25 Best Things to Do in Stowe (VT)

Source: Flickr / Bre LaRow | CC BY 2.0

Nestled in a wooded valley in the Green Mountains of central Vermont, Stowe is a popular resort town with loads of year-round charm. Its pleasant summer and spring climate attracts nature lovers.

Its brilliant spread of fall colors presents the perfect photo opportunity. Skiers flock to the area in the winter. Locally-sourced comfort food and craft beer and ciders round out Stowe’s perennial attractions.

Interactive Map of 25 Things to Do in Stowe (VT)

Source: Map data @2022 Google

1. Stowe Recreation Path

Stowe Recreation Path
Source: Flickr / Patrick | CC BY 2.0

The Stowe Recreation Path is a popular trail that stretches from Stowe Village to Top Notch Resort. This 5.3-mile paved recreation path is found in an internationally recognized greenway. The path is known for its easy access to lodging, restaurants, and shops.  It also offers stunning views of the mountains.

The path is open for all season use for visitors and residents to enjoy biking, running, walking, skiing and much more. The path, also known as the Stowe Bike Path, follows the West Branch River and even offers a shuttle during the winter season.

2. Mount Mansfield

Mount Mansfield
Source: Flickr / Sterling College | CC BY-SA 2.0

Known for a ridge line that has the appearance of a man’s face, Mount Mansfield is Vermont’s highest mountain.  With a summit that peaks at 4393 feet, Mount Mansfield is one of only two places in Vermont where you can find Alpine Tundra.

There are multiple options for those wanting to enjoy the breathtaking views of the mountain. Visitors can drive up the steep Auto Toll Road for a scenic ride.  Those looking for a more unique way up the mountain can enjoy the views while taking a Gondola SkyRide.  There are hiking trails for those who prefer to make their own way up the mountain.

3. Moss Glenn Falls

Moss Glenn Falls
Source: Flickr / Amy Meredith | CC BY-ND 2.0

Moss Glen Falls is one of Vermont’s largest waterfalls. The cascading waterfalls are located by the C.C. Putnam State Forest and both the falls and trail are free to visitors. After a short hike, with a bit of a steep climb, visitors can take in the beauty of the waterfalls and the surrounding area.

Located less than 10 minutes from the town center, Moss Glen Falls is a must-see for visitors to Stowe. The 125-foot falls are a favorite spot for capturing great photos. The hike is less than 3 miles long and can be done in just over an hour.

4. Smuggler’s Notch State Park

Smugglers Notch State Park
Source: Flickr / Bre LaRow | CC BY 2.0

Set along a narrow pathway through the Green Mountains, Smuggler’s Notch State Park earned its name as a smuggling route between the United States and Canada in the early nineteenth century. Visitors looking for stunning mountain and water views will not be disappointed as they pass through this narrow path.

Lined with 1,000-foot cliffs, the park’s main trail lies between Mt. Mansfield and Spruce Peak. The path was once used as a route for escaped slaves to pass into Canada.  Visitors to the park can picnic, hike, rock-climb, camp, or mountain back. The park closes during the winter and is open from the middle of May to the middle of October.

5. The Lodge at Spruce Peak

The Lodge at Spruce Peak
Source: Flickr / Amy Kvistad | CC BY 2.0

Surrounded by a couple thousand acres of protected wilderness, the Spruce Peak community incorporates the natural environment into life in the mountains. In the Enchanted Forest area, children can swing, play, and climb.  The Adventure Center offers indoor activities like movies and climbing walls. Check out Spruce Peak’s luxury shops along the Village Green or take a spin on the Ice Rink.  

At Spruce Peak residents and visitors can also enjoy the Mountain Course, one of Vermont’s best and most beautiful golf courses, or take in a concert or show at the Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center.

6. Smuggler’s Notch Resort

Smugglers Notch Resort
Source: Pixabay / Mariamichelle | CC BY 2.0

Smuggler’s Notch is an all-inclusive resort featuring activities and experiences for all seasons. Visitors can choose from skiing, ice skating, snowshoeing, tubing, mountain biking, hiking, swimming and much more. This family friendly resort features the Fun Zone 2.0 Family Fun Complex. 

