Hit the Mountains in Style—in a Charter Bus
It’s winter and if you live in the northern United States, that means it’s time to hit the slopes. There’s nothing quite like the freedom and exhilaration that come with schussing down the side of a mountain on a sunny day. There’s a tendency to think of heading west to Colorado, Wyoming and California for the best skiing, but serious skiers will tell you that many of the primo places to downhill are in New England and the American northeast. But a ski vacation can be a real hassle if you plan to travel to and from the resort on your own. Do you really want to try to pack everything into and on top of your car, traverse snowy or slippery roads or have to get behind the wheel after a long day on skis? There’s an easy way to make it a real vacation—rent a charter bus from BusRental.com and let us handle all the details.
Finding the Ideal Ski Resort in the Northeast
With the immense popularity of downhill skiing in America, there are literally hundreds of places to go in the northeastern United States. Here are what many consider to be the top five resorts in New England and the surrounding area:
- Killington Mountain Resort and Ski Area—Rutland, Vermont: This popular destination, located in southcentral Vermont, offers visitors the largest ski area in the eastern United States, as well as the largest vertical drop of any resort in New England. Known as the “beast of the East” among ski buffs, Killington descends more than 3,000 feet from its high point and offers more than 1,500 acres of ski areas. The resort has 21 lifts, including gondolas, quads, triples, doubles and surface lifts, and is divided almost equally between beginner, intermediate and advanced slopes. Located in a snow belt, Killington averages about 250 inches of snow every year, but more than doubles that output with snowmaking machines.
Killington typically has the longest season of any resort on along the East Coast and the entire resort is pretty open to skiers, from the woodland trails to some of the most challenging moguls in the country. It’s also consistently rated as one of the best “après ski” resorts in the nation, especially at the many bars and restaurants along Killington Road, from the Wobbly Barn and the Pickle Barrel to Casey’s Caboose and Outback Pizza.
- Whiteface Mountain Ski Resort—Lake Placid, New York: Nestled in the Adirondacks in northeast New York state, about 13 miles from Lake Placid, this resort hosted the alpine skiing races in the 1980 Winter Olympic Games. Started prior to the Great Depression, Whiteface Mountain officially opened for business in 1935. Because of the terrain and because of Adirondack park regulations, it’s nearly impossible to build much at the base of the mountain. As a result, when you’re on or near the mountain, it’s a pretty unspoiled and spectacular view of the mountains and wilderness—the nearest “village” is about 10 miles away.
Whiteface has the longest vertical in New York state at 3,430 feet, almost 600 feet longer than Squaw Valley. You’ll find nearly 90 trails spanning more than 22 miles over three majestic peaks and 98% of the trails have snowmaking coverage. Try the Wilmington Trail, at 2.1 miles the longest intermediate run in the Northeast.
There are a couple bars at the resort, but they close soon after the slopes, so you’ll want to head in to Lake Placid, where you’ll find world class cuisine and great watering holes along Main Street.
- Okemo Mountain Resort—Ludlow, Vermont: Located 12 miles outside of Londonderry and 120 from Boston, this immensely popular resort, which derives its name from the Native American for “All Come Home,” gets more than 600,000 visitors every year. Named by Parents Magazine as the top family snow resort in the country a few years ago, Okemo has 121 runs, including the 4.5 mile Mountain Road trail. Approximately 98% of the trails have snowmaking coverage. The resort gets about 200 inches of snowfall on average and offers more than 660 acres of skiable area. There are 13 chair lifts and seven surface lifts to get you up the mountain and the trails are pretty equally allocated to novice, intermediate and advanced skill levels.
Okemo is renowned for the historic feeling, as well as the outstanding accommodations at the base of the mountains, with no less than five lodges that provide a wide range of amenities to skiers. Each lodge offers food and après ski libations, and there’s hotel-style lodging at the Jackson Gore Base Lodge. There’s a Thai Noodle bowl station at the Sugarhouse Cafe or you can head over to Smoky Joe’s for barbeque, wings and a cold beer. When you’ve worked up a big appetite on the slopes, try the Epic as Solitude, where you can get fried chicken with a Vermont maple sugar glaze or a bowl of New England clam chowder and side of seasoned fries. The Loft Tavern has the best selection of local and regional craft beers and an awesome burger—all at a great price.
- Cranmore Mountain—North Conway, New Hampshire: If you’re looking for the whole ski package—slopes, shopping, dining and après ski opportunities—Cranmore Mountain is at the top of the list. With 10 lifts and 57 trails over more than 200 acres, and a vertical drop of 1,200 feet, it’s not one of the biggest mountains or resorts in the northeast, but it offers an unparalleled variety of attractions at prices affordable to just about everyone. You’ll find one of the largest brand-name outlet malls in New England near the village of North Conway, as well as hotels, bed and breakfasts and inns just a short trip from the base of the mountain…and chances are you’ll never forget the breathtaking views of Mt. Washington and the Presidential Range as you schuss down the west-facing slopes.
In addition to the shopping, you’ll enjoy the many culinary options around Cranmore, from Zip’s Pub and Grill to the Lookout Lounge. The Flatbread Company has amazing pizza or swing by Delaney’s Hole in the Wall for sushi, fried green beans or mud pie. To slake your thirst, stop by Moat Mountain Smokehouse and Brewing Company, though you’ll want to get there early. It’s a hoppin’ place.
- Sunday River—Newry, Maine: With 135 runs spread over 870 acres, this is the top ski resort in Maine. Sunday River offers 15 lifts, including a chondola and four high-speed quads, offering a vertical drop of more than 2,300 feet. The trails connect eight mountain peaks, with the longest run coming in at approximately three miles. Sunday River gets more than 150 inches of snow every year, but has snowmaking coverage of about 92%. The runs are equally divided for use by beginner, intermediate and advanced skiers. There’s lodging on the mountain, at the Jordan Hotel, the Grand Summit Hotel, the Snowcap Inn and at more than 100 private condominiums.
When you’re done skiing or need to take a break, you’ll find plenty of options at Sunday River or in nearby Bethel. At the resort, enjoy the Foggy Goggle, where they serve up the local craft brew legend Leap IPA from Sebago Frye. The Goggle also offers live music and great grub, including famous nachos and lobster rolls. For a more laid-back ambience, head over the Barker Bar at Barker Lodge and warm up by the fireplace. In Bethel, there’s the Sunday River Brewing Company and the Sudbury Inn, the best local spot for fine dining.
There Are Lots of Great Reasons to Travel by Charter Bus
When you’re considering the different ways to get to and from the mountains, there’s nothing that compares to a charter bus:
- You’ll have flexibility—When you rent a charter bus, you don’t have to choose from a limited number of prepackaged trips. You tell us where you want to go, when you want to be there and how long you want to stay. In many instances, you can even change plans midstream.
- You can count on us—With a charter bus, delays and cancellations are virtually unheard of.
- You’ll be safe—Our drivers are the best in the world, with extensive training to respond to any situation. In addition, because of the limited access to the bus, you and your personal items will always be safe and secure.
- You’ll have room to move—Our coaches have large, comfy seats and the aisles give you room to roam.
- You’ll be able to relax—We’ll take you door-to-door and we’ll handle the parking, the traffic and the map.
The largest charter bus broker in the nation, US Coachways has been an industry leader and innovator for more than 30 years, providing quality coaches to more than 35,000 events every year. To learn more about your options or to get a quote, call 1-888-502-3458 to talk to one of our experienced agents.