Ultimate Guide To Skiing In New York

Written by Alexa Owen • Jan 20, 2016

It’s true: we love New York. Especially skiing there.

Surprised? That’s understandable. In the madness of seeking out the best ski vacation spots in the world, it’s common to overlook the bounty of snowy, mountainous fun in your backyard. When most people hear “New York,” they think of the best city in the world. They think of rolling hills and dairy farms. They think of hustle and bustle and a place rich in cultural history. And guess what? It’s time to think of New York’s unforgettable skiing, too.

Some fun facts:

Historically, New York ski resorts are the oldest in the country; since the late 1930s, city-slickers have been retreating to the mountains for weekend getaways of snowy debauchery.

New York has more lift-served skiable acreage than Vermont and New Hampshire, and two mountains with longer verticals than anything in the neighboring states.

The Lake Placid area has hosted the Winter Olympics twice – in 1932 and 1980; the charming town remains a top national destination for winter getaways rich in Olympic history.

New York is home to over 50 ski areas: the most of any state in the country. At least 10 of those areas can be considered major destination resorts, and many are within a 3 hour drive of New York City.

Efforts to get New Yorkers out on the slopes are strong, and as a result, programs that encourage skiing and riding are the best in the country. ISKINY deals often include free skiing for kids, like this year’s program for 3rd and 4th graders; the Gold Pass is a fully transferable pass good for 1 lift ticket per day per season at any New York ski resort – loan it to friends, family, or business associates.

This comprehensive guide to skiing in New York will tell you where to ski, shop, and dine; you’ll get insider tips on crafting the best ski vacations and getaways for you and your family throughout the state; we’ll clue you in on lodging options and the best value deals out there. If you’re ready to get out, hit the slopes, and discover the unique skiing experience of your own back yard, read on for our definitive guide to skiing in New York.

Location, Location, Location

By far the biggest perk of a New York ski getaway is the close proximity of resorts to the entire tristate area, and most specifically New York, Boston, and Philadelphia. Forget the hassle of packing for a cross-country plane ride and tacking on at least 2 full days of travel for your ski vacation. Dozens of New York ski resorts are within 3 hours drive of NYC; grand-daddy of New York ski resorts Hunter Mountain is 4.5 hrs away; and Whiteface is still just over 5 hrs drive, which makes it easily accessible for a long weekend.

The two main areas are the Catskills and the Adirondacks.

The Catskills span across 700,000 acres and 7 counties in Southeast New York, boasting popular peaks like Hunter, Windham, and Belleayre. These are the closest resorts to New York City.

The Adirondacks are part of the expansive Adirondack Park, spanning 6 million acres to boast the largest state park in the lower 48 states. The area occupies a space in upstate New York larger than that of New England, and boasts peaks like Gore and Whiteface. These destinations are 1-2 hours further than the Catskills, and often boast colder temperatures and more snow. If a getting-out-of-town vibe is what you seek, Adirondack resorts have got you covered.

Getting There

Flying is out. Driving and bussing are in.

From Manhattan, the most direct route takes you through the Lincoln Tunnel and onto I-87 heading north. Travelling during heavy traffic will obviously increase projected travel time, but once you get north of New Jersey the congestion tapers off.

A perk to driving is flexibility with travel times and the ease and comfort of packing your own care with your own gear. You can also use it to explore a ski destination and surrounding towns at your leisure. What’s the downside? Loading up the car and kids after a ski weekend and dealing with traffic on the way home is not so pleasant after a long day on the slopes.

Booking a spot on a bus is popular for day trips and those who don’t have a car. Several bus services that operate on weekends and holidays take the stress out of driving, and often bundle lift ticket and gear rental deals. Popular resorts Windham and Hunter connect with these services.

The Day Trip

If you're eager to get out of the city and onto the slopes for just a day, consider booking an all-inclusive day trip package. These deals include transportation by bus to and from the resort, and discounted lift tickets and lessons. They'll set you up with on-site equipment rental so you can forget about lugging gear from the city. The biggest perk? A stress-free ride home after a long day on the slopes.

Most companies offer pick-up locations along the Long Island Expressway and at least one in midtown.

Here is an approximate schedule of transportation services:

Depart NYC: 6:00am

Arrive at resort: 9:00am

Depart resort: 4:30pm

Arrive NYC: 8 pm

Day trips are pre-scheduled on company websites. Most trips are scheduled for service to Thunder Ridge, Hunter Mountain, Windham Mountain, and Belleayre.