The 26,000 square foot indoor playground includes an arcade, laser tag, mini golf, giant inflatable slides, bouncy house, and the Little’s Loft play area. From llama treks and tennis lessons to zip lines and yoga this resort offers something for everyone.  Smuggler’s Notch Resort offers countless amenities and activities for guests of all ages.

7. Vermont Ski and Snowboard Museum

Vermont Ski and Snowboard Museum
Source: Flickr / Bill Taroli | CC BY 2.0

Visitors to Stowe should check out the Town Meeting House, the oldest active public building in Stowe (built in 1818).  There they will find the Vermont Ski and Snowboard Museum, which showcases the history of some of Vermont’s favorite outdoor sports.

The museum displays thousands of pieces of winter equipment.  Its unique displays, videos, and activities celebrate both skiing and snowboarding.  Also onsite is the Vermont Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame, with information on the careers of dozens of the state’s most talented winter athletes.  The museum also has a gift shop, library, and archives.

8. Cabot Farmers’ Store – Waterbury

Cabot Farmers Store - Waterbury
Source: Flickr / Lizard10979 | CC BY 2.0

Sample award winning cheeses at the Cabot Cheese Farmers’ Store.  Browse cheeses and other dairy products, jellies, maple products, wines, ciders and microbrews from Vermont.  Enjoy a free tasting of a variety of products ranging from limited edition cheeses to dips, cream and Cabot favorites.  

Visitors will find a wide range of specialty foods and souvenirs available for purchase.  As a co-operative, purchasing the Cabot cheeses also helps support the farmers. This store has been recommended by many repeat visitors to Stowe as a place that is worth checking out while in the area.

9. Stowe Mountain Resort

Stowe Mountain Resort
Source: Flickr / futuremar768 | CC BY-ND 2.0

The Stowe Mountain Resort offers Alpine skiing and year-round activities that include a gondola between Spruce Peak and Mt. Mansfield.  This well established and popular ski resort is known for its ski and snowboard instruction and has numerous options for varying skill levels.

The family-friendly resort offers a variety of experiences and packages including mountain tours, hiking trails and rock climbing. The resort includes 116 runs, 13 lifts and 468 skiable acres. The resort is also home to Mt. Mansfield’s 2,360-foot vertical drop which is the fifth largest in New England.

10. Trapp Family Lodge

Trapp Family Lodge
Source: Wikimedia / Royalbroil | CC BY-SA 4.0

Upon the start of World War II, the von Trapp Family (from The Sound of Musicfled Austria and settled in the mountains of Stowe, Vermont.  The Trapp Family Lodge is a resort, owned and run by the family, consisting of guest houses, villas, chalets and guest rooms in the main lodge.  

Visitors can enjoy farm fresh food in the dining room or check out the von Trapp Brewery and Bierhall just down the road. Guests can enjoy many on-site activities such as hiking, biking, disc golf, massages, wagon and sleigh rides and tours. Guests can choose from history tours, garden tours and tours of the brewery.

11. Stoweflake Mountain Resort & Spa

Stoweflake Mountain Resort and Spa
Source: Flickr / kjarrett | CC BY 2.0

Stoweflake Mountain Resort and Spa is a family friendly resort that offers a full-service spa. The resort is also known for being a romantic spot for a couples’ getaway with its fireplaces and private jacuzzis. The resort offers both indoor and outdoor venues, and is conveniently located near many restaurants, shops and activities in Stowe Village. 

Within walking distance of the resort guests can also discover several spotsfor local craft beer, such as The Alchemist. Each July the resort hosts the Stowe Balloon Festival, giving guests an opportunity to ride in a hot air balloon.

12. Gold Brook Covered Bridge

Gold Brook Covered Bridge
Source: Flickr / Corey Balazowich | CC BY-ND 2.0

Gold Brook Bridge is a small, covered bridge located in Stowe.  Also known as Emily’s Bridge and Stowe Hollow Bridge, this historic wooden structure was constructed in 1844. The bridge spans Gold Brook on Covered Bridge Road in Stowe. The bridge and its surrounding area serve as a beautiful setting for photos.  

Many of those who have visited the bridge claim that is haunted and the site of strange happenings.  Gold Brook Bridge is one of several bridges that can be toured in Stowe.  Parking is available next to the bridge and informational signs provide more information about its history.

