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10 Ski Resorts In New England You Need To Visit

Most people dream about skiing “out west” here in the US, and rush to book trips at resorts like Vail, Keystone, Aspen, Big Sky, etc. But, have you heard the phrase “ski the east” aka the northeast? The northeast and specifically, New England, is home to some of the best ski resorts in the country. We too get tons of snow up here each winter, and with several mountains (and states) in close proximity to one another, New England is a winter dream. Whether you ski or snowboard, either with young kids or as a pro, I hope this post inspires you to check out some of the mountains in New Hampshire, Vermont, and Maine! Here are the 10 best ski resorts in New England you need to visit.

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Best ski resorts in New England

Best Ski Resorts In New Hampshire

New Hampshire is home to some of the finest ski resorts in New England. NH is also home to the ski resorts closest to Boston, such as Sunapee and Waterville Valley, which are both only about 1.5-2 hours north. The big three mountains that I discuss below, Bretton Woods, Loon, and Cannon, are all in close proximity to one another in central New Hampshire. This is great news if you’re from somewhere else — you can knock out all three in one trip. I highly recommend basing yourself near the towns of Lincoln and Woodstock, New Hampshire. You’ll have no problem finding lodging, restaurants, and great breweries, like Woodstock Station, here. You can also explore the nearby Ice Castles!

1. Bretton Woods

Conveniently located in central New Hampshire at the foot of Mount Washington and within the confines of the White Mountain National Forest, Bretton Woods is the perfect ski area for families and experts alike. Bretton Woods is actually New Hampshire’s largest ski area, covering more than 460 acres. It’s any skier or snowboarder’s dream with 63 trails and 35+ glades. My personal favorite characteristic about Bretton Woods that makes it quite unique is the Chutter’s Candy Bar located at the top of the mountain. Chutter’s Candy Store is actually home to the longest candy counter in the world! I highly recommend visiting its main location in Littleton, NH where it’s candy bar is over 112 feet long.


Weekend adult day passes currently cost $115. If you plan on visiting Bretton Woods during the week, it costs $79 for an adult day pass.

Where To Stay:

If you’re looking to make the most of your time in the White Mountains, I couldn’t recommend a stay at the Omni Mount Washington Resort enough. This historic property is one of the nicest in the area and is a great place to enjoy apres-ski. Looking for a little thrill? The Mount Washington Hotel is one of America’s most haunted hotels!

View of mountain from one of the best ski resorts in New England

2. Loon

Also located in central New Hampshire, Loon Mountain Resort is situated at the base of the Kancamagus, or Route 112. This historic highway draws hundreds of tourists to this area during the fall for New England leaf peeping. Loon has one of the only gondolas in the northeast, 61 trails, and 10 lifts. Loon is one of my personal favorite mountains for a winter weekend away because of its location. The town of Lincoln has a lot to offer and the ice castles are nearby in Woodstock, NH. Loon is also known for its fun events, including an 80s day each April and a mud run each summer.


Weekend adult passes can cost upwards of $110 and average about $75 during the week.

Where To Stay:

Check out the Village of Loon Mountain for slope-side accommodation. While staying at the Loon Mountain Lodges, guests can enjoy 2 on-site swimming pools, 12 tennis courts, a hot tub, a sauna, and modern fitness facilities. In addition to fully equipped kitchens and fireplaces, the property also provides on-site laundry facilities and a game room.

3. Cannon

Cannon’s terrain is so varied, it’s perfect for everyone. There’s a whole area off the main Peabody lift on the bottom half of the mountain that’s perfect for families, along with a challenging terrain park, and glades. To reach Cannon’s summit, you’ll have to take two lifts. The upper trails at Cannon offered some of the best views and switchback routes. If you want to avoid the main Cannonball lodge at the base, I recommend grabbing lunch up at the summit lodge. There’s a full bar up there and way less crowds. Another way to access the summit at Cannon is by riding the tram. The tram holds up to 75 people, runs year-round, and offers one of the most scenic views in the state. Cannon is situated right in the middle of Franconia Notch State Park, offering views of the surrounding mountain ranges.


Any day lift tickets at Cannon cost $89 for an adult full day and $70 for a half day.

Where To Stay:

Take advantage of being in Franconia Notch State Park and explore the surrounding area. I recommend staying in Lincoln or Woodstock, towns just to the south. A bit further north you’ll find the towns of Franconia and Littleton, both of which are very quaint and have a lot to offer. I highly recommend Thayers Inn locate in Littleton. It’s a quaint little B&B full of charm and only a 15 minute drive from Cannon Mountain.

