Getting to Vermont
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joel3616
December 9, 2003
Member since 12/9/2003 🔗
3 posts
I'm interested in traveling to Vermont for a midweek getaway, but I don't like the 8-10 hour car drive. Flying can get expensive when factoring in the parking at the airport/rental car/lodging/lift tickets. Is a car really necessary at the Vermont resorts? Has anyone taken the train to Rutland? Any suggestions would be appreciated.
tromano
December 9, 2003
Member since 12/19/2002 🔗
998 posts
Ahh the etenral debate, at least for me. I would think that if you can get a good deal, there are good deals from most DC airports to burlington and manchester for example, under $300, nonstop. Then flying would be the fastest best way, considering that 10 hours driving usally requires and additional day off work, which isn't really free, additional nights hotel and food. etc.. etc.. But if you don't fly nonstop then the flight up takes all day as well, same as driving.

Do you want a car in VT? depends where you go. I think most places wil have a shuttle from the Airport to the resort, so you don't *need* a car. However, if you drive you can stay further from the resort, maybe in a town and perhaps payless. And most importantly, have more options. If you want to rent a car at the airport then drivng up will be cheaper. The train might be an interesting altenrative, but from looking at amtraks prices it doesnt seem much cheaper then flying. IMO the rubric is:

If you plan your trip very well and in advnace, staying almosts exclusively at the resort, then flying will be cheaper, and faster, and better. If you want options, if you don't really know where you are going, or if you want to keep options open then drive. If you want to go shopping and buy a lot of stuff, explore, and see the country side, then best to drive.

Also consider, if you drive 4 people in a car thats maybe a few hundered for 1 nights hotel and food, if you fly 4 people at $300 each thats $1200. The more you have the cheaper driving is. If its 2 people, or just a single traveler flying a good option.

SeaRide
December 9, 2003
Member since 03/11/2004 🔗
237 posts
Let's see.. you said:
1) midweek getaway
2) don't like 8-10 hr car drive
3) train to Rutland

Here's what I found on the 'net:
-------------
All aboard the Ultimate Ski Train. Why drive to Killington from NYC when Amtrak can get you there faster and easier? Package includes round-trip ticket between from Penn Station to Rutland, VT, shuttle to and from Rutland station and lodging accommodations, lodging and lift passes for a minimum of 2 day & nights. 2 day/night package starts at just $245 per person early season based on maximium occupancy. Some restrictions apply. Call Killington Central Reservations for more information & reservations at 1-800-888-3359.

From $245 per person for 2 days & nights
Dec 03, 2003 through Apr 02, 2004
---------------

In summary, $245 for train/shuttle/lodge/lift for 2 days & nights.

The only thing you may have to do is make arrangement to ride the train from wherever you live to the Penn Station.
Also, you don't have to worry about the snowy weather when you just sit back and relax riding the train to VT.

What do you say?

gatkinso
December 9, 2003
Member since 01/25/2002 🔗
316 posts
tomano

Flying takes just as long as driving if you go into Albany or Manchester (maybe you can shave an hour).

Plus, when you throw car rental on top of it you are out alot more dough.

Out your front door you will be in **Killington** 6 1/2 - 7 hours later if you fly and go to one of those airports.... and you still have a 2 - 3 hour drive componant of the trip.

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lbotta - DCSki Supporter
December 9, 2003
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,526 posts
Take the train. There are trains to both Killington (Rutland) and Stowe (Waterbury). As a matter of fact, I normally take the train, except when I travel with my dog. Amtrak unfortunately has a pet-adverse policy.

The train to Stowe is train 54 and it leaves Union Station at 7:30, the trip takes most of the day, but then you can take a taxi, or some of the hotels can pick you up at Waterbury station for the 10 miles up the hill to Stowe.

Once at Stowe, many of the hotels and B&Bs can give you Stowe Bucks, some as a complimentary benefit, that are good for the shuttles and buses. So renting a car, unless you're traveling to other places or resorts, is a waste of money. K'ton has a shuttle system and so does Stowe.

If you are a Veteran or a service member, you can also get a significant discount that may even be half price.

The train to Killington leaves NYC, but transfering from one to the other is very easy at Penn Station.

During my College days, the Amtrak train was calle the Montrealer, and made runs between DC and Montreal. There was even a piano onboard. Nowadays it is a lot more sedate, but you will likely encounter a College crowd interspersed with vacationers.

