Whalebone’s Guide to Stratton, VT

Photo: Stratton Mountain
Photo: Stratton Mountain

We needed to get to the Vermont Country Deli. This is a small country store in the middle of the state that holds the secret to the world’s best mac ‘n’ cheese. For those unfamiliar, the Country Deli is a required stop on the way to (and from) Stratton, Vermont when coming up from New York.

We arrived hungry, over ordered on the cheesy delicacy and left with a brown bag filled with a fair share of plastic containers and a case or or two of Citizen Ciders + some of Vermont’s other local flavors. The GPS’s next destination was set for the Black Bear Lodge at Stratton.

The weather forecast was flirting with low teen temperatures and offered a batch of fresh snow recently delivered to the area—morale was high. After a smooth check-in, and grabbing a few necessities from the Burton shop, we scored a non-existent line at the gondola.

Photo: Stratton Mountain

Photo: Stratton Mountain

Several hours later, with sore legs, big smiles and a pocket full of empty Clif Bar wrappers, we walked to 802, an awesome bar with a roaring fireplace found by going for a short walk through the Stratton village. We calculated that we must have covered about only half of the almost 40 miles of trails that day. Not too shabby.

That night, a few members of the group met back up while the rest took in the joy of ordering room service and listening to the approaching snowstorm. We jumped in a shuttle conveniently waiting outside and found ourselves back in the village in about two minutes. The newly opened restaurant, Karma, was a wise choice. The waiter did us a favor with recommending the sweet chili lobster empanadas, and we responsibly ended the night downstairs at the Green Door Pub for just one.

Someone must have forgotten to tell the weatherman that we needed to drive back to New York the next day because he decided that negative temperatures were the best thing to bring out for the second day of our trip to Stratton. After putting on our long johns, we set out to explore some of the more advanced trails the mountain had to offer.

Photo: Stratton Mountain

Photo: Stratton Mountain

The last chair runs up to 4 o’clock and, shortly after, the group found ourselves in après-ski mode upstairs at Grizzly’s. We made some new friends that evening—turns out they were from New York—and all ended up joining together for a larger group dinner at Mulligan’s.

We pulled out of Stratton discussing when we thought the Vermont Country Deli opened, typed the address into the GPS and quickly sent a group text to ask if everyone could maybe try to get back to Stratton the next weekend. The forecast was looking good.

NOTE: March 1st through the 12th, we’ll be hosting our winter pop-up in Stratton Village (across from the Market and Deli, which you can read about below). We’ll be open daily from 10am to 7pm with limited edition winter goods, a dog you can play fetch with and more. Get all the details over here.

Stratton 101

Shops

Burton

A winter trip to Stratton isn’t complete without a visit to the Burton shop. Pretty much the latest and greatest from the Vermont staple, this is your one-stop shop for all your shredding needs. As long as you ain’t on skis.

First Run Ski Shop

The go-to for all things mountain gear in Stratton since 1977. Whether you’re an alpinist, skier, boarder, or just want to look like you are at the Après, First Run is your spot. Remember, never french fry when you should pizza.

Photo: Stratton Mountain

Photo: Stratton Mountain

Breakfast and Lunch

Stratton Market and Deli

It’s like your local bodega, only fresh ingredients and maple syrup. This is the spot to shed off that Grizzly’s hangover with a hot coffee and egg sandwich. Then, get back on the mountain and do it all over again.

Mountain Smoke

Beer. BBQ. Middle of the Mountain. First one there wins.

Village Pie

New York-style slices to soak up that Vermont-style craft beer.

Photo: Stratton Mountain

Photo: Stratton Mountain

Dinner

Karma

Fresh, raw seafood in Vermont doesn’t sound intuitive…but we beg to differ. This gem gets fresh fish daily and will give most of your other favorite Asian fusion places a run for their money.

The Fire Tower 

Looking for the best bartenders in Stratton? Look no further. These guys know what they’re doing and the locals know it. Rustic interior reminding you of a cozy as heck lodge, this is one of our daily happy hour spots. Start off with the ahi Nachos and follow up with some of their other eclectic menu options – you won’t be disappointed.

Verde

Everyone needs one fancy night on the mountain, and Verde is the spot. While the prices may set you back an extra buck or two, with regional cuisine and homemade pastas, it is high-end dining—mountain style.

Mulligan’s

Having been the anchor of the village for over a quarter century, Mulligan’s is the family friendly, craft-beer-heavy staple for those just looking for a big menu and some bigger stouts.

Photo: Stratton Mountain

Photo: Stratton Mountain

Après + Late-Night Drinking

Grizzly’s

If you don’t drink at Grizzly’s—the mecca of Après at the base of the main lift—then you haven’t really been to Stratton. We may have met you there last night.

Bar 802

Leather chairs, warm cozy vibes, dank beers—pretty much everything you need after attempting that tree line run on Moon Dance. We challenge you to not take a happy hour nap here.

Local Knowledge

  • 97 Trails
  • 11 Chairlifts
  • 15 Snowcats
  • 17 Restaurants
  • Longest trail = 3.1 miles
  • Annual snowfall = 180 inches
  • Hosted the US Open for 30+ years
  • Cost for annual pass (18-32) =  $399
  • Stratton’s world-class snowmaking system can bury a football field with three feet of snow in one hour
  • Travel time from NYC to Stratton on Jitney = 4 hours

For more info, local knowledge and reason to line up a trip to Stratton before winter’s over, check out the Stratton website and Stratton Instagram. Also, if you stop by the Whalebone pop-up in Stratton during March, mention this guide to Bronson—there’s a 50% chance he’ll offer to buy you a beer or three at Grizzly’s.