The Best East Coast Ski Resorts for your Winter Vacation

Although the West Coast tends to harbor more attention during the winter months with colder temperatures extending their season, Don’t dismiss East Coast skiing destinations. While it’s true that conditions tend to be wetter and human-made snow is more frequent, the trails offered throughout the East represent a unique tradition all on their own. A tradition skiers have been flocking to for years.

Check out our top five East Coast ski resort destinations with everything you need to know to help plan your next ski vacation.

Best East Coast Ski Resorts

Known as the skiing capital of the East Coast, Stowe, Vermont is the product of legendary proportions in part due to the Mount Mansfield Ski Club that began here in 1934. Stowe is divided into two distinct areas, Spruce Peak on one side and Mansfield on the other.

On the Spruce Peak side of the mountain, you’ll find a majority of the schools and clubs where training and classes take place for visitors and locals alike. You’ll also find the resort town and many other accommodations. A gondola allows easy transport between the Spruce Peak and Mansfield sides.

What Stowe Offers Skiers

The resort at Stowe features over 115 trails for skiers of all levels from those just starting to expert-level backgrounds. Mount Mansfield boasts some of the best backcountry skiing in the country. However, be sure you know where you’re going. You can easily get lost traversing the myriad of trails that can drop you off in other ski areas or sometimes even smaller nearby towns.

What Is There To Do Besides Skiing?

Because of the expansive backcountry region and extensive gondola lifts, Stowe is an excellent cross-country skiing and hiking trails. At the cross-country center, you can explore almost 28 miles of trails kept in great condition during the season.

For those wanting to experience Stowe off the slopes, check out nearby breweries like Alchemist Beer or head on down to Burlington, where you can experience some of the best craft beer Vermont has to offer.

Nearest Airport to Fly Into

Flying into Burlington International (BTV) in Vermont will get you as close to Stowe as you can by plane. The Green Mountains are a beautiful sight to see from above and will undoubtedly start your vacation off right. From Burlington, rent a car and drive the 45-minutes to Stowe.

Top Three Accommodations

The Lodge at Spruce Peak: For a more luxurious stay, look into staying at one of the 300 rooms at The Lodge at Spruce Peak just steps away from the Stowe Mountain Resort, the Over Easy Gondola, and Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center. You’ll get a true ski resort lodge feel here while having one of the most convenient locations in Stowe.

Topnotch Resort: If you don’t mind a quick 15-minute drive to Stowe Mountain Resort, then Topnotch Resort is a great option for your ski vacation accommodations. Relax at the full-service spa, where you can enjoy massages, body treatments, and facials and then later take a dip in the indoor pool or spa tub.

Green Mountain Inn: With a stay at Green Mountain Inn in Stowe, you’ll be in the mountains within a 15-minute drive to Stowe Mountain Resort. This romantic resort offers beautiful scenery with a central location and spa tubs to relax in after skiing.

Want a bit more adventure out of your ski vacation this year? Then look no further than Sugarloaf, Maine. Located in Carrabassett Valley in northern Maine, Sugarloaf features one of the largest continuous verticals on the east coast coming in at a whopping 2,820 feet. Because of its northern position in New England, ski conditions at Sugarloaf typically span longer than more southern resorts. But plan accordingly! New England winter weather can easily change.

What Sugarloaf Offers to Skiers

Because of its more secluded location, you’ll find smaller crowds on the slopes at Sugarloaf. Stowe, Vermont, and Sugarloaf, Maine are also two of the only East Coast ski resorts that contain alpine terrain and holds title to the second tallest mountain in the state. Because of this, there are plenty of snow-covered forests to explore for the more adventurous at heart.

What Is There To Do Besides Skiing?

For a bit of fun off the ski slopes, check out fat biking – an off-road bicycle with wider tires made for winter terrain and snow. If you need a break from the chilly winter temperatures Maine is known for, then head to the Anti-Gravity Complex where you can jump on giant indoor trampolines or try your hand at scaling a climbing wall.

Nearest Airport to Fly Into

Getting to Sugarloaf will take a bit of time as the closest airports are either Portland International Airport or Boston Logan Internation Airport – both are a few hours drive from the mountain. From the Airport, you’ll have to rent a car and traverse through northern Maine’s remote landscape.

Top Three Accommodations

Sugarloaf Mountain Hotel: The most well known and convenient hotel to stay at during your ski trip to Sugarloaf is it’s namesake accommodations – Sugarloaf Mountain Hotel just 100 yards from the SuperQuad lift. The family-friendly hotel also has an on-site restaurant and outdoor hot tubs to relax in after hitting the slopes for the day.

Rangeley Lake Resort: For a true lodge experience in the woods, check out Rangeley Lake Resort set in the beautiful mountains of Maine with all the amenities you’ll need like an indoor pool, spa tubs and sauna. Although it’s about 30 miles away from Sugarloaf, it’s a short 4-minute drive to other areas like Cascade Stream Gorge Trail and 9 minutes from Rangeley Lakes Trails Center.

Hostel Of Maine: Are you on a budget for your ski trip? Check out the Hostel of Maine, a shared accommodation hotel with both dormitories and private bedrooms. The hotel is only a 10-minute drive from Sugarloaf Ski Resort and can keep you from breaking the bank on your holiday

North Conway, New Hampshire in the Mount Washington Valley has been a premier skiing vacation destination since the early 1800’s. As such, the area boasts some of the best skiing in the area with plenty of options for every level of skier. By having so many options within a short drive from North Conway, you’ll rest assured you’re getting exactly what you’re looking for out of your next East Coast ski resort vacation.

