#50 in Best Ski Resorts in the USA
A historic New England town shadowed by Mt. Mansfield, the highest peak in Vermont at 4,395 feet, is just part of the appeal of Stowe Mountain.
The resort has undertaken a number of upgrades in the last few years, including an inter-mountain gondola that connects Mt. Mansfield with nearby Spruce Peak. World-class snow-making and some of the most substantial snow pack in the northeast is also a draw, as are the luxury facilities and the family-friendly atmosphere in this cozy resort community.
Stowe Mountain Resort has a skiable summit elevation of 3,625 ft., with a vertical drop of 2,360 on 485 acres of skiable terrain. There are 12 lifts at Stowe, including a high-speed summit gondola, four quads, two triples and the inter-mountain transfer gondola. Stowe also boasts more mile-long lifts than any resort in the eastern U.S. The total hourly lift capacity is 15,516 guests. There are 116 trails – 16 percent of the trails are ranked beginner; 55 percent are ranked at intermediate and 29 percent are expert. The average annual snowfall is 314 inches and snowmaking covers 83 percent of the resort. There is no night skiing at Stowe, though there is snowshoeing and cross-country skiing, as well as ice skating in Spruce Park in Stowe. The Stowe adventure center also has an indoor climbing wall. Stowe Mountain Resort generally opens in mid-November and closes mid-April. Many note that the best time to ski here is in March, the month that nabs one-third of Stowe’s annual snowfall.
Stowe has a Ski & Snowboard School for ages 3 and up – private and group lessons are available for children, teens and adults and there is a cross-country ski program here. There is also an adaptive ski program. Rentals are available on the mountain at both the Spruce Peak and Mt. Mansfield bases – there is free equipment storage offered with multi-day rentals. Stowe is an Epic Pass destination. There is slopeside lodging and mountain dining, as well as a licensed child care “cubs” program for ages three months to three years, at Stowe Mountain Resort.
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Stowe has a number of lodging options, from quaint country inns to condos for larger groups to the Stowe Mountain Lodge, one of the most sustainable luxury hotels in the world. The “Vermont-Alpine” style lodge, at the base of Snow Mountain Resort, uses local wood and stone to reflect the surrounding New England woods, with oversized windows in each of the 300-plus rooms and suites, some with fully-equipped kitchens. The lodge also has a renowned 21,000 sq. ft. spa and a fitness center and an on-site restaurant. In the heart of Stowe village, the Green Mountain Inn is a renovated 1800s resort with 104 rooms, suites and village townhouses, with access to a health club and jacuzzi, as well as a heated outdoor pool and is home to the Whip Bar & Grill. A little ways out of town is the 2,400-acre Trapp Family Lodge, established by the family who inspired “The Sound of Music.” The Austrian-themed décor includes mountain views, and there are three restaurants with European-style cuisine as well as cross-country skiing and horse-drawn sleigh rides and family sing-a-longs, just five minutes from Stowe Mountain Resort ( www.stowe.com ).
From mountain-top fine dining to a bar and grill in Stowe’s historic downtown, there is plenty of options for foodies in Stowe – many of these eateries take advantage of the local meat and dairy produced in Vermont. On the shoulder of Mount Mansfield is the Cliff House, with floor-to-ceiling windows looking out to Alpine peaks and winter fare that features local artisan ingredients as well as a notable wine list. The Solstice Restaurant, inside the Stowe Mountain Lodge, features Vermont pork cutlets or duck breast with wild mushrooms, tempura squash blossoms with Vermont cheddar and a coursed chef’s tasting menu with an emphasis on casual fine dining. Located at the Spruce Camp base lodge, the Great Room Grill and Spruce Bar, is a good option close to the slopes, with four exhibition cooking stations that feature local and regional food as well as Vermont beer, cocktails and fireside entertainment ( www.stowe.com ).
By air, guests have a number of options. The closest airport is the Burlington International Airport, about 45 minutes away or the Rutland Regional Airport in Rutland, Vermont, about two hours from Stowe. The closest large airport hub would be Logan International Airport in Boston, about three and a half hours away. Shuttles are available from Logan to Stowe, as well as rental cars.
Another option from New York City is to take the Ovrride bus from Brooklyn or Manhattan to Stowe Mountain Resort – the round-trip ticket is part of a lift and transportation package. From Boston, the New England Snow Bus has a similar transportation and lift package.
Once here, there is a free resort shuttle that transports guests between the mountain bases and Stowe village. There are also two taxi operations in Stowe.
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