While there’s much to love about shredding corn snow on a sunshiney day, I think we can all agree that the best part about spring skiing is the deck scene. I mean, seriously: drinks, pub food, good friends, and goggle tans? Sign me up. The only real question is this: which deck rules them all? Don’t worry. I’ve done the research (which didn’t stink), asked the tough questions (like, “Where’s the sunscreen?”), and come up with a fool-proof guide to getting your deck on:
Slider’s: Upscale Pub Food with a View.
This Best of Bethel’s Best Lunch Spot in the Jordan Hotel is already known for its delicious midday offerings, but did you know that it also offers a sunny slopeside spot overlooking everyone’s favorite trail, Lollapalooza? Order up a piled-high plate of poutine, enjoy one of Slider’s famous Dark n’ Stormys, and work on your tan between laps at Jordan Bowl. Deck life is hard, but somebody’s got to do it. 207.824.5300
Foggy Goggle: the Hottest Après on the Coolest Mountain.
Home of the Best of Bethel’s Best Nachos (a tower of chips, cheddar, tomatoes, scallions, black olives, red onion, salsa, sour cream, and braised chicken or chili topping that’s guaranteed to satisfy your appetite and your soul), the Foggy Goggle also offers a mean beer selection and a delicious Maple Burger that pretty much sums up everything we love about spring. Stick around to jam to live performances in the Bud Light Music Series and enjoy this central, convenient, and hoppin’ location. 207.824.5056
Barker Bar: Where the Locals Go.
This Best of Bethel Best Spring Deck Scene is a no-brainer. A classic local haunt, the Barker Bar offers amazing views of Locke and Barker Mountains as a savory side dish to its delicious beer offerings (Barker Mug Club, anyone?). If you’ve worked up an appetite shredding the gnar pre-après (is that a thing?), grab a specialty grilled cheese, Coca-Cola BBQ pulled pork, or fried cheese curds downstairs and high-tail it back upstairs for more fun in the sun. And folks… this bar is so local, it doesn’t even need a phone. If you have questions about it, ask an old-timer who lives around these parts.
Shipyard Brew Haus: Family-Friendly Fun.
A well-kept secret, the fire pit area right outside the Shipyard Brew Haus gets all-day sun and is a great spot for adults and kids alike to hang out by the slopes. Despite the fact that it’s not quite a “deck,” I’m including it here because it’s the home of the world-famous Spring Festival (formerly known as Parrothead) and it fits all of my other deck criteria: great food (the Brew Haus opens at 11AM Monday through Friday for lunch, apres ski, and dinner and is open on weekends at 8AM for a “Kegs & Eggs” breakfast, complete with $4 Bloody Mary’s), great drinks (it’s a Brew Haus. ‘Nuff said.) and tons o’ sun. The Brew Haus also offers daily specials and live music every Saturday from 3-9PM. 207-824-5138.
North Peak Lodge: Above it All.
The North Peak Lodge is famous for its giant, delicious sticky buns and its Best of Bethel’s Bloody Mary’s… but not so famous for its deck scene. Well, spring enthusiasts, let it be known: this deck is something special. You’ll find barbeques galore on deck on the weekends along with crazy gorgeous views of the Mahoosuc Mountain Range, beaucoup sunshine, and Best of Bethel’s Best Bartenders Joe Moran and Kevin O’Leary just a few steps away. The best part? The walk back to your car is on skis. Awww yeah. 207.824.5235
After extensive research, painstaking deliberation, and long hours spent consulting my peers, I’ve come to a scientific(ish) conclusion: all of our decks are spring-tastic. You really can’t go wrong. Get out there already!