Travel & Culture

Ski Stratton’s Slopes

March 11, 2024

Just a four-hour drive from Montreal (or a mere 90 minutes from the airport in Albany, N.Y.), Stratton Mountain Resort, which is the highest peak in Southern Vermont, offers 99 trails and many groomed trails–making it a preferred destination for those new to skiing and families with children just learning to ski. The town’s tree-lined roads, evergreens heavy with snow clinging to the branches, more than deliver that quintessential Vermont winter dream. And here’s an extra bonus: if you’ve already got an Ikon Pass, you’re covered at Stratton so you can enjoy a bit more skiing this season by discovering terrain other than Mont Tremblant and Blue Mountain. —Karen Kwan


Book your rentals in advance on the phone or online with Ski Butlers so you can skip the task of going to the gear shop. Ski Butlers will bring and fit your equipment right at your accommodations at a time convenient for you. Check out the Premium Package available at Stratton, which includes custom skis from New England ski brand Parlor in partnership with Ski Butlers, which feature an illustration of the Stratton Mountain’s topography. On the slopes and on the chairlift, you’ll meet plenty of New Yorkers (Stratton is the go-to mountain for those from the five boroughs given its proximity). While not known for being the most challenging mountain, there’s lots of terrain beginner and intermediate skiers will love and high-speed lifts that ensure you can take on as many runs as you want to throughout the day.


Directly across the street from the village, Long Trail House is a comfortable condo complex, with gas fireplaces in each unit. You’ll be just steps away from the chair lifts and dining and apres-ski options—making it easy to stumble back to your room after an exhausting day on the mountain.


While Stratton may be lean in expert terrain, it more than makes up for it when it comes to lively village vibes. For après-ski, the deck and bar at Grizzly’s, which has a view of the base area and terrain park, has a reputation for rowdy good times (it’s been voted one of the top après-ski spots in the U.S. several times). Want something a bit more low-key? Head to Mulligan’s in the Village and enjoy trying a sip of something from the extensive list of Vermont distilleries.


Enjoy breakfast in your condo (there’s a full kitchen in each Long Trail House condo) or grab a light bite and coffee at Upper Standard Coffee in the Village. For dinner, hop across the street to the Fire Tower Restaurant and Tavern. This cozy spot (think chalet-inspired interior) gets busy with locals and visitors alike dining on hearty dishes including maple cornbread, wagyu burgers and veal schnitzel. To explore more of the area, head off property to Johnny Seesaw’s. Housed inside a historic roadhouse, a striking open-air fireplace keeps you toasty at this restaurant as you dive into their fine-dining menu. The veggies in particular shine here—try the brussels sprouts served with cashew-ranch, sambal and toasted cashews and the fried lion’s mane mushroom to start and continue with the cider-brined grilled pork chop as a juicy, filling entree.


Just a 30-minute drive from Stratton, you’ll find the charming town of Manchester and an opportunity for some retail therapy. The Manchester Designer Outlets serves up everything from Marimekko, Eddie Bauer, and Micheal Kors to J. Crew and Coco Goose (which carries labels such as Veronica Beard, Rag & Bone and Ulla Johnson). Need souvenirs for family back home? Pick up an award-winning spirit or maple syrup at Smuggler’s Notch Distillery (they’ve got flight-friendly 100-mL bottles) or get a charming craft item at Manchester Woodcraft, a 74-year-old Manchester mainstay.

Scope Out More @ Sugarbush

Planning on more than a couple of days for your ski getaway? Sugarbush is about a two-hour’s drive north (and it’s also part of IKON pass). This bigger mountain has historically been the mountain to see and be seen at. Fashion designers (think Oleg Cassini), models and the Kennedy clan used to be regulars in the 60s and 70s, earning it the name Mascara Mountain. Nowadays, you’ll find challenging terrain over its expanse of 2,600 vertical feet; there are 111 trails over two mountains that will put you to the test. While there’s no village, you’ll find lively après-ski at the rustic Green Mountain Lounge at the base of Mt. Ellen and to fuel you, there’s elevated classic fare at Rumble’s Bistro & Bar, which is in a beautiful 40-foot-vaulted ceiling space inspired by 19th-century Vermont round dairy barns.


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