Guest Author - Candyce H. Stapen
Wintergreen Resort is one of my familyís favorite East Coast getaways. Open year-round, Wintergreen gains fame for offering the Mid-Atlanticís best skiing. Located on nearly 11,000 acres in the Blue Ridge Mountains and in the valley of Wintergreen, VA, the property offers skiing and snowboarding as well as tubing and ice skating plus extensive childrenís programs and a spa.
At age five, my daughter learned to ski in the resortís program. We credit the instructorís combination of encouragement and simple directions. My daughter may just have been ready, but previously, at other ski areas, she refused to do more than stand up on her skis. She wouldnít budge. After a few days of lessons and play with her group, my daughter proudly skied Potato Patch, an easy beginnerís run, with us.
The Blue Ridge Mountains do get snow. This season, theyíve already received more than a dusting. Just in case, Wintergreenís snowmaking system can cover all 24 slopes and trails.
As part of Ridgelyís Rippers, ages 4-12 learn skiing in half or full-day programs. Mountain Explorers targets skiing and snowboarding advanced beginners ages 7-14.
For ages three, you can add one hour of ski instruction to their day at the childcare program. Non-skiing tots age 2 Ĺ -12, create crafts, play games and watch movies at Kids in Action. Kids younger than five years ski free when accompanied by a paying parent.
Wintergreenís winter sports classes arenít just for kids. Group lessons teach ages 8 to adult and women can improve their skills at Womenís Specialty clinics, held on select weekends in January and February.
For off-the-slopes fun, go tubing, ice skating, play indoor tennis, swim in the indoor pool, glide on a zip line (mostly weekends in winter), and, our favorite, relax at the spa. Since the spa is popular, book appointments in advance.
The Devilís Grill, located at the 18th hole of the Devilís Knob golf course, serves the resortís best food. Unless you want burgers, we suggest avoiding the Edge, Wintergreenís moderately priced eatery. On a recent visit, our chicken was tough and tasteless. The Copper Mine, the resortís long-time restaurant, now serves Mediterranean-inspired fare for dinner that also includes flatbread pizzas. Although we didnít have time to sample the new menu, we did enjoy the Sunday brunch buffet. You can pick up groceries as well as made-to-order sandwiches at the Market, the on-site grocery.
Among the valleyís options, especially for beer lovers, are two nearby microbreweries that serve sandwiches, salads and casual fare with their unique brews: the Devilís Backbone Brewing Company and Wild Wolf Brewing Company.
Wintergreen Resortís Mountain Inn has some hotel rooms, but mostly Wintergreen rents 2-7 bedroom homes and 1-4 bedroom condominiums. Youíll enjoy Wintergreen; we always do.