoor FunZone 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. Visit www.smuggs.com.
STOWE MOUNTAIN RESORT
A dramatic cultural enhancement has cometo Stowe Mountain Resort. The Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center openedits doors to the public last winter. Developed to operate year-round as a major component of one of the east’s premier mountain resorts, the performing arts center is a state-of-the-art venue for a wide spectrum of events; theater, music, dance, comedy, film, lectures and multimedia presentations. The Spruce Peak at Stowe base area is also home to the previously opened Stowe Mountain Lodge, Spruce Camp Base Lodge and an exclusive community of enviable slopeside properties for purchase.
About Spruce Peak Arts Center Foundation, Inc: The Center is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit arts organization that is dedicated and committed to entertaining, educating, and engaging our diverse communities of Stowe and beyond. The 420-seat multi-use theatre offers world-renowned entertainment as well as emerging artists and performers from around the region, state, nation and world. More info at www.sprucepeakarts.org.
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, indoor rock climbing, dog-sledding, tubing, Long Trail Brewery, Vermont Adaptive Ski and Sports, Cabot Hosiery Mills Sock Sale and naturalist programs
With a jam-packed schedule of bands, festivals and celebrations, the challenge will be finding time to rest. And if the social calendar isn’t enough, there’s plenty more to do off mountain, including snowmobile tours, dog sledding, sleigh rides, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, shopping, more than 100 bars and restaurants to choose from in the region, spa treatments at the Killington Grand Resort Hotel and new for this year, a lift served tubing park at Killington.
MAD RIVER GLEN
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. 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 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. Please visit www.madriverglen.com/naturalist/.
Although 52 trails, 7 lifts and 17 miles of terrain are enough to keep even the most avid skier or rider busy, vacations are not measured by numbers alone. Shops, entertainment, off-mountain activities including dog sledding, sleigh rides, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and more than 100 bars and restaurants to choose from in the region present endless opportunities for a break from the slopes. Check out the natural beauty that surrounds us - Vermont is stunning at any time of year, but especially amidst the white glow of winter.
Adventures at Sugarbush include sunset groomer rides, fireside dining at Allyn’s Lodge via cabin cat, guided evening mountain hikes, parents’ night out, family rock climbing parties, bounce house, tennis, snowshoe tours, teen nights and more. For overnight guests, Clay Brook Hotel and Residences is absolute winter vacation convenience. Ski and gear valet, concierge services, outdoor pool and hot tubs accompany studio to five-bedroom suites just steps away from the lift. Guests are within walking distance of four dining choices, a general store, and ski and ride schools. For more affordable options, check out Sugarbush Inn and resort condominiums; please visit www.sugarbush.com.
SOUTHERN VERMONT SKI RESORTS
Highlights: Ice skating, spas, tubing, snowshoeing along the Appalachian Trail, 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, check out the ice at Riley Rink at Hunter Park in Manchester. Horse-Drawn Sleigh rides depart from the Taylor Farm on Route 11, Karl Pfister in Landgrove and Horses for Hire in Rawsonville. Cross-country skiers can check out Wild Wings in Peru, Hildene in Manchester, Tater Hill in Windham and Viking in Londonderry, which also offers snowshoeing. For guided snowmobile rides, there’s Equinox Snow Tours nearby and Alpine Tours on Stratton Mountain. More listings and all the contact info for these activities are on Bromley.com’s family ski vacations activities page.
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.
After the thrill of a great day skiing on Magic’s legendary slopes and off-piste terrain, relax in the camaraderie found at Magic’s Goniff’s Den. It’s an authentically Vermont après ski experience which has drawn winter sports-lovers since 1961. Goniff’s Den is a laid-back, friendly atmosphere where spirits rise with the sounds of ski stories told and local musicians rocking. From inside, there’s views of kids careening down one of Vermont’s most exciting tubing at Magic’s Ala Kazaam Tube Park. And, when it’s time to leave the mountain, the town of Londonderry awaits with a variety of fine restaurants and inns, and the famous Vermont Country Store located nearby. More shopping can be found in Vermont’s outlet mecca of Manchester just down the road. For those preferring sporting over shopping adventures, Magic is also known for its great vertical snowshoeing; rustic horse-drawn sleigh rides through its woods; VAST snowmobile trails nearby and, cross country skiing is an option at the Viking Nordic Center. Come celebrate Magic’s 50th anniversary and see why its legend as an authentic Vermont experience still lives on today.
There are as many adventures to enjoy off the slopes as there is terrain to explore at Mount Snow. Guided snowmobile tours depart from the base area and are available through High Country Tours, 800-627-7533. Enjoy a guided snowshoe tour with equipment rental available at Mount Snow Sports inside the slopeside hotel, The Grand, or glide on the many kilometers of pristine cross country ski trails. For those seeking a more unique adventure, dog sledding with Husky Works Mushing Company is a roaring good time (802-896-3478). After all this adventuring, get pampered at the recently renovated naturespa, located in the Grand Summit Resort Hotel, 802-464-6606.
Mount Snow offers an abundance of lodging located on-resort including the slopeside Grand Summit Resort Hotel, the recently renovated Snow Lake Lodge and a broad selection of multi-bedroom condominiums. The Mount Snow Valley is also home to many country inns, motels and ski-homes all available for your ski vacation. Contact Mount Snow Central Reservations, 800-245-SNOW.
The resort’s newest restaurant,1900’ Burger is not your typical burger joint; it’s above the rest. Serving Certified Black Angus Beef burgers with local gourmet toppings, fresh bread and hand-cut fries along with a variety of grilled cheese sandwiches. Far from just cheese and bread, this place is going to be an instant favorite.
OKEMO MOUNTAIN RESORT
There’s nothing like a slopeside vacation and Okemo Mountain Resort offers one of New England’s largest selections of slopeside and mountainside lodging options. Okemo excels at providing a memorable winter 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.
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. Visitors enjoy shopping at classic country stores, specialty shops and galleries. The area offers numerous dining options and an assortment of community events open to the public. Visit Okemo’s online press kit.
STRATTON MOUNTAIN RESORT
For the ultimate in après-ski and for the non-skier in the group alike, 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, a vast Nordic trail system and snowmobile tours. The Sports Center (cardio equipment, weight room, massage, indoor tennis, swimming pool, hot tub) offers classes from spin to yoga. There is also ice skating on site on Mill Pond, with a big bonfire for making s’mores, as well as a popular lift-served tubing park featuring four lanes that stretch up to 750 feet long. It’s easy to enjoy all that this no-car-needed resort has to offer on foot!
Escape the everyday at Stratton in the summer as well, where the world is at your finger tips while you feel a world away. Whether looking to lose yourself on the 27-hole Championship Golf Course, volley away reality at Cliff Drysdale Tennis or hike the source of the Long and Appalachian trails, there’s no shortage of adventure to be had under the sun.
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