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Skiing the East Coast

Skiing

SKI B&B - EAST COAST

by Pamela Lanier and Judy Jacobs

Next time you head for the slopes, consider the bed and breakfast alternative. It may be the Pump House Inn in Canadensis, Pennsylvania (closed January) or the Cranmore Mountain Lodge in North Conway, New Hampshire or any of scores of other B&B inns springing up in ski areas around the country. Whatever the setting, the personal, convivial atmosphere of a small inn, the chance to make new friends and the little extras that one doesn't find in an ordinary ski lodge all add up to an unforgettable experience -- one you will wish to repeat again and again.

The number of bed and breakfast inns has exploded nationally in the last two decades, from less than 300 in 1975 to more than 10,000 today. And who could wonder why? A night in one of these establishments is an experience somewhere between a stay in a traditional hotel and a visit to the home of an old friend. The unique individuality of each inn, moreover, is a welcome relief from the homogeneity of national motel chains.

All the inns featured in this article are close to major Alpine ski resorts, and some, such as Lake Placid's South Meadow Farm Lodge and the Edson Hill Manor in Stowe, Vermont have the added attraction of cross-country trails passing virtually in front of their front doorsteps.

Why stay in a bed and breakfast establishment? Well, B&Bs offer, quite simply, some of the best hospitality and food around. Not only is visiting one of these inns like seeing an old friend (the innkeeper) but it's also a great place to make new friends (the other guests). After a strenuous day on the slopes or miles of cross-country touring, you can compare notes with fellow skier guests over a glass of hot mulled wine and crackers and cheese or while sitting side by side in the sauna. Many friendships are formed in these ways and several innkeepers report groups of friends who meet at their inns and return together year after year.

If a more intimate affair is what you're after, a B&B is just the place for you. A select group of inns are famous romantic haunts. Whether you're in search of a sweetheart, already have one at hand or are just a hopeless romantic at heart, you'll find the Vermont Inn in Killington or Stonehurst Manor (no breakfast) in North Conway, New Hampshire just the place for those romantic reveries.

Bed and breakfast inns are a great locale for family ski vacations, and many innkeepers cater to families with large rooms, Saturday night parties and a warm atmosphere that will make everyone feel right at home. Skiing is not the only activity around many of the inns featured in this article. There's ice-skating, sledding, antiquing and evening entertainment to add variety to your vacation.

Now that you've been sold on the B&B alternative and have chosen a destination for a weekend or a week's ski trip, it's time to decide exactly where to stay. It's not an easy decision, since each inn has its own unique personality, but that's just what makes them so much fun. First to consider is the matter of the building itself. The establishment being considered may be located in an 1856 farmhouse and barn like the Mountain Meadows Lodge in Killington, Vermont or an early 19th-century rural mansion like the Darby Field Inn in Conway, New Hampshire. Another important thing to check out is what facilities are available. Some inns have hot tubs, Jacuzzis or possibly saunas. Others offer cable TV or well-stocked libraries for a philosophical retreat after a strenuous day on the slopes. Still others are furnished with antiques and four-poster feather beds. There's a style for everyone.

Of course we can't forget the breakfast, a quintessential element of the B&B experience and another way that these inns display their hospitality. A very hearty full breakfast served early in the morning will gear you up for a day of vigorous exercise. Just one more reason to go the B&B route, these breakfasts can be exceptional, often with a choice of entrees and gourmet house specialties prepared by the resident chef. Many inns pack picnics and offer dinners as well. In the late afternoons, you and your new-found friends can gather around the fireplace and enjoy a glass of wine or hot cider and hors d'oeuvres. Most innkeepers are as proud of the food they serve as the inns they keep.

And just a word about innkeepers. In the world of bed and breakfast inns, the innkeeper is king, or queen as the case may be. Not only did she or he probably play a primary role in acquiring and decorating the inn in the first place, but this person also creates the mood, making all guests feel right at home. A diverse lot and as unique as the inns they run, many innkeepers are world travellers or accomplished skiers themselves. You'll be sure to enjoy yourself if all innkeepers are as hospitable as the ones we know.

WHITE MOUNTAINS, NEW HAMPSHIRE

FRANCONIA INN
Route 116
Franconia, NH 03580
(800) 473-5299
(603) 823-5542
email: info@FranconiaInn.com

Located in beautiful valley which is great for cross-country, this 35-room inn has a ski center, the Franconia Inn Touring Center, right on the premises and Cannon Mountain is just three miles away. Gourmands will delight in the classic gourmet cuisine, and French cuisine with an American twist is the specialty of the house.

BRADFORD INN
Main Street/RR1 Box 40
Bradford, NH 03221
(603) 938-5309

This is the place for families who ski. Sunapee, Pat's Peak and King Ridge, all suitable for beginners and intermediates, are nearby. The 12-room inn caters to families and offers a cozy, warm atmosphere, big hearty breakfasts and lots of interesting books in its library.

COLBY HILL INN
The Oaks
Box 778
Hennicker, NH 03242
(603) 428-3281
email: stay@colbyhillinn.com

There are three peaks, Pat's Peak, Mt. Sunapee and Crotched Mountain, within 45 minutes of this more than 150-year-old, 16-room country inn. After an exhausting day on the slopes, enjoy a glass of warm spiced cider around the fire and collapse into the soft comfort of one of their canopy beds.