13. Idletyme Brewing Company

Idletyme Brewing Company
Source: Flickr / Breville USA | CC BY 2.0

Idletyme Brewing Company is a favorite place for residents and visitors in Stowe to enjoy food and beer in a comfortable and family (and pet) friendly atmosphere. The small craft brewery produces a wide variety of beer including Bavarian weizens, double IPAs, and limited seasonal beer.

The menu offers items such as fish and chips, giant pretzels, burgers, salads, fries, grilled salmon, and prime rib, as well as custom cocktails. Visitors can take in views of Vermont’s beautiful fall foliage while enjoying seasonal beer and menu offerings on the patio or by the fire pit.

14. The Alchemist Stowe

The Alchemist Stowe
Source: Flickr / Breville USA | CC BY 2.0

If you are a big fan of hops, The Alchemist has a brew for you. This popular small production Vermont brewery is known for their Heady Topper DIPA. Visitors to the family owned and run brewery can enjoy guided tours, free samples, and tastings as well as purchase beer and other retail items ranging from t-shirts and hats to drink ware.

While they are most known for Heady Topper and Focal Banger, a variety of seasonal beers are offered throughout the year as well. The brewery has taken many steps to be environmentally friendly and is also dog friendly for visitors wanting to bring along their four-legged friends.

15. Stowe Cider

Stowe Cider
Source: Flickr / Rebecca Siegel | CC BY 2.0

Visitors to the taproom and garden at Stowe Cider can sample a wide and rotating variety of hard ciders as well as craft teas and seltzers. Guest can enjoy drinks and live music in the cider garden and take in the mountain views.

The cidery often partners with other local businesses to create unique offerings such as their Touch of Grape ciders made with grapes from Lincoln Peak VineyardOther locally sourced ingredients such as blueberries and maple syrup can be found in their unique hard ciders. Tastings are offered as well.

16. Cold Hollow Cider Mill

Cold Hollow Cider Mill
Source: Flickr / foundin_a_attic | CC BY 2.0

Visitors to the Cold Hollow Cider Mill can watch pure cider being made with a rack and 100-year-old cloth press. This popular tourist site is a great place to sample fresh old-fashioned apple cider.  It is also home to some of the country’s most famous cider donuts. Visitors can find hot coffee, pies, cookies, fudge, and other treats at the bakery.

Shop for gourmet foods or visit the Hard Cider and Apple Core Luncheonette for yummyhomemade sandwiches, local craft beer and hard cider.  Observe (through glass) the orchard’s honeybees hard at work in the Honey Bee Corner.

17. Boyden Valley Winery & Spirits

Boyden Valley Winery and Spirits
Source: Flickr / Leonora (Ellie) Enking | CC BY-SA 2.0

Nestled between the mountains in the beautiful Lamoille River Valley, the Boyden Valley Winery is situated on a family owned farm. The unique location of the farm allows for a desirable climate for producing wine. The winery produces red wine, white wine, ice wine, hard ciders, and even cream liqueurs.

Visitors can enjoy tours, tastings, drinks by the glass (even Maple Milkshakes), cheese boards, and chocolate boards. The carriage barn and vineyards at the winery also provide a beautiful and romantic setting for weddings at the farm and great views for enjoying a drink on the winery patio.

18. Laughing Moon Chocolates

Laughing Moon Chocolates
Source: Flickr / bigbirdz | CC BY 2.0

Located on Main Street in Stowe, Laughing Moon’s Chocolates is a small family owned business with a lot to offer. From house-made fudge and marshmallow to their small batch artisan chocolates and signature chocolate bars, chocolate lovers can find the perfect treat.

While browsing the barks, truffles, and specialty cups visitors can catch demonstrations on hand dipping chocolates or try one of the delicious samples. Enjoy the flavors of Vermont with locally sourced ingredients, from local craft beer and tea to cheese from a local creamery.

19. Stowe Farmer’s Market

Stowe Farmers Market
Source: Flickr / Bre LaRow | CC BY 2.0

Buying local, supporting small businesses, and the farm to table concept are much more than a trend in Vermont. Those practices are tradition in places like Stowe, so it comes as no surprise that a trip to the farmer’s market is a popular activity for visitors and residents alike.

