Right after Christmas John and I headed up to Boston to celebrate my best friend Lindsey's engagement party. A few days later we drove up to Vermont with my parents, my brother, and his girlfriend to Bolton Valley, right outside of Burlington. John and I were pumped about this trip because skiing is one of our mutually favorite activities. Having both grown up in New England, we spent countless weekends hitting the slopes at various mountains all over New Hampshire, Maine, and Vermont, and now that we don't live that close we always jump at the excuse to get up there and ski.
I hadn't been there in a while, and John had never been, but my family has been skiing at Bolton for the past few years and they love it. While it may not be the biggest or fanciest resort in the area, (head to Smuggs or Stowe if you want all the bells and whistles) it makes up for it with it's cozy atmosphere, lack of lift lines, and over all "mom & pop" feel. Not to mention cruising trails, glades, a nordic center, terrain park, and sports center--there is something for everyone!
We stayed in a condo right at the resort, and each morning we would make breakfast, sip our coffee, and then throw on our gear and walk five minutes up to the lift. (There is nothing I hate more than lugging my ski gear around, so this quick commute felt like a little luxury) There wasn't a record breaking amount of snow while we were there so not all 71 trails were open, but the ones that were were fantastic. We got a nice 2-3 inches of fresh powder each morning, and that combined with a great snow making system and an exceptional grooming team made for some pretty fantastic runs. There were a few icy spots, but this is New England skiing after all...
I don't always look this good on the slopes, but I lost my ski parka in my move to Pensacola last year so I was lucky enough to be able to borrow my mom's retro ski suit for this trip. Pretty retro, right?
After skiing we would often head up to the tavern in the main ski lodge where we would sit at the bar, warmed by the big stone fireplace, and sip one of the eighteen beers on tap, most of which were local. Bolton has become known for it's craft beers over the past few years, and even hosted its first beer fest last summer, known as Hop Jam. A couple of the nights we ate in our condo, but one night we headed down the road to Waterbury, where we had dinner at The Prohibition Pig. Speakeasy-themed, as the name suggests, the Pig was packed and the cocktails were excellent. If you go, which you should if you are in the area, get there early and sip a Heady Topper while you wait for your table. It's a cult favorite, and once you sip you will know why. Hoppity hop.
John and I celebrated our first anniversary while we were up there, so another night we headed in up the road in the other direction to Richmond, where we ate at The Kitchen Table Bistro. Located in a historic farm house, the Kitchen Table Bistro is characterized by seasonal Vermont fare, and a lovely candle-lit atmosphere. We had heard amazing things about it but we were still completely wowed by our food as well as the attentive service. We sat right next to a big bay window where we could see the snow coming down, clinked our glasses of bubbly ( thanks Uncle George!) and reflected on our first year of marriage as we tucked into our beef long rib (mine) and steak (his.) Both were to die for. A very special evening indeed, and one we won't soon forget.
We ended our trip by celebrating New Years at the mountain. Bolton had a torch lit parade down the mountain which, when the torch reached the bottom, set off a gorgeous fire works show. After the show we headed inside to the bar, grabbed some drinks, and headed into the brick oven pizza restaurant (did I mention that? Yumm) and rocked to the live band. It was a blast, and the lodge was milling with people who came to ring in the New Year.
As we drove down the snowy mountainside the next day. headed back home, I thought about what really makes a ski trip. To me, its a mountain with fun and varied trails, good people to chat with on the lift, and a warm and cozy place to sit at night and have a good drink and a hot dinner. Bolton Valley far exceeds that criteria, and I love that it is still a mountain that you could learn like the back of your hand, staffed by people you could get to know. We can't wait to go back.
Bolton Valley, 4302 Bolton Valley Access Rd, Bolton Valley, VT 05477
This post is not sponsored, and all opinions are my own.
P.S. Like what you are reading? Go ahead and subscribe by entering your email address into the form on the left-hand side of this page so that you never miss a post! Or, you can follow me on Bloglovin. Also, follow along with The Gallivant on pinterest, instagram, and Twitter!