Stowe, Vermont, was the location for our yoga retreat in August - a perfect summer travel destination full of beauty and oozing a chill, relaxing vibe. But Stowe is one of those charming New England mountain towns that also offers lots of choices for things to do. It’s a picture-perfect village, offering easy Vermont style in a commanding mountain setting with a wonderful charisma that makes you want to linger just a little longer.
It offers an array of locally owned shops and restaurants to tempt you. Here are a few things to do…and a place or two to relax and enjoy your visit.
GREAT PLACES TO GET A DRINK
The Matterhorn Bar
4969 Mountain Road
The Matterhorn is host to Stowe's liveliest apres ski scene for locals and visitors alike. They have a wide selection of beers on tap, live music, wood-fired pizza and the town's BEST sushi.
Rimrocks Mountain Tavern
394 Mountain Road
Rimrocks is a solid pub with a great local feel. Local, organic and imported beers on tap, great burgers and multiple flat-screen TVs make it a favorite gathering spot for hockey, baseball and football fans.
BEST COFFEE AND DESSERT SPOTS
Black Cap Coffee
133 Main Street
Because Stowe only has one true coffeehouse, it's a good thing Black Cap Coffee makes the best espresso drinks around. The atmosphere is inviting and comfortable, with free Wi-Fi and plenty to snack on -- from paninis to biscotti.
Laughing Moon Chocolates
78 S. Main Street
Chocolate and coffee make a natural pair, and Laughing Moon Chocolate in Stowe Village is a great place to drop in and pick up a latte or cappuccino. There's no room to sit -- except in summer when there are a few chairs on the porch -- but the coffee is high quality. They also carry a vast array of handmade truffles and chocolate delights, which make for a great pick-me-up.
BEST DANCE SPOT
The Rusty Nail
1190 Mountain Road
The Rusty Nail: If you're in the mood to groove, The Rusty Nail is the place to go. Friday and Saturday nights there's always a party at the Nail with live, local talent or a DJ mixing tunes. It's a fun-loving scene, with a blend of locals and visitors shaking it on the dance floor. Although drinks are on the pricier side, and the help can be brusque at times, the dance scene is the best in town.
BEST OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES IN SUMMER
Hiking, cycling and the outdoors in Stowe
Stowe is a hiker's and cyclist's paradise. Many surrounding peaks, such as Stowe Pinnacle, Hunger Mountain and Mount Mansfield, are an easy day or afternoon trip from Stowe. Road and mountain bikers enjoy a bevy of rides from gnarly, rooted single-track trails to wide dirt roads of varying length and difficulty. It's also a terrific place for anglers and kayakers with many mountain streams, ponds and large rivers such as the Lamoille and Winooski nearby.
The Long Trail, a hiking trail that runs the length of Vermont, passes through Stowe, as does The
Catamount Trail, used by cross-country skiers and snowshoers in winter. Among the resources for taking advantage of Stowe's natural beauty are The Green Mountain Club, The Catamount Trail Association, Stowe Mountain Bike Club, and Stowe Nordic and Bike Club. Local hiking and cycling maps can also be found at most all area outfitters.
Stowe Recreation Path
Location: Multiple entry points to the 5.5-mile paved path are spotted up and down Mountain Road, but it begins behind Stowe's iconic Congregational Church in Stowe Village. Parking and entry is also available at the intersection of Luce Hill and Mountain Road, a mile beyond Luce Hill off Mountain Road, and at the far end of the path off Brook Road.
The Stowe Recreation Path is open for use year-round, and many businesses are located along the route, which crosses back and forth over the West Branch River. There are places to swim along the route in summer and many picnic tables and quiet places to enjoy a snack along the way.
Stowe VT is a fabulous place to take a break from it all, but with low-key activities to enjoy. You'll be sure to love all that the area has to offer. It's for everyone - whether its small group travel like we do, family, or just yourself or a couples getaway.