Come winter, most fraternities are planning and hosting their mountain weekend getaways. Where are the top locations to spend a weekend in the mountains? GreekRank.com surveyed locations based on popularity, accommodation, location and amenities, and here’s what we found.
Deep Creek, Maryland
Northwest from Washington D.C. and just two hours from the Great Smokies lies this mountain town which caters to all budgets and has a little (or a lot) of everything. According to Southern Living Magazine, Deep Creek is “home [to] Maryland's biggest lake; its largest state forest; more snowfall than Fairbanks, Alaska; and only 13 stoplights.” Just don’t get snowed in.
Snowshoe, West Virginia
While other frats are sorting out beer trucks and quarries for skinny-dipping, you’re working on getting the best group rates on lift passes. Sound like your fraternity? Then you’re better suited for Snowshoe, West Virginia, the next best thing to a Colorado ski trip and the largest ski destination in the Mid-Atlantic. Made up of three main areas over 250 acres of terrain (and plenty of long-runs), you’ll find most house rentals situated at the tops of the Alleghenies. Don’t forget the beer or the girls.
Bass Lake, California
The fact that this mountain resort town is just 20 miles from the Yosemite National Park entrance alone would make it worth a weekend. Considered the little sister to Lake Tahoe, Bass Lake features the same turquoise blue water and pine-tree lined perimeter. With that kind of epic scenery, you’ll need a similarly epic budget -- most mountain lodges are regarded as world-class resorts here.
Lake Texoma, Oklahoma
Who says Texans don’t do mountain weekends? Surrounded by national parks and the Arbuckle mountains lies one of the country’s largest lakes, Lake Texoma. Because of the lake’s size and the record number of visitors it draws yearly, the area has no shortage of rentals, lodges and cabins at reasonably priced rates. (Just don’t count on snow.)
Flat Rock, North Carolina
If your chapter has money, ditch the traditional cabin rentals and score a luxurious AirBnB in or around Flat Rock. The town -- if you’d even call it that, since its population of under 1500 qualifies it only as a “census-designated place” -- typically plays host to elegant weddings and cosmopolitan winter vacationers. While there’s not much to nightlife, if you get bored of the Blue Ridge Mountains in the backyard and want a night out, you’ll have to head to nearby Hendersonville or Asheville.
Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
Not far from neighboring mountain destination Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge is home to Dollywood, the Titanic Museum, Dixie Stampede, and more sights and activities than you can waste your money on. It’s great if your fraternity is planning for a weekend of more than just holding up in a cabin and getting drunk off beer pong.
Call it old faithful. While more expensive than Pigeon Forge, and with fewer choices in food and lodging, Gatlinburg promises more natural scenery than hokey attractions with its proximity to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. If you do make it out of the cabin, the town is relatively walkable with more bars geared towards the college crowd than its family-friendly neighbor. Every other chapters mountains here though, so make sure you book early.