Ski Towns in New England You Won’t Want to Miss

By Todd Hartley Dec. 23, 2020
(Credit: robert c. mosher/Shutterstock)

When the snow is falling and spirits are high, there are few places you’d rather be than a ski town in New England. Even if you’re not a skier, you have to appreciate the historic character, charming shops and picturesque scenery of a classic mountain village. And if you are a skier, you’ve got to love the great turns and rollicking après-ski scenes at the region’s top resorts. So grab your boards (or don’t), and head out to one of our top picks for New England’s best ski towns.

Stowe, Vermont

When you picture a New England ski town in your head, chances are it looks just like Stowe. From quaint shops like the 125-year-old Shaw’s General Store to the towering white steeple of the Stowe Community Church, Stowe is picture-perfect and everything you want a mountain town to be. The skiing, just up the road at Stowe Mountain Resort, ain’t too shabby either. Mount Mansfield and Spruce Peak boast 116 trails between them, including the famed Front Four, a quartet of double-black-diamond runs that are among the steepest in all Vermont.

The Best Ski Towns to Visit in New England: North Conway, New Hampshire (Credit: Mt. Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce/Flickr)

North Conway, New Hampshire

At the heart of the absurdly scenic Mount Washington Valley, North Conway is a true skier’s paradise. The slopes of Cranmore Mountain Resort are a short walk from downtown, and Attitash Mountain Resort is just 15 minutes away. Wildcat Mountain and Bretton Woods, New Hampshire’s largest ski resort, are both less than 40 minutes away. The historic village bustles with energy and offers up great dining, shopping and taverns like Delaney’s Hole in the Wall, an après-ski staple a mile north of downtown.

Bethel, Maine

Five miles down the road from Sunday River, Maine’s second-largest ski area, Bethel drips with old-school New England charm. Check into the historic Holidae House Bed & Breakfast on Main Street or grab a bite at DiCocoa’s Bakery & Cafe before hitting the slopes. Prove your skiing chops in the Oz area, where the only easy way down is called Cowardly Lion. Then, après slopeside at the legendary Foggy Goggle or grab a craft-brewed cold one at the nearby Sunday River Brewing Co.

The Best Ski Towns to Visit in New England: Warren, Vermont (Credit: Rob Crandall/Shutterstock)

Warren and Waitsfield, Vermont

Irresistibly quaint and beautifully bucolic, these two tiny Mad River Valley towns epitomize Vermont. The gateway to Sugarbush Resort, Warren boasts a 140-year-old covered bridge. Stop by the “almost world famous” Warren Store, where you can score breakfast burritos or delectable deli sandwiches to fuel your winter adventures. Meanwhile, Waitsfield sits just down the hill from the inimitable Mad River Glen, where the iconic single chair, all-natural terrain and lack of snowboarders will make you feel like you’ve stepped back in time.

Lincoln, New Hampshire

Home to Loon Mountain Resort and a short drive from both Cannon Mountain and Waterville Valley Resort, Lincoln affords ready access to three of New Hampshire’s best ski areas. The town’s location on Interstate 93 is an easy, two-hour drive from Boston, too, making Lincoln a very popular weekend destination. While you’re there, be sure to drop into Chutters, home to the world’s longest candy counter. Or, head to La Vista Italian Cuisine for delicious wood-fired pizzas in an upscale setting.

The Best Ski Towns to Visit in New England: Manchester, Vermont (Credit: Ron Zanoni/Flickr)

Manchester, Vermont

Just three hours from Boston and less than four hours from New York City, Manchester is a perfect base for exploring Stratton Mountain ‘s 99 trails and 670 skiable acres or family-friendly Bromley Mountain, which boasts 47 trails and 300 acres. Away from the slopes, check out Manchester’s great dining options, antique shops, and the Manchester Designer Outlets, which feature luxury shops like Armani, Kate Spade, J. Crew and Eddie Bauer. You also won’t want to miss the retro-cool Pastime Pinball Arcade, with its 60 pinball games from the 1950s to today.

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