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The crisp fall air is quickly being replaced with a brisk chill. In fact, in the morning, when you step outside in New York City, you’d swear you could smell the snow on its way. And that means it’s time to plan a winter ski vacation.
Of course, this year, you’re likely not going too far. After all, it is the 2020/21 season, which, for many, means airplanes are out and road trips are in. But that doesn’t have to dampen your ski spirit, because there is more than enough excellent skiing near NYC—winter destinations within driving distance of the city abound in the Northeast. Here are eight mountains to check out this winter that are just a hop, skip, and a few perfect ski turns away.
Hunter Mountain: Catskills, New York
(Drive time: 2 ½ hours)
Located just two-and-a-half hours from the city, Hunter Mountain will satisfy skiers and riders of all skill levels. With 320 skiable acres and a summit elevation of 3,200 feet, it’s a place where everyone can find a little slice of mountain paradise. This season, Hunter Mountain, part of Vail Resorts, is on Epic Pass and will take part in the Epic Pass reservation system, meaning passholders will get priority access to reservations.
Mountain Creek: Vernon, New Jersey
(Drive time: 1 hour)
As the largest ski area in New Jersey, Mountain Creek offers New Yorkers the chance to escape for a quick day trip. The mountain comes with plenty of long groomers and green, blue, and black trails, which are all typically covered in snow for the duration of the season, thanks to the mountain’s 1,000 snow-making guns. While there, consider staying overnight because the mountain offers night skiing under the stars too. Tickets at the window cost $90 for adults and $70 for youth and seniors.
Stowe Mountain: Stowe, Vermont
(Drive time: 5 ¾ hours)
Stowe Mountain may be a longer drive, but it’s well worth it for a weekend away from the city. Stowe Mountain Resort is actually made up of two separate mountains: Mount Mansfield and Spruce Peak. Both offer terrain for everyone, from newbies to experts (and if you’re looking for a real challenge, try skiing or riding down “the front four”). Beyond the mountains, skiers can stay at the luxe ski-in/ski-out Lodge at Spruce Peak, an American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts property, and the town itself is filled with culinary gems like Plate and Harrison's. Like Hunter Mountain, Stowe Mountain is also on the Epic Pass.
Camelback Resort: Tannersville, Pennsylvania
(Drive time: 2 hours)
A mere two hours outside the city in the Poconos sits Camelback Resort. The resort may be a smaller mountain than others on this list, but it still boasts an 800-foot vertical drop and 39 ski trails, making it an excellent family escape. Need even more family fun? The resort is also home to a massive snow tubing park with 42 “lightning-fast” lanes for kids and kids at heart to zoom down all day long. Lift tickets start at $60.
Jiminy Peak: Hancock, Massachusetts
(Drive time: 3 hours)
Looking for an eco-friendly ski and snowboard getaway? Make your way a few hours north to Jiminy Peak. The mountain, which boats 45 trails and a 1,150-foot vertical drop, is also the only resort in the nation to produce its own wind-powered energy. According to the resort, its wind power provides approximately 33% of the electrical demands for the mountain each year. Lift tickets start at $34 for adults.
Mount Snow: West Dover, Vermont
(Drive time: 4 hours)
Mount Snow is the perfect mountain for those looking to level up on their skis or snowboard. The Green Mountain destination is home to more than 600 acres of skiable terrain, including plenty of trails for beginners and experts. But, it’s where the intermediate mountain goers can really shine. According to the mountain, its trails are made up of 16% green runs, 66% blue runs, and 18% black diamond runs. Head up to West Dover for a long weekend and work on your technical skills on Mount Snow. The mountain has a myriad of ticketing options, and is part of the Epic Pass system and the Vail Resorts network.
Waterville Valley: New Hampshire
(Drive time: 5 hours)
Waterville Valley was positively made for family fun. The New Hampshire mountain boasts more than 200 skiable acres as well as a 2,020-foot vertical drop. And kids are more than welcome to explore it all alongside their parents. In fact, kids under age 5 ski for free, and juniors ski at a reduced price. For the older kids, Waterville offers a college rate and is part of the New Hampshire college pass system, which offers steep discounts for students. Lift tickets start at $82 for adults.
Catamount: Hillsdale, New York
(Drive time: 2½ hours)
Day trippers looking for skiing near NYC shouldn’t miss out on everything Catamount has to offer. The ski area may be small, but it sure is mighty when it comes to its terrain. That includes everything from gentle green trails to expert steep slopes, as well as terrain parks for those who want to try out a few new tricks. Tickets start at $45 for adults for mid-week tickets.