Be sure to ask about equipment rentals and lesson options when booking the day trip with a company.

Emilio's Ski Shop offers a package deal that includes bus, lift tickets, and (optionally) equipment rental from their shop. Be sure to stop by at least one day before departure to organize gear rentals. They also offer transport only, transport and lift ticket, and an all-inclusive deal of lower mountain lift ticket, group lesson, rental and transport specifically for Hunter Mountain trips.

Adirondack Trailways offer day trip and overnight deals from the Port Authority to Belleayre Mountain. Their package deal includes rount-trip transportation and lift tickets; equipment rental is available on-site at Belleayre upon arrival. No advance reservations are required for day trips, and packages can be purchased at Port Authority.

Island Ski Tours departs E 42nd Street at 6:00 am after several stops at LIE park &ride locations. They offer day trips to Windham Mountain that include options for transportation and lift tickets, equipment rental, and full day beginners lift and lesson packages.

The Catskills: Ski Resorts

The Catskills occupy the mountainous region in southwest New York, and are the closest mountains in the state to New York City. The area offers a farm-to-table foodie scene, boutique hotels, and all-inclusive resorts for superb skiing, lively events, and outdoor family activities. Read this section for comprehensive guides to top Catskills resorts.

Hunter Mountain

Hunter Mountain has had its ups and downs, but recent snowmaking improvements and trail maintenance projects (as well as efforts to be a more eco-friendly resort) puts it on the map for one of New York’s top skiing destinations. Just a two-and-a-half hour drive from New York City, Hunter is ideal for a weekend getaway (or even a day trip). The party scene is strong, so hit the slopes before 10am to beat the crowds.

Cheat Sheet:

Stay…at The Hunter Inn, a family-friendly value option for off-slopes lodging.

Ski…K-27 top-to-bottom for a steep wake-up call.

Fine Dining…Enjoy international cuisine at Van Winkle’s Restaurant.

Cheap Eats…are at neighborhood bar Ronnie MacGregor’s Pub, known for the best burgers in town.

Après...at The Main Bar in the base lodge with generous drinks and live music on weekends.

Shop...at Steve Heller’s Fabulous Furniture for unique art and handmade goods.

Off The Slopes…head to the largest snow tubing park in New York state for day and night tubing.

Terrain

Hunter is home to 240 skiable acres serviced by 12 lifts, and prides itself on being a true year-round resort (but it’s most well-known for its winter activities). The 57 trails are split evenly between beginner, intermediate, and expert terrain. The ski and ride school has quality programs for kids at value prices.

Lodging

Lodging options vary at Hunter: spring for anything from a private chalet to a boutique hotel to family-run lodges.

Luxury

5 minutes from Hunter Mountain is Villa Vosilla, a family friendly boutique hotel with recreation center and Italian restaurant.

Mid-Range

Book a room at the B&B style Fairlawn Inn, which boasts charming character, kind hosts, and close proximity to shops and restaurants.

Value

The Hunter Inn offers complementary breakfast and free stay for kids under 16.

Food

The restaurant scene caters largely to families, and quick, convenient dinners can be found almost everywhere. The fine dining options offer farm-to-table gourmet meals in elegant settings.

Van Winkle’s Restaurant at the Kaatskill Mountain Club offers local favorites like Prime Rib Stew and Signature Pappardelle Bolognaise in a cozy setting.

Head to acclaimed Le Chateau Belleview for country French Dining and a carefully selected wine list.

At Hunter Mountain Brewery you’ll find 20 delicious beers on tap and pub food with flair in a lively atmosphere.

Nightlife

Hunter has a reputation as a lively party town on winter weekends. Here are a few places to check out:

Don’t miss Slopes, the area’s infamous party destination, with live bands and booze rocking most nights til 4am.

The Last Chance Tavern features 300 beers and the Hudson Valley’s top blues, rock, and jazz musicians.

Drop into The Spinning Room for 2-for-1 happy hour and stay til close; the kitchen stays open late.

Shopping

For sports gear and equipment, you’ll find plenty of options in Hunter. For antiques and boutique clothing stores, head to neighboring Tannersville.

Stop by the Last Chance Antiques and Cheese Shop for vintage candy, local goods, and fine cheeses that make great gifts.

The Pro Ski And Ride is a one-stop shop for the latest ski and ride gear; they also offer boot fitting and ski tuning services.