Best ski resorts in New England

Pro-tip: Looking for a smaller mountain? Check out Sunapee! Sunapee was recently bought by Vail and is in the process of expanding. Sunapee Mountain is only 1.5 hours north of Boston is one of the best mountains in southern/central New Hampshire.  It’s perfect for families. This is actually where I learned how to ski!

Best Ski Resorts In Vermont

Vermont is home to New England’s largest ski resorts and in my personal opinion, the best. Skiing in Vermont draws crowds from all over the world, including New Yorkers who flock to southern Vermont to ski areas like Stratton, and Canadians who drive across the border to visit resorts like Jay Peak. Vermont truly offers something for every skill level. The mountains here are more spread out and will require separate trips. There’s Stratton near Manchester in the southeast, Killington in central Vermont, and Mad River Glen and Jay Peak in northern Vermont. These are two of New England’s best kept hidden gems, and I was lucky to visit both this past season. You could combine these into a trip if you want!

4. Stratton

Stratton is an awesome ski mountain and as mentioned above, is popular among both local New Englanders plus New Yorkers due to its central location in the Green Mountain National Forest in southeast Vermont. It’s known as the “Best Ski Resort Near NYC”. Stratton is also super unique because of its village. It looks just like Europe! This is pretty common for resorts out west, like Vail Village for example, but pretty special for New England. Stratton has 94 trails and glades and 11 lifts. Although Stratton caters to both skiers and snowboarders, it’s known as being one of the best mountains in the region for snowboarding!


A full-day adult ski pass at Stratton will cost around $115.

Where To Stay:

If you’re looking to splurge, I definitely recommend staying in or near Stratton’s Village! You’ll be central to the shops, restaurants, and quaint downtown. Another option is to explore nearby Manchester, one of Vermont’s most charming towns. It’s about 30 minutes away.

In Manchester, I recommend the Palmer House Resort.  At The Palmer House Resort, Ascend Hotel Collection, you will find complimentary daily breakfast and an à la carte restaurant and bar serving dinner and drinks. On-site outdoor activities including golf, tennis, fishing excursions, and more can be arranged. The resort is 2625 feet from downtown Manchester, 2.2 mi from Manchester Country Club, and 18 mi from Stratton Mountain Resort. Albany International Airport is 48 miles away.

5. Killington

Fun fact, Killington Ski Area is the biggest ski resort in New England! It has the tallest vertical drop in New England at just over 3,000 feet. These two factors have coined Killington as the “Beast of the East”. Located in Rutland, Killington is in central Vermont and near several other, smaller ski resorts including Pico. It’s also very close to Woodstock, Vermont, one of the most charming towns in New England. I highly recommend checking out Woodstock during a New England fall leaf peeping trip! With over 155 trails, 20+ lifts, and 6 separate peaks, snowboarders and skiers typically spend a few days in this area.


Prices vary dramatically at Killington depending on which day of the week you visit. If possible, try to ski during the week as adult lift tickets only cost $94. On the weekends, they can cost you over $140 each!

Where To Stay:

Since Killington is so large, you’ll have no problem finding nearby accommodation. Killington Mountain Lodge sits at the base of the mountain and is near some of the area’s best restaurants. If you’re looking for a small town, stay in Woodstock. The Woodstock Inn is one of New England’s best luxury resorts and has a spa, multiple bars, and cozy lobby.

Slopes of Killington resort in Vermont

6. Stowe

A characteristic of Stowe that makes it one of the best ski resorts in New England is its gondola. Unlike other mountains with gondolas that bring you to the summit, Stowe’s gondola, called the Over Easy, brings you from the mountain to across the parking lot and right into Stowe Village! Stowe Village reminded me a lot of the villages out west, like Vail. Here you’ll find a fun outdoor ice skating rink, tons of restaurants, shops, and an indoor recreation center that has a rock climbing wall! The main lodges are over here too and have plenty of options for lunch. Stowe’s skiable terrain is shaped like a horseshoe bowl, with the parking lot in the center. Stowe is one of the best places to visit during winter in New England (you can read about other must-see’s here!).


A lift ticket at Stowe for an adult will cost ~$110.

Where To Stay:

There’s tons of accommodation options right in Stowe Village that I recommend exploring, especially if you’re traveling with kids. However, if you’d like something a little bit more unique and adventurous, check out the Von Trapp Family Lodge! Located about 15 minutes away from Stowe Mountain Resort, the Von Trapp Lodge is an Austrian-inspired getaway operated by the Von Trapp Family, aka the family who inspired the movie The Sound of Music! This place is perfect for a winter weekend in Stowe. Check out this post for a full review of the property (hint: I loved it).

