Stratton is one of the rare places in Vermont where you truly don't need a car to experience the area. Stratton Mountain is the main attraction here no matter what the season. In winter, it's one of the best ski areas around, with almost 100 trails and 670 acres of skiable terrain, along with tubing, cross-country skiing, snowshoe trails, and much more. In warmer weather, the mountain is a popular hiking spots, as bot the Appalachian and Long Trails cross over the slopes. Of course, the hiking is even better in the fall, when the foliage is at peak. The mountain is anchored by a small village at the base, with one main pedestrian street lined with independently owned, unique, bars, shops, and restaurants. Stratton is an easy drive from both Boston (less than three hours) and New York (about four hours). Leave the car behind in the winter and take the Stratton Jitney, a direct luxury bus services from Manhattan. Or, fly in to Rutland Southern Vermont Regional Airport, which is about an hour away.
Grizzly's at the Base Lodge just underwent a massive renovation and expansion, and it's definitely the place to be. Wide glass windows offer the best views of the slope, and it's the most popular place for lunch and apres-ski, thanks to the delicious and fresh food on offer and the budget-friendly specials. You can order everything you want here, from hearty hamburgers to healthy quinoa vegetable salads and hummus and crudite plates. The bar is always hopping, with local Vermont brews on tap and live music most days and nights. Unlike most mountain lodges, Grizzly's goes late-night, serving up their wood-fired pizzas until 2am with a backdrop of live music or a DJ. Stratton village has options for every craving, and each restaurant is independently owned, so they all have a unique flavor. The Fire Tower Restaurant is one of the most popular, so make a reservation a few days in advance if you want to check out their Vermont beers, craft cocktails, and comfort food. No time to wait for a table? Grab a pizza to go from Stratton Mountain Village Pie to enjoy back at your lodging, or in the attached Bar 802. In the mood for something different? The Sushi Bar is a change from typical ski lodge fare.
The on-mountain lodging is definitely the best choice at Stratton, since you can easily walk to both the mountain and the village. (That's right, you can literally walk to the lifts in less than five minutes... even while wearing ski boots from most of the Stratton rentals). Long Trail House is our first choice, as it offers studio through five bedroom condos. The condos are perfect for groups and families, since they have plenty of space to stretch out, gas fireplaces to relax in front of, and fully equipped kitchens so you can save some money by eating a few meals in. For sore muscles, there's a year-round outdoor pool and hot tubs, both of which are on a heated patio, so you don't have to freeze getting in and out. Likewise, the parking is underground and heated, so you don't have to waste time clearing off your car when you're ready to head home.