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While many people know Boston as the heart of American history, there are actually tons of outdoor activities to do around Beantown. One of the most fun winter activities in the area is heading to one of the ski resorts near Boston for a day (or weekend) of shredding the slopes. To help you plan an amazing weekend ski or snowboard getaway, we’ve compiled this list of the best places to go snowboarding and skiing near Boston.

Despite the fact that Boston is a large urban area, there are tons of ski resorts in the Boston area that cater to all levels of snowboarders and skiers. Many of these ski areas are within an hour of driving distance, making skiing and snowboarding more accessible to Bostonians than other large cities in the United States. Even if you’ve never set foot on a slope before, there are places you can go to learn!

A quick note: most of the places on here are most easily accessible by car. As city dwellers, we always use and recommend Avis for any car rental needs. For those who don’t drive or prefer public transportation, we’ve also included the easiest ways to get to each resort via bus, train, or shuttle where possible.

Best Ski Resorts Near Boston for Beginners

1. Blue Hills Ski Area

  • Distance from Boston: 18 miles (30 minutes)
  • Accommodation available? Not on site
  • Experience Levels: Beginner

As the closest ski resort near Boston, Blue Hills Ski Area is a short 30-minute drive from the city center. Despite its place so close to the city, this ski resort is a fantastic option for beginner skiers or snowboarders who want to learn in a friendly, supportive, and unassuming environment. There are gear rentals and lessons available, and the resort has some of the best prices for skiing in the greater Boston area, giving beginners everything they need to get started.

Additionally, while Blue Hills does not have a hotel on-site, there are cozy lodge areas to grab food and relax. It’s perfect for spending a few hours on a winter day, enjoying the slopes and relaxing among friends and family.

How to get there: Driving will take less than 30 minutes from downtown Boston to Blue Hills. However, if you’d prefer not to drive, ride share services are available, as well as trains on MBTA and Amtrak.

2. Bradford Ski Area

  • Distance from Boston: 37 miles (45 minutes)
  • Accommodation available? Not on site
  • Experience Levels: Beginner and intermediate

Bradford Ski Area is a small, locally-loved ski area that has a handful of family-friendly trails spanning all levels. There’s a lodge where you can buy lift tickets or season passes, rent gear, and sign up for lessons if you’re a first-timer. Lots of reviewers love Bradford Ski Area because it’s a safe and fun environment for those learning to ski, especially children and families.

Like most of the ski areas closest to Boston, Bradford Ski area is located on a hill and therefore, its trails are not extremely long. One reviewer says that Bradford Ski Area is “not a mountain by any means, but a good place to try the sport or get in some after work or school skiing.” However, if you’re hoping to sharpen your skills or take a quick half-day trip to snowboard or ski, there are fewer better places to go snowboarding or skiing near Boston than this!

How to get there: You can get to Bradford Ski Area from Boston in under 45 minutes. It’s very difficult and time-consuming to get there without a car.

3. Pats Peak

  • Distance from Boston: 80 miles (1 hour, 20 minutes)
  • Accommodation available? Not on site
  • Experience Levels: All levels, but 50% of trails are rated as green

Once you leave Massachusetts, your options for skiing open up even more. Pats Peak is a perfect example of ski resorts near Boston that cater to beginners and expert-level skiers quite seamlessly. While Pats Peak is a wonderful place to go for all levels of skiers, it’s especially great for beginners, with beginner-friendly “green” trails that start at the top of the mountain.

Because it’s so popular, the trails can get busy, especially on weekends and holidays. However, reviewers say that the lines move quickly, and the variety of trails can help diffuse some of the crowds.

How to get there: You can drive from Boston to Pats Peak in under 1.5 hours, or you can easily organize a bus trip to Pats Peak if you prefer to go without a car.

Ski resorts near Boston - Waterville Valley
Photo Credit: ashokboghani (Flickr CC)

4. Waterville Valley Resort

For beautiful views and a wide spread of trails, Waterville Valley Resort is a gem located in New Hampshire that many Bostonians and Northeasterners adore. There’s a sizable lodge with dining and a bar here, as well as several resources like gear rentals and lessons for beginners to snowboarding and skiing.

Many local reviewers mentioned that Waterville Valley Resort is a wonderful place to learn, with a great array of slopes that get progressively more challenging as you inch toward to the top of the mountain. Indeed, Waterville Valley has an inclusive atmosphere that’s supportive for beginners to expert-level snowboarders and skiers, with downhill slopes as well as Nordic ski trails to choose from.

How to get there: It takes about 2 hours to drive to Waterville Valley Resort from Boston, and this is basically the only way to get to Waterville Valley.

5. Blandford Ski Area

  • Distance from Boston: 109 miles (2 hours)
  • Accommodation available? Not on-site
  • Experience Levels: All levels; many trails suitable for beginners

If you’re a beginner skier who wants to give night skiing a try, Blandford Ski Area is a great spot for you. Of the 22 trails in this area, over 40% are rated green, and are suitable for beginners wanting to tackle something bigger than a bunny hill. Of course, there are lessons and rentals available here, and lift tickets are some of the least expensive in the area (with additional discounts for service members and students, too!).