[This message has been edited by lbotta (edited 12-09-2003).]

joel3616
December 9, 2003
Member since 12/9/2003 🔗
3 posts
I noticed on the web a company named Adventure Northeast that runs daily bus service between New York City and Mt Snow/Stratton/Manchester VT.
If this service can be profitably run between NYC and Vermont, how come no one has ever tried providing this service between DC and WV/Snowshoe or even up to Vermont?
lbotta - DCSki Supporter
December 9, 2003
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,526 posts
Funny you should mention buses, Joel.... Back about four years ago, when the Ski expo was still held in Arlington, there was a company based in Norfolk I think was called Gallop that was offering transportation to all the resorts such as Snowshoe, Canaan, and up to Vermont. It apparently went off the face of the earth...
lbotta - DCSki Supporter
December 9, 2003
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,526 posts
Found a search for it. Don't know if they still exist though

Gallop Ski Tours
600 S Military Hwy
Virginia Beach, VA 23464
US

(757) 424-1340

DC_Skier
December 9, 2003
Member since 01/2/2003 🔗
56 posts
Joel,

Gatkinso is correct about flying v. driving. I have done both and one time my wife flew up to join me in S.VT while I drove up earlier. We departed for home at the exact same time and she got home only 1 hour earlier!

We make several weekend trips/yr to S.VT leaving on Friday evenings and it takes 7-1/2hrs to get to Weston from downtown DC. Now if you are talking about going to Stowe definitely don't drive unless its for a week.

You will want a car because seeing VT is really part of the fun (unless you are at Stowe where I think they have bus shuttles to town)

If you are going mid-week go to Killington. You won't be sorry.

joel3616
December 9, 2003
Member since 12/9/2003 🔗
3 posts
Lbotta... thanks for the info.

When you travel by Amtrak to Vermont, do you take along skis? If so, does Amtrak let you carry them on or do you have to make special arrangements?

tromano
December 9, 2003
Member since 12/19/2002 🔗
998 posts
Gatsinko,

I found a DCA to burlngton far for $200 nonstop, midweek. I prefer to fly cuz you can sleep on the plane. Also, its jsut more relaxing, I think not to have to sit still. Maybe I need a better car.

I can be from my apt in DC to DCA in 30 min via metro, 1 hour for check in, 2 hours flight, 30 min to colect my bags, 1 hour trip from burlington to... Maybe 5 hours travel time. So if I leave home at 6 am I could be skiing by noon. Thats crucial IMO.

lbotta - DCSki Supporter
December 9, 2003
Member since 10/18/1999 🔗
1,526 posts
Joel, I have a ski tube and I have carried it in the train with me. The trains to both Rutland and Stowe do not have checked baggage, so I've placedmy bags in the space devoted for that purpose in front of each car. If you're leaving from DC on the Vermonter or from NYC on the Ethan Allen, then you are at the point of origin and luggage space is not usually a problem, just make sure you're in the front of the pack. My method is to have an American Express Platinum card that allows access to the VIP lounges at Amtrak and you get to board before anyone else along with the folks traveling first class
gatkinso
December 9, 2003
Member since 01/25/2002 🔗
316 posts
hey to each his own, but the same amount of $ and travel time will get you to Alta (well, if you count the time zone change).

You are not getting from Burlington to Killington in an hour - it has been a while but that was more like 1.5 - 2 hours if I recall correctly. But K is not the only game in town up there.

No one really ever mentions it, but I really think Suicide Six is a cool place. It is like the Canaan of Vermont, with nice little BnB's.

powderpig
December 9, 2003
Member since 12/5/2003 🔗
63 posts
Just to throw my hat in the ring here. Southwest flies from BWI to Manchester NH for $49 each way. Thats cheap any way you slice it!
gatkinso
December 10, 2003
Member since 01/25/2002 🔗
316 posts
Yah, it is a good fare... but how are you gonna get from manchester to K (or anywhere else in Vermont?)

More than likely by renting a car (or having someone pick you up)!

There go your savings... and you endup driving 2+ hours anyway. May as well just drive the whole way.

Just my opinion.

johnfmh - DCSki Columnist
December 10, 2003
Member since 07/18/2001 🔗
1,916 posts
If you fly to MHT, you are better off going to Waterville, Sunapee, Gunstock, or Loon than driving to VT.
DC_Skier
December 10, 2003
Member since 01/2/2003 🔗
56 posts
Yeah, Its a really easy straight shot up I-93. There is definitely some nice skiing in NH, Wildcat has some nice trails and has some great views of Mt Washington.
ICEHOCEY77
December 10, 2003
Member since 12/11/2003 🔗
17 posts
I think USAirways flies from Boston to Rutland, but you'd probably be better just riding the Ethan Allen express than most of the other options...
(Anonymous)
December 10, 2003
Head up from MHT on 93,stay at bretton woods & ski BW,cannon,attitash,wildcat & loon,waterville !! The rockies of the east coast! Vermont who?
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