__ A couple years back, in mid-November, my family and friends hopped in our cars, stuffed with our snow gear, and headed up to Lake Placid, NY. Little did I know I would be returning every year to what is now my favorite place on the planet. We stayed on the quaint Mirror Lake, just off of Lake Placid, at the Mirror Lake Inn. The Inn overlooks the lake, frozen solid during the winter, back dropped by the Adirondack Mountains. Though hard to describe, the smells and sounds are what make the stay unique.  Its like waking up to a Christmas snow every morning. The homemade chocolate chip cookies every day are worth the trip alone.

It was during that stay that I rented my first pair of skies and made my way up White Face Mountain (awkwardly, I might add). It took more slips, falls, and face-plants than I can count, but skiing turned out to be pleasantly rewarding. After only a couple days, I was like a kamikaze zipping down the slopes. After that trip, I was inspired to try out some other mountains in the northeast. I even rented my very own pair of skies for the whole season!

One of my next favorite ski destinations is Stowe Mountain Lodge, in Stowe, VT. Amazing mountain views, ski in-ski out lodging, great food and spectacular personal service. The mountain, Spruce Peak, is a family favorite. It has recently been updated with new lifts and snow makers that take the experience to another level. Also in Vermont, in the southern part of the state, are the Inn at Sawmill Farm and the Deer Hill Inn. The Inn at Sawmill Farm in West Dover is known most commonly for its authentic farm-house feel and is nearest Mt. Snow Valley. Here they have a wide variety of snow-related activities not limited to skiing (snowshoeing, tubing, etc.). Also close to Mt. Snow Valley, the Deer Hill Inn is a picture perfect Currier & Ives type inn that you’ll find it hard to leave when its time to head out into the icy tundra!

Another of my favorite ski destinations, this one up in New Hampshire, is the Manor on Golden Pond. Yes, you probably recognize the name from the movie “On Golden Pond” which was filmed here because of its incredible atmosphere. One of the best things though, is that it has five ski locations within proximity...all worth checking out. So for those of us who constantly want to try new things, you won’t run out of options here.

The most important tip I can give, before you decide to test out the slopes for yourself, is invest in your own helmet! Yes, you may look goofy, and yes, I know I sound like a mom, but trust me on this one because when it comes to rentals, a helmet is not best served used.
Ellen Studer
BestWeekends.com





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