Hey again everyone! Today’s post is going to be all about a winter weekend in Stowe! I’ve been to Stowe a few times now, both in the fall and winter, and am so excited to share this guide. While I couldn’t recommend a New England fall leaf peeping trip to Stowe more, I highly encourage you all to plan a winter getaway here. Not only does Stowe have Mount Mansfield, aka Stowe Mountain Ski Resort, there’s also ice skating, cross country skiing, and snow shoeing in the area, making it the perfect winter weekend destination. Let’s get into the details of how to spend a winter weekend in Stowe, Vermont!
Disclaimer: This blog post is sponsored by Mapiful. Mapiful gifted me one of their customized city maps in exchange for a feature on my blog. I’ll be discussing Mapiful more toward the end of this post. As always, all opinions here are my own!
How To Get To Stowe
Stowe is located in northern Vermont, about 5.5 hours from NYC, 3.5 from Boston, and only about 2 hours from Montreal! No matter where you’re coming from, you’ll want to drive to Stowe. If you’re flying, I recommend flying into Boston Logan Airport, the largest airport in the region, and driving the 3-3.5 hours north to Stowe. You could also fly into a smaller, regional airport like Manchester, NH or Burlington, VT if you’re able to find a flight! If you live locally, definitely just hop in your car and drive. Having a car in Stowe is crucial to visit the different sites I’m going to cover below.
Where To Stay For A Winter Weekend In Stowe
Stowe Mountain Resort
Now for the fun part… where to stay for a winter weekend in Stowe, Vermont! There are tons of options in the area, ranging from quaint New England B&Bs to cheap chain inns to luxury mountain resorts. Because of this, Stowe is a wonderful destination for both families and couples alike. If you’re skiing in Stowe, which I recommend doing since Stowe is one of the best ski resorts in New England, you should consider staying right in Stowe Village. Stowe Village sits at the base of Stowe Ski Resort and is a central location to all of the shops, restaurants, and activities in this area. The Lodge at Spruce Peak is one of the nicest hotels here. It’s also a ski-in, ski-out lodge! If you’re looking for something a little more adventurous, listen up!
Trapp Family Lodge
Everyone NEEDS to visit the Von Trapp Family Lodge at some point in their lifetime. The Trapp Family Lodge is located right in Stowe, Vermont, about a 15 minute drive from the base of the ski mountain, and is very unique. First, it’s owned by the Von Trapp Family. I mean THE Von Trapp Family- you know, the Sound of Music peeps? The Von Trapp family were an Austrian family with 10 children (yup, not 7), who escaped Europe during World War II and performed their way around the world. The family sung in their home, Salzburg, Austria (where the movie takes place), along with Vienna, before escaping to Italy and then the US. In the early 1940s, the family bought a farm in Stowe, Vermont and settled here. Over the years, they began to host visitors on the farm who vacationed in the area and eventually opened a lodge. This lodge, the Trapp Family Lodge, is still in use today!
Another reason why I highly recommend staying here is because it feels like Europe. The lodge’s slogan is quite literally “A little bit of Austria, a lot of Vermont”. The lodge is built in an alpine-Austrian style, plus there’s an authentic bierhall on site. There are several accommodation options here, including rooms, suites, villas and guest homes for rent. This resort also has tons of year-round activities for its guests to enjoy throughout its 2,500 acres, which I’ll talk about next!
Cost: A standard two-person room here is going to cost between $200-$250 a night. It’s not the cheapest option in Stowe, but it’s worth it for a night or two! I split the cost with a friend, so it was really only $100 a night. I’d do it again!
What To Do In Stowe, Vermont During The Winter
This post is going to focus on winter activities only, although Stowe is a wonderful destination to visit year-round. For example, there’s several hikes and bike routes in the area for you to enjoy. Now onto the bucket list of activities to do during a winter weekend in Stowe, Vermont:
Stowe offers both cross-country and downhill skiing. Most people prefer to downhill ski in Stowe because of the Stowe Ski Resort. Stowe Ski Resort is definitely one of the best ski resorts in New England! With over 115 trails and 12 lifts, Stowe is a fairly large mountain with varying terrain. It’s a great mountain for both families and small children, along with more advanced skiers. I love the set up of Stowe too- it’s basically shaped in a bowl/horseshoe shape, with the parking lot located right in the center. Across the parking lot from the mountain is where Stowe Village is located, forming one giant circle of fun! An interesting characteristic about Stowe is that the gondola here doesn’t bring guests up to the summit of the mountain like most do, it actually travels horizontally. The gondola at Stowe, called the Over Easy, connects the base of the ski mountain to Stowe Village, so guests can easily access the lifts from the resorts, lodges, and shops. After several hours of skiing, I really enjoyed taking the gondola to the village for lunch! I highly recommend doing this if you visit.
