Are you daydreaming of the European Alps but don't have the dough to go? Consider the quaint – and more affordable – Vermont village of Stowe. Tucked between the Green Mountains and CC Putnam State Forest, this classic New England town is filled with malt shops and general stores, as well as charming churches and working farms. And just beyond main street, Mount Mansfield – the state's highest peak – looms over town, with world-class skiing and other winter sports opportunities sloping down its side. Somewhere between ascending Mansfield in one of Stowe Mountain Resort's gondolas and sipping hot cocoa fireside at the Swiss-style chalets, you'll think you're nestled in a sleepy village in the Alps. At least the von Trapps thought so; Stowe's Trapp Family Lodge is where the melodious family (made famous by "The Sound of Music") settled because it reminded them of their Austrian home.
September through February are the best months to visit Stowe. During these fall and winter seasons, you'll have the opportunity to enjoy the town's most popular activities: leaf peeping or skiing. However, prices are at a premium at this time, so finalize your airfare and accommodations well in advance. June through August (Stowe's summer season) is another popular time to come here, but mostly clear skies and lower rates are available between the spring months of March and May. If you're set on a summer visit, arrive in June. Most New Englanders don't flock to the region until the Fourth of July weekend.
Data sourced from the National Climatic Data Center
American cuisine reigns supreme in Stowe. In fact, many restaurants serve hearty meals and classic pub grub in spaces that resemble traditional ski lodges. Dishes made with locally sourced items, such as maple syrup and apples, are also showcased seasonally on menus. Popular Stowe eateries that serve American fare include McCarthy's Restaurant, Harrison's Restaurant & Bar and The Bistro at Ten Acres. If you'd rather enjoy a sweet snack, take a tour of Ben & Jerry's Waterbury Factory, which includes an ice cream sample.
Although most Stowe restaurants feature American items, a few specialty cuisines are available. Swiss Fondue by Heinz specializes in authentic Swiss bites (including its namesake), while Sushi Yoshi offers sushi rolls, tempura and other Japanese staples. And at Trattoria La Festa, visitors can savor Italian-inspired dishes like minestrone soup, homemade gnocchi and veal Marsala.
To quench your thirst (if you're 21 or older), visit one of Vermont's craft breweries. Three reside in Stowe's town limits: The Alchemist Brewery, Idletyme Brewing Company and von Trapp Brewing. The Alchemist Brewery and Idletyme Brewing Company serve a variety of brews, while von Trapp Brewing – which is part of the Trapp Family Lodge property – focuses solely on Austrian lagers.
The best way to get around Stowe is by car. Although Stowe only has one car rental option (Madadashcar) within its town limits, visitors can rent vehicles from one of several carriers at Burlington International Airport (BTV) in South Burlington, Vermont, and Morrisville-Stowe State Airport (MVL) in Morrisville, Vermont. Limited public transportation is provided in town via Green Mountain Transit (GMT) – a regional bus service – but weekday transfers are only offered between Waterbury, Vermont's Amtrak station (WAB) and Stowe Village. Or, in winter and early spring, travelers can take GMT's free Mountain Road Shuttle from Stowe Village to Stowe Mountain Resort. Taxi services are also available from a few local companies, but meter rates can quickly add up. And during the warmer months, bicycles are a viable option for shorter distances.See details for Getting Around
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