There’s no place like Stowe.

There’s no place like Stowe.

There’s no place like Stowe.

That voice was me, standing in the center of Stowe at the start of fall foliage. I’m not exactly Dorothy from Wizard of Oz who was transported from her small town of Kansas due to a massive tornado. Quite the contrary, I came from that large town called Los Angeles. So many of us enjoy places unlike where we’ve come from. The moment I landed in Vermont, I was in awe. I fell into a zen-like mental state. Of the towns I visited though, Stowe, Vermont’s highest mountain peak, stood out most. What to see in Stowe? There are many things to do and see and eat that I will share in this post. Ultimately though, it’s the experience and feeling you get while you’re there that you’ll have to experience first hand.

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines the word Oz (\ˈäz \) as “an ideal of fantastical place“. Hence I think it’s fair to refer to Stowe as such.

Stowe, Vermont’s Highest Mountain Peak

what to see in stoweThere is something Oz-like about Stowe, a fantastical town chartered in 1763 that feels more Canadian than American. Yet, Stowe is one of those places travelers want to see and experience when visiting America. It is environmentally friendly, a clean town which is proud of it’s farm-to-table restaurants and local breweries. Stowe also has clean, crisp air you can’t get enough of with people who love and live for the outdoors.

Today, Stowe is Vermont’s largest land area with over 50,000 acres but only about a population of 4000 people.

things to see in stowe vermont

I spent 48 hours in Stowe relaxing, eating, admiring the fall leaves changing, enjoying nature and most relaxingly, the spa at Stoweflake resort. I was like Dorothy taking in the wonderment of it all. Eyes up to the sky and all around me, fascinated by the charm of this picturesque mountain town.

Things to See in Stowe Vermont

Stowe is located just 40 minutes of a beautiful scenic drive from Burlington, Vermont’s largest city and where the major airport is located. Our first stop in Stowe was to Trapps Bierhall for lunch with Sam Trapp, the grandson of Maria Von Trapp. Name sound awfully familiar? You guessed right, this is the famous Von Trapp family who fled Austria in 1938. They traveled through America as a musical performing family with the head star, Maria, who’s experience and life inspired The Sound of Music movie.

The Bierhall and Brewery is located on the mountain top of the Trapp Family Lodge. Today, it is a famous landmark in Vermont and is a must visit.

Von Trapp Family Lodge: ‘A Little of Austria, a lot of Vermont’

von trapp family lodgeOf all the places they traveled to in the US, the mountain top of Vermont reminded them most of Austria. So naturally, the Von Trapp family bought their first hilltop farm right in Stowe in 1942. In 1950, they began to house skiers and by the 1960s, the entrepreneurial family turned this farm into the first cross-country Ski Resort and Lodge.

In 2010, Johannes Von Trapp (son of Maria) made his dream of starting a brewery into a reality. The Bierhall and the rest of the lodge is a popular gathering place in Vermont for friends and visitors to enjoy “a little of Austria, a lot of Vermont.” Come enjoy lager beers and Austrian wine fresh from the tap. Try a hearty selection of freshly prepared Austrian lunch and dinner options after hitting the slopes or a mountain trail bike ride. Many of the menu items are prepared on a wood-fired Parrilla Grill (the showcase feature of the Bierhall).

what to do and eat in stowe

Austrian Style Cured Sausages and Local Cheese Platter, Mini Salads, Bavarian Pretzels with Beer Cheese Dips & Mustard, hummus, Pimento Cheese and Smoked Trout Dips with Pita and Crackers

In 2015, after much success with the start of their brewery, they expanded the brew-making to another location near by. The Rolec Brew House is a 30,000 square feet space on Luce Hill Road which is produces up to 35,000 barrels of beer annually.

Ice Cream All Year Round

ben and jerrys ice cream tour

Vermont is home to the creation of Ben & Jerry’s hence why you must stop in for a 30 minute guided Ice Cream Tour. Learn their process of making ice cream and the history behind this classic American ice cream brand. No matter the weather or season, the ice cream is always fresh and ready to be enjoyed.

(Tickets are only $4 for adults, free for children under 12!)

cold hollow cider donuts

Vermont Cider Donuts, Honey, Maple Syrup..

Stop by Cold Hollow Cider Mill to taste and see how the legendary Cider Donuts and Fresh Ciders are made. Stop by their bakery to stock up on some carbs to satisfy your sweet cravings! In addition to this family-fun activity, watch a live observation of beehives being pressed into Vermont Honey.

Purchase the bottles of Maple Syrup you’ll be taking home as Souvenirs here.

