As a native Vermonter, one of my favorite places to visit in our Green Mountain State is the town of Stowe. It’s less than an hour away from Burlington and it seems like there is always something going on in Stowe. Whether it’s an arts & crafts show in the cool Autumn months, a balloon festival in the summer or skiing during the cold Vermont winters, you’re sure to find something fun to keep you busy.
If you’re driving to Stowe from I89 or the Burlington area, you will exit off the interstate and pass through Waterbury and Waterbury Center. Don’t miss Ben & Jerrys along the way. A little further up the road, in Waterbury Center, is the Cold Hollow Cider Mill. You should definitely plan a side trip to Cold Hollow for some fresh apple cider and the freshly made, delicious cider donuts.
As you approach Stowe, Vermont you’ll start seeing signs for ski shops, kayaks and other recreational shops. If you’re a ghost hunter, look for the Gold Brook Covered Bridge (Emily’s Bridge), in Stowe Hollow. You’ll come to a 4-way intersection where there is usually a huge banner floating overhead, promoting Stowe’s latest activities. Stowe’s Main St. features a number of small stores, restaurants and of course the subject of many scenic photos and artwork…the Stowe Community Church. The beginning of the scenic Stowe Recreation Path can be accessed from a parking lot behind the church.
Make a trip up the Mountain Road, where you’ll find a huge selection of country inns and restaurants. Ye Olde England Inne and Mr. Pickwick’s Pub is a unique place that is now unfortunately closed. It was preferred by the famous rock band, Deep Purple hung out to party while recording a couple albums in the 1980’s (Perfect Strangers and House of Blue Light) at The Playhouse. Gracie’s, another favorite, is now located at the former Whiskers restaurant a little further up the road, just around the bend of the river.
At this point, you have a couple choices. You can either hang a left and make your way up to the Trapp Family Lodge or continue several miles up the road towards the Stowe Mountain Resort and Smuggler’s Notch. In the winter months, the skiing is fantastic and night skiing is also offered for intermediate level skiers. We’ve seen beginning skiers walking all the way down the trail so if you’re not sure of your abilities, you may want to skip the night skiing. In the summer months, you can take a gondola ride to the top of the trail (where night skiing is usually permitted). The gondolas are a bit pricy though. A better choice for the money would be the Alpine Slide across the road or a drive up the Toll Road to the summit of Mount Mansfield. The views are simply breathtaking and it’s a great place to hike around the top of the world.von Trapp family lodge
The Trapp Family Lodge as mentioned before, is in the other direction, almost towards Moscow, Vermont. A slightly winding road will gradually bring you upwards to the famous inn. Hay rides are in order during the summer and cross country skiing trails are open in the winter. Autumn is a great time to visit the Trapp Family Lodge and enjoy the scenic vistas. Visit the “Tea Room”, a small cafe just down the road from the main lodge for afternoon tea or a snack.
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