NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- The cooler months usually bring thoughts of weeklong warm-weather vacations. But what if you've used up most of your vacation days and cold weekends are all you have left?We've lined up three weekend getaway ideas that are within a few hours' drive of New York City. You can ski in upstate New York, take ice-driving lessons in Vermont or get a chocolate bath in Pennsylvania. When it comes to luxury accommodations, what you would typically pay top dollar for in the summer or fall may just be this winter's best deals. These year-round destination resorts all made the AAA Four-Diamond list.
Lake Placid, N.Y. Whiteface Mountain, about 13 miles from Lake Placid, is the place to be in New York for skiing. Not only does it have the greatest vertical drop in the East, but its peak also offers the best views of the Adirondacks. The area is so inviting that it lured Ed Weibrecht, an avid skier, away from skyscrapers and big-city life. He quit his job as a telecom executive and bought Mirror Lake Inn in 1976. He has been running the resort ever since. "I had to make a decision -- either to end my career or stop skiing," Weibrecht says. "I decided to follow my passion." Today, Mirror Lake Inn is the No. 1 resort and top ski hotel in the Northeast as voted by Conde Nast Traveler's readers. From November until April (except during Christmas week and President's week), guests at Mirror Lake Inn can avail themselves of ski packages that combine accommodations with lift tickets to Whiteface Mountain. The resort also offers complimentary shuttle service from the steps of the hotel to the base lodge of the mountain. "The inn is run by skiers for skiers," says Weibrecht, whose son, Andrew, is an Olympic medalist with the U.S. Ski Team. "Skiers should know that we understand their needs -- from a speedy skier breakfast to relaxing lounges, spa and dining options in the evening." Mirror Lake Inn is within walking distance of downtown Lake Placid and the town's main attraction, the Olympic Center. Winter sports enthusiasts will find a collection of memorabilia from the Winter Olympics, which Lake Placid hosted in 1932 and 1980. More than a ski hotel, Mirror Lake Inn lets guests choose from other winter activities as well, such as skating and snowshoe trekking on scenic trails. For an additional fee, guests can take a dogsled ride or toboggan down the chute on Mirror Lake. Winter weekend rates in Classic Rooms start at $269 per night based on double occupancy -- a deal compared with summer rates of $399. For the more luxurious and spacious Classic Suites, winter weekend rates start at $465 The Adirondack Suite (pictured above) is a $725 per night suite with a stone fireplace, whirlpool bath and views of the Adirondack Mountains and Mirror Lake.