December 20, 2018

Best Skiing Destinations on the East Coast

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Compared to skiing in the west, the elevations are lower on East Coast slopes and knee-deep powder is a rare sight. But the ski resorts make up for the lack of powder with a high tech mix of natural and man-made snow. In fact, the snowmaking techniques are so advanced that you’ll have a hard time telling the difference on most mountains.

Despite the smaller mountains, there are several eastern skiing areas that have the long, steep runs of the higher western peaks. Our list includes plenty of ski resorts that offer both white-knuckle challenges and the bunny slopes for beginners. Skiing in the east also gives you the chance to experience the charming and scenic New England towns where the popular ski resorts are based.

Travel Tips

The close proximity of mountains within New England makes it easy to visit multiple ski resorts on the same trip. Skiing in New York or Massachusetts is only a few hours drive on the north-south interstates. The same goes for ski resorts in Vermont and New Hampshire. For on-the-road comfort and affordability on your ski vacation, the best way to travel to several resorts is with a charter bus, especially with a group of 10 or more.

At Metropolitan Shuttle, we offer charter bus reservations specifically for interstate travel. When you plan your ski vacation with a group, consider booking a charter with us, a budget-friendly option that is cheaper per passenger compared to other types of travel like airline tickets or taxis and rideshare services. And while we can’t protect you on the slopes, we can keep you safe behind the wheel, a testament to our strict safety guidelines that follow federal standards.

North Conway, New Hampshire

For the best mountain vistas on the East Coast, the Wildcat Ski Resort in North Conway fits the bill. Adventure-seekers in your group will also a get a chance to shred some powder on 2,112 feet of vertical and ride one of the fastest lifts to get there. You’ll also get to experience the charm of a classic New England town in between skiing the slopes.

Sugarbush/Mad River Glen, Vermont

With its stunning natural beauty and diverse terrain, Mad River Glen has become a favorite New England hub for family-friendly skiing. In the 60s, the town of Sugarbush was a big deal among the glamorous jet setters that loved to ski. Legend has it that the term ‘jet setter’ originated in this area. Today, dedicated skiers are drawn here year after year to experience the fun and thrill of Vermont’s highest chairlift. At the nearby Mad River Glen Mountain, it’s a skier’s dream with real snow that follows the curves of the slopes.

Jay Peak, Vermont

Situated in the green mountains of Vermont, Jay Peak has some of the best skiing terrain in the east. Make the most of your ski vacation with picturesque tree glades, long trails, and an abundance of natural snowfall. You’ll find a range of ski runs from beginner level to advanced, making it ideal for the whole family.

Killington, Vermont

Known as the “Beast of the East” in the skiing community, people come here to experience the rugged terrain, including tree glades and lots of bumps. The best place for experienced skiers is the Outer Limits, which features the steepest and longest runs in New England.

Pats Peak, Massachusetts

Only a few hours drive from Boston, Pats Peak is easy to get to and also stands out among other resort areas with nighttime skiing and a large amount of terrain for beginners. When you’re not shredding the slopes, the town of Henniker serves as a cozy backdrop with a charming downtown that features many local businesses and a private college.

Catamount, New York

Another accessible skiing area, Catamount is only a few hours from New York City and Boston. It also has the best beginner terrain in the Berkshires, plus a steep run for experts and a selection of terrain parks for snowboarders and freestylers. If you love the magic of skiing at night, you’ll also find over 32 trails with plenty of lights. When you’re taking a break from the slopes, you can thaw out with a hot chocolate in the nearby town of Hillsdale, which is known for its friendly and relaxed vibe.

Sugarloaf, Maine

Situated in a remote part of Northern Maine, Sugarloaf is a four-hour drive from either Boston or Montreal. But the longer travel time is worth the effort, especially with plenty of natural powder from 200 inches of annual snowfall. It also features the only ski lifts in the east that are above the treeline. In the western mountains of Maine, the ski season stretches into May, giving you access to wide open snowfields and 2,820 feet of continuous vertical.

Stowe, Vermont

With a long history of skiing that dates back to the 30s, Stowe was the ski town where on of the first chairlifts were used, an interesting historical fact along with other notable events that are highlighted at the Vermont Ski Museum. On the slopes, you’ll find Mount Mansfield, Vermont’s tallest peak. More than half of the runs are rated for intermediates while experts can get their adrenaline pumping on some of Vermont’s most challenging trails. Three terrain parks are also available for snowboarders and other outdoor sports like sleigh rides and snowmobile tours.

Tuckerman’s Ravine, New Hampshire

For the best in backcountry skiing, Tuckerman’s Ravine offers stunning vistas of Mount Washington, the highest peak in the Northeast. The wild terrain provides the perfectly rugged and natural landscape for a true East Coast skiing adventure.

Okemo Mountain, Vermont

Its location in south-central Vermont makes the Okemo Mountain easily accessible by car or charter bus. Along with being close to major interstates, Okemo also has excellent natural snow and well-groomed runs that are perfect for all levels. It also features the longest superpipe in the east and nine top-rated terrain parks, making it a hotspot for snowboarders.

