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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.Read more
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.Read more
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.Read more
The least crowded of the Catskill resorts, this state-run mountain is a convenient, wallet-friendly choice—especially for those freaked out by the idea of mobbed slopes and long lift lines. Belleayre's 47 trails cater to a range of skill levels: Expect 11 beginner-friendly slopes on the bottom half of the mountain, nine tricky double-black runs at the top and 27 satisfying intermediate trails in between. Boarders will dig the recently improved terrain park, two progression parks, full of jumps, boxes and rails, plus a rails-only park. But for a more serene way to experience the pristine surroundings in the Catskill Forest Preserve, strap on a pair of cross-country skis or snowshoes and traverse Belleayre's nearly six miles of quiet trails. Daily 9am–4pm. Lift tickets: weekdays $48, weekends and holidays $57. Equipment rental: half-day $27, full-day $33. One-hour group lesson $30.
Getting there: Adirondack Trailways bus line (800-858-8555, trailwaysny.com; Mon, Fri–Sun) offers a weekend $84 round-trip service from Port Authority to Belleayre, which includes the price of a lift ticket.
Where to stay: SAVE At the charmingly old-school Delaware Court Motel (1141 Main St, Fleischmanns, NY; 845-254-5090, delawaremotelcatskills.com; $65–$225 per night), two miles from the resort, 12 of the 17 rooms are "efficiencies," complete with small, fully equipped eat-in kitchens. There are also six one- and two-bedroom cottages on the two-acre property.
SPLURGE Offering indulgences ranging from Jacuzzi tubs in two of the seven jewel-tone-accented rooms to a hot breakfast cooked by the Culinary Institute of America–trained owner, cozy B&B Alpine Osteria (32 Galli Curci Rd, Highmount, NY; 845-254-9851, alpineosteria.com; $135–$255) encourages you to relax after a long day on the slopes—located just 30 seconds away (the hotel is situated at the base of Belleayre Mountain). Mention TONY when booking over the phone to receive 20 percent off room rates Sun–Thu (10 percent off Fri, Sat) through April 22, 2011.Read more
Set in the postcard-perfect Berkshires, this family-friendly resort might look like a bunny hill compared with its expansive New England neighbors, but in terms of value, it can't be beat. Perfect for skiers who would describe themselves as "works-in-progress," Catamount features 33 trails (11 of them easy), a terrain park full of jibs and jumps well suited for intermediate boarders and the Berkshires' longest run, totaling a solid two and a half miles. (Fun fact: The resort straddles the New York–Massachusetts state line, making it possible to ski through both states on one slope.) With 15 trails plus the terrain park open until 10pm on weekends, it's possible to keep working on your parallel turns long after your pals have fled the mountain for an aprs-ski buzz. Mon–Tue 9am–4pm; Wed, Thu 9am–9pm; Fri 9am–10pm; Sat 8:30am–10pm; Sun 8:30am–4pm. Lift tickets: full-day $29–$61, night $27–$35. Equipment rental: day $45, night $36. 90-minute group lesson $40.
Getting there: Since there are no direct buses to Hillsdale, your best bet is hopping on a Peter Pan bus (888-751-8800, peterpanbus.com; round-trip $85) out of Port Authority to Great Barrington, Massachusetts, and taking a roughly 20-minute cab ride to Hillsdale.
Where to stay: SAVE Each of the 15 clean and quaint rooms at the no-frills Holiday House Motel (2871 Rte 23, Hillsdale, NY; 518-325-3030, holidayhousemotel.com; $75–$95 per night) features a microwave, refrigerator and individually controlled thermostats, and the price is hard to match. Mention TONY when booking over the phone to receive 10 percent off the room rate through March 31, 2011.
