Mountain Lodge in Wooded Enclave
Two preserved maples stand at the entrance to Stowehof Inn & Resort in northern Vermont. Transferred from the woodlands of the surrounding Green Mountains, the trees have been integrated into the inn’s structure, creating a sense of outside blending into inside. That sensibility permeates the place, attracting outdoor enthusiasts who revel in the rolling topography before retiring to well-appointed guest rooms. It’s the kind of setting that draws visitors back for repeat visits—a quality that earned the inn a spot on Travel + Leisure’s list of hotels with “die-hard family followings.” The resort is also just 5 miles from Stowe Mountain Resort, where visitors can ski or snowboard down more than 100 snowy trails in the winter, or hike along Mount Mansfield in the summer.
Dark woods, a gabled rooftop, and carved balconies imbue Stowehof Inn & Resort with the feel of an alpine chalet. The vast communal living room is dotted with peaceful nooks for reading books from the substantial library or playing a board game. Floor-to-ceiling windows overlook the resort’s small pond and Mount Mansfield—one of Vermont’s tallest peaks.
Stowehof’s in-house restaurant Coslin’s Pub serves classic pub food with upscale Swiss French house specialties, including fondue. This Groupon includes a daily breakfast and a $20 gift certificate to the restaurant, where you can enjoy pan-fried wiener schnitzel, wild mushroom risotto, or atlantic salmon in a white wine sauce. This credit is also valid at Emily’s Restaurant when it’s open to the public.
Stowe, Vermont: Quiet Village Flush with Outdoor Adventure
The quaint town of Stowe is nestled in the countryside of northern Vermont. State law bans billboards, ensuring unobstructed views of the sugar maples and hemlock covering the Green Mountains along the roadways. Hiking opportunities abound on mountainside trails that range from steep vertical climbs to flat sprawls. Stop by a local sport shop to rent bikes for exploring the Stowe Recreation Path, a paved 5.3-mile-long avenue that winds along the sparkling West Branch River and through Stowe’s main commercial strip. The strip is lined with independent shops and roadside diners and stands out for its lack of chain franchises.
In winter, one of the area’s biggest draws is Stowe Mountain Resort, which is full of downhill ski runs and cross-country ski and snowshoe trails. You can also rent equipment from a local shop and follow the Stowe Recreation Path along the sparkling West Branch River. If you prefer to be carted around, Stowe has you covered. Horse-drawn sleigh rides glide through wooded winter landscapes worthy of a Christmas card. Elsewhere, packs of siberian huskies whisk adventurous visitors over the terrain during dogsledding excursions.
About 12 miles south, the town of Waterbury is home to a Ben & Jerry’s ice-cream factory. Visitors can watch as machinery zips the famous pints from one end of the facility to the other during a factory tour, which ends with a sampling of the flavor of the day.