Imagine being in bustling New York City, shopping and seeing all the sites, then being able to take a relatively short drive to premium skiing destinations. Within the state of New York itself, and others such as Vermont, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and New Jersey, there are some pretty spectacular resorts anywhere from just under 100, to 300 miles away. East coast skiing has a particular magic to it, a feel that’s different from the Rockies or other western spots. So if your travel plans are whisking you to the Big Apple, or if you’re lucky enough to live there, a winter wonderland dream awaits. So grab your skis and pick which one of these resorts best suits you.
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Patterson, New York’s Thunder Ridge is the right one if proximity is the top priority when considering a nearby place to vacation—after a brief one hour drive you’ll arrive at the simple, yet solid, snow sports haven. Night skiing is a completely different and magical experience, which can be tried out on the lit up trails. Thanks to beast snow machines, these runs are guaranteed to be open in the winter, but there’s usually the real stuff, too.
Camelback Ski Resort
Located in Tannersville, Pennsylvania, this is one of the top places to learn how to ski in the United States. Incredible snow tubing hills are great for non-skiers, kids and those just wanting to do something chill—it’s suitable for most ages. A mesmerizing indoor water playground with beach entry pool provides a nice change of pace if some time to thaw out is needed. Fun summertime activities, like zip lining, mark Camelback as a year-round vacation land.
Windham Mountain Ski Resort
Nestled in the iconic Catskill Mountains of New York, Windham Mountain Ski Resort is a comfortable 140 miles away. Over 50 trails and countless acres are at the disposal of skiers and snowboarders, and the blow-up landing pad for those wanting to practice extreme moves is a sweet addition. In warmer months, the mountain bike park and adventure park fill the void.
Visitors love the ski in-ski out resort in Vernon, New Jersey—this feature adds ease to the experience. Only 52 miles from New York City, Mountain Creek is the largest ski area in its state. One thousand snow guns ensure plenty of powder through the season, but again, you’ll likely see lots of real snowfall. Cabins, condos and townhomes are a cozy upgrade from the average hotel-style accommodations and can suit a variety of needs. The water park alone warrants a summer visit, with its lagoon pools and crazy double looping water slide.
Okemo Mountain Resort
Touting the title “Best Snow in the East”, Okemo’s white stuff is fluffy, perfectly skiable, truly defining the word “powder”. This Vermont resort is known for its unique heated lift with comfy seats, and a practical resort layout with fun runs. As always, it’s super exciting to see snow tubing. Mountain coasters have also gained popularity among many resorts across the nation, and are a pretty awesome addition to the winter activities. Enjoy the gravity-driven ride down the metal tracks in a snug two-seater cart—literally, this is the best way to see the mountains.
Home to the Winter Olympics in the 1980s, it comes as no surprise that a heart-pounding vertical drop, just under 3,500 feet, is just one of the exciting trail attributes. Double black diamond ski slopes define Whiteface, and span over 288 acres. If you’re an adrenaline junkie, we’ve found your place.
Catamount Ski Area
Prestigiously located in The Berkshires of Massachusetts, Catamount’s traditional resort is prime for those heading out on their first ever ski trip. Numerous beginner trails weave through 100 acres of total terrain— in all, there are 36 trails, four chairlifts and three easy load magic carpet lifts in the learning area. The family-owned retreat offers 12 self-guided tree-top courses and three zip lines in the summer.
Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort
A little under a 200 mile drive away, this is definitely within weekend getaway distance. What makes Jiminy Peak standout is not just the breathtaking landscape or supremely groomed trails, it’s their “green” mentality, which we could all use a bit more of these days. Putting natural resources to good use, it’s the only wind-powered ski resort in the US.
While still in New York, Hunter Mountain is ironically one of the furthest away on our roundup, but the drive is completely worth it. Eleven hundred snow guns have earned these slopes the title “Snowmaking Capital of the World”, so there’s never a shortage of sparkling fluff on the mountain hills. Beautiful in the winter, spring, summer or fall, Hunter Mountain flawlessly rounds out our list.