Mountain elitists of the Western United States, with their Rocky Mountain and Sierra Nevada ranges, like to own the conversation about what qualifies as a “true mountain experience.” But New Yorkers are in on a secret: the pristine, forest-flanked alpine lakes of Adirondacks; the near-perfect undulations of White Mountains; and the steeps of the Green Mountains all hold their own when it comes to the perfect place to escape the urban madness. Any further proof they may need, as if there’s not already enough, is a snowshoe outing away from any of the cabins listed below. These mountain escapes are far enough away, about five hours from NYC, but within a day’s drive so as not to require an overnight en route — and they all make for an ideal getaway this winter.
1. Bull Crest Cabin, Elizabethtown, NY
$125/night via Airbnb
Drive time from NYC: under five hours
Cozy barely begins to describe the Bull Crest Cabin, high in the Adirondacks near Elizabethtown (and conveniently not too far from the slopes of Whiteface Mountain ski resort). This one comes with all the fixins, including a toasty fireplace. Full kitchen, full WiFi, and fully surrounded by forest, not a disturbance in the world to bother your crew other than the immediate access to a variety of outdoor activities like snowshoeing, skiing, or frigid forest bathing. The town itself isn’t far, either, in case a night out beckons or a trip to restock supplies is in order.
2. River Cabin w/ Sauna, Upper Jay, NY
$375/night via Airbnb
Drive time from NYC: under five hours
If you’ve ever wanted to know what it’s like to sauna inside a hollowed-out log, this is your chance. The cabin itself is the bonus here, with the ability to sleep your entire crew of up to 12 people in four bedrooms within an 1800s guesthouse. The swank experience comes with a wood-burning stove, firepit, avocado chairs, and a river running nearby to wash away the sounds of the city. It’s less than half an hour from Whiteface Mountain and has walk-out hiking access so bring the snowshoes.
3. Unique and Rustic w/ Fireplace and Outdoor Space, Bartlett, NH
$195/night via Airbnb
Drive time from NYC: about six hours
Up to four guests can enjoy this cabin in the White Mountains outside of Bartlett, New Hampshire. Perfect for a snowshoe or ski getaway. Attitash Mountain resort is right up the road, with Cranmore and Black Mountain ski areas not far away. Back on property, enjoy an outdoor apres session around the fire pit or lounge in the spacious living room inside. The expansive kitchen and fireplace mean you can cook a meal and actually enjoy the process without feeling cramped. While there’s WiFi, phone service isn’t excellent here, making this cabin a good spot to head to disconnect from your electronics for a few days and get back to nature.
4. Pine Valley Cabins, Thornton, NH
Distance from NYC: about five hours
Pine Valley Cabins are a collection of small cabins near Waterville Valley Resort and south of Loon Mountain. Each sleeps four people and offers easy access to the epicness that is northern New Hampshire. But despite all the skiing, snowshoeing, firepit story hours, and snowman building to be done on a trip here, one activity makes this a unique cabin getaway: snowmobiling. Bring the whole family out for a snowmobile adventure at the Corridor 11 Trail behind the property and several other established routes, where you can rip through powder lines and groomed tracks as part of the Twin Mountains Snowmobile Club. Call yourself a “sled head” or not, even riding on the back of one of these machines will have you hollering until it’s time for a Hot Toddy.
5. The Cabin, Mendon, VT
$375/night via Airbnb
Distance from NYC: about four-and-a-half hours
Get out of town and into the forest at this secluded cabin near the legendary Killington Ski Resort. The woodsy retreat is a welcome reprieve from the bustling ski resort and offers easy access to nature, which will likely beg you outside for a snowshoe, booted hike, or, at the very least, a cup of hot cocoa on the rustic wooden deck. The property is truly isolated from civilization but is modernized with a full kitchen, four bedrooms for six guests, and plenty of space to lounge. So if you’re the type who likes to escape to the woods to read or write you won’t find yourself in the dark out here.
6. Vermont Tree Cabin, Waterford, VT
$186/night via Airbnb
Distance from NYC: about five-and-a-half hours
Part tree house, part mountain cabin — the total of the sum is that it doesn’t really matter because this secluded getaway spot has the most epic hot tub you’ve ever seen. Which is a good thing because nothing goes better with cold weather and a day in the mountains than a hot tub. It’s made of cedarwood and is perfect for you and your partner (or a very, very close friend). This so-called “treecabin” is a quick drive to Cannon Mountain and Burk Ski Resort, but with this hot tub and its views out onto the Green Mountains, we wouldn’t blame you if you never left the elevated deck platform.
7. Secluded Luxury Cabin on Romantic Private Lake, Stanfordville, NY
$274/night via GlampingHub
Distance from NYC: about two hours
When the goal is mountain seclusion, the Catskills are an easy drive for massive reward. This high-end cabin embodies everything a vacation in the Borscht Belt should be — luxurious but remote, accessible yet quite affordable. Onsite you’ll find everything needed for a romantic getaway — a kitchen and porch grill for cooking inside or out, a spacious living area and outdoor lounge, and a bedroom with a view. Oh yeah, and the lake that’s yours to gaze upon as your wintertime fantasies manifest themselves.
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