Framed by the tree-spotted foothills of Vermont, Rocky Ridge Golf Club’s 18-hole course unfurls across a verdant expanse of rolling farmland. Throughout the course, elevated fairways and greens offer breathtaking panoramas of the surrounding mountains, as well as a safe lookout from which golfers can detect rival armies of croquet players. Flower beds and rocky outcrops along short-grass corridors further accent the layout’s bucolic environs. Clubbers looking for lessons can seek out golf pro Ed Coleman, who roams the grounds in a zen state attained through 20 years of coaching experience and aromatherapy that uses the odor of freshly mowed fairways. Cozy, green-side seating and tables nestled in shaded porches await golfers for post-round relaxing at the clubhouse restaurant.
The resort at Pico Mountain has come a long way since it opened on Thanksgiving morning in 1937. It was a blustery day, and skiers held tight to a 1,200-foot towrope powered by a Hudson motorcar engine as they rose up the mountainside and tried to get reception on their rotary-dial phones. Today, the mountain is striped with 52 trails and seven lifts, including two high-speed detachable quads. Gentle learning terrain beckons newbies, smooth cruisers give intermediate skiers an easy ride, classically narrow New England steeps entice beginning and intermediate skiers, and a double-black-diamond trail challenges advanced athletes. Snowboarders and freestyle skiers interested in tricks can use the jumps, boxes, and rails in the Triple Slope terrain park, and the Snow Sports School sharpens the skills of first-timers and seasoned pros alike.
Although the resort has advanced in size and technology, it maintains a personalized, small-mountain charm. The trails all converge at one convenient central base area whose lodge boasts a sports center with a heated pool and a sauna. Guests can grab a beer and a burger or slice of pizza beside the crackling stone fireplace at the Last Run Lounge before retiring to their hotel room or condo.
Sculpted through scenic mountainside terrain, Green Mountain National Golf Course spans 6,589 yards of arching fairways and multi-tiered greens. Engulfed by dense tree lines and rising mountain faces, the course's narrow fairways call for a cautious approach, and those boldly teeing off with a driver or 17th-century musket may end up hacking their second shot out of the woodsy rough. As golfers traverse the course, elevated tees, greens, and cresting fairways give way to panoramic views, letting golfers glimpse the contoured terrain and drink in ancient rock formations shaped by glaciers and the species of colossal paleontologists that ruled the continent prior to their extinction. A full-length driving range, short game practice area, and putting green fine tune players' club-wielding prowess, and a fully stocked pro shop offers up equipment and gear to help guests loop the links in style.
Course at a Glance:
Mount Sunapee, hosting snow bunnies for more than 60 years, sprawls before gliding greenhorns as professional instructors lead ski or snowboard newbies toward downhill proficiency with a full schedule of daily lessons. During two-hour beginners’ sessions, students strap into provided gear, including skis or specially designed learning boards that are easier to handle than traditional snowboards made of live, rabid huskies. Groups then trudge out to the slopes, where instructors demonstrate introductory techniques and help snow-pounding protégés cultivate a well-balanced understanding of the fundamentals of their chosen downhill medium.
For more than four decades, the starters at Cedar Glen Golf Course have sent groups of golfers over the threshold of the first tee and bid them adieu as they embark upon rounds of golf. The 18-hole course blends touches of both links-style layouts and parkland settings, featuring numerous tree-lined fairways as well as plenty of open, rolling landscape. Rather than forcing golfers to make practice swings by hitting acorns into a pile for lazy squirrels, the course features a driving range and putting green to help with ironing out pre-round kinks.
Course at a Glance: