14 Highly Rated Ski Resorts On The East Coast

The mountains may not be as high as the Rockies and it may not offer the glamor of Aspen's après-ski scene, but the East Coast knows a thing or two about having fun in the snow. Mountains tend to be gentler here, with a slower pace and a more down-to-earth vibe. East Coast resorts are also often celebrated for their authenticity and family-focus amenities. Picturesque Northern Appalachians set the scene, offering charming forest runs, cross-country pistes, and inspiring peak vistas. You can also easily reach many resorts on a day trip from major New England cities.

For this article, we've analyzed the ratings of resorts on Google and Tripadvisor. Also, we looked at well-known skiing websites like Peakranking, Skiresort, and Skimag to compile a list of the best destinations for a winter holiday on the East Coast. From Vermont's Green Mountains to New York's beautiful Catskills, these are the places you should visit for a perfect snow-filled break to chase powder.

Killington, Vermont

If we were to pick one resort that embodies the spirit of East Coast skiing, it may be Killington. Located in the heart of Vermont's Green Mountains, it proudly holds the nickname "Beast of the East" for its size and the amount of experiences you can have both on and off the slopes. It boasts 1,509 skiable acres of territory, a respectful 3,050-foot vertical drop, 21 lifts, and 155 trails. Its sister resort, Pico Mountain, is just 7 miles away and is considered an excellent resort for beginners. With 250 inches of snowfall annually in the area, you have a high chance of skiing in natural conditions.

Killington excels at combining active slope-conquering with relaxed cocktail sipping. Winter sports enthusiasts can enjoy a wide range of pistes, terrain parks, snowshoeing tours, and snow-tubing opportunities. After the slopes, the resort also offers an unparalleled infrastructure of restaurants, spas, stores, and bars. The resort's exceptional size, popularity, and nightlife bring crowds during peak season, so prepare to spend some time queueing for lifts. It's also pricier compared to more low-key East Coast resorts. Day tickets during winter months start from $136. Thankfully, the excellent snowmaking allows Killington to stay open through May, so you can choose less-frequented seasons, too.

Sunday River, Maine

If you want extensive terrain in New England, head to Sunday River, one of Maine's top ski resorts, according to Snowpak. The territory comprises eight interconnected mountain peaks, meaning you'll struggle to run out of skiing space, which includes 139 trails and glades over 53 miles of trails. The resort also features a 2,300-foot vertical drop. Snowfall is not particularly generous around Western Maine, with only 167 inches on average, but Sunday River ensures an impressive 92% snowmaking coverage of the trails. The resort receives frequent compliments on Google Reviews for excellent riding conditions, with many skiers praising its efficient grooming efforts.

Sunday River boasts universal appeal when it comes to winter destinations. Families will love the abundance of beginner and intermediate runs as well as the resort's SnowSports School, which offers private and group lessons. The resort also boasts kids-tailored programs, along with snow-tubing, dog-sledding, night riding, and ski biking to add more fun to a family trip. Sunday River features an on-resort inn for a budget-friendly getaway, as well as two slopeside hotels that offer ski-in and ski-out convenience, heated pools, and hot tubs. The starting price for day tickets is $75.

Stowe, Vermont

Set in the northern part of Vermont and hugging its highest peak, Stowe Mountain Resort pairs amazing facilities with stunning Mount Mansfield vistas, fun trails, and superb mountain hikes. It's not Killington-level big, but it's large enough to keep you busy for a few powder-kicking days. An average snowfall of 314 inches also means you can enjoy genuine winter wonderland conditions throughout the season. Additionally, the spectacular Over Easy gondola ride is an all-time Vermont must, offering complimentary rides from Mount Mansfield to the Village at Spruce Peak. "It truly is a special place for Northeastern skiers," one reviewer wrote on Google, while others praised the resort's accessible infrastructure, easy-to-use lifts, and customer service.

