Great Skiing Getaways
13 “Ski and Stay”cations
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(3) Vernon New Jersey/Warwick New York
The City Cat and the Country Mouse
Vernon is a winter resort town located in the New Jersey Appalachians. It seamlessly connects to Warwick, New York, a collection of villages and hamlets, tucked in the rolling hills of the Shawangunk Mountains, with outdoor sports, fine dining, galleries, and quality shops. The old dairy farms peppered throughout this region, once the dwellings of farm families, are now the homes of five-star restaurants, quaint bed & breakfasts, art galleries, and specialty shops. Playboy icon Hugh Heffner built his famous club in Vernon in the early ‘70s. Around the same time, both the Vernon Valley and Great Gorge ski areas were conceived. This has since become Mountain Creek, a huge ski and recreational area.
Ski Mountain Creek
Situated in Vernon Valley in Northern New Jersey, this ski resort offers fabulous skiing, snowboarding, and snow tubing, with 46 trails to carve your way down, 11 lifts, and seven snow-tubing lanes on a dedicated hill. Ski down a 1,040-foot vertical, featuring one high-speed, eight-passenger Cabriolet gondola and two high-speed quads, plus bunny slopes accessed by its two Magic Carpets.
Ski the Hidden Valley Club
The Hidden Valley Club is one of the oldest and most respected ski destinations on the East Coast. Founded as a private ski area in 1975 by the same visionary who developed the Great Gorge Ski Resort (now Mountain Creek), Hidden Valley has been the destination of choice for seasoned skiers who love the variety of trails as well as the excellent conditions.
Crystal Springs Resorts
Twin brand-new New Jersey luxury resorts sit nestled in the Kittatinny Mountains. Together, they boast seven championship golf courses, award-winning spas, and world-class gourmet dining. Whether you spend your time at the elegant four-star Grand Cascades Lodge or the family-friendly Minerals Resort & Spa, these lovely properties are top-notch and perfect for those who wish to have the best of both worlds. The Grand Cascades Lodge is a lavish revival of the classic Adirondack-style lodges. The large tropical biosphere pool complex with a free-form indoor pool, water slide, hot tub, and steam room is perfect for après-ski unwinding, followed by a drink from Restaurant Latour’s on-site wine cellar, which houses an impressive 64,000 varietal bottles. Enjoy its Reflections Spa which has a crystal ceiling, fire-inspired art glass throughout the interior and exterior, and an impressive menu of treatments.
The Apple Valley Inn B&B is a Colonial mansion built in 1831 in scenic Pochuck Valley, New Jersey. Here you can find wraparound porches, allowing for perfect views of the countryside. The bountiful gardens lead directly to their very own Candy Apple Shoppe right on the grounds, where signature chocolate-covered apples and other such confections are made fresh daily. Year-round antiquing and visits to local wineries provide yet another adventure, and the Appalachian Trail, less then one mile from Apple Valley, offers great cross-country skiing.
Glenwood, NJ (973) 764-3735. Cost: $145—$160
(4) The Catskill Mountains
More Ski Belt than Borscht Belt
There are several ski areas in this spectacular New York State region, most within an hour’s drive of Westchester, including Hunter Mountain and Bellayre Mountain, among several others. All offer top-notch trails.
Let It Snow
Ski Hunter Mountain
Hunter is located in the spectacular mountaintop region of the Northern Catskills, unmatched for their beauty. More than 1,000 snow guns quickly blanket the entire mountain, making Hunter renowned for its snow conditions. Miles of state hiking trails lead to breathtaking views of the Hudson Valley and the surrounding peaks.
Reach the Heights
Ski Belleayre Mountain and Plattekill Mountain
Belleayre Mountain in Highmount, New York, hasn’t changed much since it opened in 1949. Early on, skiers would sidestep or hike their way more than 3,000 feet to be the first to make tracks down un-named and woody trails. It would eventually become the center for winter sports in the region, with a 3,429-foot summit and 171 skiable acres. It is the highest skiable peak and boasts the longest skiable trail in the Catskills. Skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts love Plattekill for its long and challenging runs.
That Big-Mountain Feel
Ski Windham Mountain
Since it opened in 1960, Windham Mountain has enjoyed a world class reputation by offering a wide variety of top-notch terrain for all ages and abilities. Located in New York’s Northern Catskills and with more vertical drops than the Berkshires, Windham allows for an authentic big mountain ski experience within a two-hour drive of Westchester County. Over the past three years, three new trails and four new lifts have been added to the facility as well as the Windham Mountain Adventure Park complete with a thrill seekers bungee trampoline, a rock climbing wall, and an ice skating center. Guest can take full advantage of amenities such as valet parking and direct-to-lift ski passes. The onsite ski lodge includes a Starbucks coffee, the Yokahama Mama Sushi Bar, and services such as a ski school and the Windham Mountain Sports retail shop. Its restaurant Trail’s End Tavern & Grill invites après skiers to a feast within its beautiful timber, stone, and copper space.
Originally a boarding house in the mid 1800s, this sweet little French-flavored B&B lies hidden like a secret wedding cake in the central Catskills. It’s now owned by a French chef and his young family, and the charm of this place is immediately visible, thanks to Victorian décor. Appointed like a collector’s dollhouse, La Duchesse Anne offers a lovely grand dining room, where generous portions of authentic French fare are served nightly. Après skiing, warm up here as you dance till the wee hours. Retire to one of eight charming rooms, enjoy a continental breakfast, and get back out there all over again.
Mount Tremper, NY (845) 688-5260. Cost: $70—$220
This resort has 53 exceptional guestrooms and suites, all appointed with choice furnishings and lush, jewel-toned fabrics. Enjoy inventive cuisine at The Phoenix Restaurant or indulge in one of the varietal spa treatments at its four-star spa. An onsite country store showcases locally inspired items and gifts from the Hudson Valley in a restored 19th-century barn. Featured here is the world’s largest kaleidoscope, a multi-media experience to enjoy before heading off to ski the mountains.
Mount Tremper, NY (877) 688-2828. Cost: $139—$563
The Roxbury is a new boutique motel, hugged by the Catskill Mountains in the historic village of Roxbury. Its bright, colorful whimsical, rooms (décor veers from kitschy to cosmic) manage without effort and fancy wrappings to put a contemporary spin on an old country lodging experience. “Theme” rooms inspired by famous TV series, films, or cartoons of the 1960s and ’70s are this motel’s claim to fame, and it manages to pull this off without being corny.
Roxbury, NY (607) 326-7200. Cost: $125—$335
In honor of the 140th anniversary of Mohonk Mountain, on certain select days you can stay there for $186.90 and get all the fixings—charming rooms, bountiful buffets, and four-course formal dinners, along with afternoon tea and an abundance of resort activities such as cross-country skiing and snowshoeing, ice-skating in their open-air Pavilion, fitness and yoga classes, or swimming in the indoor heated pool. The House, less than an hour from Westchester, has 35 miles of cross-country ski trails throughout its 2,000-plus acres of resort property. Use its complimentary ski equipment and take a lesson.
New Paltz, NY (845) 255-1000. Cost: Starting at $510 (includes three meals, resort activities, and afternoon tea and cookies).
Afraid of heights, Karen Holly Berliner used her assignment to challenge herself to suit up and hit the slopes (albeit the bunny slopes). Her hope was to finally rise the victor of this lifelong battle with acrophobia. She did.