Fabulous Furniture in nearby Boiceville features the art of Steve Heller, who works with metal, wood, and other materials to create unique sculptures and furniture.

Activities

Tired of skiing and shopping? Try these off-slopes activities for the whole family.

The 20+ lane tubing park offers day tubing Friday-Sunday and night tubing Friday/Saturday, with special rates available for groups and parties.

Bear Creek Landing runs horseback riding scenic tours, as well as lessons in English and western riding.

Rent snowmobiles on mountain trails at Rip Van Winkle Ranch, 5 minutes from Hunter Mountain.

Tips

Hunter is no stranger to late-night party-goers; hit the slopes early to get the best snow with no crowds.

Factor in traffic for travel time, especially on holiday weekends.

Windham

Originally opened as Cave Mountain Ski Area in 1960, Windham prides itself on its guest services, learn to ski programs, and (relatively) big mountain experience. It’s located just slightly further away from NYC than neighbor Hunter Mountain, and as a result gets slightly fewer crowds on weekends. The mountain itself caters to beginners and intermediates, and families will feel welcomed and accommodated with all the kid-friendly activities.

Cheat Sheet:

Stay…at the Hillside Mountain Inn, a Dutch Colonial with quaint budget rooms.

Ski…Windfall off the West Peak for a steep morning cruiser.

Fine Dining…Cozy up at Bistro Brie & Bordeaux, the area’s gourmet French country restaurant.

Cheap Eats…are plentiful at Michael’s Diner (just be sure to bring cash to pay).

Après...at Seasons, with 2 new bars and panoramic views of the mountains.

Shop...at Catskill Mountain Country Store for homemade, gourmet food items and quirky gifts.

Off The Slopes…rent skates at the Adventure Park skating area.

Terrain

The mountain boasts 2 peaks with maximum vertical of 1,600 feet, and snowmaking capability on 97% of their 285 acres. The few gladed areas require plenty of natural snowfall, and the terrain overall is best suited for advanced intermediates. Windham invested half a million dollars since 2015 into its 6 terrain parks. Tricksters will love it here!

Lodging

Most lodging options are cutesy B&Bs and boutique hotels within 5 miles of the resort. Check with the concierge to see if they offer shuttle service on weekends.

Luxury

Hotel Vienna boasts European chalet-styled rooms and heated indoor pool in a central location 1 miles from Windham Mountain.

Mid-Range

The historic Christman’s Windham House offers beautifully renovated rooms in an old colonial setting.

Value

Hillside Mountain Inn boasts comfortable rooms at a bargain price; the common area has air hockey, pool table, and space for kids to hang out.

Food

Windham Mountain and surrounding area offer international cuisine as well as hometown favorites at a handful of fine restaurants.

Bistro Brie And Bordeaux is the destination for fine French bistro food; owners Stéphane and Claudia Desgaches craft fresh meals in a lighthearted space with abundant laughter and wine.

Dine at Messina’s Italian Restaurant for authentic Italian cuisine in a casual setting; the menu is huge! Save room for delectable desserts.

Fill up before a day on the slopes at La Patisserie Normande, offering gourmet bistro breakfasts and baked goods.

Nightlife

The nightlife at Windham is decidedly calmer than that of neighboring Hunter; you're more likely to find long chats over good microbrews than all-night ragers.

Head to Chicken Run for hearty food, drinks, and a variety of live music every weekend; this spot is family-friendly and ideal for early-bird partiers.

Don’t miss Ze Windham Wine Bar for a classy setting of wines, beers, and tapas; this is the spot to relax with friends in elegant European flair.

Sip microbrews hand-crafted on site at Cave Mountain Brewing, whose revolving taps include an oatmeal stout, American I.P.A., and seasonal specialties.

Shopping

Windham’s retail offerings are small and country quaint; this is the place to stumble upon unique artisan crafts, homemade soaps, and random gifts to give distant relatives next Christmas.

The Catskill Mountain Store is the one-stop shop for all the tasty and quirky things you could imagine in a small upstate town – the kids toys selection is extensive, too.

Find ski rentals and winter gear at Windham Mountain Outfitters.

Shop artisan fair trade items, hand hooked throw rugs, and vintage inspired gifts at Urban Country.

Activities

Most activities are centered around the resort and the Adventure Park, which boasts enough kid-friendly activities to keep your little ones busy all day (and into the night).

Snowshoe or Cross Country Ski along an extensive network of trails near the Batavia Kill Creek at the base of the mountain.