SPLURGE Within walking distance of the mountain, 1800s-farmhouse-turned-inn The Swiss Hutte (Rte 23, Hillsdale, NY; 518-325-3333, swisshutte.com; $95–$210 per night) feels like a European chalet, thanks to its 14 rustic-chic guest rooms and fireplace-flanked dining room serving locally sourced fare, like herb-crusted rack of lamb.Read more
The closest big Vermont mountain, Mount Snow has more going for it than mere proximity to NYC: It offers 80 trails spread across four mountain faces in the gorgeous Green Mountain National Forest and, in addition to 467 skiable acres of developed terrain, all of the woods within the resort's boundaries are open for tree-skiing. A whopping 40 intermediate runs make it a great choice for confident-but-leisurely shredders. While first-timers will appreciate gentle slopes, like the popular three-mile Long John trail, adrenaline junkies needn't feel left out—there's plenty of ungroomed tree terrain on North Face and, in the consistently top-ranked Carinthia (the only all-terrain-park mountain face in the east), ten parks full of rails, jumps and pipes. If you're still looking for thrills after the lifts stop running at 4pm, consider some evening tubing at Mount Snow's ten-lane park (Mon, Thu, Sun 11am–5pm; Fri, Sat 11am–7pm; 90 minutes $20) or opt for a snowmobile tour through the pristine forest at dusk (800-627-7533, snowmobile-tours.com; one hour $70–$95). Mon–Fri 9am–4pm; Sat, Sun 8am–4pm. Lift tickets: weekdays $75, weekends and holidays $83. Equipment rental: full-day $39. Two-hour group lesson $48.
Getting there: A round-trip ticket with OvRride (347-559-1787, ovrride.com) costs just $100, including your lift ticket; buses depart from several locations in Manhattan and Brooklyn.
Where to stay: SAVE At the homey 24-room B&B Big Bears Lodge (344 Rte 100, West Dover, VT; 800-388-5591, bigbearslodge.com; $80–$220 per night), you can fill up on hearty country fare, like homemade blueberry pancakes, French toast and bacon, before hopping on the free shuttle for the quarter-mile ride to the lifts. The quad rooms, starting at $160 per night, are a budget-friendly group option.
SPLURGE You can't get any closer to the slopes than at the Grand Summit Resort Hotel (89 Mountain Rd, West Dover, VT; 800-462-4780; $343–$623), a full-service ski-in/ski-out beauty at the base of the mountain. Nearly half of the 198 rooms and suites feature kitchenettes and all have access to the health club and a luxe spa for postski pampering. Mention TONY when booking over the phone to receive 15 percent off any available room through April 8, 2011 (excludes holidays; reservation must be made by February 20).Read more
Even well-traveled snow snobs can't complain about the top-notch grooming and quality of the white stuff at this south-central Vermont favorite. High-powered snow guns cover 96 percent of the 119 trails and glades that span the resort's five mountains, and with terrain evenly divided among novice, intermediate and advanced levels, there's something for everyone (including stunt-loving boarders, who can perform tricks on six terrain parks and a 500-foot-long superpipe). Those looking for more of a cardio challenge shouldn't miss the extensive network of sweat-inducing trails, manicured especially for Nordic skiing and snowshoeing (combination equipment–trail pass $37). But the best—and easiest—way to get your heart pumping might be a ride on the resort's new Timber Ripper roller-coaster ($9–$13), which zooms along the mountain's snow-covered contours at speeds of up 25 miles per hour and includes a hair-raising 375-foot vertical descent. Mon–Fri 9am–4pm; Sat, Sun 8am–4pm. Lift tickets: weekdays $77, weekends and holidays $84. Equipment rental: full-day $40. Two-hour group lesson: beginner $55, advanced $73.
Getting there: Day-trippers can hop on Snowboard Escape's (646-345-3649, snowboardescapes.com) fleet of buses, which depart from Chelsea every Saturday; the $100 round-trip fee includes your lift ticket.
