Less than two hours from Boston , Mount Sunapee (Rte. 103, Newbury, 603/763-3500, www.mtsunapee.com , $64–68 adults, $48–56 seniors 65–69 and youth 13–18, $38–42 seniors 70+ and children 6–12, free children under 6) offers an excellent compromise between terrain, location, and value. While certainly not as challenging as any of the mountains in Vermont  or the Whites, Sunapee is known for excellent grooming and a friendly style that caters especially to families. Be warned that due to its popularity, the lift lines can get long on winter weekends.
More serious skiers should turn to Ragged Mountain (620 Ragged Mountain Rd., Danbury, 603/768-3971, www.raggedmountainresort.com , $49–59 adults, $38–48 youth 6–18, $28–38 seniors 65–74 and children 6–12, $18–28 seniors 75+, free children under 6), a two-peak ski resort that bills itself as an “anti-Killington” for its two simple chair lifts and no-frills base lodge. What isn’t simple are the trails, a good mix of narrow chutes, wide cruisers, and challenging glades that will keep you on the tip of your skis. Despite its proximity to Boston , however, Ragged has somehow stayed below the radar of many skiers, leaving it uncrowded even on peak weekends.