The Ultimate Stowe Summer and Fall Guide
Stowe is beautiful in the summer, but Stowe in the fall is truly amazing. During summer months the forests are lush and green, and the wildflowers are blooming everywhere. Come fall, the entire region changes color. The vibrant greens give way to those bright golds, oranges and reds that Vermont is famous for. While the entire landscape seems on fire, the air starts to crisp up, with the promise of snowy winter nights ahead. Read on below for the ultimate guide to summer and fall vacations to Stowe, Vermont!
Summer in Stowe
The warm season in Stowe lasts from around the late part of May to mid-September, and the average warm temperature year-round is a moderate 78 degrees. On those occasional days when things warm up, or you build up a sweat hiking up a steep mountain trail, you’ll be rewarded with cooler temperatures as you climb into those higher elevations.
The Stowe summer is the time to hike through the cool alpine forests, up rocky mountain trails to amazing waterfalls and overlooks. If you love waterfalls, Moss Glen Falls is a short, popular, hike through the woods to the falls. The small pools around the 80-foot falls are perfect for a quick, refreshing dip and the falls are gorgeous. Bingham Falls Trail is another short hike to some very pretty waterfalls.
The popular Stowe Pinnacle Trail is only 3 miles round trip, and while it’s a little steep, the view of the Green Mountains from the bald peak is worth it. Sunset Rock Trail is an easy hike through the woods starting right in Stowe Village, and Wiessner Woods and Kirchner Woods are also beautiful, gentle hikes. For a more challenging hike, head to Mt. Mansfield, the highest peak in Vermont, where you’ll be rewarded with amazing views of the surrounding mountains and countryside and up into Canada.
A popular greenway, the Stowe Recreation Path, is used year-round by residents and guests as they hike, bike, in-line skate, (and in the winter months) cross-country ski and snowshoe along its path. The path starts in historic Stowe Village, meanders along the West Branch River past picnic areas and swimming spots, farms and old churches, ending at a historic, possibly haunted, covered bridge.
Cady Hills Forest is another of Stowe’s popular year-round trails, used by hikers, runners and mountain bike enthusiasts alike. These (mostly) quiet, dusty trails wind through the “maple jungle,” and there is a popular view point at Green Chair. Watch out for bikers and wildlife as you hike.
Summer Festivals and More
Start things off by attending The Best of Stowe in the end of May, when the streets of Stowe are lined with vendors of all types of arts, crafts, food and beverages, many with a twist and taste of Vermont. The B3 Fest: Bikes, Brews & Beats is a summer celebration with a long weekend of mountain biking, craft brews, and music. At the end of June, the Vermont Renaissance Faire takes over and fills the streets with its Renaissance music and dancers, arts and crafts vendors, medieval encampments, fight demos, jousting—oh, and lots of beer, wine, cider, and mead!
Enjoy Historic Stowe’s traditional, old-fashioned Fourth of July celebrations, and there are parades and events to mark Memorial Day too. There are weekly wine tastings during the summer at the Trapp Family Lodge for wine connoisseurs, and if you miss the wine tastings, just take a tour of the Von Trapp Brewery Tour or just visit the Trapp Family Lodge Shops. You’ll want to see this alpine-style lodge and hear all the history behind it. Try the Bierhall for a lager and bratwurst, knackwurst, and bauernwurst platter, or maybe just grab a Bavarian pretzel with house mustards while you enjoy the view. Don’t miss the Weekly Gazebo Concerts in Stowe Village.
Fall in Stowe
Why drive miles to look at the gorgeous Stowe fall colors and then drive home when you can stay right in the middle of it? This is the time to rent one of our alpine cottages nestled up in the hillside, where you’ll be surrounded by that colorful foliage for your entire stay. Skip the crowds, settle down with a cup of fresh cider, a maple-flavored bear claw and enjoy the scenery from the privacy of your rental’s private deck.
Any time is a good time to take the Stowe Gondola SkyRide to the top of Mt. Mansfield, the highest mountain in Vermont, but fall is prime gondola time. Enjoy the scenery on the way up, then hike or bike back down the mountain, or just take the ZipTour back down.
Ride mountain bikes, backpack or hike along rocky dirt trails through woods, meadows and mountains. There are plenty of trails open year-round and through the fall to keep your group occupied. Many trails are multi-use too, and are kept in shape for all sorts of activities including hiking, jogging, biking and skiing.
Stowe is fast becoming the go-to spot for serious mountain bikers too. Cady Hills Forest, Sterling Forest, and Adams Camp are just a few of the bike trails free and open to the public here in Stowe. If things get too muddy for mountain bikes, just rent a fat tire bike and you can stay out on the trails no matter what.
Fall is a great time to get out on Vermont’s waterways for some prime fishing fun. You can land brook, brown, rainbow and lake trout, bass, landlocked Atlantic salmon, walleye, yellow perch and more from April through October. Fish from shore or wade in, fish from a boat or kayak, head out solo or book a guide—it’s up to you.
