As winter commences, families and friends from around the world gather together to celebrate both the holidays and the pleasure of being in one another’s company. For some who see the first sprinkling of snow as the beginning of a grand adventure, the season is the start of a tradition—hitting the slopes for a holiday ski trip. Instead of booking a trip to Telluride or Jackson Hole, New Englanders can enjoy thrilling trails and breathtaking vistas at a number of elegant and inviting ski resorts just a short drive from Boston.
Once regarded as a resort primarily suited to black diamond enthusiasts, Vermont’s Killington resort has become a more inviting family destination in recent years thanks to the expansion of its Adventure Center, where lift rides and guided tours of the mountain delight visitors of all ages. The revitalized Ram’s Head slope is equally thrilling, with classes for little ones and courses to suit all skill levels. While the resort is just a three-hour drive from Boston, those who’d prefer to leave the car at home can book a ride on one of the many coach buses that bring eager skiers from the city to the mountain.
Sunday River Ski Area
Newry, Maine’s Sunday River Ski Area may be only three hours from Boston, but the stunning ski resort feels as though it’s a world away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Home to Maine’s second-largest vertical drop, at a staggering 2,340 feet, Sunday River earns high praise from avid skiers and snowboarders for its 135 scenic and varied courses, which span the surface of eight adjacent mountains. The area’s lodging exceeds expectations as well, with three hotels—the cozy Snow Cap Inn and the picturesque Grand Summit and Jordan Hotels—offering chalet-inspired quarters complete with roaring fireplaces and inimitable mountain views.
Massachusetts’ Berkshire Mountains have long been a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, who turn out in droves to experience the rush of a trail run at Hancock’s Jiminy Peak. Just three hours west of Boston by car, Jiminy Peak offers a host of invigorating activities on the slopes, from instructor-guided group lessons for children to multi-week ski and snowboard adventures. Visitors to this popular travel destination can choose from a wide range of lodging options, from intimate bed and breakfasts to stately ski lodges. Those who prefer to relax in a private residence after a day on the slopes would be wise to rent one of Christie’s International Real Estate’s or Holidayrentals luxury properties, which combine the peerless elegance of the world’s finest resorts with the comfort of home.
Home to 22 trails stretching across 110 scenic acres in the Berkshires, Butternut Basin possesses beauty that is exceeded only by its variety. Children as young as four can tackle their first course with lessons from one of the resort’s highly skilled instructors, while adults can hone their talents for the slalom in Butternut Basin’s ski racing program. At the end of a long day, visitors can soak up the local character in Great Barrington, home to eclectic boutiques, fine dining, and a wide variety of lodging options, from country inns to stylish luxury resorts.
Long, sunny days and cold nights make for ideal conditions at Bromley Mountain in Southern Vermont, just over three hours to the northwest of Boston. Boasting a vertical elevation of 1,334 feet and a top elevation of over 3,000, Bromley has earned a following of ardent skiers and snowboarders who venture to its 47 trails and three terrain parks from every corner of New England and far beyond. Although Bromley’s altitude may initially prove intimidating to the novice, instructors are eager to make the mountain accessible to everyone, from young children to those of any age who require the assistance of adaptive technology.