11 best ski resorts on the East Coast

There’s no denying it — when it comes to skiing in the U.S., there’s nothing like skiing out west. The towering mountains, deep powder, and vast terrain make it a dream destination for skiers and snowboarders. But for those closer to the East Coast, the idea of traveling across the country to hit the slopes can be daunting. Luckily, the East Coast is home to some charming ski towns and resorts that offer their own unique appeal.

While the conditions may not always be as consistent as out west, there’s a certain magic to skiing in the East. The variable conditions and occasional ice can test your skills and make you a better skier. And when you do catch a bluebird day, the joy and beauty of it are indescribable. If you can ski the East, you can ski anywhere.

One of the advantages of skiing on the East Coast is that it can be more affordable. Lift tickets at independently owned resorts are often less expensive, and ski school pricing is more favorable. If you’re a season pass holder with Epic, Ikon, or Indy, you’ll find plenty of resorts on the East Coast that offer less restrictive and less expensive pass options.

In recent years, many East Coast ski resorts have made enhancements to improve the skiing experience. For example, Sunday River Resort in Maine will be debuting a new high-speed chairlift, one of the fastest and most advanced in North America. Loon Mountain Resort in New Hampshire has expanded its South Peak terrain with additional skiable trails. And Attitash Mountain Resort, also in New Hampshire, will be replacing the Summit Triple with a new four-person, high-speed lift.

So, with many resorts already open, where are the best ski resorts on the East Coast? Let’s take a look at a few top contenders.

Jay Peak Resort in Jay, Vermont, is known for its abundant natural snowfall, averaging 347 inches per year. This is comparable to some mountains out west. With excellent terrain and tree glades, Jay Peak offers a true winter wonderland. The resort also features a 45-person aerial tram, the only one in the state. After a day on the slopes, you can enjoy the Jay Peak Pump House, an indoor water park, as well as an indoor climbing gym, arcade, movie theater, and ice skating arena. Jay Peak is also one of the resorts included in the Indy Pass, which offers two days of skiing at each participating resort.

Stowe Mountain Resort in Stowe, Vermont, is often referred to as the “Vail of the East” due to its luxurious feel. The Village at Spruce Peak offers a top-notch lodge, shops, and restaurants. With an outdoor ice skating rink and cozy fire pits, the apres-ski scene is picture-perfect. The Lodge at Spruce Peak, a Hyatt-affiliated hotel, offers ski valet service, a sumptuous spa, outdoor pools, and hot tubs. Stowe Mountain Resort is also known for its upscale accommodations, including studio hotel rooms, penthouse suites, and separate residences or townhomes. While Stowe can be pricey, using your Epic Pass or World of Hyatt points can help make it more affordable.

Smugglers’ Notch Resort in Jeffersonville, Vermont, is renowned as America’s Family Resort. With over 1,000 acres for skiing and riding, the resort offers a wide range of activities for the whole family. In addition to traditional winter sports, there’s the FunZone 2.0 complex, featuring obstacle courses, laser tag, mini-golf, arcade games, and inflatable slides. The resort also organizes a variety of family-friendly activities, such as bingo, winter carnivals, scavenger hunts, and magic shows. Smugglers’ Notch is also known for its inclusive ski school program, which allows children as young as 3 years old to participate. With three distinct mountains, there’s terrain for every skill level.

These are just a few examples of the best ski resorts on the East Coast. Each offers its own unique charm and appeal, making them worth a visit. Whether you’re looking for abundant natural snowfall, luxury accommodations, or a family-friendly atmosphere, there’s something for everyone on the East Coast. So, grab your skis or snowboard and hit the slopes!

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