Where to stay: SAVE Cash-strapped groups will appreciate the Timber Inn Motel (112 Rte 103 South, Ludlow, VT; 802-228-8666, timberinnmotel.com; $79–$279 per night). Many of the 18 basic rooms sleep up to five people, and a two-bedroom apartment can accommodate six ($179–$399). Widespread wood paneling makes a stay here feel like a throwback to sleepaway camp—one with a hot tub and sauna.
SPLURGE The 300 modern, country-chic rooms, studios and condos at Jackson Gore Village (480 Ranta Rd, Ludlow, VT; 866-538-0187, okemo.com; $298–$1,500 per night) are mere steps from the lifts, making the afternoon trek back to its heated outdoor pool, ski storage and in-house tavern a breeze.Read more
Stratton might boast the highest peak in Southern Vermont—making for some sick steep runs—but with 36 of its 92 trails designated green, and 41 novice, it's a great choice for neophyte snow bunnies too. Plus, thanks to its four high-speed lifts, everyone spends less time waiting in line (and more time carving down the well-groomed slopes) than at other area resorts. That's especially good news for snowboarders, who have six top-rated terrain parks at their disposal, including the home of the U.S. Open Snowboarding Championships. If you and your buddies can pull yourself away from the 625 acres of skiable terrain, there's plenty more winter fun to be had nearby: Try the on-mountain tubing park (one hour $15) or guided snowshoeing tours (two hours plus rental $65), or cruise around the shops and restaurants of the picturesque base village. Mon–Fri 9am–4pm; Sat, Sun 8:30am–4pm. Lift tickets: weekdays $76, weekends and holidays $87. Equipment rental: weekdays full-day $34, weekends and holidays full-day $40. 105-minute group lesson: beginner $89 midweek, $94 weekends, $99 holidays; intermediate and advanced $49 midweek, $54 weekends, $59 holidays.
Getting there: OvRride (347-559-1787, ovrride.com) will get you there and back for $100 ($120 holidays), including your lift ticket, on Saturdays. Adventure Northeast (917-861-1800, adventurenortheast.com; round-trip $149) runs a daily bus service from the Upper West Side.
Where to stay: SAVE Yes, the Liftline Lodge (Stratton Mountain Rd, Stratton Mountain, VT; 800-787-2886, stratton.com; $59–$329) has seen better days, but for a centrally located place to rest your head at night—in the middle of Stratton's base village, just a stroll to the slopes—it can't be beat.
SPLURGE Just a five-minute walk from the lifts is Long Trail House (5 Village Lodge Rd, Stratton Mountain, VT; 800-787-2886, stratton.com; $119–$749), a collection of well-appointed studios and one- and two-bedroom condos, each equipped with a full kitchen and gas fireplace, along with hotel-caliber amenities like a guest concierge. Mention TONY when booking over the phone to receive free skiing on the day of arrival through April 8, 2011 (excludes holidays).Read more
Sometimes size does matter—at least when we're talking about Killington, the East Coast's largest ski resort with 71 miles of terrain spread over six mountains. A whopping 140 trails and six terrain parks are sure to keep even the most ADD adventurers happy—especially those of the daredevil variety, who will love the 65 black-diamond runs and 500-foot-long superpipe, on which boarders and free-skiers alike can catch major air. While newbies and casual skiers can coast down the array of three- to four-mile-long cruiser trails, thrill-seekers of all skill levels can count on the resort's "snow guarantee" program, allowing you to exchange your lift pass by 10am for a return-visit voucher if the powder isn't up to par—which wouldn't be a bad thing, considering the selection of equally fun nearby activities, including Nordic skiing (802-775-7077, xcskiing.net; trail pass and rentals $19 each), guided snowmobiling (802-422-2121, killingtonsnowmobiletours.com; one hour $94, double snowmobile $119) and the town's lively aprs-ski scene. Mon–Fri 9am–4pm; Sat, Sun 8am–4pm. Lift tickets: weekdays $79, weekend and holidays $86. Equipment rental: full-day $39, holidays $43, helmet $13. 105-minute group lessons $49 (holidays $59).
