The spring can be an ideal time to ski Vermont with the longer days, warmer weather and corn snow. More daylight hours means greater time to experience the snow depths that linger on the mountains well into early spring. I cannot think of a region with greater appeal than to ski in the Green Mountains in southern Vermont. Plenty of action can be found at the ski resorts where the mountains are groomed regularly to keep the snow. Even in this season, hardcore skiers can enjoy the fresh corduroy and can take advantage of the short lift lines.
At Bromley, skiers can soak up the the sun on Vermont’s “Sun Mountain” and enjoy the freestyle terrain parks and adventure center. At Stratton, skiers view the amazing ice sculptures along the way before reaching the fire tower on the highest peak in the region.
These winter paradises provide a variety of terrains, ranging from on-mountain groomers to snowy backcountry glades. Individuals can remain on-trail or venture off-trail for glade skiing through the wooded forests. For creative challenge, individuals can try telemark skiing and experience the flowing motion that seems like dancing down the mountain. For many skiers, the experience entails either classic Vermont skiing or catching some big air snow boarding at the terrain park. The thrill of schussing down slopes attracts children and families who spend time together to have an exhilarating mountain experience in Vermont.
So much is happening that should not be missed, including spring skiing, pond skimming, lawn games and barbecue on the deck. Other excitement nearby includes a downhill shovel race, which is a first-time event to benefit Magic Mountain’s ski patrol. At Stratton, the annual pond skimming and penguin plunge events attract skiers often dressed in outrageous attire to skim through the chilly water while spectators watch from the sidelines, as well as from the base lodge. The penguin plunge entertains the crowds, while also raising funds for Special Olympics Vermont athletes.
The spring weather invigorates these diehard skiers who take every opportunity to enjoy the great spring conditions before the snowmelt. For those craving outdoor sports, the snow is still enough for snowshoeing, Nordic skiing, or even for building snow caves and castles.
Celebrating this new season is a passage of time that removes the doldrums of winter and welcomes in spring. For this occasion, I join others to dine at the new Johnny Seesaw’s Restaurant next to Bromley Mountain.
Under the warm glow of the round copper heath, I savor the delicious dishes inspired by Chef Tim Cocheo who uses locally-sourced foods for his ingredients . I choose from a selection of dishes ranging from a delicious borscht soup to a tasty ceviche and a poutine as starters followed by a New England spiced braised lamb shank entrée and ending with a delectable chocolate molten cake. This innovative cuisine is aesthetically pleasing to my palate and undoubtedly, appeals to many family gatherings.
Another great place for dining is in the bustling ski village of Stratton. I could not resist stopping in the Fire Tower Restaurant & Tavern, which is aptly named after the fire tower on the mountain.
The glow of the outdoor fire pits creates a friendly ambiance where crowds like to mingle for après skiing. Some popular dishes that I chose included a freshly-prepared beet salad timbale with chevre cheese and a delectable weinerschnitzer entrée. Especially appealing is the selection of the local brews and specialty cocktails that complement the local ingredients and enhance the dining experience.
Afterwards, I decide to drive to Manchester to find accommodations near Bromley and Stratton. Along Main Street, I discover the Hampton Inn & Suites that is centrally located downtown near the shops and outlets. This Hilton property proves to be a great choice, especially since it had an indoor pool and fitness center, which seems ideal after having an exhilarating day on the slopes.
Beautifully designed, the Hampton Inn & Suites resembles a New England farmhouse that blends into the rustic mountain setting. The soft mountain surroundings foster a feeling of peace and harmony that is uplifting. Also the inn’s contemporary look creates a sense of calmness that is reflected in the clean and modern design and the simple, minimalist art displayed in the lobby and guest rooms.
Another alternative is finding comfortable lodgings at the Aspen Inn off Main Street on the opposite side of town. The warm hospitality and casual setting attracts especially families who wish to relax and feel at home. The convenience and easy access to the shops, outlets, and ski resorts makes this inn an ideal base to explore the area on an excursion or a day trip.
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