Best skiing on the East Coast is a debatable topic, but I’m pretty sure we’ve found a winner. Mt. Mansfield and Spruce Peak are serious mountains—a place for the big kids to play without too much intimidation. There’s something so calm and exhilarating in the swish swish swish of a ski and the confidence of your feet on authentic powder, each turn exact and coordinated, the pulse of the mountain at your pole tips. Each run a little wilder, a little more daring.

For over a century Stowe has attracted the world’s most discerning skiiers hunting for the perfect slope. It’s further north than Killington and other Vermont resorts, making it less susceptible to weekend commuter crowds from Boston and beyond, while the skiing—on Vermont’s highest peak—is in the East Coast’s top league. Most of Stowe’s twelve lifts run from bottom to top of the mountain, so you ski the full vertical drop of the peak. It’s also the highest lift access in all of New England, an eerie and exhilarating feeling as you ride down through the clouds.

The magnetism of Stowe is the inspiration that continues to bring the community at large to this special place.

Each of the trails at Stowe Mountain Resort offers a unique experience – hence “The Great 48”, a nickname given to the distinct 39 miles of trails that make up the mountain. Because no two trails are alike, it gives you a chance to explore the mountain’s character and get to know the peaks in a way you’ve never experienced.

The resort is also home to Stowe Mountain Lodge, a world-class ski-in, ski-out resort with immediate access to the lifts and 312 luxury Nordic-esque rooms, each complete with a stunning panorama view. Make sure you upgrade to a suite when you stay here—a little extra money goes a long way with the on/off fireplace, balcony, kitchenette and cozy sofa. It adds to the warmth of the welcome.

You can see why we fell in love with Stowe—the skiing, the Trapp Lodge Highland Cows, the cheese, the syrup! But the lodge is a special luxury resort that celebrates rustic Vermont-Alpine architecture and the tranquility of the area. It’s definitely a small village of its own, with all the amenities and necessities you’d need on premise. Really, if you can take a two second Gondola ride to the lift, what more do you need in life?

Après-ski, head into town to explore the quintessential attitude of Stowe that is New England. Crop is a brand new bistro & brewery that uses local farms, seasonal produce, artisan cheese and wild foods to create a wonderfully innovative menu. Their hand-crafted ales are especially thirst quenching after a hard day riding Rimrock and Nosedive trails. Ask for a beer pairing with your dinner instead of wine—it will rock your world.

Skiing (or boarding) here is one of the best experiences you’ll ever have on a mountain. Plenty of room for all levels of skiiers, but really, you should be at least proficient before you hit these guys. The black diamonds are no joke, and a hell of a lot of fun. Each run feels like five-in-one, compared to the ‘right outside NYC’ resorts that you used to think were pretty great. Unfortunately, Stowe will spoil you for any other mountain south of Vermont. It’s worth it.