Cost: A lift ticket at Stowe is going to cost over $100, since it is one of the bigger ski mountains in New England. We paid $110 for a Friday when we visited.
Shop in the Downtown
Downtown Stowe is going to pass by in a blink of an eye. It’s tiny. A few local shops, restaurants, a church, post office, and that’s about it. But, it’s worth seeing! There’s a nice covered bridge located downtown that I recommend checking out. If you’re hungry for lunch, head to Cafe on Main! I love their soup.
Pro-tip: Want to see the iconic view in Stowe? Capture an amazing photo? Plug “Salon Salon” into your GPS and head to the parking lot to snap this pic!
Go Snowshoeing at the Trapp Family Lodge
Circling back to why this lodge is the best place in Vermont, they offer so many winter activities! A must-do is to snowshoe here! As mentioned above, the Trapp Family Lodge sits on 2,500 acres of beauty. Meaning, there are tons of snowshoe trails here! You can rent snowshoes right in the outdoor activity center, which is adjacent to the hotel, for about $25 for the day. There are maps and marked trails all around the property if you’re interested in a self-guided walk.
Want a tour?
The Trapp Family Lodge offers private tours for guests for $65 per tour! My friend Mairin and I were pleasantly surprised to discover it’s $65 per tour group, not per person, so we both paid ~$30 for 2 hours of fun!
We chose to snowshoe to the highland cows as part of a tour, and then snowshoed up to the Trapp Family Chapel on our own. This chapel sits on a hill right behind the lodge and was built by Werner Von Trapp himself. He swore that if he survived the war, he would build a chapel to commemorate his family on the property. It took him about 4 years to complete by hand, and is so charming! The loop is short, it’s only about 0.5 miles from the lodge, so definitely check it out!
Visit the Highland Cows at the Trapp Family Lodge
This was the highlight for me during my winter weekend in Stowe! The Trapp Family owns a herd of Scottish Highland cows that reside on the property. There’s only one bull and a few dozen females. Every year, they birth a new calf or two right next to the lodge! The cows are located in the Orchard Pasture, about 0.5 miles from the Outdoors Center. This breed is the hairiest domestic breed of cow, and survive the cold temperatures of Stowe quite comfortably. The castle are used for beef.
Aside from the two routes mentioned above, there’s also a maple sugar snow walk and a “meet the sheep” tour. You can book any of these by calling or at the front desk when you check in.
Ice Skate in Stowe Village
The last activity that I highly recommend checking out if you’re enjoying a winter weekend in Stowe is to ice skate in Stowe Village! If you drive to Stowe and pack your own skates (which you should), you can actually ice skate for free. The ice rink is open daily from 12-6 pm during the week and 12-9 pm on the weekends. If you’d like to rent, helmets costs $12 and skates are $17 per person. This ice rink is fun because it sits at the base of the Spruce Camp Base Lodge, right in the middle of all the action!
Bonus: Nearby Attractions
Ben & Jerry’s Factory
While this post focuses on Stowe specifically, there are a few nearby attractions I want to call out! The first is the Ben & Jerry’s Factory in Waterbury, VT! Not only is this place an ice cream shop with take-out options available, there’s also a gift shop, and a full tour you can take! In the fall, there’s a flavor graveyard of all the retired flavors over the years- how cute! For group reservations, call in advance.
Cold Hollow Cider Mill
During a New England fall leaf peeping trip, be sure to add a visit to Cold Hollow Cider Mill to your list! Also located in Waterbury, VT, Cold Hollow offers apple cider donuts, apple cider slushies, has a demonstration room that shows how the cider is made, and a nice gift shop! Definitely swing by here on your way into town. This place is open daily from 8-6 pm, but definitely has the most going on during the autumn months.
Where To Eat & Drink In Stowe
Cafe on Main: Cute cafe located right downtown offering a variety of sandwiches, salads, and yummy soups. Take-out only with limited outdoor seating during the warmer months.
Spruce Lodge: The main lodge at Stowe Ski Resort. I recommend grabbing lunch here while skiing. If you’re not skiing, I would avoid it because it can get crowded!
Piecasso: Fun and affordable Italian-American restaurant located on your way into town. Great sandwiches, salads, and pizzas for lunch and dinner.
Stowe Bee Bakery & Cafe: Located right downtown, this spot is super quaint and is a great place to grab a cozy brunch or sweet treat! We grabbed hot cocoa here after a day of skiing.
Von Trapp Bierhall: Check out the Von Trapp Brewery and Bierhall, located on the property, for authentic Austrian lager and meals. I recommend trying their pretzel and schnitzel!
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I hope you all enjoyed learning a bit more about Stowe, Vermont today! While most tourists flock to Stowe in the autumn months, I highly recommend spending a winter weekend in Stowe! As always, feel free to drop any questions in the comments below, or DM me on Instagram @nicole.rosania.
PS. Want more New England weekend trip ideas? Check out my ultimate New England Bucket List!
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