2 hours away
Open to season pass holders late November, others welcome starting early December, tickets must be purchased in advance
This Catskills ski area offers Friday and Saturday night-skiing until 9pm on eight of its 49 trails, 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. The mountain also offers ice skating, snowboarding, tubing, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and more. Mon–Fri 9am–4pm; Sat & Sun 8am–4pm. Lift tickets: Starting at $71 per day. Equipment rental: starting at $65. 105-minute group lesson $99-325.
There are several bus packages available through Windham (windhammountain.com/groups-weddings/tour-operators), including Island Ski Tours' Windham Shuttle, which departs from the Grand Hyatt Hotel next to Grand Central Terminal, and Urban Sherpa Travel, which picks up both in downtown and uptown Manhattan.
Where to stay:
Save: Rooms at the budget-friendly Cave Mountain Motel (10978 Rte 23, Windham, NY; 518-734-3161, cavemountainmotel.com; $109-$129 per night for two) 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 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.