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Whiteface Lodge
Photograph: Courtesy Whiteface Lodge

The best winter getaways from NYC

Hit up ski destinations, mountain towns and upstate resorts with our roundup of the best winter getaways from NYC

By Meagan Drillinger and Dan Q Dao
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In need of winter getaways from NYC? While there are plenty of things to do in winter in NYC, the city can also feel awfully gloomy when the sun disappears at 4pm each day. To ward off the winter blues, you could get yourself into one of the best bars with fireplaces or...you could flee. Whether you’re the adventurous type looking for some of the area’s best ski trips near NYC or a more low-key vacationer wanting to kick back and relax, we’ve got you covered with the best winter getaways from NYC. 

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Best winter getaways from NYC

winter getaways from NYC
winter getaways from NYC
Photograph: Courtesy Alpine Osteria

11. Highmount, NY

2hrs 30mins by car, 3hrs 30mins by Adirondack Trailways

Located in the Catskill Mountains on the border of Ulster and Delaware Counties, Highmount is best known for upstate ski gem Belleayre Mountain, which attracts about 175,000 slope seekers each year. So yeah, if you’re not a downhill chaser, this might not be your bag, baby.

What to do: Belleayre Mountain boasts 50 trails, the longest of which, Roaring Brook, runs a whopping two miles. Pay special attention to the terrain park, which is packed with jumps, half-pipes, rails and other obstacles to put your skills to the test and to get your heart racing.

Where to stay: Alpine Osteria is a cozy B&B on the road that leads directly to Belleayre Mountain. The guesthouse has an eclectic mix of rooms, with white headboards, matching end tables, and white and red couches, but amenities like Jacuzzi tubs and in-room fireplaces really up its cozy game. Come morning, stock up on a hearty breakfast prepared and served by a staff trained at the nearby Culinary Institute of America.

winter getaways from NYC
winter getaways from NYC
Photograph: Poul Ober

12. Phoenicia, NY

3hrs by car or Adirondack Trailways

You already know Phoenicia as a summer favorite for Brooklynites jonesing to explore the great outdoors and catch some rays. But with fresh snow piled high on the surrounding mountains and the smell of burning fireplaces wafting out of stone chimneys, it’s also an ace winter destination packed with small-town charm. You can’t really miss its main drag—a short stretch of just a few blocks—but with decidedly friendly restaurants, antique shops and no-nonsense cafés, the area is a must.

What to do: The best skiing in the Phoenicia area has to be Hunter Mountain, home to a 1,600-foot vertical drop and miles upon miles of ski trails. If you don’t want to commit to a full day of skiing, consider snowshoeing along Wittenberg Trail, a five-hour excursion that traverses nearly eight miles and leads to a scenic summit overlooking the valley underneath Wittenberg Mountain.

Where to stay: The Graham & Co. Hotel is a 20-room boutique hotel located at the base of Hunter Mountain and just a couple blocks from Phoenicia’s downtown. Graham favors a rustic/reclaimed-chic aesthetic with unfinished wood, beamed ceilings, antique touches and muted earth tones. All you need to do is pack your flannel shirt and a beanie, and you’ll fit right in.

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Hunter, NY, New York Zipline Adventure Tours
Hunter, NY, New York Zipline Adventure Tours
Photograph: Cesar Tirado

13. Hunter, NY

2.5 hours by car, 2 hours by train to Hudson station and 45 minute car ride

If you're going to go all out for your big New York ski trip, why not visit the country's highest peak, Hunter Mountain? The ski destination boasts a 1,600 foot drop for the seasoned snowboarder, horseback riding and tubing, and plenty of hikes. 

What to do: Beyond the excellent skiing opportunities, you can test your courage on the zipline, which goes longer and higher than its competition throughout the country. Main street offers plenty of charming shops, diners and bakeries for those looking to talk a nice amble through town. 

Where to stay: Since its head-to-toe renovation in 2016, Scribner's Catskill Lodge has become one of the resorts to beat in the area. The 38-room lodge puts you in walking distance of the ski lifts and is situated perfectly for walks to Tannersville or Woodstock. You can enjoy over 20 acres of hilly hiking area and a stacked menu at the inn's restaurant, Prospect. 

winter getaways from NYC
winter getaways from NYC
Photograph: Courtesy Killington Grand Resort

14. Killington, VT

4hrs 30mins by car or OvRride bus

Killington is, without a doubt, the reigning master of East Coast winter sports, with seven mountain areas making up Killington Resort and its sister site, Pico Mountain. The beast to beat is the formidable Killington Peak, which has a summit of 4,241 feet. Otherwise, opt for Skye Peak, reaching 3,800 feet, for something a little more modest or Sunrise Mountain Peak, which is just shy of 2,500 feet.

What to do: This Vermont staple has skiing, snow tubing, snowshoeing and gondola rides aplenty, all along 212 trails that cover 92 miles of terrain. Start the day at Peak Lodge atop Killington Peak, and test your moves while cruising down the double black diamond route Cascade. Or get quirky on a Snowcat-drawn sleigh ride (step aside, horses). These 30-minute journeys are ideal for nonskiers, since the rides offer the chance to view the mountain’s splendor without having to strap on a snowboard or skis.

Where to stay: The Killington Grand Resort is the only full-service mountainside hotel here with a ski bridge that connects to the slopes. Standard rooms start at 335 square feet, or you can spring for a suite to host you and up to five of your pals. Rooms are simple yet comfortably designed, and they feature the necessities for hosting, like fully equipped kitchens with an oven and a stove, a dishwasher, a microwave and essential cookware. After all that skiing (and cooking), relax at the spa for treatments such as the signature Maple Sugar Scrub, which includes a full-body exfoliation followed by a body-cream massage. Preston’s Restaurant, the newest eatery at the resort, serves fare to warm you after a day on mountain—think ribs slathered in Jack Daniel’s, complemented by maple-bourbon-glazed sweet potatoes.

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winter getaways from NYC
winter getaways from NYC
Photograph: Courtesy the Round Barn

15. Mad River Valley, VT

5hrs by car or Amtrak

Each winter, throngs flock to Vermont’s Mad River Valley for its mountainous ski terrain, namely Sugarbush Mountain. But the valley itself and the ski town around the peaks have plenty of local eats and scenery to offer, whether you’re interested in hitting the slopes or not.

What to do: Warren Country Store dates back to 1839, when it was used as a stagecoach stop, inn and boarding house. Since then, the building has worn many hats, from the town library to the post office to a hardware store to today’s iteration as a cheese pit stop. Travelers should pick up a fresh deli sandwich (go for the Turkey Tumble with Green Mountain Smoke House turkey breast, Cabot Creamery mild cheddar, tomato and lettuce) and peruse provisions like penny candy, local syrup and an assortment of pickles. Leave room for dessert at the on-site bakery, which whips up cookies, tarts, brownies, éclairs and whoopie pies—and polish your gorgefest off with craft beer to give you a boozy buzz.

Where to stay: For that classic New England B&B vibe, relax at the Inn at Round Barn Farm. Located on 245 acres of mountains, its rooms are decorated in Colonial classic decor, with four-poster beds, exposed wood and rich colors. And the not-too-shabbily-priced luxury rooms come with warm-up essentials: gas fireplaces, steam-room showers and whirlpool tubs.

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