The Adventure Park lower level features a kid’s snowmobile track.

Ice skating is a popular fall-family activity; the rink is outfitted with a skate rental service and warming area.

Tips

Book ahead for lodging and restaurant reservations at the more popular spots if you plan to go on a holiday weekend.

Check ahead with hotels about shuttles to/from the resort on weekends, as well as pickups from the Windham bus stop if you opt for public transportation from the city.

Belleayre

Belleayre is the third premiere ski resort in the Catskill Mountains, and an easy 2.5 hours drive from New York City. In its beginnings skiers hiked up undeveloped terrain and ski down through the trees; in 1949, after obtaining permits to cut trails and develop infrastructure, the resort started spinning its first lift and attracting winter sports enthusiasts from all over the region. Today it serves as a getaway for skiers, riders, and anyone looking to get out into the area’s mountains.

In December 2015, the Olympic Regional Development Agency (who operates Bellayre Ski area) approved plans to expand and modernize the ski area. An estimated $74 million will be spent over the course of 5 years to renovate lodges, cut new trails, and install new lifts. Big things are in store for this resort.

Cheat Sheet:

Stay…1 mile from the resort at the Colonial Inn, where kids stay (almost) free.

Ski…Winnisook for a leg-warming intermediate run on a chilly morning.

Fine Dining…Experience farm-to-table elegance at the Peekamoose Restaurant & Tavern.

Cheap Eats…are served up all day at the Pine Hill Arms; indulge in a country style breakfast or good, cheap burgers.

Après...at the Overlook Lodge for lively conversation and live music.

Shop...at Aaron’s Antique II, Brewed Awakenings for antique furniture while sipping on beer or wine.

Off The Slopes…indulge in a concert at the charming Bearsville Theater in nearby Woodstock.

Terrain

Belleayre is spread quite nicely among intermediate and advanced terrain on the upper mountain The lower half of the resort (below the Overlook Lodge) is primarily reserved for beginner skiers and riders. The learning area at the base serves as a safe, easy place for first-timers. The trails off Tomahawk Lift are the most challenging, while intermediates will find a number of slopes winding down from the summit.

Lodging

Slope side, on-site lodging lacks at Bellayre, which is one of its few downfalls. That said, a variety of good options can be found within 5 miles of the resort.

Luxury

The Emerson Resort & Spa boasts ultimate luxury; book a room at the inn for undisturbed, adults-only quietude or the lodge next door for the same amenities in kid-friendly spaces.

Mid-Range

Alpine Osteria is the premier B&B, boasting themed rooms like “Chianti” and “Vin Santo” to suit guests’ specific needs; breakfast is included.

Value

Book the Colonial Inn for ultimate family-friendly vibes in a casual, homey atmosphere. The rates are unbeatable.

Food

The food scene near Belleayre continues to evolve, as fine dining chefs and slow food enthusiasts up the ante when it comes to the area’s fine dining.

Zagat-rated Peekamoose Restaurant & Tavern offers the freshest farm-to-table cuisine prepared by chef-owners Devin and Marybeth Mills, who hail from some of NYC’s most famous restaurants.

Neearby Phoenecian Steakhouse prides itself on buying ingredients from local farms to craft the best steaks and salads in the region; the beer selection is also top-notch.

Zephyr Restaurant features a small but varied menu of home-cooked classics, like zucchini fritters and free range chicken pot pie.

Nightlife

Belleayre is not known for its nightlife; mellow, family-friendly nights are common here, and you’ll need to travel to nearby Hunter resort for a hearty party atmosphere.

The Commune Saloon in Woodstock offers relaxed seating and a laid-back atmosphere; be sure to try one of the specialty cocktails.

Stop by the Alamo Cantina in Phoenicia for a frozen margarita (even in winter -- it's worth it!)

Need a night club fix? If an all-night party is what you seek, make the trek to the infamous Slopes nightclub in Tannersville.

Shopping

Highmount and the surrounding area is quiet in terms of shopping; take a drive to discover quirky artisan shops, or explore further out of town for specialty stores.

Terra Books in Prattsville (35 mins drive) boasts a collection of used and rare books, as well as poetry and records.

Half an hour away in Ashland, check out Aaron’s Antique II, Brewed Awakenings, a consigned furniture and antique store complemented by a wine and beer lounge.

The tiny Circle W General Store in Palenville sells organic and natural products that make for interesting gifts.

