If You Want A Family-Friendly Spot
Stealing away to the quieter neighbor of better-known Stowe will help you avoid the lift-clogging New England crowds without sacrificing terrain. A local favorite, Smugglers' Notch has three interconnected mountains--Madonna, Morse, and Sterling--and 78 trails suitable for kids and adults of all levels, whether they ski or snowboard. For a different kind of rush, the resort proposes a variety of guided snowshoe treks, including moonlight tours, hikes up the mountain, dinner trips (you trek to a cabin on top of Sterling Mountain), and even a personalized snowshoe workout with a trainer ($50 per hour; call the Nordic Center at 800-451-8752, ext. 1173).
Apres-ski Get a massage at the Mountain Massage Center in the base village ($75 to $115), or better yet, grab your significant other and take a Treat Your Feet reflexology class ($20 per person, $35 per couple) in front of a roaring fire. After dinner, settle into the smoke-free lounge at Bootlegger's for a hot toddy and live music, a magic show, or karaoke, depending on the night.
Book it Smugglers' Notch is 30 miles from the Burlington airport, but from mid-October to mid-May it's a one-hour drive from Burlington or Stowe due to road closures. January 7 to 11 and January 15 to 27 are "Super Saver" dates: Packages with two nights' lodging, two days' lift tickets, free walking tours, ice-skating, and beginner ski and snowboard lessons for two people from $490 for a regular room and $680 for a studio condo. February prices jump to $618 and $847, respectively, for the same package. Go to smuggs.com for more details.