Ultimate Guide: Where to Go in Vermont in Winter

Winter in Vermont is a magical time filled with snowy landscapes, cozy villages, and an array of outdoor adventures. Whether you’re a skiing enthusiast, a fan of winter festivals, or someone who simply enjoys the beauty of nature in the colder months, Vermont has something for everyone. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the best places to visit and the top activities to enjoy during a winter getaway in Vermont.

Why Vermont in Winter?

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Visiting Vermont in winter offers a unique experience that combines natural beauty with a wide range of winter activities. Here’s why you should consider Vermont for your next winter vacation:

  • Picturesque Landscapes: Vermont transforms into a winter wonderland, with snow-covered mountains, frozen lakes, and charming villages straight out of a storybook.
  • Outdoor Adventures: From skiing and snowboarding to snowshoeing and ice skating, Vermont offers an abundance of outdoor activities for winter enthusiasts of all ages.
  • Cozy Atmosphere: With crackling fireplaces, warm hospitality, and a slower pace of life, Vermont provides the perfect setting for a cozy winter retreat.

Best Places to Go Skiing in Vermont

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Stowe Mountain Resort

Nestled in the heart of the Green Mountains, Stowe Mountain Resort is a skier’s paradise. Boasting challenging terrain, breathtaking views, and a charming village atmosphere, Stowe offers an unparalleled skiing experience. With a vertical drop of over 2,360 feet, skiers and snowboarders of all levels can find trails suited to their abilities. The resort’s extensive snowmaking capabilities ensure excellent snow conditions throughout the season, while its world-class amenities, including luxury accommodations, fine dining options, and boutique shops, cater to every need.

Okemo Mountain Resort

Located in the heart of the Okemo Valley, Okemo Mountain Resort is renowned for its family-friendly atmosphere and well-groomed trails. With over 120 trails spanning 667 acres, Okemo offers a diverse range of terrain suitable for skiers and riders of all ages and abilities. From gentle cruisers to challenging glades and terrain parks, there’s something for everyone at Okemo. The resort’s modern facilities, including high-speed lifts, ski-in/ski-out accommodations, and a vibrant après-ski scene, make it a favorite destination for families and winter enthusiasts alike.

Killington Ski Resort

As the largest ski resort in the eastern United States, Killington Ski Resort offers an unparalleled skiing and riding experience. With over 1,500 skiable acres and a vertical drop of 3,050 feet, Killington boasts some of the most diverse terrain in Vermont. From steep chutes and mogul fields to wide-open groomers and terrain parks, the resort caters to skiers and riders of all levels. Killington’s extensive snowmaking infrastructure ensures reliable snow conditions throughout the season, while its lively nightlife, world-class dining options, and luxury accommodations provide the perfect après-ski experience.

Jay Peak Resort

Tucked away in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom, Jay Peak Resort is a hidden gem for powder hounds and backcountry enthusiasts. Known for its abundant snowfall, challenging terrain, and laid-back vibe, Jay Peak offers an authentic skiing experience away from the crowds. With over 385 skiable acres and a vertical drop of 2,153 feet, the resort boasts some of the best tree skiing and glades in the region. In addition to its exceptional skiing and riding, Jay Peak features a variety of amenities, including slope-side accommodations, a waterpark, and a selection of dining options, making it a popular choice for families and adventure seekers alike.

Smugglers’ Notch Resort

Situated in the heart of Vermont’s Green Mountains, Smugglers’ Notch Resort is renowned for its family-friendly atmosphere and extensive amenities. With three interconnected mountains offering over 1,000 acres of skiable terrain, Smugglers’ Notch provides a diverse range of skiing and riding experiences for all abilities. The resort’s award-winning children’s programs, including ski and snowboard lessons, daycare services, and evening activities, make it a favorite destination for families. In addition to its exceptional skiing and riding, Smugglers’ Notch offers a variety of off-mountain activities, including snow tubing, ice skating, and winter carnivals, ensuring there’s never a dull moment during your visit.

Other Winter Activities in Vermont

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Cross-Country Skiing and Snowshoeing

For those who prefer a slower-paced winter experience, Vermont offers an extensive network of cross-country ski and snowshoe trails. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced Nordic skier, there are trails to suit every skill level. Explore the pristine wilderness of Vermont’s state parks, nature reserves, and ski centers, where you can glide through snow-covered forests and meadows while enjoying breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.

Horse-Drawn Sleigh Rides

Step back in time and experience the magic of winter with a horse-drawn sleigh ride through Vermont’s snowy countryside. Snuggle under a warm blanket as you glide across fields and through wooded trails, listening to the gentle jingle of sleigh bells and the rhythmic sound of hoofbeats. Whether it’s a romantic outing for two or a fun-filled adventure for the whole family, a sleigh ride offers a memorable way to experience Vermont’s winter beauty.

