Travel

The Five Best New England Ski Towns

Hit the slopes in one of these picturesque spots.


North Conway photo by wiseguycreative.com

No matter how much you hate the snow, you’ve got to admit that New England knows a thing or two about picturesque ski towns. Whether you’re planning on shredding some pow, cruising the bunny slopes, or just sipping hot drinks in a lodge, here are some of New England’s best ski towns.

Stowe, Vermont

The inclusion of Stowe on this list is a given. Stowe is stunning and idyllic. It’s the winter wonderland of your dreams. But here’s the thing: It’s also quite pricey, and you’ll find plenty of hoity-toity Manhattanites. Point is, Stowe is often referred to as the Aspen of New England for a reason. But don’t let that deter you from skiing Mount Mansfield or Spruce Peak. Check into Field Guide, a unique and cozy lodge-style hotel that’s just 15 minutes from most of the of the slopes and 10 minutes from the best shopping in Stowe. (It also has a free bus that stops out front to take you to the mountains.) While you’re there, stop by Vermont Artisan Coffee & Tea for a hot cup, and be sure to snag a pound of two of beans to bring home with you.

Field Guide / Photo courtesy of Lark Hotels

Bethel/Newry, Maine

One of Sunday River’s greatest assets is its proximity to Boston, making it one of the easiest ski areas to get to from the city. Also a plus is the plethora of reasonably priced Airbnbs in the area that you can rent with a group of friends without having to pay hotel prices. After you make it down the mountain, head to the Foggy Goggle for burgers, beers, and gigantic nacho plates, or snag some BBQ out of an orange trailer at Smokin’ Good BBQ. When you’re on your way home to Boston, make a stop in Portland to stop by the Miss Portland Diner, a classic restored Worcester dining car with a breakfast menu that’ll make you drool. (If you’re wise, you’ll buy one of those perfect diner coffee mugs.)

North Conway, New Hampshire

If you’re hoping to be charmed, look no further than North Conway, tucked in Mt. Washington Valley. Just a half-hour from a variety of mountains like Cranmore and Attitash, North Conway has that whole “bustling village” vibe down pat. A nine-minute drive from North Conway in the town of Glen is the Red Parka Steakhouse & Pub, where you can catch live bands and enjoy the apres ski scene. Also close by in neighboring Jackson is The Shannon Door, a famed Irish pub with Boston roots where you can enjoy classic South Shore-style bar pizza.

North Conway photo by wiseguycreative.com

Lincoln, New Hampshire

Whether it’s emblazoned on t-shirts or car stickers, folks love to share their passion for Exit 32. You’ll find lots of skiers in Lincoln, whether they’re heading to Loon Mountain or over to Cannon in Franconia. Wait in line for breakfast at Flapjack’s Pancake House, or curl up by the massive stone fireplace at The Common Man, a cozy and unpretentious restaurant. Stroll the shops, and don’t skip Chutters, home to the world’s longest candy counter. When you’re stuffed, catch a nighttime moose tour through the White Mountains.

Manchester, Vermont

Just two hours from Boston, Manchester is the perfect spot to rest your head before you hit the slopes at Killington, Stratton, or Bromley. The town has great pockets of culture, with a variety of art galleries and antique shops. (We’d regret it if we didn’t mention the excellent outlet shopping, too.) For a delicious meal and craft cocktails, head to The Copper Grouse Restaurant & Bar at the Kimpton Taconic Hotel.