Explore Snowshoe in West Virginia
Inside the hut, we rub our hands above a potbellied stove as a chef in ski pants preps a dinner of steaks and salmon. In the morning, we'll make snowballs, forge fresh tracks, and light a bonfire. But tonight we toss tales across a wood table well into the night. Tucked away in the Allegheny Mountains of West Virginia, we've discovered the soul of Snowshoe Mountain.
It's also the kind of place where people help others. We heard it from Southern Living reader Denise Ott Land of Norfolk, Virginia. On her second trip here, her family got stuck while driving in a blizzard. The first carload of locals pulled over. The local family fed and watered the Lands while fixing their car. "They treated us like family," Denise said. And they wouldn't take a dime.
Follow off-duty staffers to the best meals. We tailed them to Foxfire Grille, where the upscale mac and cheese was delish and our tabletop s'mores drew admirers. Splurge at Ember (pictured), a trendy bistro with inventive food, Fed-Ex fish specials, and sushi even a snob could love. Warm up at Starbucks with free wireless Internet and an indoor-outdoor fireplace.
Where to Stay
Choose from 1,400 properties in Snowshoe's rental program. Many condos sit slopeside. Prices can fit almost any budget. The newest lodge, Soaring Eagle, offers luxury suites with wireless Internet, underground parking, a fitness center, market, and a 15-person outdoor whirlpool.
The other perk of inverted resorts? Summit sunsets. At dusk, the famed alpenglow paints the Allegheneys pink, and the bustle in the Village grows still as all eyes pause to drink in the sight.
Reachable from the main resort by shuttle, Silver Creek offers wider trails, molehill slopes, and fewer crowds. (All-inclusive lift tickets are available.) A stand-alone entity with its own lodging, dining, shops, and ski school, it's perfect for families with kids. I'd come here just for the tubing park (humor required; skills optional) and night skiing.
I swap my snowboard for skis to explore Snowshoe, a mountain big enough to keep me entertained, but small enough that I don't get lost. Then I cross the street to the experts-only Western Territory. First thought: Wow, this is steep! Second thought: Whew, this is long! There may be only a few runs, but they serve up 1,500 vertical feet in a 1¼-mile stretch. Few resorts in the East can offer slopes like these.
That's the beauty of Snowshoe: It's not all about downhill. Live shows at the Comedy Cellar. A cozy soak in the Split Rock Pool, an indoor-outdoor winter haven. Terrain parks with ramps and rails. Family fun at the Big Top, an 11,000-square-foot entertainment center with a climbing wall and trampoline. You don't need to be a downhiller to have fun here.