Activities and Attractions
You are visiting or moving to Stowe, Vermont, with its mountain terrain, iconic community church, restaurants, boutiques and recreation… but where do you begin exploring?
Many of our real estate agents have lived in Stowe or the surrounding towns for more than 20 years. We’ve compiled a list of activities that are really worth your time:
Stowe Recreation Path: Starting at the church off Main Street in Stowe and winding its way up the Mountain Road beside the river and in attractive wooded areas, this 5-plus mile path is a great way to catch some views of Mt. Mansfield, travel between restaurants or get a little exercise.
Take a Hike: We always suggest to people to get to the top a mountain, either by the gondola at Stowe Mountain Resort, your own power or via car up the Toll Road. Local peaks include Mt. Mansfield, Hunger Mountain, Camel’s Hump and Pinnacle Mountain. There’s also a series of wooded trails, such as Wiessner and Kirchner woods, for a more leisurely stroll. Hiking options are available on the Stowe Land Trust site.
Farmers’ Markets and Craft Fairs: Starting in late spring through the holidays, Vermont is resplendent with artisan markets, including the Stowe Farmers’ Market. Although each event is unique, market-goers can expect food, hand-crafted art, photography, special activities, and more… a good time for family and friends!
Mt. Mansfield: Take in the beauty of Vermont’s tallest mountain, which also happens to resemble a person’s face with its own Chin, Nose and Adam’s Apple! A drive up the Mountain Road, and through Smugglers’ Notch, will give you plenty of viewing opportunities.
Skiing at Stowe: 115+/- trails. Fast chairlifts. Cutting-edge snow-making technology. Stowe Mountain Resort remains a ski mountain with challenging terrain for expert skiers but has also dedicated itself to adding terrain for the less experienced. The amenities at Stowe are also topnotch, with the Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center, shopping, top-of-the-line restaurants and the spa at Spruce Peak.
Stowe Recreation: Check out the town’s recreation department! They have annual events such as Family Night, a Halloween party, Fourth of July celebrations, Skate with Santa, the Hyde Cup Tournament and an Easter egg hunt as well as weekly and week-long activities (summer camp, kids’ night out, teen night, clubs and classes). For a full schedule of events, please visit stowerec.org.
Gorges and Waterfalls: It’s always fun to take an hour or two to explore the gorges and waterfalls of Stowe. Carved out of the rock, these waterways are beautiful reminders of the power of nature. Our favorites are Sterling Brook Gorge, Bingham Falls and Moss Glen Falls (just outside of town).
Mini Golf (Bowling… Coming Soon!): Stowe Golf Park is a well-maintained and locally convenient miniature golf course. Not your average putt-putt experience, there are hazards and elements to test every skill level. At the same location – scheduled for 2016 – Stowe will soon have its own bowling alley.
Emily’s Covered Bridge: Gold Brook Bridge is not your ordinary covered bridge. This bridge is also known as “Emily’s Bridge,” because it may be haunted by a ghost named Emily. Many people who have visited the bridge have experienced disturbing paranormal activity!
Zip Lining: Stowe Mountain Resort offers a ZipTour® and Treetop Adventure on Mt. Mansfield! Come soar through the wilds of the Green Mountains! Just over Smugglers’ Notch is AborTrek Canopy Adventures with wild zipline tours, obstacle courses and a climbing area.
Golf: Stowe Mountain Resort is the premier 36-hole golf destination in New England, offering two distinct golf experiences both on and off the mountain. From the historic Stowe Country Club to the brand new Stowe Mountain Club Golf Course, golf in the Green Mountains of Vermont just doesn’t get any better. The course is not only beautiful it is challenging! With more than 6,400 yards of lush grass and panoramic vistas surrounded by 2,000 acres of protected wilderness, it is everything you love about resort golf – elevated to a level rarely seen. Other nearby options include the Ryder Brook Golf Club (Morrisville) and the Country Club of Vermont (Waterbury Center). [Read more…]
Cross-country Skiing/Snowshoeing: Trails wind through the picturesque Vermont woods, offering spectacular views and many routes. You can choose groomed trails at Stowe Mountain Resort, Trapp Family Lodge and Edson Hill Manor (naming just a few) or venture out on your own (with ideas and maps available at Stowe Land Trust). Local tours are also available. [Read more…]
Summer Camps: When it comes to summer in Stowe, there are multiple camp options. Whether you are looking for educational growth, team-building skills, sports, arts or good old-fashioned summer camp fun, the right selection is available in Stowe, Vermont. [Read more…]
Sledding on Marshall Hill: If you are a kid, or a kid at heart, you have to bring your sled over to Marshall Hill (behind the Stowe Elementary School). Taller than most bunny slopes, and definitely sliding toward “blue-square” steepness, this hill is open to the public for some downhill fun! [Read more…]
Dogsled, Snowmobile, Horse-drawn Carriage Rides: Looking for a unique way to spend a winter afternoon in Vermont? Have guests arriving from out of town and want to show them something REALLY fun in Stowe? Stowe has local companies that offer specialized, local tours led by a team of dogs (Umiak Outdoor Outfitters and Peace Pups Dogs Sledding), horses (Gentle Giants and at Edson Hill Manor) or – for the more adrenaline-motivated – the buzzing engine of a snowmobile (Stowe Snowmobile Tours)!
Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center: This medium-sized theater, which sits about 300 people, is located at the Stowe Mountain Resort and it holds a variety of cultural events, ranging from music and dance performances to film presentations, magic and comedy shows. The Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center is an exceptional venue and a true amenity to the Stowe area; we are lucky to have the mountains to play in during the day and a theater like this one to enjoy performances in during the evening. [Read more…]
Mountain Biking: A recent article in The Boston Globe noted how fantastic the mountain biking trails are in the Stowe area, offering everything from beginner to advanced levels. Biking is becoming a major Stowe attraction for visitors during the spring, summer and fall (and even winter – with fat bikes and fat-bike races!). Cady Hill Forest is the perfect combination of proximity to town and feeling like you are riding in the middle of nowhere. [Read more…]
Disc Golf: Looking for a fun alternative to traditional golf? Trapp Family Lodge has a 9-hole disc golf course on its mountaintop! The course starts and finishes at the DeliBakery/Brewery. All of the holes are par 3. There are no tee times, so you can play at your leisure, with a group or on your own. The course is free and open 7 days a week during daylight hours. DGCourseReview.com offers information about other nearby courses.
The Swimming Hole: The facility features an indoor swimming pool with a separate kids’ pool and mini-waterslide, an adult fitness room and locker rooms. There is a day-use fee so plan on a morning- or afternoon-long trip!
Stowe Arena: During most of the year, stick time and public skating are offered daily; and by night, Stowe Arena becomes home to the Stowe High School Raiders boys’ and girls’ hockey teams. Several tournaments are held at the Stowe Arena, including the Hyde Cup Tournament, Stowe Winter Carnival and Stowe Youth Hockey Tournament. The new Arena also features an indoor turf season. Both turf and ice time are available for rent. During the coldest months, there’s also another Stowe arena at Spruce Peak. Surrounded by Mt. Mansfield views and the Stowe Mountain Lodge, everyone can enjoy skating up at the mountain, too!
Stowe Cinema 3Plex: We love our cinema! It’s small but it’s ours! And it’s unique… You can enjoy an adult drink while you watch a movie. The theater bar sells beer, wine and liquor (even margaritas). The 3Plex is located right on the Mountain Road, an easy walk up from the center of Stowe.
Umiak Outdoor Outfitters Tours: Umiak offers a wide variety of winter guided tours, including snowmobiling, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and dog-sledding. In the summer, contact them if you want to explore Vermont’s waterways in a canoe or kayak. Hourly rentals are also available at the Waterbury Reservoir/Waterbury State Park.