Stowe has also earned renown for its double-black diamond trails, and the location in the state's highest peaks makes it a paradise for advanced skiers. The resort's "Front Four" double blacks are characterized by their varied terrains and challenging conditions. You'll also find an excellent network of intermediate pistes and plenty of space for beginner skiers. Off the slopes, Stowe applies the natural charms of slow-burning Vermont to its range of mountainside dining options, which includes full-service restaurants highlighting regional ingredients, pizzerias, cafes, and a food court. Adult day tickets start from $151, which includes a 20% discount for purchasing online. 

Jay Peak, Vermont

Northernmost of all the resorts in Vermont, Jay Peak is all about fresh snow and offers some of the best conditions in the region. The resort boasts 81 trails, nine lifts (including the state's only aerial tram), and 385 acres of terrain. This resort is great for mastering your skiing skills and challenging yourself with rougher trails. Eighty percent of the terrain is reserved for intermediate and advanced skiers. Be aware that the weather may get very windy above the tree line, and reviewers pointed out that grooming may lack quality when there's no natural snowfall, which is rare. 

Jay Peak is quite far away from the major cities of New England, and while you won't find a vibrant village or any buzzy nightlife here, there are plenty of restaurants and bars to enjoy. There's also an indoor water park nearby. Along with hotel suites, guests can book a stay in privately-owned condos, and most lodging options offer ski-in ski-out access. With adult day passes starting from $109,  Jay Peak is also one of the more budget-friendly resorts on the East Coast. 

Hunter Mountain, New York

The Catskills likely don't come to mind when you think skiing, but for Hunter Mountain Resort, the three-hour drive time from NYC is a major selling point. However, proximity to the Big Apple can mean large crowds and long lift times. On Tripadvisor, reviewers frequently cited lines and crowds as the resort's major drawbacks. To fully enjoy Hunter Mountain, consider avoiding weekends and holidays, book your ski passes online in advance, and don't expect alpine heights. 

Considering the resort is less than 130 miles from New York City, Hunter's 67 trails, 320 acres of skiable area, and a 1,600-foot vertical drop doesn't sound too bad. Just keep your expectations in check. While Hunter's trails are usually reliant on snowmaking, this doesn't mean that you won't have fun here. First-timers will find the learning center ideal, and with its newly added Bubly Tubing Park, it's now one of the best spots to snow tube in America. Hunter also offers an excellent après-ski scene, and adult lift tickets start at $89.

Stratton Mountain Resort, Vermont

Stratton is one of the most popular New England ski resorts for families, as 75% of its trails are reserved for beginner and intermediate skiers. The on-site school will make the process smoother to enjoy the resort's 99 trails that cover 670 acres of terrain. Although Southern Vermont isn't very generous for snow, the resort's snowmaking is quite state-of-the-art, so you can be sure of skiable conditions no matter when you come. 

Where Stratton shines brighter than its East Coast counterparts, though, is its village. Fully pedestrianized, the village is among the region's most charming and action-packed resort bases. Reminiscent of a chalet-dotted town in Europe, Stratton has a wide choice of high-end mountain restaurants, delis, coffee shops, souvenir shops, and après-ski bars. The resort offers a variety of lodging options to accommodate different budgets, from slopeside studios to luxury townhomes in the village. All lodging provides easy access to the resort trails. While lift prices depend on when you're planning to visit, you can score day tickets from $84 at select times. 

Sugarloaf Mountain, Maine

Exemplifying Maine's vastness and remoteness, Sugarloaf Mountain is one of the largest East Coast ski destinations, with a whopping 176 trails over 1,360 skiable acres. When the weather is good, the resort is among the best places to ski in America. But Maine's wind and rain can make it challenging to enjoy Sugarloaf in full. The location, too, is a bit far away from major cities like NYC and Boston, so keep that in mind when planning a trip.

