Everyone should explore New England at some point, especially in winter. What’s so great about this part of the United States? The region has 87 ski resorts open to the public and 20 for private use. New Hampshire has 26 alone, and neighboring Vermont attracts nearly half of New England’s skiers and snowboarders.
Some skiers want to experience as much vertical drop as possible, while others need to focus on more family-friendly vacations. Both states boast a wide variety of skiable terrains, which means there’s something for everyone.
Here is a three-day itinerary that hits all of the skiing highlights in New Hampshire and Vermont.
There are many regional airports in New Hampshire, but Manchester-Boston Regional Airport (MHT) in New Hampshire is the central hub for departures and arrivals. It is the best choice for a ski trip, as there are eight different mountains within a two-hour drive from the airport.
DAY 1 – MOUNT SUNAPEE RESORT
After leaving Manchester-Boston Regional Airport, you won’t have to wait long before hitting the slopes. Mount Sunapee Resort is just an hour away!
Mount Sunapee has 66 lift-accessible slopes and a total of 1,500 feet of vertical drop. Its snow-making and grooming capabilities are regarded as the best on the East Coast. However, those skills rarely need to be put into action, as Mount Sunapee also gets 130 inches of snow coverage every year. Simply put, there is a good chance that you’ll get to experience excellent snow conditions.
Despite what you may think, Mount Sunapee’s location isn’t the only reason that it’s first up on this ski trip. This New Hampshire mountain also has an entire area for beginners. This means if anyone in your group is a bit rusty or inexperienced, they can get their ski legs warmed up without worrying about faster skiers or more difficult slopes.
That said, most of Mount Sunapee’s slopes are best for more experienced skiers and snowboarders. If you want to practice your tricks, head to the Six O’ Three Terrain Park.
Where to Eat & Stay Near Mount Sunapee
After exploring the ski area, refuel with a fantastic meal at Suna. This cozy, laidback bar and restaurant has a unique selection of dishes from American Kobe beef burgers to New England Style crab cakes. If you time it right, you can enjoy live music while sipping an après-ski beer too.
As for where to stay, Bluebird Sunapee is a great option. It provides everything you need for the first night on your New Hampshire and Vermont ski trip, including a convenient location, cozy guest lounge and fun game room.
DAY 2 – KILLINGTON RESORT
After breakfast, jump back in the car and head for Killington, an adorable town in Vermont’s Green Mountains. Killington Resort is known as the “Beast of the East” thanks to its 1,509 acres of skiable terrain. All of this land actually makes it the largest ski resort on the East Coast! On top of that, Killington has superb snow-making capabilities that help stretch the winter season from October through May.
The terrain at Killington is diverse enough for everyone to enjoy a day there, regardless of skill level. For the more adventurous skiers and snowboarders, Killington even has several snow parks and a halfpipe to practice your freestyle skills.
All of that said, there’s more to Killington than just skiing and snowboarding. You can also enjoy cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and even snowmobiling while you’re in the area.
Where to Eat & Stay Near Killington Resort
At the end of your long day, head back into town for a tasty meal from Wobbly Barn. This award-winning steakhouse and nightclub offers a varied menu, live music and the best après-ski in town. Finally, make the short, 0.4-mile journey to the Killington Mountain Lodge for a much-needed night of rest.
DAY 3 – BRETTON WOODS
On the final day of your ski trip, head back into New Hampshire and drive 2.5 hours to Bretton Woods, the largest ski area in New Hampshire. With its perfectly groomed slopes and incredible views of the Presidential Range, this popular ski resort consistently ranks as one of the best ski resorts on the East Coast.
This 464-acre area has 101 ski slopes, so you’re sure to stay entertained all day long. To make things even better, Bretton Woods receives 200 inches of snow each year, in addition to the powder made by its excellent snow-making system. In other words, you can ski at Bretton Woods all the way through mid-April!
Bretton Woods is also a popular destination for cross-country skiing. If you’d like to change things up, explore the 60 miles of Nordic trails through the fields and forests of Mount Stickney.
Where to Eat & Stay Near Bretton Woods
After your day of skiing, it is time to head back to your accommodation. There are many options to choose from in the nearby area, so you’re sure to find something that suits your style. The Mount Washington Resort at the base of the mountain offers incredible “ski and stay” packages, excellent service and award-winning dining. You know you’re getting the best at this accommodation, as the Mount Washington Resort has hosted everyone from presidents to poets to celebrities.
The Eastern Slope Inn is another great accommodation option to consider. Located in North Conway, this hotel boasts discounted lift passes, an indoor pool and suites with fully equipped kitchens.
As for where to dine, we recommend Fabyan’s Restaurant. Fabyan’s is an old railroad station converted into a restaurant and lounge. This quirky eatery services up casual yet flavorful dishes, including the north country brisket, the BBQ pork sandwich and the pub burger.