How to get there: Driving is the only way to get to Blandford Ski Area, and it takes approximately 2 hours to get there.

Best Ski Resorts Near Boston for All Levels

Photo Credit: Massachusetts Office of Tourism & Travel (Flickr CC)

Nashoba Valley

  • Distance from Boston: 37 miles (45 minutes)
  • Accommodation available? Not on site
  • Experience Levels: Beginner & Intermediate

Located just 45 minutes outside of the city, Nashoba Valley is one of the smaller ski resorts near Boston that really packs a punch for snowboarders and skiers wanting to get some more experience under their belt. Here, you’ll find a variety of ski trails, ranging from green bunny hills to black diamond mountaintop trails.

While it’s not necessarily the most thrilling set of slopes for expert-level skiers, Nashoba Valley is a fantastic place for less experienced snowboarders and skiers to tackle more difficult slopes. There are a few short beginner hills (see trail map here) for those who are completely new to skiing, but this is a fantastic and accessible place for beginners who want to tackle their first blue trail or two.

How to get there: Driving takes approximately 45 minutes from Boston. Unfortunately, it is quite difficult to get to Nashoba Valley via public transportation.

Photo Credit: Massachusetts Office of Tourism & Travel (Flickr CC)

Wachusett Mountain

  • Distance from Boston: 54.5 miles (1 hour)
  • Accommodation available? Not on site; closest hotel is DoubleTree Leominster
  • Experience Levels: All levels

As a Massachusetts favorite, Wachusett Mountain seemingly has something for everyone. There’s an entire area with beginner-friendly (green) trails, with higher and more advanced trails towards the top of the mountain. With its welcoming atmosphere, it’s no wonder that this is one of the most popular places to go snowboarding and skiing near Boston.

It’s a fairly small resort, but it’s so beloved that, according to one reviewer, “the line for people to get there season passes was [so] long, so they [had to give] out day passes to the people in line to go ski.” Aside from the variety of trails, locals love the friendly service and reasonable prices here, as well as its location around an hour outside of Boston.

How to get there: You can drive in ~1 hour or, without a car, you can take the Wachusett Ski Train from North Station in Boston.

Crotched Mountain

  • Distance from Boston: 77 miles (1.5 hours)
  • Accommodation available? Yes, at Crotched Mountain Resort
  • Experience Levels: All levels

For more experienced skiers, there are few better places to go snowboarding or skiing near Boston than Crotched Mountain. Here, there’s a pretty even split between easy, intermediate, and expert-level terrain, which is somewhat rare for ski resorts near Boston. Snowboarders and skiers of any kind can find a trail that’s appropriate for their skill level at Crotched Mountain. Visitors love that the trails here are usually very well-groomed and maintained.

Additionally, Crotched Mountain has glade areas for forested skiing and snowboarding. There’s also a beginner-friendly zone for those who are hitting the slopes for the first time. The large lodge area offers dining and rest areas for when you’re ready for some refreshments between runs.

How to get there: Driving is the easiest (and basically the only) way to get to Crotched Mountain from Boston.

Mount Sunapee

  • Distance from Boston: 101 miles (1 hour, 45 minutes)
  • Accommodation available? Yes, at Sunapee Lake Lodge
  • Experience Levels: All levels

As one of the better ski resorts near Boston for all levels of snowboarders and skiers, Mount Sunapee is one of the most popular spots for a weekend ski getaway. There’s a reason why many Bostonians keep going back to Sunapee Resort again and again during the winter! With 66 trails and over 230 acres of terrain, as well as an entire designated beginner slope area, there’s no shortage of thrill for any experience level.

On top of great slopes and lodge areas, Mount Sunapee also has great weekday specials like “Ladies Day” on Tuesday, which includes discounts on lift tickets, rentals, and lessons.

How to get there: The easiest and only way to get to Mount Sunapee is by car, and takes 1 hour and 45 minutes to arrive from Boston.

Photo Credit: Michelle (Flickr CC)

Gunstock

  • Distance from Boston: 101 miles (1 hour, 45 minutes)
  • Accommodation available? Not on-site; closest hotel is the Ballard House Inn
  • Experience Levels: Intermediate and advanced

For thrill seekers, Gunstock is one of the best ski resorts near Boston. Many of the trails are rated intermediate or above, and the views from the top of the mountain are truly spectacular. Additionally, Gunstock Resort has night skiing available towards the bottom of the mountain, meaning you can truly max out a day of skiing here. There are also terrain park areas for those looking for a bit more of a challenge. For non-skiers/boarders, there’s snow tubing on-site and a sizable lodge for relaxing in a warm, cozy spot for the day.

How to get there: Driving is the easiest way to get to Gunstock, and it takes about 1 hour and 45 minutes. You can also book a bus tour on Saturdays that includes round trip transportation from Boston to Gunstock.