Activities

The Belleayre Ski Area doesn't have much to offer in its immediate surroundings, but neighboring towns like Woodstock and Phoenicia are just a 15-20 minutes drive, and worth the trip for their offerings in history and culture.

Browse The Center For Photography At Woodstock, a non-profit gallery where regional and national artists consistently showcase their word.

Catch a concert at the Bearsville Theater, which was started by music industry bigshot Alan Grossman.

Treat the kids to an open studio or workshop at Fiber Flame Studio, where visitors craft original, multimedia pieces in a lighthearted space.

Tips

It’s best to have a car at Belleayre to take advantage of surrounding sights and attractions.

Kids 6 and under ski free!

The Adirondacks: Ski Resorts

The Adirondacks are home to dozens of ski resorts (some of which you’ve hear of…many youo haven’t!) They occupy a vast portion of upstate New York. Getting there from the city requires 1-2 additional hours of driving, but the resorts are larger than those in the Catskills, and the terrain more challenging.

Whiteface

Whiteface is famous for hosting downhill ski racing events in two past winter Olympics (and if its spooky steeps you seek, this is the resort for you). The resort is located 20 minutes from downtown Lake Placid, which has maintained all its 1980 Olympic venues. The Olympic Training Center still hosts high-level athletes for camps and trainings, and the entire family can cruise around town for tours of most venues. Bask in the charm of snowy sidewalks and streets draped in icicle lights, enjoy the excellent shopping and dining, and make turns on world-famous slopes.

Cheat Sheet:

Stay…at the historic Hotel North Woods for comfortable, spacious rooms downtown.

Ski…Cloudspin, host of the men’s Olympic downhill, if you dare.

Fine Dining…Book advanced reservations at The View for an elegant dinner.

Cheap Eats…Grab a sandwhich or juice to go from the café at Green Goddess Natural Market.

Après...at the Lake Placid Pub & Brewery, a not-so-secret local spot for craft beer.

Shop...at Cornerstone Rustic & Craft Gallery for high-end goods and artisan products.

Off The Slopes…take a bobsled ride at the Olympic Sports Complex.

Terrain

Whiteface is not-so-fondly known as Iceface by some of its frequent visitors for its unparalleled steeps and hard pack snow. Yes, the terrain can be challenging on the upper mountain. But intermediate trails from the summit can take you down the entire 3,430 vertical drop (the most significant on the East coast), and the views are stunning. The Cloudsplitter Gondola is one of 11 lifts that service the 87 trails, 30% of which are marked expert. This is The Olympic Mountain, and no matter what your level, you’ll find something to challenge you.

Lodging

After hosting the 1980 Olympics, the lodging options in Lake Placid grew exponentially. Our favorites are the cozy inns and boutique hotels.

Luxury

The Whiteface Lodge is the ultimate luxury getaway: gorgeous suites with handcrafted Adirondack charm, high-end spa, and immediate access to all Lake Placid activities.

Mid-Range

For a homey, elegant stay, book a room at the Lake House, which overlooks Mirror Lake just 10 minutes walk from downtown. 

Value

You can’t beat Hotel North Woods for its convenient downtown location.

Food

Lake Placid dining is chock full of Adirondack charm, and while you can find anything to suit your palate in this town, it’s the perfect place to splurge on fine steaks and seafood.

Step into the warm, romantic ambiance of The Brown Dog Café & Wine Bar for inspired fare like their smoked duck quesadilla.

Enjoy and evening of good wine, gourmet food, and ultimate rustic elegance at The View.

Artisans at the Lake Placid Lodge offers elegant farm-to-table fare in a rustic Adirondack setting; the $95 tasting menu is not to be missed.

 

Nightlife

Lake Placid is not lacking in nightlife, and weekends are always lively with music and late-night bar scenes.

Don’t miss Roomers Night Club, which features rockin’ DJs, a spacious dance floor, and theme nights like Twisted Tuesday and Warped Wednesday.

Zig Zags on Main Street hosts live music most weekends; it’s been a long-time watering hole for locals.

For late night food, darts, and billiards, duck into Wiseguys; an old-fashioned juke box is usually cranking out good tunes.

Shopping

Lake Placid shopping prides itself on the best Adirondack goods and furnishings, as well as specialty products by local artisans.

For everything rustic, shop at the Adirondack Store, which stocks elegant home furnishings and décor; antler chandelier, anyone?

Cornerstone Rustic & Craft Gallery boasts a collection of unique handmade goods – great for you, or for gifts.