Winter weekend in Stowe, Vermont

Winter weekend in Stowe, Vermont

7. Okemo

Okemo is located in central southern Vermont, just south of Killington. It actually sits between Stratton and Killington, so you could knock out all 3 of these mountains in a week if you wanted to. Aside from its expansive skiable terrain, Okemo is one of the most commercialized mountains in the area, offering a wide variety of activity and dining options for families. Most notably, there’s the Okemo Mountain Resort which is home to the Okemo Adventure Zone. There’s also tubing, a mountain coaster, and multiple waffle cabins! These amenities make Okemo one of the best ski resorts in New England for families. 


A day pass at Okemo will cost ~$100. Most people end up getting the 2 day pass for about ~$180 since there’s enough to do to stay for a whole weekend!

Where To Stay:

Check out the Jackson Gore Village! Located on Okemo Mountain, this Ludlow hotel has ski trails on the property. The Okemo Nordic Center is less than a 10 minute drive away. Guests can swim in the indoor pool or relax in the hot tub. The studio and apartments have a fireplace and a refrigerator.

The hotel also offers guests a babysitting service. Massages are available and there is also a sauna. The Jackson Gore Inn has a few on-site dining options like Coleman Brook Tavern and Siena. Siena serves Italian cuisine and Coleman Brook Tavern has a large wine list along with lunch and dinner menus.

8. Mad River Glen

This has to be one of the most unique ski mountains I’ve ever been to, so naturally, it had to make the list of best ski resorts in New England. Located in northern Vermont, Mad River Glen is a skiers-only mountain. And home to one of the only single rider’s lift in the country! Mad River Glen has always been owned by a bunch of skiers, who want to preserve the “old school” ski culture, meaning that no snowboarders are allowed. This is actually one of only 3 mountains in all of North America to do this (the other two are in Utah)! By old school, I mean that the majority of this mountain is actually left ungroomed, which is pretty rare nowadays.


To compete with some of bigger mountains in Vermont, a lift ticket here costs $92. It used to be so much cheaper back in the day.

Where To Stay:

Unlike some of the massive resorts mentioned above, Mad River Glen is a much smaller mountain with a lot less surrounding it. I recommend just visiting in a day trip, but if you need somewhere to stay, you can check out the Mad River Lodge. Located in Waitsfield, 2.7 miles from Mad River, Mad River Lodge provides accommodations with free WiFi and free private parking. This 3-star hotel offers a 24-hour front desk. Stowe Village Historic District is 26 miles away. Complete with a private bathroom equipped with a shower and free toiletries, all guest rooms at the hotel have a flat-screen TV and air conditioning, and some rooms here will provide you with a seating area. At Mad River Lodge every room comes with bed linen and towels.

Skiing at Mad River Glen

9. Jay Peak

Jay Peak is by far the most northern ski mountain in Vermont. You can see Canada from the summit. Pretty cool right? Although it may not be as epic as some of the bigger mountains in the south, Jay Peak is known for getting dumped on each year. Oh, and they serve poutine in the cafeteria! Poutine is a classic Canadian side dish and is essentially just french fries with cheese curds and gravy. Something important to note about Jay Peak is it’s definitely not a beginners mountain. There are very few greens here. This is especially true about the triple lift to the left of the mountain where you’ll find mostly blacks. There’s also a tram that can bring you to the summit. Jay’s fresh powder will remind you of skiing out west, making it a top contender on the list of  best ski resorts in New England!


Tickets here range from about ~$80 during the week to ~$100 on weekends for adult skiers. Juniors can be as cheap as $50/day!

Where To Stay:

Similarly to Stratton, Stowe, Killington, and Okemo, Jay Peak is a mountain resort. Therefore, there’s several accommodation options right at the base of the mountain. I recommend the Jay Peak Resort, which is great for families. They even have an indoor waterpark! Just be warned that there isn’t much to do outside of the ski resort. You pass through the town of Jay in a blink of an eye!

Hot cocoa in front of fire at Jay Peak Resort

Best Ski Resorts In Maine

10. Sugarloaf

And finally, there’s Maine! Although New England includes the states of Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts too, there really aren’t any notable mountains in the south. You’ll want to head north from Boston to find the best ski resorts in New England. Maine is home to some great resorts including Shawnee Peak, Sunday River, Saddleback, and Sugarloaf! Sugarloaf is Maine’s biggest ski resort and is the only resort in the area to have lift-serviced ski terrain above the tree line! Additionally, this mountain gets tons of snow. The only downside is it’s pretty remote, so you’ll probably want to stay for at least one night!


A lift ticket here will cost over $100 on the weekends and about ~$89 during the weekdays. Teens can ski for $67 during the week!

