Where to go outside New York
For great skiing within easy reach of New York, head for the high Catskills. Drive via Palenville, stopping for a light lunch at Circle W. The owner looks like something out of a Norman Rockwell painting. If it’s not too crowded at the Kaaterskill Falls, it’s worth parking and hiking up the slope to feel the spray on your face and to take in the view that inspired the Hudson River School painters. Farther up the twisting road is a mecca for ice climbers; the brave can join their dangerous escapades during the Catskill Ice Festival (Jan 29th-Feb 1st 2017). Push on into Tannersville with its vividly painted, frontier-like buildings; walking down main street feels as if you have strayed back into the Gold Rush era. The well-connected members of the Onteora Club (or affiliated clubs in NYC) can rent vast “cottages”, or stay in its Field House, sinking into deep armchairs after a day on the slopes. The club has long been a hub for lovers of the decorative arts, and past visitors include Mark Twain. If you can’t stay there, there will be room instead at the Deer Mountain Inn (from $225 a night), which has a timbered bar, roaring fires and delicious food. Once it snows head to Hunter Mountain and Windham Mountain resorts. East Coast skiing tends to be hard and fast, but there’s enough variety to keep a downhill skier happy for a day. If you’re more inclined to the horizontal, try Mountain Trails Cross-Country Ski Centre.