The Best of Stowe: Vermont’s Not-So-Secret Year-Round Vacation Destination

Church in Stowe, Vermont
Stowe, Vermont may be the best-known ski resort on the East Coast.

But it’s a not-so-well-kept secret among New Englanders that the town is also a great place for weekend summer vacations. Here, we present a mini travel guide to its best year-round places to play, eat, and sleep.


Stowe is home to ArborTrek, one of the best ziplining outfitters in the east, offering year-round excursions from Smuggler’s Notch. While shorter “Express” rides are offered in the winter, the big get for adventure enthusiasts is Arbor’s Wild Ride – a fully-guided, three-hour tour across eight lines, two bridges, and two rappels. With lines up to 1000’ in length, they’re also among the longest in the eastern United States.

Horse-loving travelers will appreciate the myriad equestrian activities available throughout the year. In the summertime, the equestrian center at Topnotch Resort offers guided horseback-riding excursions. During the colder months, the landscape is ideal for horse-drawn sleigh rides through the town’s snowy country trails.


Somewhat surprisingly, Stowe is home to one of the East Coast’s most traditional Dutch restaurants. The Dutch Pancake House at Grey Fox Inn serves more than 80 types of authentic, homemade Dutch pancakes. The hubcap-sized delicacies are thicker than typical crepes but lighter than your average American pancake. They’re all served with traditional “stroop” syrup, which is similar to maple syrup but not as sickly sweet.


Vermont isn’t well-known for its pizza, but Piecasso serves the best pies in New England. Their aptly-named Carcass pizza is a meat lover’s dream, including pepperoni, spicy Italian sausage, ham, bacon & meatballs topped with extra mozzarella.

Take a gondola ride up Mount Mansfield–the state’s highest peak–to The Cliff House. At an elevation of nearly 4,400 feet, the restaurant’s outdoor terrace is the ideal spot to enjoy lunch or a (girly, but amazing) Mapletini alongside breathtaking mountain views of northern Vermont.


For picture-perfect New England accommodations, it doesn’t get much better than the charming and modern Stone Hill Inn. The property is routinely ranked among TripAdvisor’s top 10 B&Bs in the entire country. The friendly husband and wife owners serve a phenomenal made-to-order breakfast each morning and are well-versed in the area’s best things to see and do.

Stowe Hill

Many of the inn’s rooms offer all the trappings of typical honeymoon suites. Corner suites, in particular, are amply sized (especially by B&B standards) and feature a double-sided fireplace, an en-suite bathroom that’s almost larger than the bedroom itself, and an oversized spa tub.

(Foliage photo via Flickr)

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