Nestled in Northern Vermont just 100 miles south of Montreal, Stowe is often considered the “ski capital of the East,” and with good reason. Featuring 485 snow-covered acres spread across Spruce Peak and Mount Mansfield (the highest peak in Vermont), this world-renowned resort offers alpine adventure for winter sports enthusiasts of all kinds.
But make no mistake: There’s just as much to discover beyond the slopes, too. The historic village of Stowe is brimming with local character and friendly small-town charm, from its quaint shops to the idyllic white church steeple overlooking Main Street. Featuring impressive culinary outposts, one-of-a-kind boutiques, craft breweries, and plenty of places to pick up a bottle of the region’s signature maple syrup, this quintessential New England town is the perfect destination for a weekend getaway.
While spring blooms, warm summer days, and colorful Autumn leaves make Stowe an outstanding place to visit at any time of year, there’s nothing quite like the magic of its frosty winter wonderland state. Tradewind offers charter flights year-round to Morrisville-Stowe State Airport, Sugarloaf Regional Airport, Southern Vermont Regional Airport (Rutland), and Mont Tremblant International Airport.
Here’s how to make the most of a weekend getaway to Stowe.
Take off from Westchester County Airport at 2:30pm, and in about an hour, you’ll be touching down in Stowe to begin your mountain getaway. First things first, reserve a luxury transfer ahead of time with Fleet Transportation to bring you to your accommodations in style, or rent a car to explore the region at your own pace.
Stowe has many upscale lodging options to choose from. At Topnotch Resort, the reputation is right there in the name — this intimate property offers impeccable service in an elegant, contemporary mountain setting. Another popular option is the luxurious, rustically appointed Lodge at Spruce Peak, offering the town’s only ski-in, ski-out accommodations.
No matter where you choose to stay, Stowe’s best attractions are never far off. Most hotspots (including both Topnotch Resort and the Lodge at Spruce Peak) lie along the winding Mountain Road, which meanders through the entire town.
Once you’ve settled in, make your way to Pinnacle Ski & Sports to arrange your equipment rentals for a day on the slopes. More advanced skiers should take note: They’re known for having an excellent selection of demo skis available to rent, so you just might fall in love with a new favorite. Or, pack along your own skis — Burlington, Vermont-based Renoun Skis are crafted with HDT polymer, which is 50 percent lighter than a typical wood core (meaning they’re lighter to travel with). Plus, they’re made to adapt to whatever snow conditions you’ll find on the mountain.
After you’ve been properly fitted, Stowe’s robust brewery scene is calling. Head to The Alchemist to sample some of Vermont’s finest — in fact, the family-run brewery’s fresh, unfiltered IPAs aren’t available outside the state. (Try the Heady Topper and Focal Banger to drink like a local.) For dinner, Idletyme Brewing Company down the street serves seasonally driven American fare in a warm, welcoming setting, along with their own stellar lineup of in-house brews.
Rise and shine early to jumpstart your day on the mountain. With 116 trails totaling over 40 miles long and 12 lifts (including more mile-long lifts than any other resort out East), there’s no time to waste. Before you hit the slopes, download the EpicMix app (available since Vail Resorts acquired Stowe in 2017) so you can check lift line times, grooming reports, and your vertical feet for the day — comparing with your group is the perfect après-ski activity.’
Once you’re ready to go, Stowe offers a range of terrain for all ages and experience levels, and group and private lessons are also available. When mid-day rolls around, break for lunch (or to warm up with a hot chocolate) at the Cliff House Restaurant, a chalet-style eatery featuring panoramic alpine views through floor-to-ceiling windows, before closing out the afternoon with a few more runs.
In keeping with ski culture traditions, an après-ski cocktail is in order. For an authentic experience, sidle up to the bar at Matterhorn Bar and Grill, which is routinely considered one of the best après-ski watering holes in the country. Or, to soothe tired legs, head back to the resort hot tub or book a rejuvenating massage at the spa.
Given Northern Vermont’s foodie-approved status, there are many stand-out culinary hotspots to choose from for dinner. If you’re willing to wait, head to Doc Ponds for pub fare with a gourmet twist. (It was founded by the owners of Hen of the Wood, one of Vermont’s top epicurean outposts, so you know it’s going to be good.) On Main Street, indulge in creative American cuisine with a side of cozy mountain-tavern ambiance at Harrison’s. For the town’s best slice in a funky, charismatic atmosphere, Piecasso is the place to be.
Spend your morning back on the mountain, or take the opportunity to wander among the classic buildings and locally owned boutiques of Stowe’s picturesque Main Street. Stop for brunch at Butler’s Pantry, a Stowe mainstay that serves breakfast favorites in a charming historic home.
Leave your afternoon plans in the hands of 4 Points. After picking you up from your hotel, they’ll hand-craft a brewery tour hitting five of Stowe’s top beer spots (or even hard cideries and distilleries), considering any of your group’s requests as well as offering up some local go-tos. Thankfully, there’s no shortage to choose from — there are over a dozen options within a half-hour drive.
Favorites include von Trapp Brewery, Stowe Cider, Green Mountain Distillers, Lost Nation Brewery, Prohibition Pig Brewery, Rock Art Brewery, Ten Bends Brewery, and more. (Hill Farmstead Brewery is another favorite, though their taproom isn’t open on Sundays.) Your tour includes a flight or a beverage at each stop as well as appetizers and snacks, and ends with your designated driver dropping you back off at your hotel (or even at the airport). Offering a knowledgeable overview of the area’s beer scene, 4 Points’ tour is the perfect way to raise a glass to your winter weekend getaway before your 6pm Tradewind flight brings you back to reality.