The Best Early Season Ski Resorts on the East Coast

This post was initially published on Hipmunk’s Tailwind blog on December 6, 2015.


The East Coast amps up for ski season starting in early December with resorts in New England getting hit with snow early and often. To get a jump on the fresh powdery conditions, booking your room before the snow hits will score big savings. Save your money for hot chocolate and brews on the slopes by snagging a room at one of these resorts now.Screen-Shot-2015-12-06-at-3.31.49-PM-1024x614[1]

1) Sunday River, ME

Open since 1959, Maine’s Sunday River resort is one of the largest and most visited in the state. The resort boasts 135 trails across eight mountain peaks, with a network of 15 ski lifts, and is also known to have some of the most“dependable snow” on the East Coast. Sunday River is also a great choice for those looking to start the season extra early — as of October 19th, they are ready and open for skiing and snowboarding (the third earliest opening day in its history) The resort is open weekends only until mid-November, when weekday operations commence. Sunday River is a great resort for beginners as well, as the resort offers a ski school for adults and children. For nearby lodgings, check out the cozy and comfortable Inn at the Rostayor  River View Resort.

2) Cannon Mountain, NH

New Hampshire’s Cannon Mountain was the site of the first passenger tramway in North America, constructed in 1938 and operating until 1980, which kickstarted the skiing industry in the Granite State. Today, the ski resort offers nine lifts which service nearly 200 acres of skiing trails, and boast a reputation as the trails where US Olympian Bode Miller grew up. Opening day is November 27th, and visitors to Cannon Mountain should consider staying in Franconia, at the cozy and affordable Hillwinds Lodge or the Best Western White Mountain Inn.


3) Sugarbush, VT

The third-largest resort in all of New England, Vermont’s Sugarbush Resorthas operated since 1958 and offers 578 acres of skiable trails and 16 ski lifts. It’s a must-visit for advanced skiers, as it’s natural-snow terrain can be quite challenging. Non-skiers have a variety of activities available as well, from well-regarded dining options, twilight snowshoe tours, and photography tours. This year’s season is scheduled to start on November 21st, and visitors to the area should try staying in the nearby West Hill House B&B or the affordable and centrally located  White Horse Inn.

4) Whiteface, NY

New York’s Whiteface Mountain is one of the High Peaks of the Adirondack Mountains, and the fifth-highest in the entire state. Offering unparalleled views from its summit, visitors can glimpse Vermont and even Canada (on a clear day, some of Montreal’s skyscrapers are visible!). The mountain is located only 13 miles from Lake Placid and is part of a major ski area which hosted the 1980 Winter Olympics. Lake Placid also boasts a charming ski town, with shops, pubs, and restaurants that offer something for everyone. This year’s winter season is scheduled to begin November 27th, and Whiteface is well worth adding to your vacation list for its Olympic-level ski jumps, nordic trails, bobsled run, and an Olympic Museum. Try staying in theMountain Brook Lodge or the Wilkommen Hof Bed & Breakfast in nearby Wilmington.

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