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Winter Together Time

Share a sparkling snowy weekend with those you love.

Photograph: Topnotch

Sometime in January, cabin fever can take hold, so it’s nice to know that there is a big selection of weekend destinations nearby.

Just a few hours from Fairfield County are Vermont’s slopes—from gentle to challenging, there’s a place for everyone. The downhill skier, the snowboarder, and the cross-country fan, as well as the fireplace sitter and others who prefer a panoramic window view of the mountains, with a 24/7 apres-ski-style schedule, can all find plentiful diversions. We’ve selected three spots for good getaways:

Family Fun

A big buffet of outdoor activities awaits the family (including teens) who heads for Smugglers Notch, near Stowe. Known as one of the most popular ski resorts in the Northeast, this winter hot spot is a specialist in building vacations for families and children of all ages. Comfortable accommodations in fully equipped condos bring the slopes or the resort village close to your door, depending upon your needs. In addition to the ski and snowboard trails, and routes for cross country skiing and snowshoeing, other active outdoor options include snow tubing and ziplining through the trees.

Smugglers Notch
Photograph: Smugglers' Notch

Smugglers Notch Snow School University offers full-day children’s camps for ages 3-15, group lessons for all ages, and special interest programs for older teens and adults, a four-hour adult ski camp and women’s clinic. Games and activities in the nursery get little ones’ attention, and children 2/12 years and up can get started on snowboards. New this year is an evening mountain tour in the heated cabin of one of the resort’s groomers; junior size snowmobiles for kids 6-12 to drive in a dedicated area have also been added.

Romance & Luxury

Once home to Nobel prize-winning author Sinclair Lewis and his wife, Dorothy Thompson, spectacular, 300-acre Twin Farms provides a sophisticated escape for couples, and is Vermont’s only five-star destination. The all-inclusive resort offers accommodations in ten freestanding custom designed cottages, four suites in the Peter Bohlin-designed Farmhouse at Copper Hill, and two suites plus four luxurious guest rooms in the main Lodge. Feast on gourmet meals, choose a wine from the property’s 20,000 bottle cellar, and arrange a personalized schedule to enjoy the exquisite surroundings, the on-site spa, and nearby attractions, if you care to travel; this special spot offers the perfect setting for creating lifelong memories.

Top Notch Resort
Photograph: Twin Farms Resort

Something for Everyone

Newly renovated and situated in between the two resorts above is Topnotch Resort with a broad range of amenities and activities, particularly suited for friends and groups with diverse interests. A world-class, 35,000 square foot state-of-the-art spa, indoor pool and tennis, new restaurants, 68 stylishly appointed rooms and 23 luxury resort homes grace the 120-acre property. Nearby Stowe offers opportunities for every type of winter sport imaginable; cross-country skiing is available on property, as are magical horse drawn sleigh rides. Consider this a possibility for a girlfriend getaway or extended family reunion, with offerings on site or nearby for every winter wish list.

Reservation Tips

Big vacation weeks and weekends (MLK Day weekend and Presidents’ Day school vacation) book early, so get your name on the wait list if your chosen inn is full, or book next year’s getaway way ahead. Every property manager advises a call to the toll-free booking number, anyway. A last minute cancellation might make way for you.

Since many Vermont winter resorts keep their trails open until almost April, consider maple sugaring season (March) or other late winter dates. Check out the resources on Vermont Vacation, the state’s official tourism website, for more ideas.

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