What North Conway Offers Skiers

Bordering the 800,000 acre White Mountain National Forest, North Conway plays homes to 5 East Coast ski resorts and is promoted as the “birthplace of American skiing.” With so many resorts to choose from you can easily explore multiple mountains during your ski vacation. If you have kids in tow, check out the kid-friendly mountains of Cranmore and King Pine.

What Is There To Do Besides Skiing?

If you want to extend your snowy adventure past the slopes, North Conway is also home to cross country areas, winter hiking trails, and even ice climbing complexes. In town, you can check the over 95 restaurants and ice skating at Schouler Park.

Nearest Airport to Fly Into

The closest Airport to North Conway is Manchester-Boston Regional Airport in central New Hampshire. North Conway is about a two-hour drive from the Airport. We suggest renting a car to explore the area at your ease.

Top Three Accommodations

North Conway Grand Hotel: With North Conway Grand Hotel, location is key. The hotel is only a short drive away to the many ski resorts North Conway boasts, walking distance to the Settlers’ Green Outlet Village and a 5-minute drive to the Conway Scenic Railway.

The White Mountain Hotel & Resort: If you’re looking for a picture book ski vacation escape, then look no further than the White Mountain Hotel & Resort. This kid-friendly complex offers a secluded atmosphere only minutes away from the North Conway village.

Kearsarge Inn: Do you prefer a more quaint setting to stay at during your ski trip? Then check out the Kearsarge Inn, a cozy hotel in the heart of town. The Kearsarge Inn is just a short drive away from the slopes and other attractions in North Conway.

Only a couple hours away from New York City, Windham is the perfect getaway from the hustle and bustle of big city life. The family-friendly area hosts a variety of trails across two peaks that are the perfect starting point for beginners and intermediate skiers. Keep in mind that Windham does come with a higher price tag than some of the other resorts, but know you’ll leave your ski vacation feeling pampered by amenities such as custom boot fittings and upper-end dining options.

What Windam Offers Skiers

Although smaller than many other East Coast ski resorts with only 54 runs, Windham is the perfect place to test out your skills on the slopes. With 45 acres of night skiing, you can rest assured that as the sun dips behind the mountains, your fun on the slopes doesn’t have to end for the day. While Windham isn’t as well known for expert-level trails, the area boasts six terrain parks with 80 features for the freestyle skiers out there.

What Is There To Do Besides Skiing?

Making Windham the perfect family-friendly East Coast ski resort destination is the string of activities off the slopes for all ages. Check out nearby Adventure Park that offers tubing, kid snowmobiles, ice skating, and more.

Nearest Airport to Fly Into

Most coming to Windham reside in New York itself or will fly into one of the many international airports located within New York City. The closest is the Albany Intl. Airport. If you fly into NYC Windham is 2.5-3 hour drive from the city itself.

Top Three Accommodations

Hammo’s Lodge: If you want to be close to the action and ski slopes without breaking the bank, then check out Hammo’s Lodge. The lodge is a short 15-minute drive from the Windham Mountain Resort and Hunter Mountain and includes daily complimentary breakfast.

The Washington Irving Inn: Offering a more personal bed & breakfast atmosphere, the Washington Irving Inn is still close to the action and a 15-minute drive away from the ski areas. The Victorian-style hotel offers beautiful mountain views and authentic period pieces throughout the Inn.

Bavarian Manor Inn: You won’t be short of charming accommodations throughout Windham. The Bavarian Manor Inn is another Victorian-era lodge set in the picturesque backcountry of New York. The Inn is located in the heart of the Great Northern Catskill Mountains and close to the ski resorts and other attractions.

For a taste of European flair without ever leaving North America, then check out Canada’s East Coast ski resort winter wonderland destination of Tremblant, Québec, for your next ski vacation. The charming town of Tremblant is the perfect balance of world-class skiing and village life. With colorful facades and friendly locals, you’ll be transported to one of the best ski destinations on the continent at Tremblant.

What Tremblant Offers Skiers

Besides a vibrant town scene, Mont Tremblant offers skiers a range of trails with something for everyone. The mountain features four different faces of terrain spanning 94 trails and is surrounded by the 373,000 acres Mont Tremblant National Park.

What Is There To Do Besides Skiing?

You’ll have a plethora of other activities to fill your time with off the slopes in Tremblant. Here you can explore great shopping, dining, and nightlife in the easy to walk town center. There’s even a casino here to test out your vacation luck!

For a little more adventure off the slopes check out the local cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, ice climbing, tubing, horseback riding or ice skating.

Nearest Airport to Fly Into

With its central location in close proximity to big East Coast hubs like Boston, New York, Montreal, and Toronto, getting to Tremblant comes with ease. Fly into either the Montreal-Trudeau International Airport, about a 2-hour drive away, or directly into the regional Airport of Mont Tremblant International Airport, only 25 minutes away from Tremblant city center.

Top Three Accommodations

Hôtel Quintessence: If you’re looking for a more pampered ski experience in a luxury resort then check out Hôtel Quintessence, only a 5-minute walk to the slopes but tucked away far enough in the trees offering gorgeous mountain views. Built-in 1885, the hotel also features its own restaurant, wine bar, and spa.

 Chateau Beauvallon: You’ll have several options to stay at that are within walking distance to the slopes on Mont Tremblant. For those looking for a classic chateau feel for their ski lodgings then check out Chateau Beauvallon. This lakeside, luxury property also has an indoor/outdoor pool, hot tub and skiing right from their front doorstep.

Le Westin Resort & Spa: Perfectly located within steps from the ski slopes, Le Westin Resort & Spa offers cozy rooms and great amenities for their guests. The hotel features a full-service spa for relaxing after the slopes as well as a heated outdoor saltwater pool, in-house restaurant, and fitness center.