Killington is the granddaddy of New England ski resorts. Sometimes called “the Beast of the East” due to its sizable collection of mountains, first-class ski runs, wide variety of restaurants, and choice accommodation options, the Killington Ski Resort is a mecca for skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts.
If you aren’t into the downhill scene, however, there are plenty of options to keep you busy while you wait for an apres-ski adult beverage and nosh.
Here are seven reasons to love Killington.
1. The Mountains
A gorgeous bluebird day with the sun shining on your face and fresh powder under your skis will make your heart race at the prospect of a joyful adventure. The weather on the mountains can be harsh at times, with whipping snow and wind, but on a clear day, the mountain is glorious, and the wonder of Mother Nature surrounds you.
Hop on the K-1 Express Gondola and ride comfortably to Killington Peak. Relax and marvel at the snow-white scenery as the enclosed lift takes you up 4,241 feet to the summit. When you lock in your bindings for the first run of the day, you’ll smile from ear to ear at the thought of your exhilarating run down the mountain. Which trail? How many moguls? Where is the best snow? These questions and more will run through your head as you point your skis downward and go.
With the addition of Pico Mountain to their collection, Killington now offers skiing on seven mountains, with Killington Peak being the highest. The sister mountains in the ski area are Skye, Ramshead, Snowdon, Bear, and Sunrise. Killington recently purchased Pico Mountain, and you cannot ski between the two, but there is a shuttle service between the two mountain resorts.
2. The Apres-Ski Scene
There’s nothing like sitting around an outdoor fire pit, rosy-cheeked from a day of fresh air and sunshine, while swapping stories about the day’s runs and warming up with your favorite hot beverage -- perhaps a classic hot toddy to celebrate an exhilarating day of downhill runs.
Another perfect spot for an apres-ski libation is the Peak Lodge. Score a window seat with sweeping views of the mountains for a romantic end-of-the-day adult beverage. Keep the setting sun in mind, since you will need to take a final run to the base lodge after your cocktail. Night skiing is not the best way to end your day!
Long Trail Brewing Co., situated in the panoramic Green Mountains, was inspired by the famous Hofbrauhaus in Munich. Named after the 272-mile Long Trail, which traverses Vermont from Massachusetts to Canada, the brewery offers seasonal favorites anchored by a few year-round staples.
If you are more of a dive bar kind of person, try the Pickle Barrel. This nightclub and party venue offers four bars, three different levels, and two stages. It’s one of those iconic spots you need to visit just so that you can say you’ve been there. Stop in for a drink, or stay and party all night -- either way, it’ll be a memorable part of your Killington experience.
3. The Outdoor Adventures
There’s plenty to do outdoors in this region of Vermont. Whether you book an activity on the property or with a nearby outfitter, you’re certain to experience a snow-filled outdoor adventure.
For a thrilling time, ride The Beast Mountain Coaster at Snowshed Lodge at Killington. The 4,800-foot roller-coaster will take you through an alpine forest on the wildest ride of your life. Hang on tight as you zip around blind curves and bank hard to avoid trees.
One of the best ways to see the area is on a snowmobile. Snowmobile Vermont offers 2-hour backcountry tours through the Calvin Coolidge State Forest. The trails traverse a variety of terrain, the guides have years of snowmobile experience, and warm boots and helmets are provided for your comfort and safety. Motoring through the snow on a sunny day is a fun and exhilarating adventure.
Snowshoeing is one of those outdoor winter activities suitable for most fitness levels. Walking on top of the hard-packed snow, you become part of the winter wonderland that surrounds you. Killington offers a classic snowshoe tour and a romantic Moonlight in Vermont Tour, among others. You may end up liking snowshoeing so much that you purchase your own pair to explore more winter wonderlands in the future.
4. The Food
For a unique dining experience, try the Ledgewood Yurt at Killington. Bundle up as you ride a snowcat-drawn sleigh to the ski-in, ski-out yurt-based restaurant for a slopeside prix-fixe dinner. This is one of those once-in-a-lifetime meals where memories are made.
If you love Asian fusion -- and who doesn’t? -- visit Sushi Yoshi for an Oriental nosh. They offer sushi, hibachi, and classic Chinese and Japanese options. Its rustic, family-friendly vibe makes it perfect for the relaxed Vermont atmosphere.
Ramuntos Brick & Brew Pizza in Bridgewater serves up hand-tossed pizza made from fresh, local ingredients. Pair it with a local brew for a perfect meal. The Vermonter is a favorite -- it’s piled with Granny Smith apples, bacon, caramelized onions, Cheddar, mozzarella, and rosemary-infused olive oil.
5. The Accommodations
Killington offers lots of accommodations. Whether you stay on the property, in a nearby village, or in a private rental, there is something for every adventurer.
For a classic ski-in, ski-out experience, Killington’s Sunrise Condos are set back from the main village for a quiet retreat. The Sunrise Condos have a dedicated chairlift affording access to the Killington slopes, giving guests that on-property feel paired with a less hectic atmosphere.
Stay in neighboring Woodstock if you desire luxury getaway accommodations. The Woodstock Inn & Resort is a classic, upscale Vermont inn. After a day of outdoor adventure, enjoy a casually elegant dinner at their restaurant, The Red Rooster.
Of course, staying at the Killington Grand Resort Hotel plants you right in the middle of all the action. No need to drive -- just don your gear and head for the mountain. They have everything you need at your fingertips: Starbucks, a heated pool, an on-site restaurant and bar, equipment rentals, and laundry facilities. You can use their Ship Skis partnership to ship your equipment so that it’s ready and waiting for your arrival.
6. The Charm
There are many quaint New England towns surrounding Killington that are perfect for an afternoon stroll. Winding backcountry roads offer surprise vistas, mom-and-pop specialty shops, and off-the-beaten-path antique dealers with barns worth picking through. Vermont is Americana at its best -- a magical place to just spend the day exploring.
Quechee is a small neighboring village and home to a world-class glassblower, Simon Pearce. The studio is a must-see -- you can watch a glassblowing demonstration, shop for gorgeous glassware, and enjoy a lunch with stunning views of the Ottauquechee River.
Woodstock is a perfect small town with a downtown center green, historic buildings, luxury accommodations, and an assortment of dining options. Visit one of the local farms, explore a museum, or buy from a local maker whose crafting skills have been passed on through generations.
7. The Year-Round Scenery
Killington is not just for skiing -- the area offers four-season fun. During spring, summer, and fall, the outdoor activities are just as plentiful, allowing you to enjoy the beautiful vistas and panoramic Green Mountain views.
Hiking is the perfect way to explore the area, and the Long Trail cuts right through Killington. Visit the AllTrails site to find descriptions, maps, and reviews of the area’s hikes.
Mountain biking is fast becoming a way to enjoy nature at a quicker pace. You can book a Learn To Mountain Bike Package at Killington. Personalized bike-handling instruction, equipment rentals, and a trip out on the trail will give you a solid foundation for this exciting way to see the countryside. As with hiking trails, not all mountain biking trails are the same. There are gentle trails all the way up to double black diamonds. It’s your ride -- you call the shots.
Taking a drive along a scenic, winding country road is one of the best ways to explore the Green Mountain scenery. So let your day-to-day hustle and bustle slip away as you soak up the fresh mountain air and breathtaking scenery of Killington.
Pro Tip: Killington Resort has five base lodges, so make sure your last run of the day brings you back to the lot where your car is parked. It can be a long walk if you miss the last lift!