Great Skiing Getaways
13 “Ski and Stay”cations
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In these up/down/up again economic times and with the crisp chill of winter looming in the air, why not choose a local ski getaway when planning your next vacation? The Northeast is stocked with ski areas. With so many options at your beck and call, any direction you drive will bring you right smack in the middle of a winter wonderland. Here is a list of top-notch nearby ski-trip destinations.
(1) The Pocono Mountains
Just a Hop, Skip, and a Ski Jump Away
The Pocono Mountains sit statuesque and sprawling, about 100 miles away from Westchester. This region offers a postcard-perfect backdrop, with more than 2,000 square miles of rolling mountain terrain, natural waterfalls, earthy woodlands, and winding rivers. Back in 1934, Poconos resident Dick Smith penned the lyrics to the classic song Winter Wonderland—with good reason: it is just that. Winter visitors are coaxed with opportunities to ski their way through 150 trails of those famous wonderlands.
Reverse Psychology Hits the Slopes
SKI Big Bear at Masthope Mountain
Ski Big Bear is laden with adventure for the intrepid skier.
While most slopes have you skiing down to the lodge at the bottom, Big Bear playfully pulls the old switcheroo. Skiers here enjoy instead a grand lodge complete with dining, shopping, and people-watching opportunities, all way up at the very top of this mountain. Here’s how it works: Big Bear’s two Magic Carpets glide you seamlessly to the edge of the mountain, much like an airport passenger transporter does. Just strap your skis on, and immediately upon your arrival, ski down. More time spent at the top optimizes the taking in of breathtaking natural views. Big Bear offers 18 trails in total, and night skiing excursions are available, too.
The Family Who Skis Together Stays Together
With 33 trails all well lit for night skiing, Camelback offers a full resort experience custom-fit for family ski trips to the Poconos. Camelback Mountain Resort has ski packages for purchase, snowmaking capability, a ski school, and a children’s daycare center, too.
The Giant Snowman
SKI Jack Frost Big Boulder
The resort lives up to its namesake. The premier commercial ski resort in Pennsylvania, whose claim to fame is having generated the very first artificial snow, the resort earns the reputation of having the best manmade terrain around. Jack Frost has six parks on site and, after many years in the industry, these folks clearly have winter sports down to a science.
The Lodge at Woodloch’s myriad amenities are quietly tucked in the woods.
This quintessential respite sits like a magical secret, unexpectedly nestled in the woods, offering a vast array of award-winning destination-spa amenities, including fabulous treatments, superb organic cuisine, classes, and unique accouterments such as heated hydro-massage water walls at its ever-cascading Aqua Gardens.
Hawley, PA (570) 685-8500. *Cost: $299—$600
Settlers Inn illuminated at dusk.
Back in the 1980s, innkeepers Grant and Jeanne Genzlinger took their green-before-their-time vision and brought it to life via this beautifully restored Arts and Crafts lodge. Their 21 mission-style rooms, complete with good old-fashioned feather beds and European-style linens beg you to succumb to heartwarming comforts. Meander through the herb and flower gardens, sit by a toasty fire, and sip a brandy or soak in your own private whirlpool tub, or dine at the Chestnut Tavern and Terrace, all ideal after a day of great skiing.
Hawley, PA (800) 833-8527. Cost: $160—$250
Owned by the Kiesendahl family since 1958, this all-inclusive family resort exudes retro-style warmth and hospitality. Set on thickly wooded grounds, this multi-generational haven offers recreation, such as ice-skating and snow tubing, on the premises. Woodloch showcases a surprisingly professional revue on Saturday nights, on par with some of New York City’s best Broadway musicals. Its Ski & Stay package links guests to ski Big Bear at Masthope Mountain. Your Woodloch VIP pass eliminates long lines and gets you the royal treatment
Hawley, PA (800) 966-3562. Cost: $119—$500
This Dutch Colonial-style manor house overlooks Skytop Lake, with stunning panoramic views of the surrounding region. The placement of this rustic lodge at the base of West Mountain in the northern Poconos seamlessly connects it to all of nature’s splendors with 30 miles of cross-country ski trails weaving through its 5,500 acres. The lodge itself has charming accommodations, gourmet dining, and a high-end spa. Its motto is: “All meals included—all adventures met.”
Skytop, PA (800) 345-7759. Cost: $398 (includes meal and winter-sport fees)
The French Manor is a magical four-diamond rated stone château, sitting regally atop Huckleberry Mountain. Enjoy views of the northern Pocono Mountains from its spa resort addition, Le Spa Forêt, offering five more fireplace- and Jacuzzi-appointed suites, all with private balconies. An indoor pool and hot tub as well as a fitness room infuse amenities into your stay. Guests can opt for a full-day VIP lift ticket to nearby Camelback Mountain. Just start your day with one of their gourmet country breakfasts and allow the resort to pack you a tote bag of goodies for later.
South Sterling, PA (877) 720-6090. Cost: $175—$375
(2) LAKE PLACID
Getting High on the Adirondacks’
High Peaks Region
The Alpine Village of Lake Placid is situated within the six-million-acre Adirondack Park, one of the largest wilderness parks on earth, with an impressive 3,000 lakes and 2,000 miles of hiking trails. It sits on crystal-clear Mirror Lake, within one of the most ancient mountain systems on the planet.
The Big Plunge
Surrounded by thousands of acres of Adirondack forest, Whiteface Mountain boasts the greatest vertical drop in the East at 3,430 feet, making for some of the best alpine skiing in North America. Nevertheless, beginners can rest assured that this mountain has an easy-does-it side for them as well, complete with a sheltered trail system. A huge mountain with more than 225 skiable acres, Whiteface has five ski areas, and the onsite heated Cloudsplitter Gondola carries skiers to the top of Little Whiteface in less than eight minutes.
Former Olympic Lucier Joe Barile opened this sprawling property in June 2005, having long envisioned a lodge reminiscent of the grandeur of the “Great Camps” of the historic Adirondacks. Much of the timber for this Lake Placid resort was hand-milled on site and handcrafted Adirondack furnishings are found throughout. Enjoy its heated indoor-outdoor swimming pool, an ice-skating rink, a large surround-sound movie theater, the rustic Kanu Restaurant, a cigar and cognac lounge; even an imported two 10-pin bowling lane circa 1963!
Lake Placid, NY (800) 903-4045. Cost: $400—$500
Chocolate cookies await at snowy Mirror Lake Inn.
Feel your senses pique as you approach this charming lakefront resort inn, where a grand row of color-changing twinkling lit trees beckon you to enter. The inn’s famous chocolate-chip cookies await your arrival at the front desk where you can check in to stay in one of its charming rooms or suites. Offering three dining spots, a high-end spa on the premises, yoga classes, and cross-country ski lessons, this inn is a one-stop winter getaway treasure.
Lake Placid, NY (518) 523-2544. Cost: Starting at $245