That being said, Sugarloaf is still an impressive mountain to visit. The terrain is gorgeous and expansive, offering some of the best side-country rides in the region. This is along with its impressive number of vast glade trails and above-treeline pistes offering stunning Carrabassett Valley views. Price-wise, it's also a bargain. Book online and you can get up to 57% discounts on your ski passes, with tickets starting from $70 in winter and as low as $35 in spring. Finally, Sugarloaf is an authentic, vibrant resort deeply rooted in community. On Tripadvisor, one reviewer wrote, "All the locals are so nice! After a great day of skiing the bars and restaurants are so fun!" Just keep an eye out for the weather.

Sugarbush, Vermont

Since opening in 1958, Sugarbush has been a skiing fixture of the East Coast, with its 111 well-groomed trails, 2,600-foot vertical, and variety of forested areas. And you can't beat the beauty of the Green Mountains and its third-highest peak, Mount Ellen (accessible by the chairlift). The resort is located on two mountains, which is great for skiers looking for varied terrain. However, first-timers should familiarize themselves with the map before putting their ski boots on to avoid confusing turns.

Although the resort offers plenty of beginner and intermediate trails, Sugarbush also boasts some of the most challenging expert terrains among all East Coast resorts. Along with its breathtaking backcountry, the terrain of Castlerock Peak is steep and difficult to navigate. While not as cheap as other East Coast resorts, you can find good deals if you book well in advance. You can also save by purchasing a Mt. Ellen-only lift ticket for only $49.

Whiteface Mountain, New York

California may have Lake Tahoe, but the East Coast has Lake Placid, one of the most romantic destinations in Upstate New York. Lake Placid is also home to Whiteface Mountain, a ski resort of Olympic fame with breathtaking lake views. It offers some of the most striking panoramas in the U.S., and the resort is famous for having the largest vertical drop on the East Coast at an impressive 3,430 feet. Beginners beware: The best parts of Whiteface are reserved for the pros, as almost 76% of its terrain is designed for intermediate and expert skiers. That doesn't mean you can't get a glimpse of the Adirondack Mountains as a newcomer; the gondolas and quads offer awe-inspiring panoramas of Lake Placid.

While riding double-black diamond trails is alluring to expert skiers, due to difficult weather conditions on Whiteface Mountain, it may not always be possible. Wind can be a significant issue and occasionally disrupt operations, but Whiteside Mountain also averages over 180 inches of snow annually. Always check the weather if you're planning a trip on short notice. Prices start from $124 for a day ticket.

Bretton Woods, New Hampshire

Bretton Woods is just as you'd imagine the largest New Hampshire ski resort to be. It's a bit old-school, sporting an upscale character and just enough thrills to keep you busy and satisfied. With 63 trails and 92% snowmaking coverage, the resort offers varied terrain for all levels of skiers. Cross-country rides are delightful, the Mount Washington panoramas are unparalleled, and Midway Park is ideal for some snowboard tricks on rails, boxes, and jumps. The resort also facilitates Nordic skiing, sleigh riding, snow tubing, and snowshoeing.

The emphasis is not entirely on winter sports here. After the slopes, you can choose from a plethora of high-end restaurants for relaxing, dining, and socializing. The nearby Omni Mountain Washington Hotel can also provide a fashionable experience. The historic, elegant hotel boasts a 25,000-square-foot spa, fine dining options, and luxury accommodations. If you visit on weekdays, you can purchase full-day lift tickets from $82.

Okemo Mountain Resort, Vermont

Southern Vermont's Okemo Mountain Resort is the ultimate choice for families. Green trails dominate here, allowing newbies to experience their first rides comfortably in a stress-free atmosphere. With a vibe "similar to resorts in Colorado and Utah," as one reviewer described on Google Reviews, Okemo is where you go for superb grooming, a no-pressure attitude, and easy yet fun terrain. With 632 acres of skiable area, 20 lifts, and six terrain parks, there's enough at Okemo to keep everyone happy. While crowds are not unheard of during weekends and holidays in peak season, the lines are generally manageable.

