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It is no great secret that residents and visitors to Maryland and the greater Washington, D.C. area have limited ski resort opportunities at their doorstep, and no reputable source should try to claim otherwise. But there are some great opportunities just a short drive away. Nearby visitors, as well as ski enthusiast from the Midwest or the South, will find plenty of good reasons to add a trip here to their itinerary.

What Makes Maryland Unique

Visiting the nation's capital should be on your to do list. Staying in Maryland, verses the District, will save you money and give you the opportunity to see what else the area has to offer. After visiting the Capital Building, the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, and the FDR Memorial, and walking along the Potomic, you can head out to any of Maryland's many state parks, or visit the Baltimore Museam of Art, or venture to the coast and see Ocean City. You won't be bored in a state like Maryland, and you're within driving distance to other site-seeing and activities.

Major Ski Resorts

Wisp Resort is the only ski resory in the state. Situated in Maryland's western panhandle and within the Allegheny Mountains, this one place enjoys the benefits of true alpine winters. Situated at 3,100 feet, Marsh Mountain (near the WV and PA borders) rest on the shores of the beautiful Deep Creek Lake, which provides some 65 miles of inland coastline. Local skiers will know about Wisp. It opened first in 1955, a venture of the Heise family. The wisdom of this choice of location has proven itself and paid off time and time again. Now well known for cold winters and regular dumps of snow, Marsh Mountain recently enjoyed more than 200 inches of snow in one season!

Just an hour down the road from D.C. is the Whitetail Resort. Just north of the Maryland state line, in Pennsylvania, D.C. locals have enjoyed its close proximity to the capital. The mountain is an exercise in contrasts. Beginners can hone their skill, while expert skiers will want to press the envelope at its 935-foot vertical drop. Lessons may be the least expensive anywhere, and there are ample and splendid local lodging choices available.

Snowshoe Mountain, within neighboring West Virginia, is a worthy detour. Voted #1 Winter Resort in the Southeast by Ski Magazine's reader survey, this mountain offers upwards of 57 trails, as well as packages and lessons for beginners.

Finally, the Liberty Mountain Resort & Conference Center (also just north of the Maryland state line) in Carroll Valley PA. Lessons are a mere $10 each. This mountain seems to be family and beginner oriented an ideal choice for the beginning skier or snowboarder.

Ski Vacation Deals

As you can see, living or landing in the D.C. area can still provide you with some good east-coast skiing opportunities. With these choices in mind, you'll be able to choose the one most appropriate to your abilities and budget. Here you'll find discounts on lift tickets, transportation, Wisp lodging, equipment rentals, ski and snowboard demos, and some sweet coupons for dining and other family travel activities, too!

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Photo Courtesy of Wisp Resport