Stowe is a small holiday village in the heart of Vermont that thrives on tourism all-year round. Located near the gorgeous Green Mountains, in winter it’s a hub for all kinds of winter sports, such as cross-country skiing, snowboarding, dogsledding and snowshoeing, and in summer it attracts hikers, fishermen, campers and canoers.
There’s plenty to do in and around this cozy yet vibrant town. Let’s take a look at some major attractions and things to do in Stowe Vermont.
Things to Do in Stowe Vermont
Spa & Wellness
According to National Geographic Traveler’s ‘Index of Destination Stewardship’, Vermont is one of the world’s top 10 destinations. This index takes into account criteria such as historic buildings, tourism management, prospect for the future, environment and ecology. Stowe is Vermont at its very best—a small friendly historic town that’s surrounded by spectacular natural scenery. Local businesses thrive, while visitors can enjoy world-class spa treatments, work out at gyms and take yoga classes. There are about 60 lodges in town, some of which feature excellent spas.
At 4,395 feet (1,339 meters), Mount Mansfield is the highest mountain in Vermont—a spectacular mountain that forms the heart of this world-famous area. It is possible to hike to the summit of Mount Mansfield along a few different trails. An alternative for people who, for whatever reason, can’t complete a strenuous hike is the scenic Mount Mansfield Auto Toll Road that leads to the mountain’s ridge. Another option is taking the famous Stowe Gondola, a cable car that transports people to hiking trails high up on the mountain and a snack bar near Mount Mansfield’s summit.
Historic downtown Stowe is a shopper’s heaven, home to no less than 70 shops. They’re located in the town center and along Mountain Road. Goods on sale range from crafts and furniture to foods typical of Vermont and art by local artists.
One thing that everyone must do when visiting Vermont is renting a car and going for a drive. There are countless scenic back roads in all over Vermont and Stowe is no exception. Make sure to spend at least one day exploring the town’s marvelous natural surroundings on four wheels.
The proximity of forests and mountains has created a subculture of adventure tourism in Stowe. From zip lining to hot air ballooning to mountaineering to hang gliding, there are plenty of options to satisfy your inner adventurer.
A much quieter, but not less pleasant, activity is walking the beautiful Recreation Path. This award-winning 2.7-mile (4.3 kilometer) walking path meanders its way along the West Branch River from one edge of the town to the other. It is used by cyclists, hikers, roller bladers, runners and Nordic skiers (in winter) and runs past pretty bridges, swimming spots, scenic views and historic buildings.
In winter, Stowe grows into one of New England’s largest winter sports centers. Winter sports enthusiasts have visited this small town for more than 200 years—it’s no surprise that Stowe is sometimes referred to as the ‘Ski Capital of the East’. Winter sports that can be done in the region include, but aren’t limited to, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, downhill skiing, ice skating, ice fishing and cross-country skiing.
I’ll be visiting Stowe this weekend and I surely will report back on my experiences next week with plenty of photos!