RESORTS OF THE YEAR EAST – BEST OF THE EAST: Smugglers’ Notch, Vt.
In the age of conglomerates and real estate investment trusts, everyone loves the fact that Smuggs’ still independently owned, reasonably priced, and locally controlled. And everyone knows it’s a place that doesn’t have a single high-speed lift. But no one gripes, and many prefer the leisurely, restful ride up knowing there’ll be fewer skiers on the trails. Read more about Smugglers’ Notch here.
RESORTS OF THE YEAR EAST – CHALLENGE: Mad River Glen, Vt.
Ask a Mad River skier to sum up what makes the resort so special, and you get a laundry-list: genuinely challenging terrain highlighted by playful tree runs, cliff drops, and fast groomers; the best service imaginable thanks to employees who truly love their jobs; affordable lift tickets that aren’t scanned by robotic gates; and a real sense of simplicity and continuity in the ever-changing climate of the American ski industry. Read more about Mad River Glen here.
RESORTS OF THE YEAR EAST – DOWN DAY ACTIVITIES: Whiteface Mountain, NY
The little mountain town that hosted two Olympics has charm and a sense of place that few resorts can match. Its streets glow with life on winter nights as visitors and locals bustle between its shops, bars, and restaurants, and the Olympic venues offer an unmatched variety of activities. Read more about Whiteface Mountain here.
RESORTS OF THE YEAR EAST – LIFTS: Okemo, Vt.
January deep freeze? Bring it on: Heated seats and orange bubble enclosures on the Sunburst Six lift give the cold-averse the courage to get out there. Okemo is famous for cozy slopeside condos, on-mountain food that’s a cut above, fun kids programs, and an excellent ski school and race club. Read more about Okemo here.
RESORTS OF THE YEAR EAST – LODGING & DINING: Tremblant, Qué.
The resort blends Old World European style with Disney-esque perfection to create a magical experience both on and off the mountain. The pedestrian village enchants guests with vibrant colors, outdoor fire pits, cobbled walkways and squares, and an open gondola linking one end to the other. Read more about Tremblant here.
RESORTS OF THE YEAR EAST – NIGHTLIFE: Killington, Vt.
These days Killington handles a higher percentage of real skiers, giving it a more soulful feel despite its size. And nowhere in the East beats the Access Road for after-hours action. That’s partly a tribute to its wealth of fine drinking and dining establishments, but also to the party-hearty attitude of many of the passholders. Read more about Killington here.
RESORTS OF THE YEAR EAST – SCENERY: Wildcat, N.H.
At Wildcat, you don’t have to go big or go home. Enjoy a little of both: some jaw-dropping views of Mount Washington and terrain variety that will make you feel like you’re on a big mountain. But it’s a no-frills vibe that makes Wildcat feel like your home mountain at the same time. Read more about Wildcat here.
RESORTS OF THE YEAR EAST – SERVICE: Sugarbush, Vt.
In the bucolic Mad River Valley, residents find a way to embrace tourism without spoiling the natural beauty that attracts tourists. Along with beautiful views, Sugarbush has an often under-appreciated variety of charismatic terrain. Read more about Sugarbush here.
RESORTS OF THE YEAR EAST – SNOW: Mount Snow, Vt.
Loyalists love the variety of terrain and the resort’s kicked-back vibe, and park rats can’t get enough of Carinthia terrain park, the best in the East. After a $30 million overhaul of its snowmaking system, the mountain was able to open the most terrain of any U.S. resort for the first six weeks of the 2017-’18 season and kept skiers happy with incredible grooming and snowmaking throughout the winter. Read more about Mount Snow here.
RESORTS OF THE YEAR EAST – TERRAIN VARIETY: Sugarloaf, Maine
The ’Loaf gilds its plentiful gentle greens, color-me-blue cruisers, and World Cup blacks with above-treeline snowfields, checkered glades, and snowcat access to lift-free Burnt Mountain. All trails funnel to Sugarloaf’s compact base village, which offers enough lodging, dining, and entertainment to keep the party rolling, whether that means soaking in a hot tub or gleaning local tips at The Bag. Read more about Sugarloaf here.
RESORTS OF THE YEAR EAST – Grooming: Bretton Woods, N.H.
You won’t find crazy steeps at Bretton Woods, but the scenery alone is worth a visit. From the top you can admire lofty Mount Washington and the Presidentials in all their glory, accented by the cherry red roof of the historic Mount Washington Hotel. And the skiing’s not exactly lacking: this little mountain knows how to groom its slopes to accentuate the great snow it gets. Above all, Bretton Woods knows how to spread the love to families. Read more about Bretton Woods here.