The Standard of Magic
at The Standard
World-famous magician, Justin Flom, brings his unique brand of magic to Downtown Nashville’s most historic venue, The Standard. Justin’s incredible, up-close,
Outfitted in my too-cool-for-ski-school bright pink jacket and matching pants, I call over to my husband: “Where’s the lift?” He glides over. “We’re already on top of the mountain—no lift, no line, just need to pick the run and go!”
Skiing ahead, Bob waves for me to follow, turning toward the first blue run in sight. Three minutes after we clipped into our rentals, we’re headed down our first run. Now this is my idea of perfect.
Snowshoe is 544 miles, or 8 hours and 40 minutes by car, from Nashville.
It’s no wonder I fell in love with Snowshoe Mountain. That sharp feeling of the first slice of snow under my skis is something I look forward to each and every winter; the sooner I start flying down the slopes, the better. Located at the top of the mountain, Snowshoe eliminates the morning lift lines and has skiers on their way for a second run before most resorts are even able to get guests up on their first.
Accessibility to the slopes is especially important because there is so much terrain for skiers to cover in a day. With more than 251 skiable acres and backcountry trails with 1,500-foot vertical drops, this West Virginia mountain is an excellent resort for newbies and experts, skiers and snowboarders, and families and couples to enjoy a long winter weekend. And at only nine hours from Nashville, it’s a road trip any group can embark upon.
My husband, a self-described “black diamond shredder,” and I arrive on a Thursday night to check into our one-bedroom suite at Allegheny Springs. With a heated pool, sauna, and fire pit, this is one of several condo-style lodges on top of Snowshoe and the perfect setup for roasting marshmallows and relaxing muscles after a long day on the slopes. Although it’s in the heart of the village, our suite overlooks the mountains, giving us epic sunsets every night—ideal for those Instagram-worthy shots we love to share.
While some vacations are all about sleeping in, ski trips are all about getting on the mountain as fast as possible. We rise with the sun and fuel up at The Junction, a “saloon” serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner, starting with the Old Fashion Drop Doughnuts (a dozen hot mini doughnuts tossed in cinnamon and sugar) and finishing with grits and banana-blueberry pancakes. Some might argue that we’re carb-loading for our first day on the mountain.
Even though all the lodges are at capacity, we never feel crowded on the mountain; rather, we always seem to find at least one run we have all to ourselves. With dozens of wide greens and blues, beginners and the ski schools can easily learn at Snowshoe without feeling rushed or bombarded by faster, more experienced skiers.
Ready for a bit more adventure, Bob and I head over to the Western Territory, where the longest run is a mile and a half with a 1,500-foot vertical drop. This area, I later discover, was intended for far more experienced skiers than myself—those less concerned with a coordinating jacket-pants-gloves-beanie-goggles combination. My mismatched husband loves it.
For a quick snack, we stop at Waffle Cabin, a slope-side hut that offers guests the ability to grab food without taking off those cumbersome skis. We share a waffle dipped in Nutella and two hot chocolates while a flurry of snow softly falls around us. To further rest my muscles, I book a hot stone massage appointment at The Spa at Snowshoe. This 3,600-square-foot luxury spa located in the village is the perfect escape for body and mind. I leave feeling like I could ski for another week—no aches whatsoever.
We had planned to switch onto snowboards for the late afternoon but instead decide to take a spontaneous one-hour Off-Road Adventure Tour in an enclosed, heated Polaris RZR to explore some of the backcountry that few visitors get to see for themselves. As the sun starts to set, we depart in a hybrid-snowmobile set on skis, immediately understanding why it’s called a razor. Effortlessly gliding through the packed snow, the slopes are surprisingly elegant at night, coming alive in a completely different way than during the day—the snow reflects the moon, and everything around exudes a milky glow.
After a hearty barbecue meal at Foxfire Grille, we waddle back to the lodge, crank up the fire, and recount our adventures of the day. Our long weekend getaway from Nashville was a hit, and one we’re excited to make a yearly tradition.
Photos courtesy Jane Broadus, Snowshoe Mountain/Chris McClennan, Vagabond3.com/Bobby Christian.