We recently went to Vermont for a March Break trip and fell in love. First, how is this our first trip to Vermont? This gem of a place was just completely off our radar. We focused on north Vermont for this trip because we wanted to be close to the Canadian border. I was nervous about covid and border changes, and I liked knowing that within 30 minutes, I could be back in Canada if needed. The resorts we picked for this trip are Burke Mountain Resort, Jay Peak Resort, and Smugglers’ Notch Resort.
Burke Mountain Resort is a small ski resort, and the focus is on skiing. I love that there is only one main lift, so we didn’t have to search for each other at the bottom. My son & I are different levels, but we wanted to ski together; at Burke, we took the same lift up and then took a different trail down, meeting up in the middle to check in and then continuing down. The glades here were great for my son, who could weave in and out of the forest, meeting up with me at different times. Even though we were doing different runs, it still felt like we were skiing together. I felt comfortable that I knew where he was at all times and didn’t have to worry about him accidentally going down the wrong trail and ending up in a different location than me. We got a powder day while there, which was just total bliss. We were worried about the weather because the temperatures kept fluctuating, and we weren’t sure if all the snow would melt by the time we got there; needless to say, I’m really glad we went.
The amenities are great! All rooms come equipped with either a full kitchen or a kitchenette with a stovetop. Burke Mountain Resort offers at par pricing and already offers some of the lowest lift ticket rates.
There isn’t much outside of lessons and no indoor pool or other amenities other than the arcade when it comes to kids’ programming. However, Burke does have what I’ve been told is the best little ski bar in all of Vermont.
Immediately upon arriving at Smugglers’ Notch Resort, I felt like I was at home. I was pleasantly surprised by the diversity of families at Smuggler’s Notch and the many food options on the resort. There are many gluten-free and vegan options directly on the menu, even at the cafe.
Whether you plan to visit Smuggs for a day or the whole week, you can register your children in their camp, where they learn to ski and participate in all-day programming. You can also do what we did: book a couple of lessons in the morning and then ski together in the afternoon. Every Tuesday during the ski season, for only $30, you can test out the newest and best skis at the Smugglers’ Notch Ski & Snowboard Rental and Demo Equipment.
Smuggler’s Notch is unmatched so far in the many offerings in terms of programming. There is a full calendar of events to have as much fun off the slopes. There are many family activities to choose from in the evenings, like Bingo, which has become a new favourite. We were at the Fun Zone when we weren’t at one of the programs planned like the magic show. If you are looking to do some skiing together or alone, go to dinner as couple or with friends, or take part in some of their adults-only activities, you’ll be happy to hear they’ve got you covered through their childcare options.
Jay Peak might be the ultimate all-season resort; we didn’t know what to expect and were completely blown away by the size of the waterpark and the size of the resort overall.
Even though the resort is large it is easy to get across whether you are at Tramside or Stateside; you can quickly go across the mountain through a series of lifts. At Jay Peak, I booked lessons for myself and my son separately, and he was excited to explore the adventure park and do jumps.
There is a wide variety of activities to do. There is a climbing gym, movie theatre and even a large indoor ice rink; most of these we didn’t get a chance to explore on this trip, and we look forward to it next time.
The accommodation options are many, for this trip, we stayed at Hotel Jay which was great because we could access the waterpark from inside our hotel.
There were two immediate food favourites and both are at the base of the ski slope on the tramside. The Waffle House and MISO Hungry.
By the time we got to Jay Peak Resort, the weather had warmed up significantly to +17 degrees celsius, and while it was still okay to ski, it was sticky and slushy, sometimes icy, depending on the run. We did a few runs in the early morning when it was still cool and spent the rest of the day in the waterpark. Hubby did it was okay to ski from the summit where it was cooler, but that was way above my ski level.
Jay Peak gets an astronomical amount of snow each year and generally gets more snowfall than any other ski resort in the eastern United States. One of the things I loved about going during March break, even though the weather is more tricky, is that our break is different from their spring break, and they were fewer people on the mountain there than the ones here at home.
If you are planning to do a similar trip with these three resorts, I suggest you go in the same order; Burke, then Smuggs and finish it off with Jay Peak.