The hills are alive with the sound of skis swishing and swooshing over fresh powder snow. Home to the von Trapp family, famously portrayed in The Sound of Music, Stowe, Vermont is a historical village bursting with arts and culture, exceptional dining establishments, outstanding inns, and world-class outdoor activities. Whether you’re skiing for the first time on Spruce Peak, a great beginner ski mountain, or hiking Mt. Mansfield, Vermont’s highest mountain, thrill seekers and nature lovers will not be disappointed. Here’s a list of exciting activities, must-see winter attractions, and charming and cozy lodgings to help you plan your trip. This picture perfect alpine town has so much to offer, you might suddenly break into song!
What to Do:
When in Stowe, take advantage of the sublime snow! With an average annual snowfall of 260 inches, Stowe is the birthplace of alpine skiing in Vermont, with trails cut on Mount Mansfield in 1933. Boasting 48 of the longest ski trails in New England, the gorgeous scenery and crisp mountain air only add to the excitement and appeal of downhill skiing, snowmobiling, and snowboarding on 10 thrilling miles of luge-like twists and turns. Ski down some magnificent mountain trails, then drink up some amazing beers on a microbrewery tour.
At Stone Craft Brewery Tours (Nov. 2nd-March 9th) courtesy of UMIAK Outdoor Outfitters, Vermont’s Outdoor Adventure Center, beer enthusiasts can experience (and indulge in) the art of craft beer making. Skiing and craft brewing reign supreme in Vermont and Stowe, so it’s no surprise that brewing is an important part of Vermont’s economy. Staying true to only using the finest ingredients and being mindful of chemicals and pesticides, in 1997, Vermont became the first U.S. state with a certified organic brewery.
You can have beer and travel on The Vermont Bike and Brew Tour (Oct. 6th-Nov. 18th), with Lamoille Valley Bike Tours, a guided E-bike adventure tour that Includes three stops at three local Vermont breweries from the seat of your electric bicycle. Tourists will get the best of scenic tours and a peek at local hot spots. With beer samples, appetizers, and pint glasses to take home, this tour is a favorite among beer aficionados.
After whetting your appetite with some brew, enjoy a cornucopia of treats at Cold Hollow Cider Mill, a farmhouse store that sells homemade jams, jellies, sweet doughnuts, and Vermont’s famous 100% pure maple syrup. Stock up on soaps, books, sweatshirts, and mugs at Shaw’s General Store. This family-owned store dates back to the 1890s, and the old-school charm and hospitality keeps visitors coming back for more time and time again. January means making New Year’s Resolutions, watching the Super Bowl, and attending fun-filled events at Stowe’s Winter Carnival! With a kid’s carnival, snow-golf and snow volleyball tournaments, and ice carving competitions, it’s no wonder this carnival was recognized along with the Super Bowl and Mardi Gras as one of the ten best events in the United States!
Take a minute to relax with a glass of wine, great food, and music every Wednesday from 7-10pm at Cork Wine Bar and Market. Jazz musician George Walker Petit, the talented producer and composer, performs jazz while drawing inspiration from Vermont’s communal and nurturing music scene.
Looking for unique gifts? Head to Old-Time Main Street and you’ll find arts & crafts shops, variety stores, and boutiques that will satisfy even the pickiest family members on your holiday shopping list! With shopping bags in tow, don’t forget to take a picture of the iconic Stowe Community Church before you leave town. Located in the center of town, it is one of the oldest non-denominational churches in the country. The church steeple is also one of the most recognizable fixtures in the skyline.
The Helen Day Art Center offers a crash course on painting still life in watercolor on December 2. Taught by renowned instructor Marc Taro Holmes, artists in training and novices can practice how to capture complex subjects in watercolor. The beautiful fall foliage that Stowe is known for will surely inspire your sketches.
Where to Stay:
Green Mountain Inn is the perfect retreat if you want to experience historic Stowe at its best. Located on Main Street, this property offers 103 unique guest rooms, suites, village apartments, and townhouses that offer a lovely refuge after a day spent enjoying Vermont’s winter wonderland. The outside amenities also allow you to appreciate the beautiful surroundings. Take in the gorgeous Green Mountains as you sit by the heated pool or in-ground outdoor Jacuzzi. Enjoy a bottle of champagne or wine with chocolate-dipped strawberries as you warm your toes and hands in front of the fire pits. Retire for the night in a room with a fireside Jacuzzi before falling asleep on 300 count Egyptian cotton bedding. In the morning, your country inn breakfast will energize you before your day full of sightseeing, massages, and fine dining at The Whip Bar & Grill, one of two outstanding onsite restaurants offering delicious meals using Vermont’s finest ingredients from local farmers.
When you sink down into one of many comfortable sofas in the living room at Hobble Inn, you will forget all about your favorite chair at home. A 150-year-old bed and breakfast, this picturesque historic inn is your home away from home on vacation. Giving visitors a space to indulge, relax and put their feet up, Mary, the innkeeper, keeps guests full with her delicious French toast waffle breakfast and is a local expert on the best restaurants, nature trails, and shopping markets. You’ll have a spring in your step after visiting this paradise in the mountains!
A roaring fire in a large fieldstone fireplace and rich knotty pine throughout the rustic interior, evoke images of life in the country and hot chocolate on a cold night. Timberholm Inn, built in 1949, is recognized by the Stowe Historical Society as one of Stowe’s first ski lodges. With nine rooms offering large picture windows to enjoy mountain views, and an outside deck and hot tub tucked in the woods, this B&B is an ideal New England getaway. After enjoying a full country breakfast of fresh fruit, home-baked muffins, breads, scones, Vermont maple bacon or sausage, pumpkin pancakes, frittata (using Vermont’s award-winning cheddar) and French toast, you will understand why Arrington’s Inn Traveler Magazine voted this breakfast as a Top 5 Best Breakfast in New England.