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How to Do a Winter Weekend in Stowe, Vermont


World-class luxury, 39 miles of skiing, and a historic village await you in Stowe, Vermont—just three hours from Boston. Stowe Mountain Resort’s recent acquisition by Vail Resorts and its addition to Epic Pass lift passes give skiers and snowboarders even more of a reason to visit—but if you’re just coming for the craft beer and cheese, that’s OK too.

A Winter Weekend in Stowe, Vermont

Hotel: As the only ski-in ski-out hotel at Stowe, Stowe Mountain Lodge is the place to stay. Studios and above come with cozy fireplaces, deep soaking tubs, and kitchens, and are well worth the splurge. Aside from easy slope access, you’ll be located right in the heart of the Village at Spruce Peak, where you can walk to an ice skating rink, firepit, rock climbing wall, and plenty of restaurants and shops.

Stowe Mountain Lodge isn’t your typical ski resort—it’s much more of a luxury hotel, although it still has plenty of Alpine charm. Soothing Nest toiletries are stocked in the bathrooms (and restocked every night during turndown service), and the beds are so delightful to fall into after a long day of skiing that the hotel receives numerous requests from guests looking to buy the sheets.

I stayed in a Timberline Studio, part of the Spruce Peak Residences at Stowe Mountain Lodge, which are available for purchase. The studios start at $249,000, a surprisingly affordable price considering the benefits that homeowners receive—including access to the members-only Alpine Clubhouse. This sprawling retreat is located just steps away from the lift and has everything you could need on a ski weekend, like a cooked-to-order omelet bar, snacks, and hot chocolate.

The ultimate touch, however, is the complimentary ski valet service provided by Stowe Mountain Lodge. When you park your car, the ski valet will take all your gear and store it for you. When you’re ready to go in the morning, give them a quick call (or just stop by), and your skis and poles will be set up on a rack outside and your warm and dry boots handed over. No more awkwardly lugging gear through the hotel hallway.


If you’re driving up to Stowe, Vermont, from Boston, you’ll drive right by the Ben & Jerry’s Factory, which is impossible to resist. If you’re short on time, skip the 30-minute factory tour and head straight to the scoop shop, which serves up flavors that you won’t find in your local grocery store.

If you want to continue the drive of decadence, you’ll also pass right by cult-favorite craft brewery Alchemist—but be prepared for a long line no matter what time you arrive.

Check into your room at Stowe Mountain Lodge and relax with an aperitif in front of your fireplace before heading down to dinner at Solstice, the hotel’s signature restaurant. Now’s your chance to sample the best of Vermont cuisine, as the ingredients here are all locally sourced (and mostly organic). The menu has a great selection of Vermont craft beers and spirits, all of which are marked with a state icon so you can easily see which ones are local. If you’re having a tough time deciding, Solstice’s knowledgeable beverage manager can help guide you to the perfect choice. You’ll find unexpected options here (like the coffee-rubbed elk) and whimsical desserts. I highly recommend the gourmet take on a Hostess Ding Dong, made with a rich chocolate ganache.


The lifts are spinning right outside your door, so grab your skis from the rack (where the ski valet sets them up for you) and decide which of the 116 trails you want to tackle. The 3.7-mile green circle Toll House Trail is an easy and scenic way to wake up your ski legs, or, for something more challenging, tackle one of the famous “front four trails” that carve down the front of the mountain.

When it’s time for lunch, take the FourRunner Quad to the top and admire the views of Vermont while you warm up with some food at the Octagon Café.

Ski until last chair and then head back to Stowe Mountain Lodge to soak your tired muscles in the resort’s outdoor hot tub or heated pool.

For dinner, it’s a quick drive down the road to Doc Ponds, a casual beer bar that’s run by the same owners of the in-demand (and much pricier) Hen of the Woods restaurant. Expect to have a bit of a wait for a table (they don’t take reservations), but this will give you a chance to sample the extensive bar offerings.


With 40 miles of trails on the mountain, you probably didn’t have time to hit them all, so it’s back to skiing today. When your legs are spent, stretch them out a little bit with a short walk around the quaint village at Spruce Peak, which has lots of local shops to pop into, as well as plenty of places to grab a bite or a drink. To get in the mountain mood, get a fondue made with Vermont cheeses at the Skinny Pancake before starting your drive back home.

Bars & Restaurants


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Caroline was hosted by Spruce Peak at Stowe, Vermont. Follow Caroline’s adventures around Boston and the world on Instagram @TravelWithCaroline and on Twitter @CarolineMorse1.

By Caroline Morse Teel

Unfortunately for her bank account, Principal Editor Caroline Morse Teel is powerless to resist a good flight deal. Follow her on Instagram @TravelWithCaroline.

Caroline joined Boston-based SmarterTravel in 2011 after living in Ireland, London, and Manhattan. She's traveled to all seven continents, jumped out of planes, and bungeed off bridges in the pursuit of a good story. She loves exploring off-the-beaten path destinations, anything outdoorsy, and all things adventure.

Her stories have also appeared online at USA Today, Business Insider, Huffington Post, Yahoo,, TripAdvisor, Buzzfeed, Jetsetter, Oyster, Airfarewatchdog, and others.

The Handy Item I Always Pack: "Earplugs. A good pair has saved my sleep and sanity many times!"

Ultimate Bucket List Experience: Hiking Mount Kilimanjaro.

Travel Motto: "Don't be boring."

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