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From the 2021 Resort Guide: No. 12 in the East, Sugarloaf, Maine
From its rocky shores to its sprawling peaks, Maine sure lives up to its Vacationland moniker. And among it all, Sugarloaf—or “The Loaf” as regulars call it—stands 4,249 feet tall as a true legend. Ever since the mountain was added to the Ikon Pass two years ago, more skiers are finding that extra time in the car isn’t so bad after all. “We know there are so many other ski resorts closer but we know the destination is always worth the drive,” one reader notes. And just look at The Loaf’s rankings: It’s No. 2 in the coveted Terrain category, much deserved when you consider its one-of-a-kind above-treeline offerings; also Top 10 in Snow, Grooming, Service, Value, Local Flavor, Charm, Après, Nightlife, and Overall Satisfaction.
This season, expect new RFID ticket scanning technology at high-volume lifts and, looking ahead, Sugarloaf released a new 10-year plan that includes 450-plus acres of new beginner and intermediate terrain with a high-speed lift, real estate developments, a tubing park, mountain bike trails, and more. This will be one of the biggest capital improvements any East Coast resort has announced in recent memory, and surely something to keep an eye on as it all unfolds. —Connor W. Davis
• Skiable acres: 1,240
• Summit elevation: 4,237
• Vertical drop: 2,820
• Lifts: 13
• Trails: 162
Where to Stay in Sugarloaf
Sugarloaf Mountain Hotel
Right in the heart of Sugarloaf Village, the Sugarloaf Mountain Hotel was designed with inspiration drawn from New England farmhouses. The rooms range from queen rooms to three-bedroom suites, and the slopeside location ensures easy access to the lifts.
Gondola Village Condos
There are a bunch of condos scattered throughout the resort, but the Gondola Village condos are a great option for families seeking the convenience of daycare, dining, shopping, and slope access. All units have kitchens and sleep between two and six people. In addition, conveniences such as ski lockers and a free shuttle seal the deal.
Spillover Motel and Inn
For skiers looking for a value-minded option that’s still comfortable and convenient, the Spillover Motel and Inn seven miles from Sugarloaf offers just enough distance for a remote, away-from-it-all feel yet is still close enough to be in range for first chair. Bonus: The Spillover offers access to endless snowmobiling and snowshoeing trails when you want a break from the slopes.
Where to Eat in Sugarloaf
• 45 North: Need a break from the hustle and bustle of vacation? Take it at 45 North, where breakfast and dinner are made up of fresh, locally sourced ingredients to highlight the best of what Maine has to offer.
• Shipyard Brew Haus: Located inside the Sugarloaf Inn, the Shipyard Brew Haus is a true ski-in/ski-out restaurant. Featuring an outdoor patio with live music and classic local Maine beers, the Shipyard is the best spot around to soak up the winter sun and drink some suds.
• Tufulio’s Restaurant & Bar: Just 15 minutes from Sugarloaf, Tufulio’s offers great Italian food and an even better happy hour. Don’t miss Wednesday nights, when half price bottles of wine flow all night long.
• Rolling Fatties: In need of a lot of food at a lower price? Check out Rolling Fatties in Kingfield. It’s a 30-minute drive, but these “fatty” burritos are stuffed with locally sourced meats and vegetables, and are some of the best cheap eats in the region.
Where to Après in Sugarloaf
• The Rack BBQ: It’s not hard to find good BBQ in Maine. Need proof? Check out The Rack, serving up BBQ in-house in a custom smoker designed for competition cooking. With weekly trivia, open mic night, and live music several nights a week, The Rack is the place to be.
• Widowmaker: Located at the top of the base lodge, Widowmaker has long been known as Sugarloaf’s go-to après spot and a definite must-do for those who like the nightlife. Live entertainment on Saturday nights complements the 16 local beers on tap.
• The Bag & Kettle: With a daily happy hour, live entertainment and a good menu, the Bag and Kettle in Carrabassett Valley is a great option for apres-ski and late night drinking activities.
Must-Do Activities in Sugarloaf
• The SugarBowl: The SugarBowl is the Carrabassett Valley’s home for bowling, virtual golf, and arcade diversions. There’s also a good beer selection and a wine list for the grown-ups.
• Nordic Skiing: Cross country ski along the Carrabassett River for six miles on the Narrow Gauge Pathway. This summer hiking trail gets groomed all winter long for a beautiful trail that winds through the Maine wilderness along the path of a retired train rail bed.
• Maine Ski and Snowboard Museum: Since 1995, the Maine Ski and Snowboard Museum in Kingfield has been preserving and celebrating Maine’s ski heritage. Through photos, artworks, artifacts, and documents, the quaint museum has been educating schools, ski clubs, and ski enthusiasts on the history of Maine skiing.
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