Elegant Alpine Lodge Nestled in Wooded Enclave
Standing sentry at the entrance to Stowehof Inn & Resort are two preserved maples, stripped of bark and leaves, which stretch up into the wooden ceiling of the resort's covered walkway. The trees were transferred from the woodlands of the surrounding Green Mountains and integrated into the structure, which helps to create a sense of outside melting into inside. That sensibility permeates the atmosphere of the inn, where skiers, hikers, and bikers revel in the rolling topography, then quietly retire to blazing hearths in the common room and well-appointed guest rooms.
The Stowehof's in-house restaurant, Emily's, serves upscale, contemporary fare in an elegant dining room with exposed wooden beams and a wall of windows showcasing the property. Though the menu changes more often than an award-show hostess, a typical three-course meal might include a beef tartare appetizer, a seared trout entree, and a crème brûlée dessert. In the morning, the chefs at Emily's prepare a hearty breakfast buffet comprised of pancakes, eggs, and bacon.
Dark woods, a gabled rooftop, and carved balconies imbue the Stowehof Inn & Resort with the feel of an alpine chalet. Sunken fireplaces warm the vast communal living room, which is dotted with peaceful nooks for reading a book from the substantial library or settling an inheritance dispute over a board game. Floor-to-ceiling windows overlook nearby Mount Mansfield, one of the tallest peaks in Vermont, and, in the foreground, the resort's small pond and outdoor pool.
Stowe, Vermont: Quiet Mountain Community Flush with Outdoor Adventure
The quaint town of Stowe is nestled among the quiet countryside of northern Vermont. State law bans billboards, ensuring unobstructed views of the maple and pine trees thickly covering the Green Mountains along the roadways. About a half-mile west of the Stowehof Inn, one can rent out bikes, mountain boards, or motorized mountain goats at Pinnacle Ski and Sports to explore the Recreation Path, a paved 5.5-mile-long avenue that winds past sparkling brooks and through Stowe's main commercial strip. The strip is lined with independent local shops, roadside restaurants, and virtually no chain franchises. Like the sun's light or a toddler's interest in physics, the bustle of downtown evaporates by 10 p.m.
The nearby town of Waterbury plays host to the headquarters of Ben & Jerry's ice cream, located just about 20 minutes from Stowehof Inn. Visitors can watch as machinery zips the famous pints from one end of the facility to another in a factory tour, which ends with a sampling of the flavor of the day.