A few weeks ago, I was walking in New York City when I overheard two friends parting ways. "Let me know if you ever want to go snowboarding together!" one said, mid-hug. "It'd be nice to finally get the ski trip out of the group chat."
I laughed because anyone who's trying to plan a group ski trip with friends knows how hard it is to stop talking about it and actually book it. A ski trip isn't just another beach vacation or cabin getaway—there's a lot to account for. Just getting out of the city is a feat in and of itself. Then, there's ability levels and budgets and those friends who don't actually want to ski at all and are there just for the après scene. (Not that there's anything wrong with that!)
Rather than trying to wrangle all your friends to fly across the country for a week on the slopes, book a trip closer to home. There's a flurry of ski resorts well within driving distance of New York City with something everyone can enjoy—even those who have no intentions of ever clipping into a snowboard or ski binding whatsoever.
Take this as your sign to *actually* get your ski trip out of the group chat and book a stay at one of these resorts, all six hours or less from New York City. We'll see you at après.
Ski resorts 2-3 hours from New York
Hunter Mountain - Hunter, NY - 2.5 hours away
Hunter Mountain is a no-brainer for city dwellers who want to hit the slopes without having to make a long trek. Located 2.5 hours away in the Catskill Mountains, it's an easy drive or bus ride from NYC that makes for great day trips or weekend stints alike. The mountain itself is a snow bunny's dream, spanning 320 skiable acres across 13 different lifts, 67 trails, and a 1,600-foot vertical drop from the summit. It gets bonus points for being on the Epic Pass, Vail Resorts' ski pass which unlocks access to 37 resorts in North America.
And if you're not a skier? No worries. Foodies can take in the views at restaurants like The Overlook or CopperTree, or meet their friends for après at the Main Lodge. Those feeling adventurous can try snow tubing, and those who'd rather relax can book a treatment at the Kaatskill Mountain Club Spa, which has a heated pool, steam room, and sauna. (Before going back to après, of course.)
Where to stay: Scribner's Lodge, which is five minutes from the slopes. The boutique hotel is like stepping into an Instagram ad, everything is so aesthetic. The lodge hosts après parties every Saturday and Sunday from 1-3 p.m. that are worth swinging by even if you're not staying there. But if you do book a room, you'll get access to non-ski things, too, like the on-site sauna, in-room pilates, and access to the library. Book it now.
Windham Mountain - Windham, NY - 3 hours away
Or, check out the nearby Windham Mountain, another Catskills ski hill well worth the trip. A 3-hour drive from the city, it's got plenty to do for skiers of all experience levels—even those who'd rather stick to tubing. Or, you can swap the downhill action for a mellow winter stroll at the mountains cross-country and snowshoe center, where you can enjoy the winter wonderland at your leisure.
Afterwards, book yourself a massage at the resort's slope-side Alpine Spa, which includes access to its steam room and sauna. Then, go straight to après at the Umbrella Bar, where you can sit and sip amidst a panoramic view of the mountain action.
Where to stay: Experience hygge heaven at the Eastwind Hotel. Just five minutes down the road from the mountain, this boutique resort offers two types of lodging with traditional rooms and personal "Lushna" cabins, both of which are artfully designed with Scandinavian-inspired touches. Here, you can soothe your sore muscles in a wood-barrel sauna, roast s'mores over the community fireplace, or enjoy breakfast in bed, which is delivered straight to your cabin door in the cutest little basket. Book Skiing or not, it's worth a visit. Book it now.
Belleayre - Highmount, NY - 2 hours away
Don't go to the Catskills without checking out Belleayre, the highest ski peak in the mountain range. The summit overlooks 174 acres of skiable trails, glades, terrain parks, cross-country trails and more, meaning there's something for everyone at every ski level. You don't have to ski to enjoy the summit; take a ride on the scenic gondola to see the mountains from above. At the bottom, curl up with a with a bowl of soup in the main lodge, or grab a sweet treat from the Waffle Cabin. Yum.
Where to stay: Emerson Resort and Spa, which really does have something for everyone. Albeit 20 minutes away from the actual ski mountain, it's worth the stay. The spa offers an avalanche of wellness offerings, from traditional massages, manicures, and scrubs, to more spiritual services, like reiki and a tarot card reading/massage combo. You can also stretch it out after a day of skiing in a yoga class or at the fitness center before grabbing a signature cocktail from the resort's bar and grill. Book it now.