Photo Credit: Kayak the Rockies (Flickr CC)

Cannon Mountain

  • Distance from Boston: 140 miles (2 hours)
  • Accommodation available? Not on-site; nearest hotel is Best Western White Mountain
  • Experience Levels: Intermediate to advanced

A local favorite for snowboarding and skiing, Cannon Mountain is one of the largest mountains on our list, topping out at 72 trails over 265 acres. With smaller crowds, a diverse set of trails, and beautiful views, Cannon Mountain caters to snowboarders and skiers of any level.

Many local Bostonians and Northeasterners call out Cannon Mountain as their favorite mountain resort in the area. One reviewer mentions that it’s “old school and non-corporate.” People also like that it’s not too crowded, there are incredible weekday ski specials, and that the mountain accommodates more advanced skiers with challenging trails and fast lifts.

How to get there: The best (and only) way to get to Cannon Mountain is to drive, and it takes about 2 hours to get there.

Loon Mountain

  • Distance from Boston: 135 miles (2.5 hours)
  • Accommodation available? Yes; at Loon Mountain Club Resort
  • Experience Levels: All levels

Loon Mountain is a popular, all-levels area to go snowboarding and skiing near Boston. While it’s a bit more expensive than Cannon Mountain, it’s get plenty of intermediate and expert-level terrain, and there’s an on-site lodge, The Mountain Club, for accommodations and dining. In addition to skiing and snowboarding, there are also plenty of opportunities to get outdoors, with tubing, snowshoeing, and ice skating available on-site.

How to get there: You can drive from Boston to Loon Mountain in ~2.5 hours, or you can take a bus from South Station to Lincoln, NH, then take a free Loon Mountain Shuttle from The Links.

Bretton Woods - ski resorts near Boston
Photo Credit: Mt. Washington Valley Chamber of Commerce (Flickr CC)

Bretton Woods

With 63 trails dispersed across its 460+ acres of terrain, Bretton Woods is one of the most varied and comprehensive ski resorts near Boston. At Bretton Woods, you can find both downhill slopes as well as Nordic ski trails, meaning there’s a wide variety of things you can do and try here. Beginner, intermediate, and expert-level trails all start at the top of the mountain, meaning you can get thrilling, long stretches of snow no matter how much experience you have!

Additionally, Bretton Woods is one of the most popular spots to go for a winter weekend getaway from Boston. With 3 beautiful hotels, a spa, as well as other winter activities like tubing, snowmobiling, and ice skating, it’s a wonderful winter getaway for riders and non-riders alike!

How to get there: By car, it takes about 2.5 hours to get from Boston to Bretton Woods. Several buses run throughout the winter from Boston to Bretton Woods via the New England SnowBus. Click here for more detailed dates and schedules.

Killington Ski Resort

  • Distance from Boston: 160 miles (2 hours, 45 minutes)
  • Accommodation available? Yes, at the Killington Ski Resort
  • Experience Levels: All levels

As one of the largest places to go snowboarding and skiing near Boston, there’s a LOT to do and a ton of trails to ride at Killington Resort. Here, you’ll find trails for every experience level, from bunny hills to double black diamonds, as well as tons of on-site amenities for when you’re ready to rest from the slopes. They’ve got lessons, rentals, and learning areas for beginners, and snowmaking in several sections of the park.

How to get there: By car, it takes about 2 hours and 45 minutes to get from Boston to Killington Resort. Several buses run throughout the winter from Boston to Killington via the New England SnowBus. Click here for more detailed schedules.

Snowboarding & Skiing Near Boston: Additional Resources

What to Pack

  • Waterproof outerwear – Possibly the most critical pieces of clothing for your ski trip packing list is durable, waterproof outerwear. Burton and Helly Hansen are famous ski brands for having best-in-class clothing that will keep you warm in the coldest, snowiest conditions. Click here to shop ski jackets and compare prices.
  • Thermal layers – Thermal baselayers are absolutely critical for a smooth skiing experience, as these will keep you warm and dry underneath your outerwear. The best kinds of thermal baselayers are made of Merino wool, which is moisture-wicking and comfortable. Our favorite brand of thermal layers is SmartWool – their tops and leggings are soft, lightweight, but warm and durable for all kinds of outdoor activities, including skiing. Click here to shop thermal tops and leggings and compare prices.
  • Ski goggles – No ski trip packing list would be complete without a pair of fog-resistant ski goggles, especially if you’re going somewhere that makes artificial snow. Ski slopes often have snow blowing into the air several times a day and it can be hard to keep freezing snowflakes out of your eyes, even during clear days. We use and recommend these ski goggles. However, you can shop ski goggles and compare reviews/prices here.

If you’re looking for a more comprehensive list of things to pack, head to our Ultimate Ski Trip Packing List to view our full packing list and gear recommendations for the slopes!

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Kay Rodriguez is the Chicago-based travel writer and photographer behind Jetfarer and Skyline Adventurer. When she's not blogging furiously on her laptop or editing photos, you can find Kay running, hiking, or paddling in a new city.

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