Downtown Stowe

things to see in stowe vermont

  • Love Cheese? There is no shortage of the best cheese America has to offer in Vermont from the ethically-raised cows raised on various farm lands.
    • Cabot Cheese Annex in Downtown Stowe is where you can find a wide selection of locally-made cheese.
      • Tip: Look for the Shelburne 4 year-aged Cheddar Cheese in case you don’t make it to Shelburne Farms!
  • Go Bowling at Stowe Bowl
  • The Ski Slopes starts November 16 so don’t lag to book your tickets now for your winter vacation to Stowe

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Stoweflake Resort – the Place to Stay

things to see in stowe vermontIn the most exciting part of Mountain Road in Stowe is Stoweflake Resorts, the absolute perfect place to stay. Owned by the Baraw family for decades, Stoweflake has a family feel yet sits on 50 acres where you can essentially just stay within the resort and have enough to do for days. The resort is the most central location while visiting Stowe. It’s surrounded by 30 shops and restaurants as well as beautiful hikes.

To top it off, it’s home to a world-class renown spa and Wine Spectator award-winning restaurant. While the property sits on a massive space, the architectures have creatively designed the resort to make it feel incredibly cozy and as if you’re visiting a relative’s home in the mountains.

where to stay in stowe

Relax at the World-Renown Element Spa at Stoweflake

Spend a half-day at The Spa at Stoweflake which was voted Top Resort Spas by Condé Naste Traveler, Forbes, Elle and Spa Magazine. Book an appointment for a Wellness Massage, Maple Sugar Body Polish or Cleansing Facial ahead of time. After the massage, wander to the sauna, jacuzzi facilities while enjoying herbal tea and fruit infused water offered.

Some other features worth mentioning on property:

  • A large swimming pool with an expansive view of the surrounding greeneries
  • Outdoor Jacuzzi attached to the pool
    • Yoga or Pilates classes are offered for your mind-body connection
    • Indulge in healthy food at the Spa’s Poolside Café
    • Soak in the Hungarian Mineral bath and Hydrotherapy Waterfalls
    • Visit the Sports & Wellness Center
      • Women Fitness Center and Yoga Studio available as well (how special is that!?)
      • Tennis, Racquetball, Squash court
what to do and eat in stowe

Charlie B’s is the main restaurant connected to Stoweflake Resort

bars in stoweCharlie B’s is the hip pub & restaurant you must see and visit for any meal during the day. Dine at lunch after your outdoor adventures in Stowe. Or go for dinner and linger for the lively evening atmosphere at the pub.

Inspired by the local ingredients of Vermont, the Chef has created an extensively creative menu. Along with the tasty, multi-cultural appetizers and entrees, there are over 3000 wines to choose from.

Live entertainment at Charlie B’s every Saturday evening in the Summer and Fall!

what to eat in stowe

“Spicy Duck Ninja Roll” at Charlie B’s – Duck Confit & Sushi Rice, with Seaweed Salad, Pickled Ginger, Sriracha & Miso Aioli

Before leaving the property, be sure to visit Green Envy Boutique just steps away from the resort. Also related to Stoweflake as it’s family owned by Mary Lou Baraw, who’s extraordinary taste in fashion makes this boutique so dazzling. Spoil yourself with a few hours to shop as you may not want to leave while finding upscale, hip clothing and accessories.


Hiking in Stowe’s Majestical Outdoorsstowe recreation path map

 

what to eat and drink in stoweStowe is an ideal place to ski and enjoy mountain activities in the winter. Hiking in mountain resort destinations is also one of my favorite things to do. The air is most crisp, people are friendly, outdoorsy and laid back. And as much as I wanted to unplug from electronics during this hike on the Stowe Recreation Path, I couldn’t help but take many photos.

 

Hiking in Stowe is highly recommended. Hike to Moss Glenn Falls or Bingham Falls. Sterling Pond or Stowe Pinnacle. I would also recommend renting a Mountain Bike through Stoweflake or any hotels/bike shops.

where to hike in stowe

Stowe Recreation Path which spans 5 miles of a gorgeous scenery

what to eat and drink in stowe

Stroll through the Stowe Farmers Market on Sundays! (right across the street to Stoweflake Resorts)

“Someplace where there isn’t any trouble…
Do you suppose there is such a place, Toto?
There must be.
It’s not a place you can get to by a boat or train.
It’s far, far away… behind the moon… beyond the rain.

Somewhere, over the rainbow, way up high,
There’s a land that I heard of once in a lullaby.
Somewhere, over the rainbow, skies are blue,
And the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true.”

Stowe is a place where your dreams feel like a reality.

 

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