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(All phone numbers are area code 802 unless otherwise noted.)
Summit Elevations: Morse Mountain 2,250 feet, Madonna Mountain 3,640 feet, Sterling Mountain 3,010 feet. Vertical rise: 2,610 feet (Vermont’s largest contiguous). Skiable acres: 260 trails and glades, plus 750 of boundary-to-boundary woods skiing.
From Boston (220 miles, 4 hours): Take I-93 to Concord, N.H., then I-89 north to Exit 15 in Winooski, Vt. Head east on Route 15 to Jeffersonville, then south on Route 108 approximately 6 miles to Smugglers’ Notch. From New York (6 hours, 345 miles): Take I-87 to Exit 20 in Albany, N.Y.; Route 149 East to Fort Ann, N.Y.; Route 4 North to the Vermont border; Route 22A North to Vergennes, Vt.; Route 7 North to South Burlington; I-189 East to I-89; I-89 North to Exit 15 in Winooski; follow directions from Winooski, above.
Smuggs’ Guest Services Desk at the Morse Mountain Village Center is your only stop. Packages include all lifts and amenities, including lessons and rentals. Open 24 hours. Arrive by 9 pm Friday if you need gear to ski out of your condo in the morning.
Full-Service Family Fare: Club Smugglers’ one-week slopeside-condo packages (lodging, lifts, lessons and all the family fun you can fit in) begin at $99/adult, $85/youth, (800) 451-8752. Kids 6 and under stay free after condo-occupancy minimum is met. On A Budget: One cozy cabin for a family of four is available at the Three Mountain Lodge & Restaurant, about a mile away (644-5736), for $95-115 per night. The Sterling Ridge Inn, four miles away (800-347-8266), has eight charming log cabins, from $70-$165 per night; inn-style rooms as well. Romantic Getaway: Mannsview Inn (644-2006) is an elegant B&B with fireplaces and jacuzzis; $100-130, including gourmet country breakfasts and tasty baked goods. In town, rooms at the 200-year-old Smugglers’ Notch Inn (800-845-3101) are country-style without being frilly, from $60-125 (with breakfast).
Kids menus are standard fare in the area. At The Mountain Grille in the village, children 12 and under eat for half their age. Three Mountain Lodge Restaurant (644-5736) offers timeless ambience. In the Village, the independently owned Hearth & Candle (644-8090) offers adults-only white-tablecloth dining or family-friendly seating downstairs. For casual Mexican, walk across Route 15 to Cafe Banditos (644-8884), or relax in the condo and order in from Riga-Bello’s Pizzeria (644-1142).
The Three Mountain Lodge offers folk music on Tuesdays and Fridays (644-5736). The Bootlegger’s Lounge in the Village Lodge has karaoke, open mike and other painful sing-alongs. Locals like the Lion’s Den at Smugglers’ Notch Inn. For all-ages fun, take in some of the family programming, like the FunZone (1-9 pm), then wait up for the teens to return from the Outer Limits at the Yurt (5 pm-midnight).
Smugglers’ Notch Snowmobile Tours, hourly, 5-8 pm: drivers $50, passengers $25; (800) 347-8266.
Dinner’s Dunn at Windridge Bakery bakes cinnamon-raisin bread with maple frosting in an enormous 1954 oven. In town, Henley’s Store sells everything from soup to shotgun shells.
The FunZone (1-9 pm) is a giant inflatable playground, with slides, obstacle course, climbing wall and Nerf toys. Sir Henry’s Tube Sliding (4:30-9 pm) features bumps and chutes under the lights. Family Movie Night (Saturdays at 7, Morse Highlands Base Lodge) screens favorite feature films in an attractive alpine movie house. Family fun is included in all Club Smugglers’ packages.
Alice’s Wonderland (8:30 am-4:30 pm, $55): certified, adequately staffed, age-appropriate curricula; ages 6 weeks to 6 years. Babysitting: $9/hour, plus $4 finder’s fee. (“Parent’s Night Out” specials on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday nights: 4 hours, $24/cchild.)
Smuggs’ children’s camps make learning to ski or ride fun. Teens and adults can take group or private lessons. Instruction is included in Club Smugglers’ packages. À la carte costs: full-day kids’ camp, $69; 90-minute group, $29; private, $65/hour.
Smugglers’ Notch Resort, 4323 Route 108 South, Jeffersonville, Vt., 05464-9537; 644-8851; reservations: (800) 451-8752; “No-Bull Snow Report”: 644-1111; website: www.smuggs.com.