Dog Sledding

Embark on an exhilarating journey through the snow-covered terrain with a thrilling dog sledding adventure. Let a team of energetic huskies lead you through forests and across frozen lakes as you take in the sights and sounds of the winter wilderness. Whether you’re driving your own sled or riding as a passenger, dog sledding offers a unique and unforgettable way to experience Vermont’s snowy landscape.

Tubing and Sledding

For those seeking thrills and excitement, Vermont’s tubing parks and sledding hills offer hours of fun for all ages. Grab a tube or sled and zoom down groomed lanes or natural hillsides, feeling the rush of adrenaline as you race through the snow. Whether you’re sliding solo or linking up with friends and family for a group ride, tubing and sledding are sure to put a smile on your face and leave you wanting more.

Indoor Relaxation

After a day of outdoor adventures, why not unwind and rejuvenate at one of Vermont’s indoor relaxation destinations? Treat yourself to a session in a salt cave, where you can relax and breathe in the therapeutic benefits of salt therapy while surrounded by serene surroundings. Alternatively, indulge in a spa treatment at one of Vermont’s luxurious resorts, where you can pamper yourself with massages, facials, and other wellness services designed to soothe body and mind.

Where to Stay in Vermont

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Cozy Inns and Lodges

For a quintessential Vermont experience, consider staying at one of the state’s many charming inns and lodges. Nestled amidst picturesque landscapes and historic villages, these cozy accommodations offer a warm and inviting atmosphere, complete with crackling fireplaces, home-cooked meals, and personalized hospitality. Whether you’re seeking a romantic retreat for two or a family-friendly getaway, Vermont’s inns and lodges provide the perfect backdrop for a cozy winter escape.

Ski Resorts

For ski enthusiasts looking to maximize their time on the slopes, staying at a ski resort is the ultimate convenience. With ski-in/ski-out accommodations, on-site dining options, and a host of amenities and activities, ski resorts offer everything you need for a seamless winter vacation. From luxury resorts with spa services and gourmet dining to family-friendly resorts with children’s programs and entertainment, Vermont’s ski resorts cater to a variety of preferences and interests.

Luxury Resorts

For those seeking an indulgent retreat, Vermont boasts several luxury resorts that offer world-class amenities and unparalleled service. From historic properties steeped in New England charm to modern resorts with state-of-the-art facilities, these upscale accommodations provide the perfect blend of comfort, elegance, and relaxation. Enjoy gourmet dining, rejuvenating spa treatments, and breathtaking views of Vermont’s scenic beauty, all from the comfort of your luxurious surroundings.

Rustic Cabins and Cottages

For a more secluded and intimate experience, consider renting a rustic cabin or cottage nestled in the woods or overlooking a serene lake. Escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and reconnect with nature as you cozy up by the fire, stargaze from your private deck, or explore the surrounding wilderness on snowshoes or cross-country skis. With options ranging from rustic log cabins to luxurious lakeside retreats, Vermont’s cabins and cottages offer a tranquil and idyllic setting for a winter getaway.

Bed and Breakfasts

For a personalized and intimate lodging experience, consider staying at a bed and breakfast, where you can enjoy cozy accommodations, homemade breakfasts, and the warm hospitality of your hosts. Choose from historic homes, charming farmhouses, or quaint cottages, each offering its own unique charm and character. Whether you’re seeking a romantic escape or a quiet retreat, Vermont’s bed and breakfasts provide a warm and welcoming home away from home.

Vacation Rentals

For those seeking flexibility and independence, vacation rentals offer the perfect solution. Choose from a variety of properties, including cozy cabins, spacious condos, and waterfront homes, each equipped with all the comforts of home. Enjoy the freedom to cook your own meals, relax in your own private space, and explore Vermont at your own pace. With options available in every corner of the state, vacation rentals provide a convenient and affordable lodging option for winter travelers.

What to Pack for Vermont Winter

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Winter Clothing

  • Thermal Underwear: Start with a base layer of thermal underwear to keep your body warm and dry.
  • Insulated Jacket: Invest in a quality insulated jacket to provide warmth and protection against the cold wind and snow.
  • Waterproof Pants: Opt for waterproof pants to keep your legs dry and protected while enjoying outdoor activities.
  • Fleece Layers: Layer up with fleece jackets or sweaters for added insulation and warmth.
  • Warm Hat and Gloves: Don’t forget to pack a warm hat and gloves to protect your head, ears, and hands from the cold.
  • Wool Socks: Pack plenty of wool socks to keep your feet warm and dry, especially if you’ll be spending time outdoors.
  • Snow Boots: Invest in a sturdy pair of snow boots with good traction to keep your feet warm and stable in snowy conditions.
  • Neck Gaiter or Scarf: Bring a neck gaiter or scarf to protect your neck and face from the cold wind and snow.


