Ahhh Vermont. We’ve developed a love affair with the state. As we cross the border along Route 7 from New York there’s always a sense of ease, of awaiting adventure. This ski season we revisited Okemo Mountain Resort, a favorite of my family’s from 2014. There is so much to love about this resort it’s tough to list them all.Once you arrive your family can just be swept away by fun; specifically family fun that is truly enjoyable for everyone. Okemo is divided between an older base lodge area and the newer lodging around Jackson Gore Village. Condos are located in various other spots across the mountain as well but my family’s experience has only been in the Jackson Gore area. Here are my top 10 reasons why you should ski and stay at Okemo this season:
- S’mores at the Coleman Brook Tavern lobby bar – Bring the kids, order a cocktail and wait for your personal s’more making platter to arrive. During the weekend the lobby fills up quickly with an après ski crowd that’s a mix of all ages. Kids are completely welcome and the s’mores platter is a great start to any ski weekend or end any evening.
- Roomy accommodations – Jackson Gore Village offers a variety of lodging options from cozy suites to multi-bedroom plush condos. Best of all, they are all slope side to allow for easy on and off access. My family’s favorite part of our lodging was the outdoor heated pool to soothe sore muscles after a cold day on the mountain.
- Ski School – Okemo truly puts families first with staggered lesson schedules to accommodate various drop offs, knowledgeable ski instructors and excellent learning hills to allow newbie little rippers a safe place to learn.
- Heated Bubble Lifts – Do I need to say anything more? Okemo now boasts 2 bubble lifts: a 6 passenger heated lift and a quad in Jackson Gore Village.
- Off Slope Fun – Skiing is only one piece, though a pretty important one, to what makes Okemo great. Off-slope activities from snow-tubing, to ice skating, to riding the Timber Mountain Roller Coaster complete any getaway. We try to hit the roller coaster after the kids’ lessons and prior to a dip in the pool. The only problem is finding the time to fit it all in.
- Food – What is a great ski getaway without excellent dining options? Both on and off the slope dining locales offer a gastronomic wonder with locally sourced food used to create truly unique dining experiences. Our favorite is EPIC located near the Solitude village and right off of the trail. Delicious lunch options with a good selection of beers makes this our go to mid-day dining spot.
- Nighttime Activities – Throughout the ski season Okemo puts on a host of activities. If you’re visiting during the torch light parade make sure to head over to the base lodge to experience this swirling array of lights and stay for the fireworks. It’s a unique way to end the night.
- Ski Valet – An added plus to staying on the grounds at Okemo is that you can check your skis for free right off the slopes. Conveniently located next to the ski school check-in area, this little extra is a huge plus for parents who are used to lugging around a lot of gear.
- Underground parking – A pleasant surprise when we arrived for our first visit is the availability of parking located under the Jackson Gore Village lodging for most guests.
- Location – From our little abode in Albany, Okemo is an easy 2 hour drive. From Boston it’s a little over two and half hours and from metro New York around 4 plus hours.
- Family friendly atmosphere – If all of the above hasn’t convinced you that Okemo makes for a fantastic ski getaway, know that families are truly welcome and kids can be kids while staying at a more high end resort. Some high end resorts,though they claim to be family friendly, just aren’t. I never have that fear at Okemo. The kids easily made friends, we made friends over drinks, and everyone can just relax and enjoy the getaway.
Need more reasons to visit? Check out some of my other Okemo reviews on the All Mountain Mamas – Vermont’s Family Ski and Ride Guide.
Disclosure: Okemo Mountain Resort graciously hosted my family’s visit and provided accommodations,lift tickets,and ski lessons for my children as part of my work with the All Mountain Mamas. As always, my opinions are my own.