One of the great mysteries of a skier’s brain is that it craves empty slopes and crowded bars. Thankfully, you can have the best of both worlds at Mount Snow, as much of the clientele starts the day late and ends it early (or forgoes it altogether, necessitating a flexible interpretation of the term “après” ski).
If the snow is good, it’s not a bad idea to ski through lunch while the crowds are thinner. Your best option for a quick bite is the Vermont Country Deli at the main base lodge for their hearty mac ‘n cheese or a grab-and-go burrito. A 3pm caloric recharge can be found at 1900’ Burger at the Main Base Lodge. Put an all-Vermont ground beef patty smothered in gruyere, bacon jam, and sautéed mushrooms in one hand and a vanilla milkshake mixed with banana liqueur in the other and you’ll be feeling good no matter how badly you skied that day.
If you’d rather join the crowd in the bar than beat ‘em on the slopes, lunch at the Station Tap Room in the main base lodge is the perfect place to begin your evening early. Featuring 24 rotating taps plus two cask engines for barrel-aged brews, the place is built for beer snobs. They also have charcuterie, oysters, and a bành mí sandwich made with five-spice Vermont pork belly and ginger-wasabi aioli. Even with its high-end offerings, the place gives off a chill vibe and you’ll often find live music here in the afternoons. Alternatively, head to the Bullwheel in the Summit Lodge or the Coop in the Sundance Lodge to get that refreshing post-ski beer.
No trip to Mount Snow is complete without a stop at Cuzzins Bar & Grill. You’ll have to get there early if you want a seat, but you might not need one if local favorite Bruce Jacques is playing, as he often does during the ski season. If you need to heal up before a big night out, the Nature Spa is a luxurious indulgence, offering massages, and organic and natural treatments such as body scrubs and facial care.
As evening descends, Mount Snow offers tons of options for dinner, from funky pizza places to fine dining. On-mountain, 1900’ Burger does a beer pairing dinner series, with four-course meals matched with beers from microbreweries like Ballast Point, Allagash, and Berkshire Brewing. For a unique farm-to-table experience, try out Harriman’s in the Grand Summit Resort Hotel. The fine dining establishment serves up locally-sourced items such as herb-roasted Vermont chicken breast with smoked pear, Madeira pan jus, and whipped butternut squash, or seared halibut with spicy red pepper relish, chard oranges, three cheese grits, and local vegetables, all while maintaining a casual atmosphere.
The town of Dover, less than 10 minutes from Mount Snow, offers many more great options for dinner, starting with 1846 Tavern and Restaurant inside the West Dover Inn. The eclectic menu will make everyone happy, from burger-only eaters to seafood lovers. Dot’s of Dover serves an awesome all-day breakfast and if you need a place without a wait for dinner, the menu suffices even if you’re not in the mood for eggs and bacon. But seriously, when isn’t french toast with real Vermont maple syrup a good meal option? For your pizza fix, eat in at Pizzeria La Toscanella, which has pies even New Yorkers appreciate, or if you’re feeling lazy, take out from Tony’s Pizza (locations both on the mountain or in town).
Given Mount Snow’s urbane clientele, it’s not a surprise that the surrounding area has more options for upscale cuisine than you’ll be able to survey in just one weekend. You’ll get a classic dining experience at Two Tannery Road just minutes down the road from the mountain, and even if you’ve got a reservation, it’s not a bad idea to arrive early to check out the bar, which is from the original Waldorf-Astoria. The Deerhill Inn serves a prix-fixe, three-course meal focused on local produce in front of a real log fire. Further down the road in Wilmington, you have not one but two optimal choices for seafood: the Old Red Mill Restaurant and Anchor Seafood House & Grill . Both serve fresh New England-style seafood, including fish, lobster, scallops, and shellfish. The Nutmeg , a bed and breakfast, is open to the public for dinner and its small plates, like the fennel soup with truffle oil or the lamb meatballs with yogurt and harissa, are amazing.
When your appetite is sated and you’re ready to party, Maple Leaf Malt and Brewing is a good place to start. They’ve got tons of drink options and frequent live music performances. Or just head directly to the Snow Barn, located near Mount Snow’s base. There’s usually live music or a DJ, a lively dance floor, pool tables, and other bar games and tasty late night food. On the rare occasion it’s quiet at the mountain, check to see if the party’s at the Last Chair Bar & Grill or the Valley View Saloon.
Mount Snow often gets overlooked. Hard-core skiers head further north in Vermont, while less ambitious partiers settle for smaller resorts in New York or Pennsylvania. But those who end up at Mount Snow get what they’re looking for: solid skiing, great atmosphere, and lots and lots of fun. That’s worth a four-hour drive, right?