Ski East: The Essential Jiminy Peak

What you need to know about Jiminy Peak Resort.
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Vitals Jiminy Peak Resort, Hancock, Mass. 01237; (413) 738-5500. Web site: Lodging reservations: (800) 882-8859. Ski report: (888) 454-6469. Getting there: Three hours from Boston via the Massachusetts Turnpike, 2 1/2 hours from New York Metro Area via the Taconic Parkway and Route 22. Base Altitude: 1,250 feet. Vertical: 1,140 feet. Skiable acres: 120.

Sleeping In Convenience First: The Country Inn at the base of the mountain. A one-bedroom hotel suite (with a pullout queen sofa) with lift tickets costs $57.50-$140 per person, double occupancy, depending on the season. Two- and three-bedroom condos are available at Country Village, an easy walk to the Village Center. The Mountainside Hemlock Village is a longer walk, and Beaver Pond Meadow complex is 1 1/2 miles away. On A Budget: The Little Farm B&B (413-458-5492) is a working farm with barns and animals located just three miles north of the resort on Route 43. The recently enlarged house dates to the early Forties but it looks older. Three rooms share a common bath; one room and a single suite have private baths. Guests can snowshoe and cross-country ski on 30 acres of fields and woods. Rates are $55-$65 per room. If Price Is No Object: The Orchards in Williamstown (413-458-9611), the state's only Mobil Four Star and AAA Four Diamond rated hotel outside of Boston. Decorated with English antiques and oriental accent pieces, the Orchards has 65 silver teapots to serve afternoon tea. Rates are $125-$175 per night.

Dining Out The area's best restaurant is the rustic but upscale Mill on the Floss in Lanesboro (413-458-9123). Chef/owner Maurice Champagne works culinary magic in a display kitchen rimmed with copper pots and pans. You can't go wrong with the crab cakes with Dijon sauce or sliced tenderloin with garlic sauce. Rack of lamb is the priciest entree at $26. It doesn't look like much from the outside, but Hobson's Choice (413-458-9101), located on Water Street in Williamstown, is famous for its blackened meat, chicken and fish dishes. Prices range from $10-$18.

Kid Care The Jiminy Cricket Children's Center opens a half-hour before the lifts and takes kids as young as 6 months. On weekends, the center is open until 9 pm, and supper is served for an extra charge. The center closes at 6 pm weekdays. Instructional programs for children are available seven days a week. SKIwee is for kids 4 to 8 years old, and little ones can use their own Mighty-Mite lift. Explorers are 9 to 12, and Mountain Adventures are strong skiers 6 to 16 years old.

Painting The Town Revisit small town America of yesteryear at The Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge (413-298-4100) or view the collection at the Williams College Museum of Art in Williamstown (413-597-2429).

Don't Like? Don't Pay Jiminy's "test run" policy allows skiers to sample trail conditions during the first half-hour of operation each day.

Don't Schlep If you're way back in the parking lot, there's an equipment drop-off spot at the Crane Lodge.