Many readers think Whiteface is either “cold” or “icy” or “cold and icy.” In fact, it’s hard to believe it’s any worse than the Vermont mountains visible across the lake. Anyway, that’s generally where the complaints end and the praise begins. “Huge mountain,” says one reader. “A wonderful, white, steep rush!” With the East’s longest vert—3,430 feet—Whiteface serves up sustained runs and unspoiled views (no. 7 for Challenge, no. 2 for Scenery). And nearby Lake Placid, the two-time Winter Olympics host, offers an unusual wealth of dining (no. 3) and après (no. 3). But it’s the off-hill activities that really shine, thanks to all those Olympic facilities. “Bobsled ride is a true bucket-list experience,” one reader promises. So put on an extra layer and enjoy a massive mountain, gorgeous scenery and “the best ski town anywhere.” —J.C.
Après Spot » The Lake Placid Pub and Brewery serves delicious craft brews; the Cottage is cozy and lakeside.
Family Activity » The Olympic Passport offers discounted admission to all the Olympic facilities: nordic trails, bobsled, museum, ski jump, etc.
On-Hill Lunch » For a refined, waitstaffed experience, try the J. Lohr bar and café, downstairs in the base lodge.