CRANMORE MOUNTAIN LODGE
859 Kearsage Road
North Conway, NH 03860
(603) 356-2044
(800) 356-3596
E-mail: c-u@cml1.com

Not only is there cross-country on the premises, but this 16-room lodge caters to families with an ice-skating pond, toboggan hill, and Saturday night pizza parties. A huge, hearty country breakfast will send you on your way to the slopes - Cranmore Mt., Attitash, Black Mountain, Wildcat, King Pine and Tackerman's Ravine, none of which are more than 17 miles away.

STONEHURST MANOR
Off Route 16
North Conway, NH 03860
(603) 356-3113
(800) 525-9100
email: smanor@aol.com

The innkeepers of this 60-acre estate in the heart of the White Mountains invite you to relax by the fireplace after a day on the slopes and enjoy a candlelight dinner and a bit of romance in their 24-room, turn-of-the-century mansion.

FOLLANSBEE INN
North Sutton, NH 03260
(800) 626-4221
email: follansbeeinn@conknet.com

There's alpine skiing at King Ridge and Mt. Sunapee and cross-country skiing from the door of this 23-room inn. It's three miles to the Norsk Ski Tour.

DARBY FIELD INN
Bald Hill Road
185 Chase Hill,
Albany, NH 03818
(603) 447-2181
(800) 426-4147
email: marc@darbyfield.com

A very secluded 17-room early 1800's farm mansion, the Darby Field Inn sits overlooking the Mt. Washington Valley and the Presidential Mountains. There are cross-country trails running through the property, and look, Wildcat and Crainmore are all within a half-hour's drive.

VERMONT

MOUNTAIN MEADOWS LODGE
285 Thundering Brook Road
Killington, Vermont, 05751
(800) 370-4567
(802) 775-1010

An 1856 farmhouse and barn has been converted into this casual, friendly family lodge in a secluded mountain and lake setting, located four miles from the Killington and two miles from the Pico Ski Areas. The inn boasts a complete cross-country ski center and serves hearty Vermont home-style cooking, with bountiful breakfasts to set you on your way.

VERMONT INN
H.C. 34 Box 37K
Route 4
Killington, VT 05751
(802) 775-0708
(800) 541-7795
email: relax@vermontinn.com

There are spectacular mountain views from every window of this 140-year-old inn, which is located just minutes from the Killington and Pico ski areas. A favorite of couples, its romantic ambiance will prove the perfect atmosphere for a weekend getaway or that long-overdue second honeymoon. The inn's award-winning restaurant is noted for seafood and veal dishes and, of course, pancakes and real Vermont maple syrup for a before-you-hit-the-slopes breakfast.

THE INN AT LONG TRAIL
P.O. Box 267
Sherbourne Pass
Route 4
Killington, VT 05751
(802) 775-7181
(800) 325-2540
email: ilt@vermontel.net

A rough-hewn wood interior lends a rustic feel to this 22-room B&B inn at Sherbourne Pass outside of Killington, one-fourth mile to Pico and four miles to the Killington ski area. After an exciting afternoon of Alpine skiing, relax in the inn's giant redwood hot tub or meet new friends over a mug of Guinness Stout on tap at the in-house Irish pub. You'll satisfy that hearty appetite yopu worked up on the slopes with a selection from a full-choice menu and a bit of homemade bread and soup.

TEN ACRES LODGE
Luce Hill Road
Stowe, VT 05672
(802) 253-7638
(800) 327-7357

Stowe's favorite country inn and restaurant for more than 40 years, this antique-appointed, elegant yet comfortable 18-room inn in located just below Trapp's. Ten Acres is noted for its cuisine and one of their hearty breakfasts of, say, poached eggs topped with shrimp and hollandaise or rib-eye steak and eggs will be sure to get you going for a day on the nearby cross-country trails.

EDSON HILL MANOR
1500 Edson Hill Road
Stowe, Vermont 05672
(800) 621.0284
(802) 253.7371

A fabulous country estate on 400 secluded acres, the Edson Hill Manor offers 27 rooms. There's cross-country skiing on the grounds, and Mount Mansfield and Spruce Peak are only four miles away.

LAKE PLACID, NEW YORK

SOUTH MEADOW FARM LODGECascade Road
Lake Placid, NY 12946
(518) 523-9369
(800) 523-9369

The Olympic cross-country ski trails run right through the property of this rural B&B inn, located seven miles from the town of Lake Placid. A hearty farm-style breakfast will start you on your way, and the inn will pack you a trail lunch full of home-grown goodies.

PENNSYLVANIA

PUMP HOUSE INN
Canadensis, PA 18325
(717) 595-7501

Enjoy the beauty and quietude of the area with the help of a very attentive innkeeper and exquisite gourmet French dining under the direction of a world-class chef.

DREAMY ACRES
P.O. Box 7
Canadensis, PA 18325
(717) 595-7115

Skiers staying at Dreamy Acres can indulge in cross-country skiing on the well-maintained trails at nearby Delaware State Forest and Promised Land State Park, as well as downhill at the newly established Alpine Ski Hill. The innkeepers live up to their motto "you're only a stranger once" with a warmth and hospitality that pervades this six-room inn. There is, unfortunately, no food served in winter.

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Experience Southwestern charm and history at this quintessential New Mexico Inn nestled in the heart of Taos' historic district. When you step into the Inn, you step into Taos history.

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125 Paseo del Pueblo Norte Taos, New Mexico 87571
United States
505-758-2233
Toll Free Reservations: 800-TAOS-INN
Fax: 505-758-5776
General Manager: Chris Smith
Email:rooms@taosinn.com
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