The results are in, folks. We asked, you answered. For us at Sunday River, we’d like to thank you for your votes, both the serious and the witty. For some who answered, you definitely don’t read the blog (news flash: the blog has the happy hour deals). For the person who said the best hike was their driveway after a good night, we salute you. So without further adieu, here are your Best of Bethel 2018 winners.
Best Breakfast – Sunday River Brewing Company
How could you every go wrong with a skillet smothered in cheese or one (five) freshly made donuts? Conveniently located on the way to the slopes, the Sunday River Brewing Company is the place to go to fuel those laps on Black Hole.
Best Cup o’Joe – DiCocoa’s
DiCocoa’s continues it’s reign as best java in the area. Serving up organic and fair trade coffee, you can’t help but swing by. As an added bonus, their hand shaped bagels are amazing, especially coated in their homemade hummus.
Best Lunch Spot – Sliders
Located slopeside at the Jordan Hotel, Sliders is the perfect spot to kick back, relax, and knock back one of their brand-spanking new fishbowl cocktails. That’s right, a cocktail in a fishbowl. It also doesn’t hurt that they have a menu that serves up hearty favorites before you return to Lollapalooza.
Best Bar- Après Ski – The Matterhorn Ski Bar
Will this place ever not make it on to this list? Let’s be real, the Matterhorn is the place to be. With their awesome mug club, killer vintage ski memorabilia, and music that gets the whole place singing, this is the spot for après.
Best Happy Hour Deal – The Millbrook Tavern & Grille at the Bethel Inn
For some of you who voted in this, you’re clearly not reading the blog because Bethel actually has some serious deals, if you know where to look. The Millbrook Tavern takes the cake. Offering half-price appetizers and $2 draft beers from 3-5 p.m. all week long and, depending on the day, $5 pizza or burgers, this tavern is unmatched.
Best Beer Selection – Suds Pub
Located in the center of Bethel at the Sudbury Inn, the pub boasts more than 20 beers on tap. Mainers take their beer selection seriously, so with Suds’ winning another consecutive Best of Bethel, you know the hype is real.
Best Bloody Mary – Mountain Room/ North Peak
Fun fact about Sunday River, every restaurant on the slopes has its own signature Bloody Mary recipe. Taking gold for it’s second time, the Mountain Room offers the booze you need with the views, indeed. It’s an added bonus that their selection of food and local cheeses is top notch as well.
Best Cocktail – 22 Broad Street
Don’t get me wrong, sometimes there’s nothing better than a classic Captain & Coke, but you know, change can in fact be good. If you’re looking for inventive drinks paired with top notch Italian eats look no further. The cocktail menu at 22 Broad is extensive and it’s own marvel. If you want to stay with the Maine spirit check out Old Blue Eyes; muddled blueberries, blueberry vodka, limoncello, and pinot noir.
Best Pizza – The Matterhorn Ski Bar
With the Bethel House of Pizza opening its doors this season we were all curious to see if the Matterhorn would claim victory this year. It turns out, people just can’t get enough of their food fired pizzas, but hey, who can blame them?
Best Wings – Suds Pub
Suds Pub with another win and knocking the Millbrook Tavern out of it’s place! With such a good beer selection, it only makes sense that the wings follow. If you’re looking to chow down, Suds offers plain, BBQ, House, Hot, and Volcanic options.
Best Nachos – Foggy Goggle
The day this dynasty ends, will be a day indeed. Pilled high with cheese, veggies, and braised chicken, the Goggle nachos are all you’ve ever dreamed of and more after a long day on the slopes.
Best Burger – Sunday River Brewing Company
Defending its title yet again, the Brewing Company offers up sliders, the Steak and Egg Burger, the Sin and Grin Burger, and the Big Rick Burger, all served with sweet potato fries, sidewinder twisty fries, or onion rings. Oh, and donuts are still available during dinner. Did we mention they brew beer?