Jiminy Peak - Hancock, MA - 3.5 hours away
The Catskills aren't your only outlet for adventure—there's also the Berkshires, which are home to the fabulously fun Jiminy Peak. A 3.5-hour drive from NYC in Hancock, MA, this sprawling ski hill spans 167 acres with 45 trails, nine lifts, and a 1,150 vertical drop from the summit. As for things to do, it's not just skiing—there's snow tubing, snowshoeing, a general store, and plenty of restaurants for you to enjoy, too. History buffs should venture off the resort and visit the local Shaker village in Hancock or Norman Rockwell art museum in Pittsfield, both of which are short drive away.
Where to stay: For a true ski-in/ski-out vacation, book a stay at the Club Wyndham Bentley Brook. Steps away from the base chairlift, skiers and boarders can ride from sun-up to sun-down (or after dark during night skiing.) Other amenities include an heated outdoor pool that stays open, so you can swim while it snows. While there isn't a spa on property, there's in a spa close by that offers everything you need to relax and unwind. Book it now.
Ski resorts 4-6 hours from New York
Mount Snow - Dover, VT - 4 hours away
Nestled in the Green Mountains in Southern Vermont, Mount Snow is a dreamy winter getaway everyone—skiers and non-skiers—should visit ASAP. A 4-hour ride from NYC, the Epic mountain boasts 600 skiable acres across all four faces, with glades, terrain parks, half pipes, magic carpets, snow tubing—basically everything any powder hound needs in one magical spot.
Good news for the folks just there for the après—there's plenty to do off the hill, too. Munch your way through the 18 different restaurants and bars that span classic grab-'n-go options to sit-down dinners. Or, indulge in a spa day at the resort's Nature Spa, where you can book yourself luxe treatments like a 24K Gold Face Mask (yes, gold) or an Infrared Sauna Cocoon that's a dream for tired ski legs. And if it's a Saturday, catch a show at the Snow Barn, which has live music from 7-10 p.m., otherwise, grab a drink at Cuzzin's which also has live music regularly.
Where to stay: Mount Snow Grand Summit Resort, which is the mountain's on-site resort. If you're the friend who'd rather hang at the spa and meet up with your friends for a cocktail later, you'll be in heaven—there are pools, a gym, shopping, dining, and more all in one place. Plus, the resort offers "stay and play" packages with discounts up to 15 percent when you book 3-4 nights at a time. If you're not an Epic pass holder this is a great way to save big bucks on expensive lift tickets while getting your true ski-in/ski-out experience. Book it now.
Whiteface Mountain - Wilmington, NY - 5 hours away
If the Frozen lyrics, "The cold never bothered me anyway," resonate with you, then Whiteface is your place. Located in Wilmington, NY, the Adirondack mountain is no joke—and not just because it gets really freakin' cold. It's the highest ski resort in New York with the greatest vertical drop east of the Rockies. It's also been home to two winter olympics and continues to be a wintery paradise, spanning 94 trails over three peaks.
Now, if you're just along for the hot cocoa, you're in luck. Pop into the Cloudspin Bar & Grill for traditional après bites, like poutine and mac n' cheese, or cozy up to a Belgian waffle and coffee at the Waffle Cabin. Whiteface is also 15 minutes away from the Lake Placid, which—contrary to popular belief—has plenty to do besides winter sports. Book a dog sled across the picturesque Mirror Lake before walking over to Main Street for shopping, dining, and entertainment. Wellness buffs can book all the classic treatments, like massages, pedicures, and acupuncture, along the way, too.
Where to Stay: Mirror Lake Inn Resort and Spa, which overlooks the stunning Mirror Lake and is just steps away from Main Street. Skiers and snowboarders will enjoy the proximity to the mountain, while those who want some R&R will enjoy the on-site spa. Lean in to your wintery side and get the sweet Adirondack Maple Sugar Scrub, which uses local maple sugar, or an Aromatherapy Massage that uses actual water from Lake Placid with locally-sourced essential oils. Mmm. Book it now.