Where To Stay:

I recommend staying at a ski-in, ski-out slope-side accommodation at Sugarloaf! There’s several options depending on your price range, but the main resort here is the Sugarloaf Mountain Hotel, which is conveniently located in the heart of the village. Boasting on-site skiing and an 18-hole golf course, Sugarloaf Mountain Hotel is located in Carrabassett, Maine. The property features a spacious outdoor hot tub. Free WiFi access is available. A fitness center and ski equipment hire are available at Carrabassett’s Sugarloaf Mountain Hotel. Ski storage is also offered. An array of activities can be enjoyed on site or in the surroundings, including cycling and hiking.

In conclusion, I hope this post inspires you to cross off some of these ski mountains during the next winter season! I promise this list of the best ski resorts in New England won’t disappoint!

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Best ski resorts in New England


  1. March 27, 2021 / 2:01 PM

    Learning to ski is on my bucket list (how old is too old to learn? I may be 80 by the time I get around to it), but these ski resorts look so beautiful and like so much fun! Even if it’s just to sit around the fire and have a few drinks.

  2. Charlotte
    March 27, 2021 / 4:15 PM

    What an incredible blog post! I’ve only been skiing in my home town Sheffield! I am so excited to check thess out!

  3. March 27, 2021 / 5:33 PM

    We would love to do some ski holidays! These resorts look so great! We really learned to embrace winter this year and can’t wait for more next season!

  4. Karen
    March 28, 2021 / 12:38 AM

    Iโ€™ve skied a few of these resorts in New England and they are great. I also like some of the smaller resort such as Bolton Valley and Mount Snow.

  5. March 28, 2021 / 1:13 AM

    There’s something special about New England skiing! I’ve been partial to Killington but these are some great suggestions, thanks!

  6. March 28, 2021 / 7:55 AM

    I would definitely love to visit at least one of these resorts! I’m not much of a skier but I do love ski resorts!

  7. March 28, 2021 / 8:27 PM

    Hey, it’s never to late to learn! Also, nothing wrong with sitting around the fire drinking haha, apres ski is usually the highlight of my day!

  8. March 28, 2021 / 8:27 PM

    Hi Charlotte, I hope you do! Thanks for your comment ๐Ÿ™‚ -Nicole

  9. March 28, 2021 / 8:28 PM

    Totally agree, Deb! I never loved winter, but tried to take advantage of the many outdoor activities available to us here in New England! Got in 5 full ski days this season, which was the most I’ve done in over 5 years! Can’t wait to cross off some more mountains next year!

  10. March 28, 2021 / 8:29 PM

    I’ve heard great things about these mountains, Karen! Noted for next season ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. March 28, 2021 / 8:29 PM

    I’m glad you found this helpful! I need to get back to Killington next year!

  12. March 28, 2021 / 8:29 PM

    I love them too! Such fun winter weekends away ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Joe W
    March 31, 2021 / 2:46 PM

    Have you ever been to Stowe?? There are two gondolas. Yes there is a short ride gondola across the parking lot to the Spruce side of the mountain. But the main gondola goes all the way to the top and is clearly visible as you drive up toward and into the resort.

  14. Ned Grief
    April 2, 2021 / 9:49 AM

    Hey there! Thanks for the information. I’ve been skiing for 59 years, done “The West” thing and British Columbia. The East is awesome and has evolved so much from my beginnings at Mount Agamentcus – “The Big A” back in the 60’s! Just wanted to give a shout out to Saddleback that just reopened after a 5 year closure. Wow! What a great rebound they have accomplished! And by far the most courteous staff I’ve EVER encountered!

  15. Bob Gates
    April 3, 2021 / 2:45 PM

    Don’t forget about the “other” gondola at Stowe, which does take you up the ski mountain.

  16. April 9, 2021 / 7:30 PM

    Yes I have! The main gondola was closed when I visited, so we just took the shorter one. I only mentioned the one we rode on. Great mountain!

  17. April 9, 2021 / 7:30 PM

    That’s so great to know! Can’t wait to get up there next season. BC and Whistler in specific is on my list!

  18. April 9, 2021 / 7:31 PM

    Yes! It was closed when I visited unfortunately, so I just mentioned the lateral one to Spruce Lodge in this post!

  19. sanja
    November 26, 2021 / 5:29 PM

    Hi Nicole and thanks for this post. Have you ever been to Whistler, Canada? There is a beautiful and large alpine village with many shops and things to do aside from skiing. Which of the New England towns would you say most closely resemble the Whistler village, if you know? I’ll be taking my first trip this winter to New England and would like to pick a town where there is a vibrant village and alternatives for non-skiers. Based on your description, Stratton, Stowe or Okemi might fit the bill? Thanks!

  20. November 27, 2021 / 2:27 AM

    Thanks for your question! I’ve never been to Whistler but it’s definitely on my list! Stratton has a nice village that resembles Europe, but it’s small. Stowe has a whole downtown, plus a ski village area and multiple resorts, so I recommend going there!

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