Ok, so there’s no skiing actually in the District of Columbia, but you don’t have to travel far from the capital to hit the slopes. Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Maryland are all home to winter resorts where you can enjoy much more than just skiing, so here’s our pick of the best ski resorts near Washington DC!
Due to COVID-19, safety measures were put in place by the states surrounding Washington DC which impacted the 20/21 ski season. These included physical distancing and mandatory face coverings in public areas. In West Virginia’s Pocahontas County, home to Snowshoe Resort, restrictions included health screening requirements for employees and increased sanitation and disinfecting protocols. Such restrictions are not anticipated to continue into the 21/22 winter season.
Snowshoe is one of those ski resorts where the base is at the top of the mountain, so you don’t need to ride a lift up before your first ride down! Book a room or condo at the four-star Allegheny Springs to start skiing from the moment you step outside, and you’ll also be just a short stroll from all the restaurants, bars, and shops in the village. Being in West Virginia makes Snowshoe the furthest ski resort from DC on this list, but it really is worth the trip if you want to feel like you’ve been transported to a winter wonderland.
Nestled within Pennsylvania’s Laurel Highlands, Seven Springs is arguably the best ski resort in the East for freestyle skiers and snowboarders. With a total of six unique terrain parks plus a 22 ft superpipe, it’s no surprise the U.S. Revolution Tour makes a stop here. But you don’t even have to ski to have a good time at Seven Springs. There are snowmobile tours, snowcat excursions, and even sleigh rides to enjoy, plus indoor activities like a bowling alley and roller-skating rink. After dark many slopes and parks are kept open, plus there’s live music at the Foggy Goggle and DJs at The Matterhorn nightclub.
Liberty Mountain Resort can be reached from DC in little over an hours’ drive, so if you’re looking for a quick snow fix this is the place for you. The varied trails offer something to suit all skiing abilities, and to maximize your time on the mountain all the slopes are open every day for night skiing. If you wake up with sore muscles book yourself in for a soothing Swedish massage at the Laventide Salon & Day Spa! This southern Pennsylvania ski resort is also just 8 mi from the Gettysburg battlefield, so if you have time don’t miss visiting this famous historic site.
Almost half the ski runs here are blues, making Whitetail perfect for intermediates who want carve groomers all day. The Kid’s Mountain Camp offers expert tuition alongside fun group activities for children aged 4 to 12, and there’s also childcare available to look after younger ones. Night skiing is also available from 4pm to 10pm daily however there isn’t much at the base so you’ll have to look elsewhere for entertainment. Next door is the Whitetail Mountainside Village, offering comfy condos and cottages, and a short drive away is Mercersburg Inn, a Georgian mansion with upscale rooms and gourmet cuisine at Bryon’s Dining Room.
Virginia isn’t famous for its skiing, but the Massanutten Resort sure makes the most of the terrain on offer in the Blue Ridge Mountains. An even mix of green, blue, and black trails provides the opportunity to practice and progress, plus the mellow terrain parks are perfect for trying a trick or two. It’s a great place for families who are new to skiing and want to learn together, but the resort also offers so much more than just snowy slopes. Don’t miss the enormous indoor water park complete with slides, rapids, and a FlowRider wave machine, or the 4,930 sqft outdoor rink for ice-skating!
Wisp enjoys the distinction of being Maryland’s only ski resort and at just 3 hours’ drive from Washington DC makes for a perfect weekend trip. The 33 trails here amount to 11 mi of on-piste skiing, plus you’ll find inbound glades and a handful of terrain parks too. The slopes stay open for a few hours after dark most days of the week if you’re really keen, otherwise drop by DC's Bar & Restaurant at the base lodge for their popular drink specials. And being right next to Deep Creek Lake has another bonus besides the wonderful views; there are lots of great deals on summer lakeside lodging to be had during the winter!