Ski the East: Sugarbush
While we may have just changes the clocks, winter is definitely still here. Stella brought the powder once again to Vermont. So this St. Patrick’s Day weekend, you should be hitting the slopes at my favorite mountain in the East—Sugarbush.
I love Sugarbush so much because it is a mountain that truly has something for everyone. With 2 mountains, 6 peaks and 3 terrain parks, Sugarbush has what you need. Whether you are a family with young children or a couple looking for a romantic Vermont escape, you will enjoy your time up in Warren, VT.
For all my skiers out there, I know all you care about is the inside scoop on the trails. So here goes:
- Get up early for first chair on Gate House Express Quad, then cruise down Pushover or the lift line to warm up.
- Then, head to your right when you get off the lift to slide over to Super Bravo to head up the mountain.
- From here it gets fun. I love to ease into the day by shooting down Downspout to Heaven’s Gate so I can head to the top of Lincoln Peak.
- If you are lucky enough to be at Sugarbush on a sunny day, take a moment to pause at the top of Heaven’s Gate and admire the gorgeous view, the best at the resort. (Pro tip, there is a little outpost that you can climb up to for an even better view)
- At the top of the peak is where the pros and the hobbyists separate. Head down Paradise or Organgrinder if you want some challenging fun or head over to Jester if you want to enjoy big sweeping turns and more views. (I always head to Jester—actually my favorite trail on the mountain!)
- Like I said, Sugarbush has some of everything, there are many gladed trails through the mountain, as well as some fun terrain parks sprinkled throughout.
Where to Eat
Besides the great skiing, it is the food scene that will keep you coming back again and again. Lets start with on mountain dining. While you’re out there skiing, one place you must experience is Allyn’s Lodge. This cute little warming hut/lodge is located just at the top of Super Bravo—get the chili! And for dinner on the mountain, you need to go to Timbers. In the center of it all, the gorgeous round red barn shaped building will welcome you with a cozy, mountain lodge atmosphere and some of the best farm to table food Vermont has to offer. While everything on their menu is fabulous, you can’t go wrong with the bacon cheeseburger and a charcuterie plate. (I mean you need that protein after all those runs down Jester!)
Now for off mountain dining, there is one place that anyone who has skied Sugarbush will tell you about and that’s American Flatbread. Just a few minutes down the road, this restaurant is so much more than a pizza joint. Housed in a large old barn, with an outdoor fire pit and the biggest exposed pizza oven/hearth you’ve ever seen, it is a must.
For some reason pizza after a long day of skiing is just what the doctor ordered. But, don’t neglect their AMAZINGLY fresh salads either.
With inventive combinations and delicious local ingredients, the salads and flatbreads, along with a great craft beer selection, will keep the whole crew happy and reenergized for a weekend of skiing.
If you want a fun Apres scene, there are a few spots to check out. Immediately after the last run head to Wunderbar inside the Valley House Lodge, and for pre dinner drinks head to the bar at Timbers. Also, if you are looking for something out of the ordinary to do before dinner, go on a Cabin Cat Adventure, particularly the Sunset Groomer Ride to the top of Lincoln Peak. The ride is so much fun, it is quite exhilarating to ride UP the mountain! But be prepared it can be very chilly at the top once the sun has gone down!
Where to Stay
The best place to stay is at the on mountain hotel—Clay Brook. With luxury suites able to accommodate large families, this is a ski on ski off no brainer. But there are also many condos mountainside that are available for seasonal rentals as well. Also, in a pinch Airbnb will also do the trick.
Sugarbush is just 3 hours from Boston and surprisingly the traffic on a Friday evening is bearable as long as you wait until 7pm to leave the city.