Whiteface Mountain, New York

A mix of natural and man-made snow, these extensive ski trails make up 35 acres of mountainside, including the longest single intermediate run in the Northeast. Whiteface Mountain also features two terrain parks, a beginner’s park, and a half-pipe for snowboarders and freestyle skiers.

Some would say that you can’t buy happiness, but you can buy a lift pass, and for those who love skiing, it’s practically the same thing. With winter in the air and eternal spring in your heart, keep calm and shred some slopes!

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October 26, 2018

Travel Accessories that Make Traveling Easier

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Whether you’re traveling for business or pleasure, create your own first-class travel experience with these practical and ultra-luxe travel accessories:

Wireless Shiatsu Massager

The cushy reclining seats on charter buses might be plenty comfortable, but sitting in an upright position for an hour or more can be hard on the spine. And if you’re flying on a budget airline, it’s even worse—the compact seats can really knot up your lower back. For instant pain relief from travel-related back strain, a portable back massager can provide the deep tissue massage you need to enhance circulation and reduce inflammation. Many back massagers have built-in features like healing heat functions and a 20-minute automatic shut off to prevent overstimulation of the muscles.

 

Portable Chargers

When you include a portable charger on your packing list, you’ll never be the desperado at the airport or bus station who has to fight over wall outlets to charge a device. A must-have not just for passing the time, a smartphone is the single most important travel accessory you can have because it keeps you connected during your journey. So when you need to make an important call or send an urgent text, a portable charger ensures that your phone never runs out of battery at the most critical moments. Make sure you pay attention to the amperage of the battery pack because it dictates how many times you can recharge your phone before having to recharge the battery pack itself.

 

Neck Pillow & Blanket

The unique shape of a neck pillow is designed to comfortably support your head in an upright position. Without it, you run the risk of waking up with a sore neck if you fall asleep in an awkward position. Bringing the comforts of home to your travels, the blanket ensures that you feel cozy and warm on the journey. Whether it’s a charter bus or airplane, there’s a good chance that the air conditioning with being on full blast, so keep your travel blanket close by and be comfortable in any temperature. Fleece blankets are nice and soft, but reflective “space blankets” are effective and real space savers compared with other blankets.

 

Noise Canceling Headphones

Don’t let outside noise pollution like loud talkers or crying babies put a damper on your travel experience. The perfect solution is noise canceling headphones, which help block out noise around you so you can concentrate on listening to your podcast, watching videos on your smartphone, or jamming out to your favorite music playlist. Without any outside distractions, these high tech headphones are perfect for helping you stay focused and fully absorbed in your on-the-road activities, whether it’s an eBook, writing in a notebook, or dreamily gazing out the window. You can also turn on the noise-canceling feature without music on, which will create a nice, calming quiet space.

 

Hard Carry-on Luggage Case with Charging Ports

Roller bags are essential for an easy and seamless trek through airports, bus terminals, or other transportation hubs. Made with ultra durable polycarbonate, the hard shell case has a glossy finish that holds up in the roughest of conditions. Luckily for the savvy traveler, this popular type of luggage gets a major update with high tech features like a TSA compliant lock that protects your valuables, plus a built-in USB port, which gives you a convenient way to charge your devices. Finally, there’s an all-in-one luggage case for the smart passenger! Just be sure to check your airline’s luggage rules as some have been imposing restrictions on “smart luggage.”

 

Sleep Mask & Portable Sound Machine

If you’re a light sleeper, a sleep mask with built-in ear coverings is a must-have for your travel checklist. More comfortable and effective than regular earplugs, this soft and silky mask significantly blocks out unwanted sounds and light. For deep REM snoozing on your travels, make it a complete set with a portable sound machine that you can clip onto your clothing, plus sleep earbuds to deliver the soothing sounds of ocean waves, rain, and other types of white noise. Or just use your noise-canceling headphones over your earplugs to further block the noise.

 

Universal Travel Outlet

Whether you’re at a public transportation terminal or relaxing at your hotel or Airbnb, a travel power adapter with international compatibility is the most practical travel accessory you can own. The device includes access to outlets that are compatible with over 160 countries, including the UK, Europe, Australia, USA, and many more. Look for models with four USB slots and one AC socket, which allow you to charge five devices simultaneously. Make sure you check the voltage of your electronics! Some countries use a higher voltage than the US, so even if the plug fits, you need to make sure that your gadget is compatible with the host country’s voltage.

 

RFID Blocking Wallet and Passport Case

Thieves are going high tech with wireless scanners that can steal your personal info directly through a wallet. And nothing is worse for morale than having your personal security compromised during a trip. The answer to protecting your most essential items like a wallet or passport is the RFID blocking wallet or case. Look for wallets made with top-grade materials like grade 5 titanium and electro-plated gunmetal for maximum security. On your next trip, protect yourself against electronic pickpocketing with these advanced wallets, which are also available in leather or glossy aluminum.

 

According to T.S. Eliot, “the journey not the arrival matters,” so get ready to travel in comfort and style with these handy, on-the-go accessories.

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