Ski resorts near New York City
Whether you want a snow day or a luxurious escape, these wintry destinations deliver.
Fri Jan 21 2011
Camelback Mountain Resort
RECOMMENDED: See all weekend trip ideas
Two hours away
Even the Shaun Whites and Lindsey Vonns of the world had to start somewhere, and this easily reachable Poconos spot is a great place to test your chops on 34 snowmaker-covered trails. First-timers should check out the "Learn to Ski" package ($80–$95 for a 90-minute lesson, lift ticket and rentals) to get comfortable on the 13 nice-and-easy green runs. And while the eight "advanced" (but often short and crowded) slopes are no match for hard-core skiers, boarders should fare better with the 20-acre revamped terrain park ($10 pass), which features a 50-square-foot air bag so you can try out Winter X tricks with a soft landing. Either way, no one can complain about the resort's extended hours: Every single trail is open until 10pm on Friday and Saturday nights, when the tubing park (Mon–Fri six hours $25; Sat, Sun three hours $25; with lift ticket $12) also stays open until 9pm. Mon–Thu 9am–9pm, Fri 9am–10pm, Sat 8:30am–10pm, Sun 8:30am–9pm. Lift tickets: weekdays $48, weekends and holidays $58. Equipment rental: day $36, night $27.75. 90-minute group lesson $35.
Getting there: OvRride (347-559-1787, ovrride.com; $40–$145) offers day trips to Camelback that include a round-trip bus ride from several locations in Manhattan and Brooklyn, free bagels on the way there and beer on the return, and the option to add lift ticket, lessons and/or equipment rental.
Where to stay: SAVE Eleven of the rooms at the Days Inn Tannersville (Hill Lodge Rd, Tannersville, PA; 570-629-1667, daysinntannersville.com; $90–$130 per night) boast perfect-for-aprs-ski Jacuzzis; all 72 include a Continental breakfast and are just three miles from the mountain. Mention TONY when booking over the phone to receive 10 percent off the room rate through March 5, 2011.
SPLURGE Located at the base of Camelback Mountain, The Chateau Resort (300 Camelback Rd, Tannersville, PA; 800-245-5900, chateauresort.com; $89–$299 per night) offers 152 modern rooms—including 39 loft-style, bi-level suites–and views of the Poconos. Thaw out and ease slope-weary muscles in the poolside Jacuzzi or the sauna before dining by the fire. Mention TONY when booking over the phone to receive a free room upgrade (subject to availability) through May 25, 2011.
Considering the breadth of winter sports offered at this Catskills destination, it's a wonder that nightlife-loving visitors have any energy left to party. Of course, the main draw is the mountain, where you'll find New York State's first six-seater chairlift delivering riders to the 56 snowmaker-covered trails. Three distinct mountain areas offer something for everyone, from the nine easy greens of Hunter One to the six runs of Hunter West, which are often enter-at-your-own-risk mogul trails. The newly expanded Empire Terrain Park, located on Hunter's Park Avenue and Lower Broadway trails, offers plenty of jumps, boxes and rails for freestyle skiers and snowboarders. If the weekend crowds become unmanageable (and they often do), there are plenty of other diversions, including a nine-lane snow-tube park (two hours $20), nearby cross-country skiing through Mountain Trails Cross Country Ski Center (518-589-5361, mtntrails.com; pass and rentals $16–$18 each) and even horseback rides through the surrounding snow-blanketed terrain, led by Bear Creek Restaurant & Recreational Park (518-263-3839, bearcreekrestaurant.com; 30 minutes $50, one hour $60). Just don't miss Hunter's new SkyRider zip-line tour ($119)–the longest and highest in North America–for an exhilarating glide down the mountain at speeds close to 50 mph. Mon–Fri 9am–4pm; Sat, Sun 8:30am–4pm. Lift tickets: weekdays $58, weekends and holidays $68. Equipment rental: full day $39, helmet $10. One-hour group lesson $35.
Getting there: There are no less than a dozen different NYC-to-Hunter bus trips available, including OvRride's (347-559-1787, ovrride.com) good-value, weekday $75 round-trip option (weekends $80), which pays for your lift ticket.
Where to stay: SAVE Not only are the 11 rooms at Mountain View Lodge (8294 Rte 23A, Hunter, NY; 518-263-4422, mvlodge.com; $50–$130 per night) cheerful (and arguably much cleaner than your apartment), a complimentary Continental breakfast is thrown in.
SPLURGE Most of the spiffy studios and suites at Kaatskill Mountain Club (62 Klein Ave, Hunter, NY; 800-486-8376, kaatskillmtnclub.com; $250–$800 per night) come with fully equipped kitchens, meaning the only time you'll have to leave is to take advantage of its ski-in/ski-out access or to relax in one of the upscale property's two outdoor hot tubs.
This Catskills ski area offers Friday and Saturday night-skiing until 8pm on eight of its 49 trails (the ten-lane snow-tubing park stays open just as late; two-hour session $20, four-hour session $25), ensuring that you'll spend less time traveling to the mountain and more time on it. While terrain ranges from 12 novice-appropriate trails to seven satisfyingly steep double-black runs, nearly half the runs are rated intermediate, making the mountain a great place for those who know what they're doing but want to avoid frequent face-plants. Meanwhile, venturesome riders and free-skiers will enjoy the five terrain parks–particularly the can't-miss Big Air Bag (pass $10), an enormous inflatable cushion that allows you to practice jumps like a professional stuntperson. Powder fiends, take note: The resort's First Tracks program gets you skiing the 267-acre mountain with a guide before the lifts open to the public ($15, reservations required). Mon–Thu 9am–4pm; Fri 9am–8pm; Sat 8am–8pm; Sun 8am–4pm. Lift tickets: weekdays $52, weekends and holidays $72. Equipment rental: day $40, night $23. 105-minute group lesson $34.
Getting there: There are several bus packages available through Windham (windhammountain.com/groups-weddings/tour-operators), including Island Ski Tours' Windham Shuttle ($50), which departs from the Grand Hyatt Hotel next to Grand Central Terminal; add-ons are available (weekday lift ticket $25, weekend $34).
Where to stay: SAVE Rooms at the budget-friendly Cave Mountain Motel (10978 Rte 23, Windham, NY; 518-734-3161, cavemountainmotel.com; $70–$90 per night) have a lived-in, country-cabin appeal. A basic complimentary Continental breakfast served each morning by the kitchen's wood-burning stove (and the fact that the motel is just one-and-a-half miles from the mountain) only sweetens the deal.
SPLURGE Choose between standard hotel rooms and one- to two-bedroom condos at the recently revamped Winwood Inn (5220 Rte 23, Windham, NY; 518-734-3000, windhammountain.com; $129–$629 per night) and you'll get access to the free mountain shuttle, not to mention a rec room stocked with throwback video games and a foosball table.