VisitingNewEngland Header Travel Site
  Book a Hotel Room      Discover the Best Diners in New England      Explore Beautiful Massachusetts Town Commons   

Stowe, Vermont Offers a Classic New England Mountain Town Vacation Experience

Stowe Vermont in the summerStowe, Vermont. (Photo source:

by Eric Hurwitz. Page updated on 11/09/16

Share this New England travel article with your friends
Stowe Vt. takes the high road when it comes to offering a wonderful New England mountain vacation.

More than 40 years ago, my parents took us to Stowe and we have been coming back ever since. As a kid and young adult, we stayed at the Smugglers Notch Resort in neighboring Jeffersonville, enjoying this all inclusive resort before all inclusive was cool (it's an even better resort now!). These vacations were the stuff that memories are made of including taking free tennis lessons from the legendary late Arthur Ashe at a Stowe resort, hiking through the woods, enjoying campfires at night, being mesmerized by the scenic setting for the "Sounds of Music" musical at the Trapp Family Lodge, eating as much ice cream and pizza as the stomach could hold, and walking up and down idyllic Main Street wishing our hometown could look like this. As an adult, my wife and I spent a portion of our honeymoon at now-closed Foxfire Inn and reveled in the quintessential old-time New England inn atmosphere while finding perfect compatibility with a town that had remained timeless, relaxing and so charming.

Quaint, friendly and true to its small town roots, Stowe remains the prototype for a classic New England mountain town. Sure, Stowe has grown through the years with its myriad lodging, dining and shopping choices -- especially apparent along the increasingly commercial Mountain Rd. -- but what can never be taken away is the glorious mountain scenery as well as the beautiful 200-year-old village that exudes a kind of friendly Mayberry-RFD-in-the-mountains vibe. Let's not forget that while hundreds of thousands of visitors enjoy Stowe each year, the residential population is just over 4,000. Now that's a small town!

Anchored by the landmark Shaw's General Store and a tall white church steeple majestically rising above the village, this postcard-picture-perfect scene has always warmed our hearts -- even in the coldest days of winter. Browsing through Shaw's reflects that small town vibe well as a welcoming, old-fashioned store that has been family-owned since 1895. The local conversation flows with friendliness between staff and residents (and tourists, too!), and you can find just about anything here in the slightly disorganized isles, including clothing, boots, candy, ski items, local gifts and souvenirs, hardware supplies and toys and books,

Location means everything and Stowe is certainly blessed geographically. Home to Vermont's highest peak, Mt. Mansfield at 4,393 ft. lays the foundation for Stowe's high peak scenery and pathway to fun activities in the area. Truly a four season New England travel destination, Stowe's fall brings brilliant foliage, winter skiing, sleigh riding, dogsledding, snowmobiling, snowshoeing and ice skating, and summer hiking, swimming, ziplining and bicyling. Other Stowe attractions include a community bike trail, myriad golfing and tennis opportunities, outdoor concerts and the Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream Factory Tour in neighboring Waterbury. Cold Hollow Cider Mill, also in Waterbury, might just make the best apple cider and apple cider donuts on the planet!

Of course, Stowe offers tremendous dining and lodging opportunities. We love Gracie's at 18 Edison Hill Rd., for a casual meal. It's terrific for a burger, fried chicken, fish and chips or New England clam chowder. Lodging is varied from the basic (Stowe Motel) to the upscale (Stowe Mountain Lodge, Topnotch Resort and Spa to the classic New England inn (Stowe Inn and Tavern).

I have always thought of Stowe as having something for everyone. It is perfect for families, romantic couples, outdoor enthusiasts and just about anyone else who enjoys a relaxing, scenic setting with plenty to do. It is our favorite Vermont vacation destination. Hope you get to visit and experience the special feeling of this wonderful New England mountain town!

For more information on Stowe, we recommend logging onto GoStowe.

If you enjoyed this article, please share through any of the social media buttons below -- thanks!

Get to know the real New England through diners and destinations...

Best Diners In New England Kindle bookMassachusetts Town Greens Book

Stay connected with VisitingNewEngland at  Facebook Social Media Button Facebook  Twitter Social Media Button Twitter Social Media Pinterest Button Pinterest  Social Media Google+ Button Google+


Featuring our latest New England travel insider's news updates and stories, discounts and coupons!

Relax and stay for a while: Start with our navigation links and also our articles on the best New England towns and cities, hidden travel destinations, scenic drives, seafood restaurants and lobster shacks, lobster rolls, ice cream stands, and country stores, as well as our New England summer, fall, winter and spring sections. Then take a fun online journey on VisitingNewEngland to read the rest of our articles for your trip planning needs!

VisitingNewEngland's small business commitment to excellence: is a proud, small business based in New England. We love it when one of our articles helps you with your New England vacation and travel trip planning! That's what we are here for: to serve you in the most genuine, helpful way possible.

Old-fashioned New England work ethic: All articles, photos by Eric Hurwitz unless otherwise noted. Eric also manages the site's layout and design, social media, and public affairs.

All this, and blogs too! Also, please check out our authentic, informative and entertaining New England travel blogs with original content: The Thrifty New England Traveler (New England travel ideas on a budget), The New England Travel and Vacation Gazette (more original New England travel articles), and Old School Boston (warm memories of Boston and New England from back in the day).

Home | Connecticut | Maine | Massachusetts | New Hampshire | Rhode Island | Vermont | Attractions | Dining Out | About Us | Press Room | Privacy | Contact Us