It's been a pretty mild winter so far on Long Island, with little snow to speak of. But that doesn't mean that there's any lack of the white stuff in Upstate New York and New England, which have been inundated with snow early and often this season. For those who'd like to make the most of winter, here are some suggestions for places in Snow Country where you can enjoy the snow, and then enjoy a cosy crackling fire after you come in from the slopes.
Smugglers' Notch, Vermont, was voted "America's Top Family Ski Resort" by "Skiing Magazine." In addition to cross-country and alpine skiing, there'ssnowboarding, snowshoeing, ice skating and an indoor pool, plusa Child Enrichment Center for ages 3 to 5 that offers everything from storytelling to sleigh rides. For older children, aged 6 to 10, there's a Snow Rangers Camp, with skiing and snowboarding lessons and a science discovery program. Then there's a Notch Squad, ages 11 to 14, which emphasizes improving skiing and snowboarding in a more challenging atmosphere, and for teens 15 to 17, there's the Mountain Explorers Program, adding snow soccer, water polo and social activities. Family activities include ski races, snowmobiling, Game Night, Karaoke Night and more. Located in the up-scale Stowe area of Northern Vermont, "Smuggs" offers a host of weekly family packages that can suit almost any size family and budget, from studios to five-bedroom condominiums. The resort is also within striking distance of a number of year-round Vermont attractions, including Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Factory, the Shelburne Museum, the Cabot Creamery, the Trapp Family Lodge and the Vermont Maple Outlet. For information, go to www.smuggs.com, or call (800) 419-4615.
Mountain Top Inn, located in Chittenden, Vermont, is 11 miles from the popular Killington Ski Resort complex. Mountain Top is a four-season resort that's great for couples or family getaways. It offers cross-country skiing and snowshoeing on site. Another attraction of Mountain Top is its gourmet restaurant, which brings the sophistication of big city dining to a country setting. The restaurant's tantalizing "New American" features tantalizing dishes. There is also an extensive wine list, and in fact, the restaurant's "Wine Dinners," held periodically during the year, are usually sold out. There are 41 rooms in Mountain Top, which has undergone extensive renovations since the resort was taken over by Steve and Lauren Bryant in June of 2002. The renovation was highlighted by the introduction of a floor of luxury mountain lodge rooms, with whirlpool baths and oversized beds. For more information, or to make a reservation, call 1-800-445-2100, or log on to www.mountaintopinn.com.
The Adirondack Region in upstate New York is a skier's paradise and the fact that several Winter Olympics have been held in the area says all you need to know. Gore and Whiteface Mountains are top downhill ski areas, and Garnet Hill Lodge, (800-497-4207, www.garnet-hill.com, is a great place for cross-country skiing. A fabulous place to stay in the region is the Fern Lodge in Chestertown (518) 494-7238, www.thefernlodge.com.