Getting there: Your best bet is taking a bus through Adventure Northeast (917-861-1800, adventurenortheast.com; round-trip $185), which offers daily service from the Upper West Side.
Where to stay: SAVE Four miles from the slopes, the recently redecorated Hillside Inn (375 Killington Rd, Killington, VT; 802-315-0039, hillsideinnkillington.com; $80–$199 per night) offers gratis breakfast and is a stop on the bus route for Killington's resort shuttle ($2). Mention TONY when booking over the phone to receive 10 percent off the room rate through April 30, 2011 (excluding Feb 17–25).
SPLURGE The full-service Inn at the Six Mountains (2617 Killington Rd, Killington, VT; 800-228-4676, sixmountains.com; $149–$259) keeps weary skiers happy with 99 country-quilt-bedecked rooms, a complimentary shuttle to the mountain, and a hot breakfast buffet complete with home fries and French toast included with your stay. Mention TONY when booking over the phone to receive 10 percent off the room rate through April 7, 2011.Read more
There's a reason this Lake Placid mountain has played host to the Winter Olympics twice, and it's not merely because of the holy-cow Adirondack views afforded from its 4,867-foot-high peak. With the greatest vertical drop east of the Rockies (reaching an awesome 3,430 feet), Whiteface offers serious skiers a wealth of challenging terrain, including 35 acres of double-black-diamond wilderness skiing that's certainly not for the faint of heart. But if your skill level is less die-hard and more I-hope-I-don't-die, you're still in luck: Of the mountain's 86 trails, 18 are perfect for beginners, and one of its four terrain parks is dedicated to rookie boarders. No matter what your experience, you'd be crazy not to check out charming Lake Placid's veritable laundry list of winter sports, ranging from snow tubing ($9 per hour) and ice-skating (entry $8, rentals $3) to a hair-raising bobsled ride with a professional driver ($80). Lower lifts daily 8:30am–4pm, upper lifts daily 9am–3:30pm, gondola daily 8:30am–3:30pm. Lift tickets: weekdays and weekends $79, holidays $84. Equipment rental: full-day $44. One-hour group lesson $42.
Getting there: Adirondack Trailways (800-858-8555, trailwaysny.com; round-trip $158) offers bus service to Lake Placid, but expect about an hour layover in Albany each way.
Where to stay: SAVE As if the stellar location—a mere 500 yards from the lifts—of well-maintained motel Ledge Rock at Whiteface (5078 Rte 86, Wilmington, NY; 518-946-2379, ledgerockatwhiteface.com; $79–$179 per night) wasn't enough, the hotel's 19 spacious rooms have access to a communal great room and, more important, its hospitality bar is stocked with coffee, cider and cookies. Mention TONY when booking over the phone to receive 10 percent off the room rate through April 15, 2011.
SPLURGE Each of the 30 cabins, cottages and suites at the beyond-luxurious Lake Placid Lodge (144 Lodge Way, Lake Placid, NY; 518-523-2700, lakeplacidlodge.com; $500–$1,450 per night), located smack dab on the rustic property's namesake body of water, is decorated with Hudson River School paintings, with beds hand-carved by local artisans and wood-burning stone fireplaces. (Even more impressive: No two rooms are alike.) Throw in complimentary perks, like gourmet breakfasts of truffled eggs Benedict and ethereally fluffy pancakes, nightly s'mores around the campfire, and snowshoeing and cross-country ski equipment for traversing the 125-mile-long Jackrabbit Trail that passes the Lodge's front door, and you may never want to leave the compound. Mention TONY when booking over the phone or enter the code "TONY" in the comments section online to receive free daily lift tickets, an Olympic Passport (worth $29) and a $75 food credit for a one-night stay through March 26 (valid Sun–Thu). You'll also be treated to two complimentary Hot Chocolate Martinis aprs-ski at the Lodge's cozy Maggie's Pub.Read more