Stowe Lantern Tours: Carry a candle-lit lantern as you hear entertaining stories of the resident ghosts of Stowe, Vermont and New England. Tours are approximately one hour and begin at the Visitor’s Center on Main Street. Stowe Lantern Tours are available from mid-September through Halloween with some additional dates around the holidays in December. [Read more…]
The Road to Waterbury (Route 100): The town of Waterbury is located about 10 miles from Stowe. There are several interesting places along the way, starting with the Cold Hollow Cider Mill [Read more…], where you can learn how they make cider, sample some delicious fresh cider and get your fill of Vermont products, including their famous homemade apple cider doughnuts. The next stop is the Vermont Annex, featuring the Cabot Annex Store [Read more…], Lake Champlain Chocolates and Danforth Pewter. Here you can sample delicious cheeses and chocolates. Just a short ride up the road, experience creative artisans at work at the Ziemke Glass Blowing Studio. Next is the Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream factory [Read more…]. The 30-minute guided tours are pretty entertaining, and the best part comes at the end when you get to sample a new flavor of ice cream that’s not available yet. The last stop to make is in the village of Waterbury, at the Green Mountain Coffee Café & Visitor Center (Keurig Green Mountain), to take home some regular and flavored coffees at this eco-friendly, fair-trade company. [Read more…]
Walking and Shopping Around the Village: Vermont products are pretty impossible to resist, and they’re very prominently featured in Stowe’s stores. One place you definitely shouldn’t miss is Laughing Moon Chocolates for some delicious handmade chocolate. There are also several souvenir shops, including Stowe Mercantile on the ground floor of the old Depot building, which also houses a book store and a clothing store called “Boutique.” Some other buildings that are definitely worth a look along Main Street are the Town Hall building and the Stowe Community Church, with its elegant spire rising high over the village. At the corner of Route 100 and Route 108 (and all the way up the Mountain Road) there are craft shops, artists’ galleries, shops and more to explore!
Guided Fishing Trip: Take a guided trip with The Fly Rod Shop for trout, small-mouth bass, northern pike, landlocked salmon and pan fish; they offer fly fishing, spin fishing and ice fishing adventures for all abilities.
Local Beer, Wine, Cider… and More: From Pilsners to Stouts, fruit wines to tart ciders, the Stowe area – and all of Vermont – has award-winning drinks of all styles. See the heart of Vermont’s “libations” culture with a visit to or tour of one of our local breweries, wineries or distilleries; learn the art of brewing or wine making first hand and/or sample some of the final products! In our backyard, we have Lost Nation Brewing, Rock Art Brewery, Idletyme Brewing Company, Trapp Family Lodge and Stowe Cider; a little farther afield, and no less delicious, are The Alchemist (its brewery is not open to the public), Hill Farmstead Brewery, Boyden Valley Winery & Spirits and Smugglers’ Notch Distillery. The Vermont Brewers Association has created a Passport Program with a stamp-as-you-go card to try our craft beer or check out the Vermont Wine Trail for a list of wineries across the state.
Music and Nightlife: With Stowe’s central location and the draw of tourists all year, the nightlife scene attracts some diverse and talented musicians and performers! The Rusty Nail, The Matterhorn, Rimrocks Mountain Tavern and other area restaurants/bars serve up a mix of dance, folk, retro, rock, country and more!
Stowe Free Library: The library is a community hub for locals and visitors, with books, movies, magazines and newspapers, to read there or take home. They have computer workstations and free Wi-Fi. There are also programs for babies and toddlers, 3 to 5 year-olds, school-aged kids, teens and adults.
A Spa Day: Unwind with a spa day at Stowe Mountain Lodge, Topnotch Resort & Spa or Stoweflake Mountain Resort & Spa. Locals’ hint: most of the spas offer discounts and 2-for-1 specials during off-season (late autumn and early spring).
Galleries and Sculpture Parks: The Stowe area, and Vermont, is home to many well-known regional and international artists. From downtown Stowe up the Mountain Road, you can view indoor and outdoor art spaces committed to showcasing the best and most unique art. Some of our favorites (and there are more, we promise!) are West Branch Gallery & Sculpture Park, Helen Day Art Center, Green Mountain Fine Art Gallery and Robert Paul Galleries.
Vermont Ski and Snowboard Museum: Located in the Old Town Hall, this museum captures moments in skiing history. Its mission is to collect, preserve and celebrate Vermont’s skiing and snowboarding history… and it does! The museum is open every day but Tuesday, from noon to 5 p.m.
Classes and Workshops: The Helen Day Art Center is the place to embrace curiosity and explore your creativity. They offer experiential learning opportunities for individuals at all levels of artistic development and encourage new and experienced artists to investigate, take risks and build skills. [Read more…]
Which is your favorite idea? We’d love to know! Call a Stowe real estate agent today at (802) 253-8484 to discuss these and other Stowe-area attractions to explore!