Vermont skiers are hardy souls, and the hardiest are those who regularly ski the raw and barely groomed slopes of Mad River Glen (only a 30-minute drive from the Burlington airport). With plenty of natural snow, uncrowded (snowboard-free) slopes, and one of three surviving single chairlifts in North America, Mad River offers a retro experience to thrill even the most demanding skier. In 1995, former owner Betsy Pratt sold Mad River to the skiing public – the one group she trusted to preserve its unspoiled charm – creating the only cooperatively owned and managed ski resort in America. (Shares cost $1,750 each and are available on a 35-month installment plan.) Off the slopes, stay at the cozy Inn at the Round Barn, three miles from the mountain, grab a burger at the Den, and stop by the Mad Mountain Tavern for a Magic Hat beer with the locals.
Details Mad River Glen, 802-496-3551 or www.madriverglen.com (full-day adult lift ticket is $36); the Inn at the Round Barn, 802-496-2276 (rooms start at $135); the Den, 802-496-8880.