Skiers and snowboarders often dream of vacations to such renowned resorts as Vail, Colorado, Big Sky Resort, Montana or Stowe, Vermont, where fresh powder usually awaits. After all, ski resorts throughout the Rockies and New England have been serving up high quality downhill experiences ever since the inception of the sport.
However, there are plenty of excellent resorts for skiers of all abilities scattered throughout other regions of the country that provide everything that a skier or snowboarder needs for an enjoyable day on the slopes. In fact, the Mid-Atlantic states of New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey are home to a combination of 78 ski areas, and New York leads the country with 49 resorts. As such, skiers from this part of the country have a wide array of resorts at their disposal. The following ski areas consistently offer an exceptional downhill experience and are among the best of the Mid-Atlantic Region.
Whiteface Mountain, Lake Placid, New York
A mountain of Olympian proportions, at 3,430 feet Whiteface boasts the largest vertical drop in the east. With 90 trails spread throughout 288 skiable acres, Whiteface offers something for all ability levels. Some of the best skiers in the country come here to test their mettle on 35 acres of in-bounds, off-piste double-black diamond wilderness terrain while skiing on The Slides (conditions permitting) along with 53 acres of glades skiing. With 42% of the terrain designated intermediate, skiers can discover a wide array of cruising trails, and beginners can hone their skills on trails ideally suited for learning the sport. Not to worry if the weather doesn’t provide natural snow as Whiteface is blanketed by 99% snowmaking, excluding the Glades and the Slides.
Windham Mountain, Windham, New York
Just two and a half hours north of New York City, Windham Mountain invested more than $4 million in capital improvements, including snowmaking upgrades, an environmentally friendly groomer, the redevelopment of the Children’s Learning Center and a new “Magic Carpet” conveyer lift. With 1,600 vertical feet and 54 trails, Windham ensures enough terrain for all levels of skiers. Boasting 97% snowmaking coverage, there doesn’t need to be snow in your backyard in order to enjoy an ideal day of skiing at this quaint resort. Windham Mountain’s newest slopeside address is its high-end ski-in/ski-out lodging located steps away from Whisper Run. These brand-new units are fully-appointed with top notch furnishings and Hill House Home bed linens. Building amenities include heated pool and hot tubs, club room and fitness center, ski locker-room with boot dryers and heated parking.
Bristol Mountain, Canandaigua, New York
Located in the Finger Lakes Region of upstate New York 30 miles from Rochester, Bristol Mountain offers 38 slopes, 1,200 vertical and 138 acres of skiable terrain. During night operating season, 97% of trails have lighting. To assure our skiers and snowboarders of the best possible snow conditions, Bristol Mountain’s snowmaking system covers 100% of the terrain. The First Timer Learn to Ski or Snowboard Adventure Program is available to first time skiers and snowboarders, ages seven and up, in a small group format that offers an environment for optimal learning. Bristol’s Ski & Stay program provides you with a special price that includes one lift ticket with one night’s lodging. Bed & Breakfasts include breakfast one day.
Elk Mountain, Uniondale, Pennsylvania
Widely known for its challenging expert terrain and meticulously groomed cruisers, Elk is true to its tag line, “It’s like skiing in Vermont without the drive.” With 180 skiable acres, a vertical of 1,000 feet and 27 trails cut from the natural fall line of the mountain, Elk is a skier’s paradise. Advanced skiers come here to experience some of the best terrain in the east, while intermediate and beginner skiers can find plenty of trails suited to their ability level. Elk’s history dates back to 1959 when it became one of the first commercial ski areas in the state. From house-made soups to chic cocktails and winter favorites, guests of Elk Mountain can enjoy dining on the slopes in The Loft in the newly renovated Winter Garden Restaurant.
Blue Mountain Resort, Palmerton, Pennsylvania
Blue Mountain Resort is a year-round resort located along the Kittatinny Ridge in the Pocono Mountain region and sits within Little Gap Valley. Featuring the state’s highest vertical at 1,082 feet, Blue Mountain offers 40 trails, five terrain parks and 16 lifts to ensure skiers spend more time on the mountain and less time waiting in lift lines. Choose between a four or eight-hour lift ticket, which must be purchased online. Lift tickets are dynamically priced. The earlier you buy, the more you save. The resort has expanded its snow tubing park from 24 to 46 lanes, making it the largest snow tubing park in the country.
Whitetail Resort, Mercersburg, Pennsylvania
Only 1.5 hours from D.C. and Baltimore, hidden away in the quiet hills of the Bear Pond Mountain Range, Whitetail Resort offers a truly secluded escape. It features some of the best skiing that Pennsylvania has to offer with 23 trials, 935 feet of vertical drop, eight lifts and two terrain parks. Whitetail Mountainside Village is Whitetail’s only lodging available adjacent to the ski slopes. The Inns of Whitetail have hotel room style condos with a common great room and fireplace. Apartment and Townhome style cottages available for long or short term stay. Epic Mountain Rewards gives pass holders a discount of 20% off food and beverage, lodging, group ski and ride school lessons, equipment rentals and much more.
Mountain Creek Resort, Vernon, New Jersey
New Jersey isn’t a state that immediately comes to mind when people start to plan a ski vacation. After all, summertime fun at the Jersey Shore gobbles up all of the publicity. However, Mountain Creek Resort offers over 167 skiable acres and 1,000 vertical feet across four interconnected peaks suitable for all skill levels. With three terrain parks, long wide-open groomers and night skiing, there is something for everyone, all just 47 miles from New York City. With a range of accommodations from mountaintop cabins to poolside condos and townhomes, there are also plenty of options to relax.
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