How to Ski Like a Local at the Best Mountain Towns in America

We asked resident pros at North America’s biggest resorts for their advice on how to ski like a local, including where to stay, what to eat, and how to score the most powder. Here’s your insider’s guide to the best ski trip of your life.

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How to Ski Like a Local in Stowe, Vermont
When Vail Resorts bought Stowe in 2017, locals worried that it would become too crowded as Epic Pass holders flocked to its slopes. That hasn’t happened. In fact, skier traffic has remained stable, and Vail has added welcome improvements. This year, that includes Adventure Zones, a well-marked, off-piste slope that’s a perfect introduction to glade skiing.
Being Slopeside Isn’t Worth the Expense: Field Guide Lodge, which is in town, 15 minutes away from the resort, is a boutique hotel with a hipster-cool vibe. “Sort of Scandi design meets church camp picnic,” says Joe Cutts, a Stowe local and SKI magazine editor. “It’s inexpensive and super accessible.”
Spring for Award-Winning Food: “Go to Hen of the Wood in Waterbury, 20 minutes away,” says Cutts. Its sister restaurant of the same name, in Burlington, won a James Beard Award, but this one is just as good and will serve up one of the best Vermont farm-to-table meals— including dishes like crispy rabbit loin—you’ve ever had.
Take in a Show: Head to Burlington, about 45 minutes away, and catch a concert at Higher Ground. They host everyone from Vampire Weekend to Nick Offerman. Beforehand, get pho at Pho Hong. “It’s a hole-in-the-wall that’s cheap and tiny,” says Cutts. “There will be a line, but it’s worth it.”
Stay on the Mountain—Like Right on the Mountain: Book the Stone Hut at the top of Stowe Mountain. Built in 1936, it got a major overhaul three years ago but is still rustic and heated with a wood stove. And if you stay there on a night it snows, you’re guaranteed early-morning powder turns before anyone else. “It’s truly a local gem—nobody outside northern Vermont really stays there,” says Cutts.

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