Yes, you can head out of the city to the slopes and back without breaking your bank or your actual back. The resorts listed below are definitely doable in a day. If you’d rather not DIY it, check out Emilio’s Ski Shop in Queens, OvRride, and Urban Sherpa for the best bus trips. By Jessica Allen.
Located in the Poconos of northeastern Pennsylvania, Camelback Mountain is about two or so hours from New York. With 34 trails almost equally balanced among “most difficult,” “more difficult,” and “easier,” Camelback attracts skiers of all levels (note: about 9 percent of the trails are considered “expert”). And it boasts the biggest snowtubing park in the U.S. (42 lanes!!!). Regardless of whether you’re there to ski, snowboard, or snow-tube, you’ll appreciate the fact that the resort makes snow on every one of its acres, so everything can stay open no matter the weather.
Tucked deep in the Catskills, Hunter Mountain is about two hours from the city by car. The resort focuses primarily on skiing and snowboarding, and boasts a very popular, very lively ski resort for when you need to warm up. Beginners will appreciate the Learning Center, which combines one-on-one instruction with high-tech equipment in a special beginners-only area, while experts will flip for the area’s moguls and powder. If you’re looking to buy, be sure to stop in at Hunter’s Demo Center, where you can get fitted and try out new equipment.
The fine folks at Emilio’s Ski Shop have been coordinating day trips to area ski resorts for years and years. Trips run “on a tight schedule and a tight budget,” but each one includes lift tickets and round-trip transportation with bathrooms and movies. The trip to Vermont’s Mount Snow takes about four hours (one way), but you’ll be rewarded with well-maintained trails for skiing (both downhill and cross-country), tubing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling. There’s an on-site spa too. For a truly unique experience, book a two-hour ride on a sled pulled by Siberian huskies.
Metro-North offers package deals to Thunder Ridge Ski Area, just 70 miles north of Manhattan, on the so-called Ski Train. The resort particularly caters to families with 30 trails, a comprehensive ski school, and 100+ acres covered in the beautiful, fluffy white stuff. Snowboarders will revel in the terrain park, with two tires, a trapezoid rail, a rainbow box rail, and other totally shreddable features. (You can rent what you need, with no extra charge for helmets.) Check the website for great discounts, especially mid-week specials.
About two hours from NYC and ideal for families, Windham Mountain Resort has 54 trails spread over 285 skiable acres. The skiing is great, sure, but we love the variety of programs and lessons, from Own It, which offers beginners three days of lessons and their very own skis, to I Heart Snowboarding, affiliated with the American Heart Association and specifically designed for women. If you’ve got young ones in tow, you’ll definitely want to head over to the Adventure Park, featuring zip lines, snow tubing, ice-skating, and kid-sized snowmobiles.