Resorts to visit that offer more than skiing in the Northeast: Whiteface Mountain, Mountain Creek and more
Hit the slopes might be the first thing on your mind this winter, but some ski resorts have more to offer than just skiing and snowboarding. Discover places in New York and the Northeast that offer lodging options, snow biking, restaurants, and more to do and explore.
Whiteface Mountain, new York
Considered to have the highest vertical drop of any ski resort east of the Rocky Mountains, skiing on this majestic peak is a draw, but it’s also close. Lake Placid, the former host of two Winter Olympics. A free shuttle runs between Whiteface Mountain and Lake Placid (until March 12) that also makes stops in the area. For non-skiers looking to explore the area, head to the village and check out the Olympic show jumping complex (5486 Cascade Rd.) where ski jumpers and other acrobats perform tricks or glide through the air. One way to watch is aboard the sky tower gondola ($20; 7-12 years old $15, free 6 years old and under). More at Olympic Center (2634 Main Street), visitors can skate at Jacques C.. Sheffield Speed Skating Oval (certain dates until March 13; $10, $20 on Saturdays and Sundays, skate rental $10). Or head to Mountain. Van Hoevenberg (31 Van Hoevenberg Way) to try “Lake Placid Bobsled Experience,” which places participants in a sled-like cart that can go up to 55 mph (Saturday-March 5, plus February 18-26; $250 for up to two passengers ages 9 and up, add a third passenger ages 13 and up for an additional $100).
There are many resorts, hotels and other places to choose from in the area; the Golden Arrow Lakeside Resort (2559 Main St., Lake Placid; 888-621-2711, golden-arrow.com) has an indoor pool and a private beach. Rates start at $149.
NEWS 5021 Route 86, Wilmington; 518-946-2223, whiteface.com
Powder Ridge Mountain Park and Resort, Connecticut
About 100 miles from Manhattan, synthetic snow is made here whenever conditions permit. This is a plus for skiers and snowboarders, but here you can also try your hand at snow biking, a device that allows those who have never skied sitting down to hurtle down the slopes of the resort. A one-hour lesson can be arranged ($130) and bikes cost $59 to rent for four hours, $79 for eight. Snow tubing is another activity to try, with 105-minute sessions at $32 on weekdays, $37 on weekends. Children can also have fun in winter in The children’s snow zone, a play area that offers mini buoy slides ($5 per child). Powder Ridge also hosts events and presents the Ridge fire restaurant (from Wednesday to Sunday). Fire pits can also be reserved in advance for $30 for two hour sessions. Overnight rooms start at $180.
NEWS 99 Powder Hill Road, Middlefield; 866-860-0208, powderridgepark.com
Mountain Creek Resort, New Jersey
This family resort opened its new snowtubing park in January. Open Thursday through Sunday (until March 13), guests over the age of 5 and at least 42 inches tall can participate. Tickets are $30 and must be purchased in advance. Skiing and snowboarding are the main attractions, but Mountain Creek also offers Sno-Go Ski-Bike ($59.99; until March 5). There are many food and drink options for guests. (times and days vary by restaurant). Visitors can also roast marshmallows by the fire, use the heated outdoor pool, or use a hot tub. Rates to stay at his Appalachian lodge start at $199. Mountain Creek is a cashless resort.
NEWS 200 Rte 94, Vernon; 973-827-2000, mountaincreek.com
Mountain Club on Loon, New Hampshire
Loon Mountain is a hub for winter sports, has two peaks and the resort is located directly on the slopes. For offbeat company, head 4.5 miles east to find the New Hampshire outpost of the ice castles (24 Clark Farm Rd., North Woodstock; icecastles.com), an interactive experience featuring a series of ice-cut castles, each featuring tunnels, slides and other obstacles. At night, the scene transforms with glowing color-changing lights embedded in the structures, making it a very Instagrammable adventure (until February 26). Tickets are $20 for ages 12 and up, Monday-Thursday, $27 Friday-Sunday and holidays, ages 4-11 are $15, $22 Friday-Sunday and holidays (3 and under are free ). Guests can also add on a sleigh ride to explore the illuminated trail through the woods ($20 per person). New England pub fare is served in the Mountain Club’s restaurant, and if you need personal care, the spa and wellness center offers facials, body treatments, and massages. Suites start at $408 a night, but as part of the “Rise and Dine” package, the one-night rate includes breakfast for two plus a $25 voucher for dinner, a $50 voucher for spa and kids eat free (one child per adult).
NEWS 90 Loon Mountain Road, Lincoln; 603-745-2244, mtnclub.com
Sunday River, Maine
Skiers and snowboarders can enjoy eight connected mountain peaks, and Sno-Go ski bikes are also an option when it comes to tackling the trails. For something new, the station added the “After Aglowattraction this season, a half-mile walk through a wooded area where thousands of holiday lights have been strung across and through the trees. Guests can reserve an hour in advance then walk or play on a lighted swing A free hot cocoa bath is also offered to each attendee; open Fridays, Saturdays and holidays until March 19, tickets are $15 each. There are fireworks on Saturdays evening until March 26. Spa services such as massages and body treatments can be arranged at the resort’s Hotel Jordan.There are also several restaurants to choose from.There are also two hotels and an inn at Sunday River for those who want to spend the night or the weekend (rates vary depending on the date, day of the week).
NEWS 15 S. Ridge Rd., Newry; 800-543-2754, sundayriver.com