  • Hand and Toe Warmers: Pack hand and toe warmers for added warmth during outdoor activities, especially on colder days.
  • Sunglasses: Don’t forget to bring sunglasses to protect your eyes from the glare of the sun on the snow.
  • Sunscreen: Even in winter, the sun’s rays can be strong, so pack sunscreen to protect your skin from sunburn.
  • Lip Balm: Cold temperatures and dry air can lead to chapped lips, so be sure to pack plenty of lip balm to keep your lips hydrated.
  • First Aid Kit: Pack a small first aid kit with essentials like band-aids, pain relievers, and blister treatment in case of emergencies.

Outdoor Gear

  • Skis or Snowboard: If you plan to hit the slopes, don’t forget to pack your skis or snowboard, along with any necessary equipment like boots, bindings, and poles.
  • Snowshoes: For exploring snowy trails and off-the-beaten-path areas, consider bringing snowshoes for added traction and stability.
  • Ice Skates: If you enjoy ice skating, pack your ice skates to glide across frozen ponds and outdoor rinks.
  • Sled or Toboggan: For family fun in the snow, bring a sled or toboggan for sledding down hills and snowy slopes.

Indoor Attire

  • Cozy Loungewear: Pack comfortable loungewear for relaxing indoors, such as sweatpants, hoodies, and slippers.
  • Swimwear: If your accommodation has a hot tub or indoor pool, don’t forget to pack swimwear for a relaxing soak after a day of outdoor activities.


  • Camera: Capture the beauty of Vermont’s winter landscapes with a camera or smartphone to preserve memories of your trip.
  • Water Bottle: Stay hydrated by bringing a reusable water bottle to refill throughout the day.
  • Snacks: Pack snacks like granola bars, trail mix, and fruit to fuel your adventures and keep hunger at bay.

Tips for a Winter Trip to Vermont

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Check Weather Conditions

Before you embark on your winter adventure, be sure to check the weather forecast and road conditions. Vermont winters can be unpredictable, so it’s essential to stay informed about any potential snowstorms, icy roads, or other weather-related hazards that may affect your travel plans.

Dress in Layers

The key to staying warm and comfortable in Vermont’s winter weather is to dress in layers. Start with a moisture-wicking base layer to keep sweat away from your skin, add insulating layers for warmth, and finish with a waterproof outer layer to protect against snow and wind. Don’t forget to wear warm hats, gloves, and wool socks to keep extremities warm, and consider packing hand and toe warmers for added comfort on colder days.

Stay Hydrated

Despite the cold temperatures, it’s important to stay hydrated during your winter adventures in Vermont. Cold air can be drying, and physical activity can lead to dehydration, so be sure to drink plenty of fluids throughout the day. Pack a reusable water bottle and refill it regularly to stay hydrated, and consider bringing along hot beverages like tea or cocoa to warm up on chilly days.

Plan Indoor Activities

While outdoor activities are a highlight of any winter trip to Vermont, it’s also important to plan for indoor activities in case of inclement weather or extreme cold. Visit museums, art galleries, and local shops to explore Vermont’s culture and history, or relax and unwind at a spa or wellness center. Be sure to check ahead for any indoor attractions or events happening during your visit.

Reserve in Advance

Winter is a popular time to visit Vermont, especially for skiing and other outdoor activities, so it’s wise to reserve accommodations, ski rentals, and activities in advance to secure your preferred dates and avoid disappointment. Whether you’re staying at a cozy inn, a ski resort, or a vacation rental, booking ahead will ensure a smooth and stress-free trip.

Embrace the Season

Above all, embrace the beauty and charm of winter in Vermont. Whether you’re skiing down pristine slopes, exploring snow-covered trails, or cozying up by the fire with a cup of hot cocoa, take the time to appreciate the magic of the season and the natural beauty of the Green Mountain State.


A winter vacation in Vermont promises unforgettable memories, whether you’re carving fresh powder on the slopes, exploring snowy landscapes, or cozying up by the fire with loved ones. With its charming villages, picturesque scenery, and wealth of outdoor activities, Vermont is the perfect destination for a winter getaway. So pack your winter gear, bundle up, and prepare to embark on an adventure in the snowy wonderland of Vermont!