Skiing is one of the favorite winter sports in the northern hemisphere. While many people prefer to head to the European winter festivals, there are many resorts around the world where the piste turns green, the Christmas lights are on, and the snowflakes are as big as palm trees.
Unfortunately, not all resorts are created equal, and not all the time. There are a few key points you need to know when planning your ski vacation in the Big Apple, so you can properly put it on your bucket list.
Wondering Where To Go?
If you are wondering where to go for your ski vacation, you’re in the right place. New York is a Mecca for skiing, with 74 resorts scattered around the state and more scheduled to open in the coming years.
The state of New York has a complicated relationship with ski resorts. The most recognizable brand is definitely the “K” that is emblazoned on every ski hat in the region. But that is also home to the country’s largest, and arguably the best, resort, the Adirondack Mountains. With 54 runs and more than 600 trails, it is the crown jewel of New York state.
However, because of its size and popularity, the authorities occasionally close the slopes for extensive repairs and renovations. This year, the resort is closed for a huge chunk of the season, and the state’s other major resorts are also struggling with outdated facilities and thinned out snowboards.
Skiing In The City
Although most people think of mountain vacations when it comes to skiing, the sport is much more accessible when you live in the city. You won’t find any beginner slopes, but you will find a wealth of intermediate and experts’ terrain, perfect for everyone.
This is especially beneficial for families, as you can bring your kids and have them benefit from a sport you love. The best part is that there is no need to leave the city, which is especially appealing if you live there.
What Do I Wear?
No matter if you’re in the city or the countryside, you need to know what to wear when hitting the slopes. Obviously, you want to look fancy and sleek, but you also need to remember that you are in New York, so you are expected to sport some city swagger. This is especially important if you are traveling with your family, as you don’t want to frighten the locals by appearing too outlandish or vulgar.
How Do I Get There?
You can get there a number of ways, but the most popular method is by airplane. There is currently a daily nonstop flight from New York City to Newark, which connects to the airport in Buffalo. From there, it’s only 30 minutes to reach the nearest mountain.
You can also take a train from Penn Station, though this takes a little longer (about 2 hours 45 minutes). Several resorts are reachable by car as well. In fact, most of the state’s largest resorts are along the I-87, which connects the cities of Albany, Rochester, and Buffalo. This is also the case for Pennsylvania’s largest resort, which is also accessible from New York City.
What Do I Do Once I Get There?
Once you reach the resort, the most important thing is to get properly equipped. This means removing your shoes and any jewelry you are wearing, as well as putting on the provided ski clothes. Remember: you are in New York, so you are expected to look the part. This also means you should bring the bikini that is de rigueur for a day at the beach, but will certainly make you look like a total badass on a snow-covered mountain.
Make sure to check the weather at the resort before hitting the slopes. The best time for a ski trip to New York is between mid-October and mid-April, which is when most of the resorts are open. Bear in mind that even though the season is over in most parts of the country, it’s still winter in New York, so you’ll be experiencing cold weather, regardless of the time of year. Bring plenty of warm clothes and equipment, including ski socks, gloves, hats, and scarves. If you are going to be in the mountains for a couple of days, take a waterproof poncho with you as well. This will keep you from getting wet if heavy rain or snow falls during your stay.
Where Can I Eat And Stay?
When it comes to where you can eat and stay, there are a variety of resorts scattered around the state, so you are bound to find something that suits your taste. If you are looking for family-friendly accommodations, try one of the smaller resorts, as most of these are either youth hostels or provide other kinds of unique accommodations, such as log cabins and tipis.
When it comes to food, the variety is amazing. The best part is that you won’t find any particular cuisine that is associated with a certain resort, so you will be able to try a variety of restaurants and eateries, depending on what kind of food you like. Another big plus is that most resorts offer some type of ski in/ski out accommodation, which means you can ski directly to the dining room or lodge.
What Are The Mountains Like?
One of the most important factors to consider when traveling to New York is the state of the mountains. This is particularly important if you are coming from the city, as the slightest change in elevation can feel like you are going from one world to another. If you’re looking for a dramatic change in scenery, look no further than New York.
The best part is that the mountains aren’t as high as you’d think. The largest of the state’s 74 resorts are situated at over 6,000 feet, most being around 5,000 feet. This means you won’t likely experience anything more than a casual stroll from the hotel lobby to your room, without overheating.
Even better, most of the state’s largest resorts have a lot of beginner-friendly terrain, as well as some expert terrains, which are great for everyone. This means you can enjoy a day of skiing regardless of your experience level.
Although the season is over in some parts of the country, it’s still winter in New York, so you’ll be experiencing cold weather, regardless of the time of year. Bring plenty of warm clothes and equipment, including ski socks, gloves, hats, and scarves. If you are going to be in the mountains for a couple of days, take a waterproof poncho with you as well.
Once you get to know the area, you will wonder why you didn’t visit it sooner. A lot of the resorts are a short drive from the city and provide convenient access, whether you are traveling with your family or friends. If you are looking for a getaway that is both convenient and enjoyable, New York is the place to be.