Killington – good-sized and impressively varied terrain…and getting busier, more expensive, and less friendly every year. East Coast boarders with too much money will probably do just fine, though they’ll need to go a little too far for the nightlife they want.
Stowe – Winter has arrived and its time to put away your own, as well as your kids golf clubs, and take out the ski equipment. You may have enjoyed the Stowe Mountain Club Golf Course which meanders along the slopes of Mount Mansfield and Spruce Peak, while providing a dynamic setting with its unmatched beauty among Vermont golf courses during the other three seasons of the year, but it is now time to ski. Although Stowe offers great views, sizable (for NE) vertical, fun apres-ski environment with good food choices, decent park, so-so wait times, but ridiculous lift prices. Overall, it is one of the better Eastern destinations.
Mount Snow – the skiing is as good as Stowe, also pretty much as expensive as Stowe, and without Stowe’s nightlife and service quality to balance out the older facilities and generally less helpful service. It’s hard to recommend.
Okemo – very attractive mountain for greenish-blue skiers, though flatter and not as varied as some other VT spots. Crowds and costs about average (i.e, tolerable if you’re having a great day otherwise), but nearby Ludlow helps to make this a great family-friendly option.
Sugarbush – nice terrain and woods, geared mainly toward dark blue, one of the best spots in the East when the weather is right. A bit pricey, but never too busy. Not a lot to do in the immediate area, but some decent local places within a short drive. During the other months of the year, enjoy their Robert Trent Jones, Sr. masterpiece 18 holes course at Sugarbush Golf Club. Designed with respect for the natural setting and its breathtaking vistas, the par-71 course is as beautiful as the game itself.
Stratton – can get busy and expensive, but otherwise a good choice for glades and cruisers, nothing too challenging but surprisingly good for boarders…and a nice village on top of everything else, with Manchester close by if you need more.
Jay Peak – great trees and impressive snow make this a NE must-ski, especially for backcountry fans. High winds and ice can be a problem, but not really any more than any other Eastern destination. Great little ski town nearby for some unpretentious and laid-back apres-ski.
Mad River Glen – THE hardcore NE destination for people who are serious about skiing. No boarders, no boundaries, no business interests…very much like a step back in time. Quite steep for the East, with plenty of trees and very reasonable cost and crowd levels (though weekends can strain that). Not at all recommended for beginners and families looking for a vacation resort experience.
Bromley – nice but unspectacular medium-sized mountain, catering to intermediate skiers. Laid-back, old-fashioned atmosphere with excellent cost and overall attitude, so families should have a great time (if everyone is relatively skilled).
Smugglers Notch – great glades! Decent backcountry for adventurous blue-to-black skiers, but offers the most for green-to-blue. Slow-moving lifts but not especially crowded, and ideal for extended family stays.