From beginners to pets to small kids, and more, here are the ideal ski spots for your group.
Written by Amy Moeller | Published on
Photograph by Snowshoe Mountain Resort.
’Tis the season to hit the slopes. Gather your crew and plan a trip—here’s a guide to East Coast ski resorts ideal for all kinds of groups.
FOR GROUPS WITH A LOT OF BEGINNERS
Drive time from DC: About three hours
About one-quarter of this Maryland resort’s 33 trails are rated green, or easy, including a 1.5-mile run (Possum trail) that allows novice skiers to practice their skills on a long, steady stretch. Ready for a bit more challenge? Forty-five percent of the trails are intermediate. For those new to lifts, there are five conveyor carpets, plus a tow rope. The largest lodge rooms hold just six people, but local rental companies Railey Vacations and Taylor-Made Deep Creek Vacations offer a slew of homes within a mile of the resort.
FOR GROUPS WITH PEOPLE WHO DON’T SKI
Snowshoe, West Virginia
Drive time from DC: About four and a half hours
There’s something about the bustling shopping-and-dining village of this West Virginia resort being at the top of the mountain that makes non-skiers feel like they’re still very much a part of the action. Also available to non-skiers: tubing, snowmobile tours, horseback riding, off-roading adventures, plus heated pools, hot tubs, and a spa.
Photographs courtesy of Snowshoe Mountain Resort.
Groups of up to 12 (ages 12 and older) can experience Adventure Dining Tours, which include off-road transportation along a wooded trail to the Sunrise Backcountry Hut for a three-course lunch or dinner. For group accommodations, the resort has condos, villas, and townhouses.
FOR GROUPS WITH CHILDREN
Drive time from DC: About three hours
Virginia’s Wintergreen offers skiing for all levels—almost a third of its 24 trails are green (or easy)—and its children’s ski program includes half- and full-day lessons for those as young as four.
There’s a magic-carpet learning area for anyone taking lessons, and when the kids are done on the slopes, they can enjoy mini-tubing, tunnels, and sledding at Ridgley’s Fun Park (ages three and up). For older kiddos (six and up—adults, too), the Plunge is the largest snow-tubing park in Virginia. Lodging choices include one-to-five-bedroom condominiums as well as private homes with up to nine bedrooms.
FOR GROUPS WITH PETS
Drive time from DC: About three and a half hours
In addition to 33 ski trails, this family-friendly Pennsylvania resort features sleigh rides, snowmobile and snowshoe tours, mini-golf, bowling, and more—plus you can bring your pet. Cats and dogs up to 75 pounds are permitted in the lobby and in designated rooms and condominiums, as well as the Sassafras Cottage, which sleeps ten.
FOR GROUPS WITH EXPERT SKIERS WHO LOVE APRÈS-SKI NIGHTLIFE
Drive time from DC: About eight and a half hours
For those willing to drive a bit farther, this Vermont ski mecca has earned the nickname “Beast of the East” for its vast size (155 trails—83 percent of them rated either “more difficult” or “most/extremely difficult”) and for its 3,050-foot vertical drop. It’s also a resort of choice for après-ski nightlife. Within a few miles of the resort, along the access road, there’s a distillery, a game bar, a steakhouse and nightclub, and even a sushi spot with a craft-beer garden. Groups can stay in the up-to-fourbedroom condos at nearby Highridge Condominiums, two- and three-bedroom suites at the Killington Grand Resort Hotel, or a host of home rentals.
This article appears in the December 2022 issue of Washingtonian.
Editor, Washingtonian Weddings
Amy leads Washingtonian Weddings and writes Style Setters for Washingtonian. Prior to joining Washingtonian in March 2016, she was the editor of Capitol File magazine in DC and before that, editor of What’s Up? Weddings in Annapolis.