Skiing has been new to my life since coming to college. I actually became extremely close with my boyfriend, John through a ski trip to Canada back in 2015, so it’s something we do every year to reminisce on how we met. John actually retaught me how to ski in 2016 in Killington, VT so we decided to go back there this year to get some good mountains to ski on. It’s a great ski mountain with a great town as well. Although it’s a bit far away, I wanted to share with you guys, some of the best places to go, things to do, and places to eat here while sticking to a budget.
John actually grew up skiing and snowboarding in Vermont and is extremely skilled. He can do all sorts of cool stuff and likes to go into the woods, but I am pretty new to things and also like to keep my speed under control. Although, I appreciate him so much for teaching me to ski, sometimes we just need to ski our separate ways and do what we want, which is what makes Killington is a great place for every level of skier.
When John was first teaching me to ski, we stayed on the Rams Head mountain, which is all easy trails with some other trails to help you progress as you learn. It’s also a small walk away from the Snowshed lodge. From there you can also get to the “learn to ski” hill, which is really great as well. If you’re an advanced skier or snowboarder, you’ll be fine to start at Rams Head as well. There’s usually more parking because the lodge is smaller (also parking is free at all the mountains) so you can start here for the day and work your way across the mountains to harder trails. Just make sure you keep your trial map on you because you can get lost quickly and then get stuck somewhere you don’t want to be (cough cough thanks John).
When it comes to staying in Killington or at any mountain resort, book sooner rather than later. Most people book in early November for their ski trips so it really does pay to plan ahead. I recommend booking right after Halloween to save some major coin. Also, check AirBNB for some really great listings. There are lots of rental sites you can check out but there are lots of cute, cozy places on AirBNB that will get you close to the mountain without having to pay the pretty penny for it. AirBNBs are also a great option if you can get a place with a full kitchen. There is a grocery store on the way into Killington where you can buy groceries and save money by cooking yourself breakfast, lunch, and a dinner or two.
Once you book your place to stay, buy your lift ticket right afterwards! Killington does not offer discounts for many things so they give you incentive to buy your tickets in advance. The longer you wait, the more you pay, especially if you wait till you get there in person. They do offer discounts for military members, but not for students. If you plan to ski for more than 1 week or you’re going to buy a 5 out of 7 pass, consider buying a season pass as well. Sometimes it’s worth it to buy the season pass even if you’re going up once just to save some cash as well.
There are lots of great restaurants around Killington, and a lot offer discounts if you go looking for them. A new place we tried out this year was the Wobbly Barn. This place is one of a kind for sure. The bottom is a nice steakhouse restaurant with all you can eat salad bar and a great selection of drinks. The top floor is a night club with live music and a party atmosphere. Although the restaurant downstairs can be a bit pricey, if you dine there, they don’t make you pay cover to go upstairs for the night (even if you eat dinner, leave, and come back), which saves you about 20+ bucks depending on the day of the week.
If you take a day off or want to unwind a little after you get off the mountain one day and are willing to take a little drive, you can make the trip to Long Trail Brewing Co. This is a local brewery with great food and great beer. I’m not a huge beer drinker, but this place knocks my socks off. They have a big bar and a few smaller tables, so it’s not the best idea to go here with a huge group. They offer tasting selections as well as full beers, and you can make your own six pack before you leave in the gift shop. If you know me, you know I’m a bar food junkie! I love all the hot dogs, nachos, wings, burgers, there are to eat and they have some great options at Long Trail. They offer a full menu of food, but I love their nachos and hot dogs with all the fixings. They go perfect with your beer and they taste SO GOOD!
If you decide to take a break day to hang around Killington, there are lots of other things to do besides skiing. There are snowmobiling tours that are SUPER fun, but can get expensive. There are also lots of cute shops to go wader around in along the main road through Killington as well. You can sit and have coffee at LiquidArt or go play arcade games and grab a drink at Jax Food and Games (John’s fav). Or hang by your fireplace and watch Netflix all day (my fav).
Killington is super far for us from Maryland, but I think it’s totally worth the trip, especially for a four day weekend. If you want the most nightlife and options, make sure to take your trip Thursday through Sunday. Many of the lift lines are longer on Saturday and Sunday, but most bars and restaurants are closed Monday-Wednsday. If you plan on staying in more, I’d say go these days for extra short lines and to also save some money on your trip. But like with any trip, just do your research before you go! There are always lots of simple ways for you to save money and even if you’re just learning, a big mountain like Killington will still be tons of fun! Just make sure to reward yourself at the end of each day with a waffle with chocolate from The Waffle Cabin. You won’t regret it I promise.