For local natural body care products, stop by Pure Placid, which specializes in soaps, lotions, and fine fragrances.

Activities

Lake Placid is a destination for winter activities, many of which revolve around the Olympic Sports Complex.

Take the whole family down the ½ mile bobsled iced track, and get a team photo to commemorate the experience.

Mushers along Main Street will gladly take you on a dog sled ride across Mirror Lake.

Get out of the cold and into some family fun at Bowlwinkles, which features bowling, and arcade, and laser tag arena.

Tips

Remember: Whiteface is not just for advanced skiers – take advantage of the top-notch snowsports school to work on your skills and explore the mountain with a professional instructor.

The slopes are so empty mid-week that the mountain resembles an exclusive resort; extend your weekend getaway by a day or two to enjoy this perk.

Gore Mountain

Gore is nestled in the mountains of North Creek, New York, and boasts 4 peaks of extensive terrain, as well as stunning Adirondack scenery. The resort offers the most skiable acreage of any New York ski area. Gore is a 4 hour drive from Manhatten, and weekend warriors swear the travel time is worth it. The best part? Gore has all the modern infrastructure of a high-end resort with the friendly vibes of a mom-and-pop hill.

Cheat Sheet:

Stay…at the Black Mountain Lodge, 3 miles from Gore Mountain, for tidy rooms at incredible value.

Ski…Pipeline Traverse to Little Gore Mountain for an off-the-beaten-path cruiser.

Fine Dining…Enjoy a daily-changing menu of locally sourced foods in a small, intimate setting at barVino.

Cheap Eats…Drop by Marsha's Family Restaurant for breakfast and lunch comfort food at a great price.

Après...at the remodeledTannery Pub & Restaurant for good drinks in a relaxing space.

Shop...at Hudson River Trading Co. for unique furniture, clothing, and gifts.

Off The Slopes…take a free shuttle to night tubing at Gore-operated North Creek Ski Bowl.

Terrain

Gore boasts 439 skiable acres and 109 trails serviced by 15 lifts. The resort rates just 10% of their terrain as beginner, while 50% of the slopes are rated intermediate. While they pride themselves on their advanced terrain, the learning area for new skiers and riders is excellent.

Lodging

Lodging in and around North Creek varies; chain hotels are popular for families seeking simple digs, while high-end B&Bs offer country charm in cozy settings.

Luxury

The Copperfield Inn offers spacious rooms, sauna, health center, and elegant sitting room with fireplace.

Mid-Range

Book a room with gas fireplace and Jacuzzi at the Alpine Lodge on Main Street, which is known for top-notch hospitality.

Value

The Black Mountain Lodge is a favorite for families and those on a budget; most rooms are priced under $100.

Food

The restaurant scene caters largely to families, and quick, convenient dinners can be found almost everywhere. The fine dining options offer farm-to-table gourmet meals in elegant settings.

Award-winning barVino offers a creative menu in casual elegance; dedicated to using farm-fresh ingredients, call ahead to find out the evening’s menu.

Dine at Basil & Wick’s for classic international fare like pork osso buco and slow smoked baby back ribs.

Enjoy the old-time décor of Trappers Tavern and the hearty pub-style menu; be sure to ask the story behind the bull moose mounted on the front wall.

Nightlife

Nightflife around Gore Mountain is relatively quiet; opt for a mellow night out at one of the local bars or restaurants.

Don’t miss The Barking Spider, a tiny dive nestled into Main Street, for old-school atmosphere and generous drinks.

Stop into Black Mountain Restaurant after dinner for good beers served by friendly staff; this is a good spot to watch sports and listen to occasional live music.

For a laid-back night, barVino hosts live music Wednesdays from 7-9; check the weekly schedule for details.

Shopping

Drive along Main Street and around downtown and you’ll find dozens of unique shops with handcrafted goods. Here are some of the best spots:

You won’t find anything quite like the Hudson River Trading Co., which boasts an impressive collection of gifts, clothes, gear, and local products.

For artisan cheeses and a peek into an animal sanctuary, head to the Nettle Meadow Farm cheese store, open daily 11am-3pm.

Cunningham’s Ski Barn at Gore Mountain can outfit you with clothes, gear, and seasonal rentals.

Activities

Many Gore Mountain and North Creek area activities are seasonal; here are our top picks for this winter:

Explore the natural Stone Bridge and caves on 14 miles of marked snowshoe trails.

