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Guest blog written for WhitefaceRegion.com by Natalie Moore.

Break up the monotony of winter with a trip that won’t break the bank

There’s no question about it. Skiing these days can be outrageously expensive. Add in the cost of lodging near a resort, and the cost of food, and it’s getting harder and harder for young groups of friends to take ski trips, even just for a weekend.

But while an adult weekend lift ticket at Stratton Mountain can run you $199 (and don’t get us started on lift ticket prices out west, which these days are inching closer to the $300 mark), Whiteface Mountain’s single-day lift tickets cost a reasonable $124 or less when you buy your ticket online in advance. And if you and your friends are avid skiers who already have SKI3 season passes (which get you unlimited days at Whiteface, Gore and Bellyeare), heading up for a weekend of skiing at Whiteface is practically free. Well, sort of.

Either way, skiing at Whiteface is a good deal. And it’s an even better deal when you consider all the affordable lodging options and restaurants located just minutes down the road. So grab your skis and grab your friends—we’re going on an affordable getaway to Whiteface Mountain.

Three skiers ride the lift at Whiteface Mountain

Where to Stay

Cadence Lodge

True ski bums don’t need all the frills and thrills of a four- or five-star hotel—they need a comfortable, clean place to rest their head so they can get back out on the mountain tomorrow. And that’s what you’ll find at Cadence Lodge, a 1950s-style motor lodge with 15 rooms and a dedicated staff. While the rooms are on the smaller side, they’re all recently updated and perfectly clean. You may not have an iron in your room, but if you’re ironing your ski clothes, you’ve got bigger problems. (Irons are available upon request.) Bonus: The onsite restaurant serves up specialties from the farm, sea and garden, making it an easy stop everyone will enjoy.

The Wilderness Inn

Looking for a more off-the-grid experience? Rent your own private chalet at The Wilderness Inn. Pick your chalet based on the size of your group and your plans for your nights in. While the Spruce is big enough for an entire family with 600 square feet, two single beds, one double bed, two queen beds and two bathrooms, the pint-sized Balsam would be better suited for a smaller group that’s just there to sleep; at 350 square feet, there’s just one bedroom, but still has two queens and a single bed.

The Wolfjaw Lodge

Who ever said a motel couldn’t be chic? When you step into one of The Wolfjaw Lodge’s 11 rooms, you’ll think you’re in a trendy urban boutique hotel, not a small-town motel. The décor is positively Instagram-worthy, and the rooms boast oversized TVs, high-speed Wi-fi and kitchenettes. A free winter shuttle will take you right to the base of the mountain in minutes, and if you have a lot of friends, discounts are available for parties looking to book more than four rooms.

The front entrance of the Cadence Lodge, a 1950's style motor lodge in the Whiteface Region on a snowy day

Where to Eat

Up a Creek

It’s hard to beat the prices at Up a Creek, a family-owned and operated restaurant located just outside downtown Wilmington. Open from 7 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. Wednesday – Saturday and until 1 p.m. Sundays, Up a Creek has all the essentials. For breakfast, go for the two eggs and toast for $4 or the French toast for $6, or splurge on an eggs benedict for $9. And for dinner? Spaghetti and meatballs, pulled barbecue chicken or a haddock sandwich – yes, please! You could even get all your meals there, if you wrapped up a turkey club to go and ate it on the chairlift.

Little Super Market

Speaking of sandwiches to go, the Little Super Market has been a favorite sub shop for Wilmington residents and visitors alike for some seven-odd decades. Conveniently located at a Mobil station so you can top off the tank while you’re there, the market crafts made-to-order sandwiches with pretty much any topping you can think of – even liverwurst and Miracle Whip. The best part? It’s open early, so you can grab your lunch before heading to the mountain.

Rudy’s Scar Bar & Grill

At Rudy’s Scar Bar & Grill, apres ski starts at 3 p.m.! Located at Chalet Whiteface, a 10-room bed and breakfast (that’s also worth checking out when looking for lodging), Rudy’s has everything you could want after a frigid day on the mountain: think New England clam chowder, chili, poutine, chicken wings, and much, much more. (There’s even a special section of the menu for vegetarians.) But food is only the half of it – belly up to the bar and jam out to live musical performances that are hosted most Saturdays.

Adirondack Mountain Coffee Café

It’s a tad bit out of the way – you’ll have to drive a whole eight minutes to the town of Jay – but Adirondack Mountain Coffee Café is well worth the trip. For breakfast, have your eggs in any style (poached, fried, scrambled, in an omelet, on a sandwich, etc.) or keep it simple with a bowl of oatmeal. For lunch, soups, salads and sandwiches are the main attractions, but you can also go all out on house specials such as a chicken and biscuits or fish and chips. And don’t forget a cup of Joe to wash it all down – they don’t call it Adirondack Mountain Coffee Café for nothin’.

Fratelli Pizza Restaurant & Bar

You can’t go wrong with a hot slice of pizza after a cold day of skiing. Fresh ingredients take center stage at Fratelli Pizza Restaurant & Bar, which boasts a wide selection of appetizers (mozzarella sticks, jalapeno poppers, fried calamari), pasta (veal parmesan, pasta primavera, puttanesca penne), seafood (shrimp fra diavlo, clams, seafood ravioli) and, yes, pizza – create your own or choose from one of the many specialty pizza options.

Two coffee mugs sit on a shelf at the Adirondack Mountain Coffee cafe

The Mountain

If your choice of lodging doesn’t offer a free shuttle service, no problem. Whiteface Mountain is a stone’s throw from Wilmington, and offers plentiful parking at both the main Base Lodge and Bear Den Lodge (pull into the main entrance, cross the Ausable River and take a right). Bear Den Mountain is the home of Whiteface’s lessons program, so the terrain is more suitable for beginners. Thanks to a new lift opened this year, The Notch, skiers can now ride to Legacy Lodge at mid-station from Bear Den, providing access to even more of the mountain and a seamless progression from the bunny hills to intermediate runs.

As for the mountain itself, there’s something for everyone. Green circle trails abound at Bear Den, as well as off the Warhorse chairlift which takes off from the main lodge. Park rats can get their fix at five terrain parks built for a variety of abilities located all around the mountain. Intermediate skiers and riders will love the uber-long Wilmington Trail, which, at 2.1 miles long, offers sweeping views of the Adirondack Park. And for those in search of the steepest, bumpiest black diamonds, there’s Mountain Run, Cloudspin, Skyward and plenty of glades. If you’re lucky, the ski patrol will even open Whiteface’s notorious slides to expert skiers.

When it comes time for a break from all the shredding, grab a bite and a pint at the Base Lodge, Bear Den Lodge or Legacy Lodge, which is located midway up the mountain. To top off the perfect ski day? Give in to temptation and splurge on a chocolate-covered waffle from Waffle Cabin. You know you want to.

Three skiers rest on a groomed trail at Whiteface Mountain

So what are you waiting for? Book your ultimate friends getaway to Whiteface Mountain today.



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