Stratton in Vermont is a popular destination for skiers and snowboarders. As part of a series on ski resorts, Huffington Post Travel offers our guide to Stratton, featuring all the key information snow lovers need to know before they hit the slopes.
The BasicsStratton, a New England ski resort in southern Vermont, gives guests a big mountain experience with its 625 acres of terrain, which includes 100 acres of glades and several top-rated terrain parks. A four-hour drive from New York City and a two-hour and 45-minute drive from Boston, Stratton serves cities within the vicinity along with Ontario and Quebec. Since there are no airports near the resort -- the closest is Albany International Airport in New York -- driving is the best travel option. The mountain is open on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and weekends and holidays from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The MountainThe summit, at 3,875 feet, is the highest point in southern Vermont. Stratton boasts a vertical drop of 2,003 feet and an impressive three-mile run. Stratton can guarantee snow any day during the winter because its snowmaking system covers 95 percent of the terrain. The folks at Stratton call this "Gold Medal Grooming" because the machines there can bury an entire football field with 3 feet of snow in an hour, if need be.
Trails And LiftsStratton Mountain has 92 trails and 11 lifts. This mountain is a beginner's paradise, since 41 percent of the trails are novice, including a beautiful beginner trail from the summit. The rest of the mountain is divided between 33 percent intermediate and 26 percent advanced and expert trails. There are high-speed sixes, several chairlifts, one gondola and a surface lift.
In The NewsStratton and snowboarding are old friends. This was the first American resort to welcome Jake Burton and his snowboarding concept. Every March, Stratton hosts the U.S. Open Snowboarding Championship, the final stop of the Burton Global Open Series, in which the top male and female competitors each win $100,000. The top male is awarded the TTR World Snowboard Tour title.
CostA one-day weekend lift ticket for an adult costs $87 at the window and $82 online. Prices fluctuate depending on age, day of the week and whether the guest has an X2 card, an express card that costs $89 with various deals attached. A variety of season passes are available that range in price from $339 to $1,619. A slew of lesson packages are available, including a standard private lesson, a women's workshop, a little kid's lesson and group lessons. A sports equipment rental package costs between $34 and $40 for adults, depending on the day and whether the rental is ordered online. Rentals include skis, boots and poles or board, boots and a helmet.
Apres-SkiFor those who want more excitement after a day on the slopes, Grizzly's at the main base area is the place to go. It offers wood-fired pizza, beer and live music. Other restaurants include a pub, an Italian restaurant, an American fare restaurant, a wine and coffee lounge and a high-end restaurant named Verde. There is shopping at Stratton Resort, but for those who prefer to shop until they drop, Stratton is a mere 30-minute drive from the Manchester Designer Outlets that feature Coach, Michael Kors, Giorgio Armani and Polo Ralph Lauren.
Skiers and snowboarders enjoy an easy day on the slopes at Stratton.