800 foot chutes serviced by a hand-tow lift make for great tubing at North Creek Ski Bowl.

Tour around the Barkeater Chocolates factory store for handmade treats and a good old fashioned sugar buzz.

Tips

Utilize the ski and snowboard school for specialty adult clinics, like the Glades & Glory camp to master expert terrain.

TheBear Cub Den Daycare offers full day, half day, and by-the-hour childcare services; if it’s just 2 hours of free time you need, this is an ideal option.

Honorable Mentions

Holiday Valley

Holiday Valley in Ellicottville is a four seasons resort with 290 acres skiable terrain spread across 57 trails. The extensive night skiing terrain here is popular, as are the daily mountain tours with mountain ambassadors. The modern lift system keeps you lapping runs, although lines can get long. This resort consistently provides and ease to the family ski vacation through awareness of the little things in life, like offering plenty of picnic lunch spots throughout the mountain. What's the downside? Not much, although the 750 foot vertical rise doesn't provide much terrain for advanced skiers.

Stay…at the Inn At Holiday Valley for comfortable rooms and ski-in/ski-out access to Sunrise Chairlift.

Ski…Fiddler's Elbow to Day's End in the morning for the best corduroy.

Fine Dining…Cozy up to the bar with fine food and a glass of wine at Cadillac Jack's.

Cheap Eats…Drop by Coffee Culture for great coffee and a breakfast sandwich.

Après...slopeside at John Harvard's Brew, with 24 beers on tap and yummy apres eats.

Shop...at Daff for drygoods, boots, shoes, and homegoods.

Off The Slopes…take thrill-seeking kids to the Sky Flyer Mountain Coaster for a ride through the woods.

Bristol Mountain

Bristol Mountain is located in the Finger Lakes Region of New York, just south of Rochester and east of Buffalo. The mountain is home to the region's local skiers and riders, and also serves as a great off-the-beaten-path option for those looking to get far out of the city and into upstate New York. Skiers can play on 1,200 feet of vertical and 35 snowmaking-serviced trails. The town of Canandaigua is quaint, and you certainly won't get any big resort vibes or crowds here. There is a enordic center is located at the summit of the mountain, a child care center at the base, and a tuning center for all your ski maintenance needs. Head to Bristol Mountain for an authentic (and very small!) ski town experience.

Stay…at the the Bristol Harbour Resort's rooms or cottages, just under 4 miles from the mountain.

Ski…Upper to Lower North Star off Lift 6 by early afternoon for the best light.

Fine Dining…Relax in the Upstairs Bistro at the New York Wine & Culinary Center, which offers fine lunches and dinners.

Cheap Eats…Don't miss the belgian waffles at the slopeside Morning Star Cafe.

Après...with cocktails and apps at the Satellite Lounge in Rocket Lodge.

Shop...at the Olde Homestead Country Store for folk art, antiques, and collectibles.

Off The Slopes…cash in on the brand new Zip Line Canopy Tour, which features 5,000 feet of zip lines high above the slopes.

Catamount

Situated next to the Massachusettes border in Hillsdale, New York, Catamount Ski Area spreads across 130 skiable acres and 36 trails and terrain park areas. It's the Berkshires resort that caters to skiers from New York, Connecticut, and Massachusettes alike. The mountain continues to build its reputation as the most beginner-friendly resort in the area: a whopping 40% of terrain is rated as beginner. The Meadows learning area creats a safe space for new skiers and riders. Hometown Hillsdale has some small shops reminiscent of small town halcyon times that can still be captured in the laid-back community.

Stay…at the Swiss Hutte, a charming country inn within walking distance of the ski area.

Ski…Ridge Run to Upper and Lower Promenade, which, at 2.5 miles, is the longest run in the Berkshires.

Fine Dining…Treat yourself to a meal at the Crossroads Food Shop, a gourmet farm-to-table restaurant in the heart of Hillsdale.

Cheap Eats…Drive 3 miles down State Route 23 to dine at the historic Mount Washington House, a 133 year old tavern with pub fare and billiards.

Après...slopeside at Tavern with microbrews and spirited cocktails.

Shop...at Neumann Fine Art for original works by local artists.

Off The Slopes…take to woods via the South Taconic Trail off Route 23 for a scenic walk.

Ready to go play in your own backyard? We can help you craft your perfect ski getaway by hooking you up with the best New York ski vacation deals around. Click here for more info. Happy skiing!