Blue-Light Specials at the Big K

The Killington access road is a five-mile-long uphill jaunt littered with après options.
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The Killington access road is a five-mile-long uphill jaunt littered with après options.
The Lookout Tavern, Killington

1. THE GRIST MILL
Despite its Hallmark-card look, this weathered wood restaurant serves up $6, 15-ounce mason jars of Goombay Smash — a Caribbean-inspired ass-kicker made from Bacardi and fruit juice. Drink too many and you'll be splashing into the adjacent Summit Pond from your deck chair. Inside, a $1 pool table, live local bands, and Killington's biggest shrimp cocktail keep things blue-collar. (1251 Killington Rd.; 802-422-3970)

2. PICKLE BARREL
Formerly known as the Sugar Shack, this place has preserved the spicy core of Killington's nightlife since 1971. Phish, Blues Traveler, Ziggy Marley, and—ready for this?—Tesla have all shaken the sawdust from the dance floor. In April, neophyte cross-dressers strut their stuff at the annual miniskirt party. And the truly sauced can safely ride to their condos in the Barrel Rider, the bar's own free shuttle service. (1741 Killington Rd.; 802-422-3035)

3. CASEY'S CABOOSE
The name refers to the retired railcars used to build the joint—not the Grateful Dead's 1971 hit "Casey Jones. But that doesn't stop scraggly hippies and stoned New Yorkers from cashing in on $6.50 margarita pints. Each winter, Casey's serves up some 20,000 pounds of happy-hour wings free of charge—enough to satisfy any case of the munchies. (1930 Killington Rd.; 802-422-3795)

4. WOBBLY BARN STEAKHOUSE
Like the Pickle Barrel, this multilevel, four-bar nightspot's got sawdust on the floors and national acts like Jimmy Cliff and the Violent Femmes on the stage. Celebrating its 43rd birthday in 2006, the Wobbly Barn still parties like a college kegger, mixing noise, knuckleheads, and nimble women dancing in their ski boots. (2229 Killington Rd.; 802-422-6171)

5. NIGHTSPOT/OUTBACK
In Aussie-speak, fair dinkum means "genuine. And Botcha Galoo means—well, we have no idea, but at the Outback it's a $19 wood-fired pizza with enough sausage and pepperoni to cover the Great Barrier Reef. Throw down $3 pints of Long Trail on Sundays and enjoy the cheesy guitar rock. (The house band once opened for Blue Oyster Cult!) Pints are always icy cold, thanks to a conveyer belt that moves glasses outside to chill. But the disco-lit dance floor heats things up nicely. (2841 Killington Rd.; 802-422-9885)

6. LOOKOUT TAVERN
Watch for the wooden sign depicting a busty lady holding binoculars. Opened in fall 2000, the Lookout has drawn legions of locals, thanks mostly to Skiddy, a longtime Killington bartender reputed to be one of Killington's best bump skiers. Get advice on skiing Outer Limits, or just ask for a free bowl of honey-barbecue wings to help soak up $4.25 Harpoon IPAs. An upstairs deck, complete with an old-fashioned quarter-fed viewfinder, offers one of the best vantage points for surveying the Killington Valley. (2910 Killington Rd.; 802-422-5665)