The resort has a comprehensive Ski and Ride School for beginners. Snowboarding lessons are also available, and terrain parks have enough ramps to put your skills into practice. Boston is less than three hours away, so Okemo is a more accessible ski destination than some on the East Coast. Apart from skiing and snowboarding, family-friendly activities include mountain coaster rides, ice skating, snowshoeing, and fat biking. If you purchase in advance, day lift tickets start at $127. 

Mount Snow, Vermont

If you're a snowboarder, you've probably heard of Carinthia at Mount Snow. This 100-acre terrain park complex is a wonderland of ramps, jumps, boxes, and jibs. These features alone make a visit to Mount Snow worthwhile. But even if hitting the ramps is not on your itinerary, this Southern Vermont resort offers 601 acres of skiable area, which is mostly (66%) designated for skiers with intermediate skill levels. Since Mount Snow is the closest Vermont resort to major New England metros, lines can form on busy days.

Mount Snow is a lively resort, too. Off the slopes, you can expect a rich entertainment agenda during winter with stylish après-ski bar sessions, numerous restaurants for all budgets, and live music in the evening. If you're looking for good times with other locals and vacationers alike, Harriman's and Cuzzins are two go-to spots for nightlife. Rates start at $109 if you purchase online.

Holiday Valley Resort, New York

Compared to Holiday Valley in Ellicottville, New York, Vermont resorts may seem like Switzerland in terms of heights. But the community vibe and the excellent use of the area make this New York State underdog a great place to ski. While the stats here are quite modest, with 290 acres of skiable terrain and a tiny 750 feet vertical, it's a popular skiing destination for people from Buffalo, Cleveland, and Toronto. There's a variety here, too; you've got a fair distribution of greens, blacks, and even double-black diamond trails. That seems enough to satisfy people, and Holiday Valley is among the best-rated ski resorts in the East.

At the end of the day, it's not about the numbers; the satisfaction from your skiing holiday is worth much more. At Holiday Valley, you've got plenty of off-piste things to do, too. There is a snow tubing zone with tickets as low as $12. Sky Flyer Mountain Coaster delivers high-speed downhill thrills, and snowshoeing tours are available if you'd like to take an inspiring walk surrounded by the gentle beauty of McCarty Hill. Full-day tickets start at $70, though half-day tickets are also available. 

Smugglers' Notch, Vermont

"Independently owned" is such a rare and fascinating descriptor for a ski resort in the U.S. nowadays, but Smugglers' Notch in Vermont is precisely that. The resort offers an authentic winter sports experience that feels very local and laid-back. While its facilities may feel a bit outdated, the resort is also a bargain, with full-day tickets starting at $89 midweek. Self-described as "America's Family Resort," Smugglers' Notch is a family-focused destination, but it also boasts 1000 acres of terrain and 78 trails over three mountains. The resort is also home to the only triple-black diamond run in the East.

Although the location in Northern Vermont is picturesque, the commute from major New England cities may take some time. Once you're at Smuggers' Notch, though, expect fantastic vistas of Morse Mountain, affordable prices at the restaurants, and great deals at the mountainside lodgings. It's one of the most budget-friendly East Coast ski resorts, which is ideal for families who don't want to spend a fortune on winter fun.


The rankings of East Coast resorts across different platforms were the primary basis for selecting the entries in this article. First, we analyzed Tripadvisor and Google reviews to get the best picture of popular East Coast destinations for skiing and snowboarding. All the resorts we included received at least a 4.3 out of 5-star rating on Google Maps and a 4-star or higher rating on Tripadvisor. 

Also, we turned to specialized resources devoted to skiing, such as Peakranking, Skiresort.info, Skimag, and Snow.com, to get professional opinions on East Coast skiing. Finally, we included the best tips and tricks on enjoying these East Coast resorts based on personal skiing experience. It's a diverse list that considers family-friendly amenities, varying ski levels, different lodging budgets, and resort atmospheres.