Stowe has become a year-round vacation destination, and with good reason. There really is something to do here all year round, from skiing and snowboarding during snowy months to hiking, kayaking, and white water rafting when there’s no snow. But, hands down, Stowe Vermont in winter is the best time of year to visit, when the snow falls and this historic little town turns into something out of an old holiday postcard.
When you’re in Stowe, and want to make the most of your time here, head to The Stowe Mountain Resort. They have it all, with downhill skiing and snowboarding (on over 116 trails), snowshoeing and cross-country skiing (with 45 kilometers of groomed trails and over 30 kilometers of backcountry terrain), and more. Afterwards, treat yourself to a spa visit or head to one of the many restaurants or bars on the mountain. Take the Scenic Gondola Sky Ride up the mountain for an amazing panoramic view of the area!
The von Trapp Family Lodge Outdoor Center is another great spot for cross-country skiing. After a day of skiing, take a tour of the von Trap Brewery, then have a bite to eat at one of their on-site restaurants including the popular Bierhall for beer, bratwurst and plenty of Alpine atmosphere. A moonlight sleigh ride will be the perfect end to the day.
Remember how much fun it was to grab your old red sled and hit that local hill? Show your kids how it’s done on Marshall Hill, right in Stowe Village (just one of the many great sledding spots around). You’re on vacation, it’s ok to act like a kid!
Enjoy one of the more scenic trails in the state, without leaving Stowe. The Stowe Recreation Path winds along the West Branch River past farms and historic churches, through meadows and forests. And the trail is groomed during the winter months, making it perfect for hiking, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. There are plenty of stopping spots along the way too, as the trail wanders past shops and restaurants.
Take a guided snowmobile tour and zip through the backcountry of the Mount Mansfield State Forest, or treat your group to a dog-sledding adventure and race along snow-covered trails or over frozen lakes.
Get out on the ice! Head for the local ice skating rink and show off your ice-skating skills. Twirl away the hours on the outdoor rink at Spruce Peak Village Center under twinkling party lights. Or try something new like ice climbing or ice fishing. No crowds. It’s just you and that white, frozen lake or beautiful, icy waterfall.
Even if you hate the cold, you’ll love being in Stowe in winter. Just head downtown and shop for antiques, local art and souvenirs in historic Stowe. Stop by Shaw’s General Store or Stowe Mercantile for tons of Stowe and Vermont products. A bag of Vermont Maple Cookies, a cup of hot local cider, and a roaring fire isn’t a bad way to spend the evening. And a stop by Laughing Moon Chocolates for handmade truffles is always a good thing.
The craft brew scene is booming in Stowe. The Stowe Craft Brew Trail is a fun way to hit all the local breweries and win prizes too. Get your kit and all the info at the Stowe Visitor Information Center and start touring. Idletyme Brewing Co., Stowe Cider and the von Trapp Brewery are just a few of the trail stops.
It’s never too cold for ice cream! Take the tour of Ben & Jerry’s Factory where you can watch their ice cream making process and at the end of the tour, you’ll be rewarded with a free sample of the flavor of the day. Stop by their gift shop and get your Chunky Monkey to go.
Ski lovers should plan a visit to the Vermont Ski & Snowboarding museum in historic downtown Stowe. Located in the old Town Meeting House (the oldest active building in town), the museum’s exhibits showcase the evolution of ski equipment and fashion, historic ski lifts, iconic snowboard photography, Alpine and Nordic Skiing equipment, and much more.
Tour a local maple sugar house like Nebraska Knoll Sugar Farm or Stowe Maple Products for maple syrup making demos and tastings. Or stop in at Cold Hollow Cider Mill for cider-pressing demos, then visit the vintage mill shop for everything Vermont. Don’t leave without a dozen (at least) of their famous cider donuts.
If you still need a few reasons on why to visit this picturesque ski town in the winter, just give us a call. We know all the best après ski spots and brew pubs, and the best spot to get some local, maple smoked cheddar cheese.