Sugar Mountain Resort:
115 skiable acres; 1,200 vertical feet; summit elevation 5,200 feet; 20 trails; 78 annual inches; 8 lifts. Adult ticket $35—$53; season pass $625.
Beech Mountain Resort:
90 skiable acres; 830 vertical feet; summit elevation 5,505 feet; 15 trails; 80 annual inches; 10 lifts. Adult ticket $28—$48; season pass $475.
The Chetola Resort offers luxury lodging ($85—$210 per night) in nearby Blowing Rock (chetola.com), while The Archers Inn, perched between two sharp turns of the access road to Beech, offers moderate prices with great mountain views, starting at $70 per night (archersinn.com).
For breakfast and lunch, Sonny's Grill serves liver mush (828-295-7577). For dinner, Crippen's Country Inn & Restaurant serves such eclectic dishes as a filet of beef rolled in cracked coffee beans and stuffed with a morsel of bittersweet chocolate (828-295-3487; crippens.com).
The Beech Tree Bar & Grille rocks. At Sugar, head straight to the Last Run Lounge at the base.
The Biltmore Estate, in Asheville, N.C., was built by George Vanderbilt in the late 19th century. It remains America's largest private home, with 255 rooms decorated just as its owners left it: old masters and even Napoleon's chess set.
The Greensboro, N.C., airport is about a three-hour drive from Beech and Sugar mountains.
: Beech: 800-438-2093, skibeech.com. Sugar: 800-784-2768; skisugar.com