The East Coast, USA has great ski destinations that have been designed with families in mind. Whether you are looking for a day trip or a weekend away, you will most likely find a place to stay not far from where you live; if you live in a colder region. Many of the ski destinations offer much more than skiing to add value to your getaway. Some offer tubing, mountain rollercoasters, indoor waterparks, snow shoeing and more.
I collaborated with fellow bloggers to compile a list of our 5 favorite ski destinations for families on the East Coast. In addition you will find a guide for beginner skiers.
Massanutten Resort, Virginia
Recommended by Erin from Go Hike Virginia
Virginia has just four ski resorts, but a favorite ski destination for families is Massanutten Resort. Here you’ll find 12 ski runs, including three greens, six blues and two blacks, as well as private and semi-private ski and snowboard lessons for the 2020-2021 ski season. The resort also has an outdoor ice skating rink and a massive snow tubing park with 16 snow tubing lanes.
Local hiking trails reward with snow-capped mountain views. Shenandoah National Park is a mere 30-minute drive, allowing easy access to popular hikes, like Bearfence Mountain. More than 100 miles of the iconic Appalachian Trail run through the park, too.
For indoor fun, Massanutten’s indoor water park has a lazy river, water slides and a gigantic water-powered playground. The resort even has three escape rooms and family activities, like cooking demos and creative arts classes.
Across the 6,000-acre four-season mountain resort, look for stays of all kinds, ranging from rental homes and condos to guest rooms at on-property hotels. All types have kitchens or kitchenettes. For those who prefer that someone else do the cooking, dine-out options range from casual fare to upscale cuisine.
Killington Mountain Ski Resort, Vermont
Recommended by Leeanne Alduino Miller, In The Olive Groves
Killington Ski Area is known as “The Beast of the East.” It boasts the most terrain as well as being the largest mountain resort in the northeast. However, don’t let the size intimidate you, Killington is a great ski destination for families. While still providing all the challenging terrain for the most seasoned skiers and riders. Let’s talk stats, the resort consists of:
22 lifts, one being the new 6 pack ‘bubble’ lift
73 miles of skiing
3 main terrain parks with 1 added in the early season and a different 1 added in the late season
6 lodges and many food shacks around the different mountains
We’ve been skiing Killington mountain as a family since Evelyn was 2 years old. My husband loves skiing and has definitely instilled in our girls that love. Going up for weekends as well as on days off from school and school vacation weeks is something, we make a priority.
We all have our favorite runs which we try and get to at least once every day we are there. Introducing new trails to the girls each trip is something to help us expand our favorites. Our girls have started to enjoy the woods trails. I love how the mountain is set up. My husband can take the girls into the woods and I can still ski alongside on a groomed trail. They have also started going through the terrain parks. Luckily, they haven’t tried anything too crazy yet so I’m okay for the moment.
There are several things we really like about the Killington Mountain Ski Resort. First, the wide variety of terrain, second the many lodges and food shacks, third having all the lifts. We have fallen in love with the new ‘bubble’ lift that opened last year.
Parents will be happy about the childcare services. For ages 12 weeks to 12 years, the staff will entertain your kiddos for either a half or the whole day. Your child can also take ski lessons as part of the childcare package. They will start children with an hour ski lesson as young as 2 years old.
For kids who just want to ski, they offer either a half-day or a full-day lesson package. They also offer teen and adult group and private lessons.
Killington Mountain Ski Resort offers so much it’s no wonder everyone loves this resort.
Not a skier, no problem check out some of these pretty towns in New England.
Jiminy Peak Ski Resort, Hancock MA
Recommended by Heather Jandrue, Life at My Own Pace
Jiminy Peak Ski Resort is the largest ski and snowboard resort in Southern New England. Located in Hancock, Massachusetts, it is a three-hour drive from Boston and New York City, and an hour from Albany, NY and Springfield, MA. With its slope-side accommodations, a village with shops and restaurants on-site, it makes for a great family ski resort on the East Coast. The resort has nine lifts, 45 runs with an 1150 feet vertical rise. The Summit elevation is 2,380 feet (base elevation 1,245 feet). Jiminy is a great resort for families and beginners, but also has long, steep advanced trails. The resort is home to three terrain parks and offers a ski and snowboarding school for children and adults. There is night-time skiing and plenty of snowmaking. After a long day on the slopes, warm up and enjoy a hearty meal at one of the many restaurants, lounges, or taverns.
Fun Fact: Jiminy Peak is the only ski resort in New England to generate its own power using alternative wind power.
Camelback Mountain, Poconos PA
Camelback Mountain, located in the Poconos, is an easy 90 minute drive from NYC, 2-hours from Philadelphia, and 2 1/2 hours from Baltimore. The Camelback resort is one of the best ski-destinations for families on the East Coast as it offers many other winter activities than skiing.
Camelback has 39 trails, 166 acres of slopes, 800ft vertical rise, and boasts one of the only ski-in/ski-out resorts in the Poconos. Camelback offers a ski-school for beginners or those that need to brush up on their skills.
If you are done skiing, but not done with being outside in the snow, then head over to the snow tubing park. The snow-tubing park is the biggest in the U.S. There are 42 lanes, 2 magic carpet lifts. They even light it up for night time tubing, featuring music and disco lights. It’s ok if the kids want to tube late into the night because you can relax around a large fire, while sipping on a glass of wine or beer from the bar trailer.
If you need a break from skiing and tubing, there is still plenty to do at Camelback. You and the kids can take a ride down the mountain coaster, go for a zip on the zip-line, or try your skills on the treetop obstacle course. If you are tired of being outside or your fingers are getting numb, there is more to do at the resort. Don’t forget to pack your bathing suit because Camelback has an indoor waterpark that was voted USA Today’s 2019 #1 Indoor Waterpark.
Wisp Mountain, McHenry MD
Wisp Mountain is located in Western Maryland. It is a 2 hour drive from Pittsburgh, PA and about 3 hours from Washington DC and Baltimore, MD. Wisp has 34 ski trails on 172 acres. Wisp offers ski-school for beginners and kids, or for those that need a refresher. The resort also snow tubing that opens early in the morning and remains open into the evening. If you want to try out snowshoeing or cross-country skiing, Wisp has plenty of trails dedicated to these outdoor adventures. If you and your family like roller-coasters then don’t miss the mountain-coaster at Wisp. You get pulled up 1500 feet on your coaster cart. Once you hit the crest, your coast cart careens down 3500 feet of twisty turny coaster track.
Just Learning to Ski? No Problem.
Skiing for beginners. Contributed by Lisa Madarerino, PlanningAway
The East Coast is a great spot to learn to ski. With over 178 different resorts to choose from you are sure to find something that you will love.
Learning to ski on the East Coast is a great option. Ski school access is available at almost every resort. Another great benefit is the fact that most of the resorts are smaller which allows beginner skiers to feel very comfortable with the terrain. Most resorts on the east coast have a large number of green (easy) and blue (intermediate) trails compared to the more intense black.
The East Coast is known to have a more icy trail experience. This can actually be very beneficial as you learn to ski. You will learn to be a technical skier and use your equipment (skis) to stop and start in a way that you would not experience at resorts out west.
One of the best parts about skiing on the East Coast is that most resorts are an easy drive if you are located in the New England area. Learning to ski on the East Coast is a great idea!
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