Best Date Night – Brian’s
There’s some real cynics out there for this category. Despite what you may think, romance is in the air in Bethel and Brian’s is where you should make your reservation for l.o.v.e. With fresh and artfully inspired Asian dishes and classics, this place really know how to turn on the charm. Make sure you do the same.
Best Cheap Eats – Kowloon Village
Cheap Chinese food is a classic. Luckily the folks over at Kowloon know what they’re doing. With reasonable prices, you can’t go wrong with their extensive menu. We highly recommend the scallion pancakes and one (or more) of their famous Mai Tais (you’ll know why they’re famous once you take that first sip).
Best Local Shop – Nabos
Looking for something to freshen up your style? Nabos is the place to go for fun, functional, and funny gifts. With locations around the state, this is where you want to go to support Maine local business.
Best First Run of the Day – Right Stuff
This was a close one, but who is surprised. With eight peaks, it’s almost nearly impossible to pick one trail. With one vote, Right Stuff defended its 2017 win, placing Risky Business in second place. The diamond located to the right of the top of Barker Mountain Express, it’s the perfect combination of steep and snow as well as winding turns and if you’re lucky, massive whalebacks.
Best Bump Run – Agony
Another close call. Winning by one vote Agony took the cake. Turns out this is one of Sunday River Olympian Troy Murphy’s favorite trails. This steep, skinny, mogul monster is a bump lover’s dream, especially with a few inches of powder. Running right under the Barker Mountain Express, the double diamond is the perfect trail to show off your moves and pump those up on the lifts above.
Best Glade – Blind Ambition
Located off of the Jordan Bowl cruiser, Lollapalooza, Blind Ambition continues to defend its Best of Bethel title. After a huge expansion just a few years ago, Blind Ambition’s sprawling acreage and wide-set trees is perfect for tree skiing 101. Don’t just take our word for it, go find out for yourself.
Best (Favorite) Peak – Barker and Jordan
We can’t make up our minds either. Both Barker and Jordan are amazing in their own special way. Barker offers access to every type of terrain you can imagine, allowing all snow lovers the opportunity to find their happy place. Jordan is also a no brainer, offering stunning views of Mount Washington and fast paced trail of Rogue Angel to everyone’s favorite green Lollapalooza, we understand the love for Jordan as well.
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Best Spring Deck Scene – Barker
You can’t spring ski without hitting of of Sunday River’s many decks, but Barker will always hold a special place in everyone’s heart whether you’re a local or on vacation. Cozy up to your snow loving friends with a brew or two, and try your luck in the beginning of the season to enter into their exclusive mug club.
Best Camping Spot – Grafton Notch Campground
Grafton Notch is the gem of the Mahoosuc Mountains, especially in the summer. It’s the perfect place to hike, camp, and explore. With beautiful trails and bubbling brooks, it’s no surprise that Mainers and visitors love this place.
Best Swimming Hole – Frenchman’s
We understand, locals. You don’t want to give up your secret spot. Regardless, Frenchman’s Hole is the perfect swimming hole for those looking for the adrenaline rush of cliff jumping or a place to sit back and go for a dip.
Best Area Hike – Mount Will
If you’re looking for a moderate hike with breathtaking view, Mount Will is the perfect mountain. Located just by the Bethel transfer station, the three mile, moderate loop let’s you bring your four legged friend along for the stroll. In the summer months, there’s even wild blueberries growing along the path.
Best Golf Hole – Bethel Inn/ Sunday River #4
To be fair to all, and for people not specifying which course, we’d like to announce the Bethel Inn’s entire course and Sunday River Golf Club’s Hole #4 as the winners. I guess this means that you, readers, are going to have figure out this category for yourself.
Best Summer Event – Molly Ockett Day
If you’re looking for a summer activity that checks every box, look no further. Bethel’s summer homecoming festival is filled with crafts and food, as well as live music, a parade, and road races for all. Named after Molly Ockett, a Native American woman who lived and traveled throughout western Maine in the 1700s, this festival is always one to remember.