Does it seem like everyone in the base lodge at Bolton Valley is from nearby Burlington and seems to know each other? Well, they are and they do. This small but ever-struggling-to-survive gem makes even out-of-towners feel at home in a way that nearby behemoth Stowe only wishes it could. Of course lift ticket specials—like the $46 weekday student deal, and the $46 afternoon adult pass—help. Bolton is served by two quad lifts and three doubles on a 300-acre area that’s crisscrossed by 70 trails and a handful of fantastic glades. The vertical is 1,700 feet. As a bonus, the Nordic center is one of the state’s finest.