If you are up for a longer drive and adventurous long weekend trip, we recently returned from a trip with a group of families to Snowshoe, West Virginia and had an absolute blast. It is about a seven and a half hour drive, with the last hour or so being on some winding roads. For this trip we went with four other families with kids. There are some ski spots on the East coast that are closer to get to like Boone, Cataloochee, Ober Gatlinburg, and some others. We have been to a couple of these, but I really think the extra hours of driving are worth it to get to Snowshoe if you have more than just a weekend.
There are multiple runs for all levels of skiers and several lifts. There is also a really nice Village area with shops, restaurants, and multiple places to stay, so it feels more like an experience. There are multiple places to choose from to stay and different price points, but we stayed at Allegheny Springs. With a group of families and multiple kids, it was nice to have our own rooms (with a kitchen) to go back to, but the hotel has a large heated pool and two hot tubs that were a great meeting place after a long day of skiing. They have lockers for your skis and you walk right out the door to the slopes to start your day of skiing. We had a room with a balcony looking out over the slopes.
I was able to get a lot of the kids’ gear on Ebay. I got great deals on high quality ski clothes that looked like they had never been worn. If you do ski rentals through Snowshoe, they will provide helmets. I would plan on bringing multiple layers because some days were relatively comfortable and sunny, while other days it was snowing and ten degrees. A face covering is good to have for everyone as is a pair of goggles. Usually, at the start of winter, Costco has kids’ ski goggles for sale for a great deal.
You can do your ski rentals through the Snowshoe website in advance. For the kids, rentals are included with ski school, so if you do ski school, you don’t need to do a rental for that day. You are able to pick up your rentals for the next day after 4pm and I would highly recommend doing so because there were no lines. If you have multiple kids, this whole process and getting the skis to where you are staying is the WORST part of the whole ski trip.
I would recommend getting lift tickets in advance from the Snowshoe website. If you are planning on being there over a holiday or busy weekend, they do sell out in advance. The last thing you want to do is get there and not be able to ski!
The kids really enjoyed the ski school.
Ski school is offered every day; you drop the kids off at 9am and pick them up at 3pm. It seemed extremely well organized and there were small numbers of kids with each instructor. They feed them lunch and take snack breaks throughout the day. My kids loved it. They are all at different levels and they seemed to take them where they started and really improve throughout the day. One piece of advice: if it is your first visit, sign up for ski school as early in advance as you can. It fills up early, especially on holiday weekends.
Another thing to know is that the cell service is poor when you are on the slopes. The internet works well at the village and restaurants, but it is difficult to get in touch with friends while they are out skiing, especially with a group. We bought high quality walkie-talkies on the advice of a friend who is a Snowshoe frequent visitor, and this was a game changer. Everyone in our group was on the same channel and it was easy to keep track of where we all were, and to meet up for lunch.
Snowshoe also offers tubing, so we signed up for a two-hour session with the whole group to kick off the trip. It is fun and an easy thing for a big group to do together. I think the grown ups had just as much fun as the kids racing down the tubing runs.
There are multiple dining options in the Village and around Snowshoe.
We had an adult dinner that was really good at Appalachian Kitchen. We also had lunch at one of the restaurants each day and all the food was good and not too pricey. There is a little shack type bar called the Flume Shack off the Soaring Eagle lift that we loved! It is a fun place to meet up with the adults in your group for a slope side drink, and they also have some snacks and soup you can grab.
There is also a Starbucks in the Village, as well as a food truck or two where you can grab a quick meal or snack. With the hotel rooms having a kitchen and having such a large group, we found ourselves eating dinner at the hotel or doing pizzas or easy things with the kids. There is a market in Snowshoe with all the staples, but we stopped on the way and loaded up on groceries and things we thought we’d need. I would recommend bringing board games and cards because we enjoyed getting cozy at night and relaxing and playing games with the kids and adults.