Stay Inside – Summer or Fall
Summer and fall are also the wettest seasons here in Vermont. But not to worry, there are plenty of Stowe activities to enjoy indoors when the weather gets too wet. Spend the occasional wet day inside and treat yourself and your group to a spa treatment. Visit one of the local spas for facials, warm oil tranquility cocoons, full body exfoliation and scrubs and mineral mud wraps. Many spas feature pools, saunas and steam rooms, and juice bars too.
No trip to Stowe would be complete without a tour of Ben & Jerry’s! Who cares what the weather is like when you’re immersing yourself in the whole Ben & Jerry experience. The best part of this 30-minute tour? The end of tour flavor-of-the-day tasting! Make sure to visit the gift shop for a few pints to take home for enjoying later. Try a little fresh maple syrup or add a fresh homemade maple cookie to your bowl.
When the weather is too wet to do your rock climbing outside, you can practice your climbing skills at the Stowe Rocks Climbing Center. They have a KidZone complete with a wall of fun where your kids can climb over airplanes, trains, and trucks. You can also challenge the kids to a few rounds of bowling at one of the area’s bowling alleys.
Hit the Ale Trail! After an afternoon of craft brews, you won’t really care what the weather’s like. Take a guided brewery tour (and let someone else do the driving) or make your own way. The Alchemist, Idletyme Brewing Co. and the von Trapp Brewery are all good starting points.
If you’re over the whole brew pub thing, what about cheese? Take your group on a self-guided tour of local area cheese makers, then buy some of their delicious, fresh made cheese to take back to your rental where you can enjoy some gooey grilled cheese sandwiches toasted over the fire pit out on the deck. And speaking of locally made food and drink, be sure to visit Nebraska Knoll Sugar Farm, Stowe Maple Products or the Trapp Family Lodge for tours, demonstrations and lots of local Vermont maple products.
Head to Historic Stowe Village and shop for handmade jewelry and glass art, books and toys, handmade chocolates at Laughing Moon Chocolates, local cider at Stowe Cider and a little of everything Vermont at Stowe Mercantile or Shaw’s General Store.
Pick up a dozen or so Stowe Dough’s homemade Maple Bacon doughnuts or Apple Fritters for breakfast while you’re in town. Get freshly made apple cider and apple cider donuts from Cold Hollow Cider Mill, or handmade fudge and maple cookies from the Stowe Mercantile Kitchen as snacks for family movie night.
The Vermont Ski and Snowboard Museum in Stowe has exhibits showcasing the evolution of ski equipment and fashion, historic ski lifts, iconic snowboard photography, alpine and Nordic skiing equipment, and much more. It may not be ski season yet, but you can get your fill of skiing history and fun facts in this cute little museum.
Where to Dine
Dress up a bit and head out to dinner at the Bistro at Ten Acres, Solstice, The Trapp Family Lodge Dining Room, or Hen of the Wood. Take advantage of the nice weather, and dine al fresco at Harrison’s Restaurant, Idletyme Brewing Co. or The Bench. If you’ve got BBQ lovers in your group, a visit to Black Diamond BBQ or the Sunset Grille and Tap Room should be on your itinerary. Wherever you end up, you can dine in or out. Or order ahead, pick up your meal and head back to your rental to enjoy dining out on your private deck or patio with the Green Mountains as a back drop.
Before you start your long day of outdoor fun, what could be better than to start with pancakes, French toast and fresh squeezed orange juice at the Butler’s Pantry? Or take advantage of our guest services like catering, prepared meal services and pre-arrival grocery delivery and whip up something delicious in your rental’s fully equipped kitchen.
All the Amenities You Want
Our Stowe vacation homes, townhomes, and condos will have all the luxury amenities you expect, including fireplaces ready for toasting s’mores, warm wood floors and open floor plans perfect for gathering friends and family together, and fully equipped kitchens complete with everything you’ll need to fix that first cup of coffee in the morning and that last cup of hot cider in the evening. If you decide to book your stay in one of our condos, you’ll be able to enjoy all the extras that are part of the condo community as well!
Our rentals feature indoor fireplaces, and many also feature outdoor fireplaces, fire pits, and grills. We have vacation homes with garages, air conditioning for those occasional hot summer days, game rooms, washer/dryers, and hot tubs.
Free Wi-Fi in our vacation rentals will keep you in touch with everyone in the outside world (if you need to) while the kids catch up on their favorite shows. It’s easy to browse through our listings to find the rental with the extra amenities you want. We also have smoke-free rentals and pet-friendly vacation rentals so you won’t have to leave your furry best friend behind.
It’s Your Choice
No matter whether you’re bringing your entire extended family to Stowe for that long-awaited family reunion, or just your significant other for a romantic getaway you’ve been putting off, we have the perfect size vacation rental for your stay, with everything from cozy cottages and condos to larger vacation homes with many bedrooms that can actually handle up to 25 guests at a time.
Choose from mountain or lake views, mountain lodges or alpine-style cottages, modern condos, and much more. We offer secluded rentals that are located away from the crowds but still close to historic Stowe Village and all the fun. Choose to be close to the things you love to do, with the view you want, and the amenities you’ve come to expect. It’s all here in Stowe. Let us help you find the perfect rental for your Stowe summer and fall vacation. Give us a call today!