A variety of local cheeses, vegetables, fruit, flowers, meat, spirits, and much more can be found each Sunday from the end of May to mid-October. Locally crafted goods such as pottery and jewelry are available as well. Visitors to the market can find food vendors such as Silloway Maple, cooking demonstrations, live music and festivals such as the Stowe Tango Music Festival.

20. Stowe Theatre Guild

Stowe Theatre Guild
Source: Flickr / Balkan Photos | CC BY-SA 2.0

The Stowe Theatre Guild is a nonprofit volunteer community group that has brought multiple high quality shows such as Chicago, Godspell, Mama Mia!, A Few Good Men and Much Ado About Nothing to the community.  The plays and musicals are held at the historic Town Hall Theatre on Main Street in Stowe. 

This community theatre organization produces four shows per season, running from June through October. Individuals and businesses support the Guild with sponsorships.  The group also provides the annual Stowe Theatre Guild Scholarship to deserving volunteers and cast members.

21. Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory

Ben and Jerrys Ice Cream Factory
Source: Flickr / C Watts | CC BY 2.0

A visit to Stowe, Vermont would not be complete without stopping in for a tour of Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory. The tours of their original factory last about the bitty minutes and of course include a sample of their famous ice cream. Visitors can also stop by the Scoop Shop to enjoy their favorite flavors.

Picnic areas and a playground can be found on-site as well. At the Flavor Graveyard visitors can pay tribute to dearly departed flavors that are no longer produced. The factory also offers the Flavor Fanatic Experience for those seeking private ice cream making experiences with the experts.

22. Green Mountain INN

Green Mountain INN
Source: Flickr / Bill Taroli | CC BY 2.0

The historic Green Mountain Inn is one of the highest rated places to stay when visiting Stowe.  Located on Main Street in the historic downtown village, the inn boasts a variety of accommodations, including 100 guest rooms, suites, apartments, and townhouses.  Amenities include gardens, year-round heated outdoor pools, an onsite bar and grill and massage center.

The inn is within walking distance to shops, restaurants, galleries, and various outdoor activities. Beginning as a private home in 1833, then converting to a hotel in 1893, the inn has undergone various expansions, restorations, and renovations over the years. Green Mountain is a blend of modern luxury and historic charm.

23. Sterling Gorge Falls

Sterling Gorge Falls
Source: Flickr / kjarett | CC BY 2.0

Visitors looking for hiking and beautiful views should be sure to check out Sterling Gorge Falls.  Originally part of a privately owned property, the falls and surrounding park area were officially donated to the town of Stowe.  While rather short, the three waterfalls cascade into multiple pools and create a beautiful scene for those who find their way there.

The moderate trail to get to the falls is a bit remote and is about 0.5-mile-long.  Informational signs about the area’s geology add to the experience.  Visitors looking for additional hiking and views can continue on to Sterling Brook Gorge, the upper Gorge.

24. Stowe Village

Stowe Village
Source: Flickr / LunchboxLarry | CC BY 2.0

Historical sites, restaurants shops and lodging can all be found in Stowe Village.  The downtown area nestled amongst Stowe’s mountains and resorts can be recognized by its beautiful old-covered bridges such as the Gold Brook Bridge and historic buildings that are now home to shops and galleries.  

One of the most easily recognized landmarks of the village is the steeple of the Stowe Community Church, one of the oldest non-denominational churches in the country.  Stroll through book shops on Main Street, sample chocolate at Laughing Moon Chocolates, or learn more about the history of skiing and snowboarding at the Vermont Ski and Snowboard Museum.

25. Von Trapp Brewery & Bierhall

Von Trapp Brewery and Bierhall
Source: Unsplash / Olivia Bauso | CC BY 2.0

Located at ski and bike trails on the grounds of the Trapp Family Lodge, this modern Von Trapp Brewery offers Austrian inspired beer and traditional Austrian dishes.  Guests can enjoy traditional brews like dunkel lagers and Kolsch, orsample Vermont-inspired flavors like the Maple Rauchbierwhich has flavors of smoke and maple.  Menu items include locally sourced ingredients from the Trapp Family Farm such as eggs, pork, and maple.  

The new addition of the Biergarten provides additional space to gather with friends and family outdoors and enjoy the views.  While here you can purchase packs of von Trapp Brewery beer and farm fresh eggs by the dozen.