Killington - Killington, VT - 5 hours away
Dubbed the "Beast of the East," Killington is, indeed, a beast in the best, snowiest way. One of the few Ikon-pass mountains on the East Coast, this sprawling, six-peak resort is home to 1,509 skiable acres. Throw in Pico Mountain—its sister hill—and there's nearly 100 miles of trails to explore.
Good news is, there are tons to do outside of skiing and boarding, too. The less adventurous can take in the sights on a scenic gondola ride, which drops you off at the Peak Lodge which is just as pretty as it sounds. After that, pamper yourself at the Killington Grand Spa, where the most extreme thing you'll participate in is a Black Diamond Sports Massage. Round-out the night with a little après at the Wobbly Barn, which turns into a nightclub after 9 p.m.
Where to stay: Since it's a bit further than other resorts on this list, do yourself a favor and stay on-site at the Killington Grand Resort Hotel. The stunning property sits at the base of the mountain and is a stone's throw from mountain activities and offers plenty to do on the wellness front. Think: a heated outdoor pool with two hot tubs, a cafe and restaurant, and that luxe spa that's conveniently located in the ground floor of the hotel. Book it now.
Bretton Woods - Carroll, NH - 6 hours away
A 6-hour drive is a hike, but Bretton Woods is worth it. Situated in New Hampshire's breathtaking White Mountains, it's home to 464 acres ripe for alpine skiing, cross-country skiing, snowboarding, tubing, and more. You don't have to ski to see Mount Washington—hop in a horse-drawn carriage for a relaxing sleigh ride, ride the scenic gondola, or turn up the thrill with a winter zip line above the hemlock trees. Between winter activities, a spa, guided tours, and dining, you'll be just as happy on the slopes as you are off them.
Where to stay: The historic Omni Mount Washington Resort, which is the definition of "grand." Built in 1902, the resort has welcomed guests with its iconic red roof for over a century, and it's no surprise why. There's elegance around every corner, including a heated indoor pool and hot tub, cocktail bar, four different restaurants—all with awe-inspiring, panoramic mountain views. And, of course, there's the spa, which all feature products made with New England botanicals, so you can relish in the mountains, even if you're not actually out on them. Book it now.
Stowe - Stowe, VT - 6 hours away
Stowe is another 6-hour drive from New York city, but you won't mind once you get there. The iconic Vermont ski resort (which is on the Epic pass, too) boasts a vertical drop of 2,360 vertical feet and spans 485 skiable acres, 116 trails, and 12 lifts. Stowe shares a mountain with Smugglers' Notch, so skiers have plenty ski-able options to get their fill.
And those who are cool taking a couple laps (or... not) and then heading to the bar? You'll be covered, too. Wander around Spruce Peak Village down below and go ice skating or stop in Whistlepig, a craft distillery, for a boozy drink or warm mug of cider. Bring your appetite—there's tons of dining options in the village, too, from warm, cheesy raclette to Japanese food.
Where to stay: For ski-in/ski-out access, stay at the Lodge at Spruce Peak. This will keep everyone entertained, especially those who'd rather chill by the fireplace than shred the slopes. If you don't stay there, though, be sure to at least check out the spa and book yourself a treatment and check out the grounds. The Stowe Cider Scrub looks to die for, and uses apple pulp to give your skin a glow. Afterwards, you can take a cold plunge in the on-site Healing Lodge, or sip champagne with a view in the Sanctuary Lounge. Book it now.
Stratton Mountain - Stratton, VT - 4 hours away
Or, stay closer to home at Stratton (another Ikon mountain), which is located in the southern part of Vermont. You don't even have to drive—Stratton's own jitney makes trips every Friday and delivers guests straight to the resort's welcome center, where you can spend the weekend before taking it back on Sunday.
It's worth booking even if you don't ski. Stratton Village—the mountain's shops and dining—is adorable, and has a Euro-Alpine feel to it. You can shop, grab brunch, book a pedicure at the day spa. Or, get moving with a fireside yoga class or sunrise hike, which happen every Sunday morning. There's ice skating, snow biking, tubing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling, too.
Where to stay: There are a few lodging options at the Stratton Mountain Resort. If you're spending a couple nights, book the cozy Black Bear Lodge where you can relax in the sauna or hot tub after a day on the slopes. If you're planning a group trip and need more space, there's also a few condos to choose from, too. Whatever you book, both give you easy access to the village and the mountain. Book it now.
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