Stowe, Vermont has been on my list of places to visit for a few years now. Fall is the busiest travel time of the year for me, so I could never get the dates to quite match up with my schedule and the foliage – until this year, finally! Krystal, Jenn, and I decided to road trip it up from Connecticut to the magical little town of Stowe a few weeks ago. After some delayed travel plans, we got into town a little later than expected but had an incredible meal and were greeted so warmly by the staff at the Stowe Mountain Lodge.
A huge thank you to Toyota for outfitting us in style for our roadtrip! We took a Land Cruiser for the trip and it was the perfect size for all of us girls, plus our loads of suitcases. Plus, I felt like I could conquer anything being that high up in a vehicle! The Land Cruiser offers a full digital dashboard complete with navigation which was a lifesaver when heading up to Vermont. The middle console in the photo above is also a mini cooler – so you can store drinks or snacks in there! The perfect vehicle to road trip in!
I’m sharing all my recs on where to stay, eat, and what to do below – we didn’t get to hit everything on our list, so you bet I am already planning on making a stop back next year!
WHERE TO STAY
Hands down, the Stowe Mountain Lodge. The town of Stowe has a ton of inns, lodges, and hotels, but the Stowe Mountain Lodge is by far the spot to be. It’s iconic to the town of Stowe and is nestled up the mountain away from the hustle of the charming downtown area. The Lodge itself is massive, surrounded by mountains with several different ski slopes, restaurants, shopping, coffee shops and more.
There’s something to do for everyone in the family at any time of day. Wake up and head to breakfast at the skinny pancake then ski the slopes or take a drive up Smuggler’s Notch during the day. Around 5pm, snuggle up next to one of the many fire pits located around the property and roast some s’mores with your own personal roasting kit. Hit the outdoor but heated hot tub and pool (open year round) in the evening for a little relaxation before heading in to your suite for the night. Each of the rooms have a kitchen and living/sitting area, so you’re in more than just your average hotel room. You can settle in and feel right at home!
The amazing staff at the Stowe Mountain Lodge put the girls and I in a two bedroom suite, with an outdoor porch that wrapped around our entire room – the view was absolutely insane! I was imagining how gorgeous it would be in the winter, with a fresh blanket of snow outside and views of the surrounding mountains.
WHERE TO EAT
The Bench – we stopped here on our first night in after a long drive and it was the perfect comfort food meal. We split the nachos, then got tacos and burgers for our meal. Comfort food, but fresh and not too greasy = my kind of comfort food. It’s open a little later than some other places in Stowe and is super casual if you’re looking for a good spot to go to without having to get dressed up.
Plate – This was our last meal of the trip and clearly they saved the best for last. I NEVER order chicken at restaurants, I just feel like it’s always dry and not too tasty. But, I ordered the chicken at Plate and it was one of the best meals I have ever had at a restaurant – no exaggeration whatsoever. The dish was so incredibly moist and the chicken was set atop a bed of pesto ratatouille veggies. Krystal got the crab cakes to start and those were SO good too!
Cork – Cork is a cozy little wine bar that’s perfect to grab a glass before your meal. We did exactly this our last night.. after a long day of shooting and exploring, we stopped in at Cork and grabbed a glass of vino. The ambiance was the perfect setting both inside + out – it was the perfect ‘wine down’ at the end of our busy day!
Solstice – Solstice is the main restaurant on property at the Stowe Mountain Lodge. We ended up eating here for quite a few meals, but it is so delicious that it’s worth it. I have to admit breakfast was my favorite (more than dinner) at Solstice. We ate breakfast here all three mornings! They also offer gluten free bread – and any breakfast place that has that option is a winner in my book! Also, request to sit by the fire if you can 🙂 Here’s my recommendations:
- Super Food Egg White Omelet – great low cal option but so flavorful + delicious!
- Open Faced Salmon Sandwich – add poached egg!
- Chorizo Hash + Eggs – I got mine scrambled.
Hourglass – Hourglass is a more casual, bar/lounge atmosphere right in the middle of the Stowe lobby and Solstice. We stopped in here for pre-dinner drinks and apps one night and sat right near the fire. I loved the laid back vibe. You could honestly eat a full meal here – we opted to get the nachos and glasses of rose, but I totally could’ve added in the kale salad (which we asked for with dinner in Solstice) and been good to go for the night. Do not, I repeat do not, pass up those nachos. SO GOOD.
The Beanery – The Beanery is a little coffee shop right on the Stowe Mountain Lodge resort property. We popped into her one morning and grabbed some lattes before walking around and exploring the property. It’s a great spot for an afternoon pick me up or a hot drink to warm you up in the wintertime!
The Skinny Pancake – we didn’t get to stop in here, mostly because I’m gluten free and couldn’t eat anything on the yummy menu! But I’ve heard great things and it’s right on the Stowe property as another breakfast option if you’d like.
Picnic Social – Another spot we didn’t get to go, but it was on our list + recommended by a bunch of you on instagram to stop in for cocktail hour. It’s a cozy little spot inside the Field Guide (a Lark hotel!) in downtown Stowe.
Piecasso – a specialty pizza shop, offering pizzas, salads, pasta dishes, and more. Many of their ingredients are locally sourced (like the gluten free flour!) and are are freshly made. We didn’t get to go here, but you bet it’s on my list for next time.
WHAT TO DO
At first thought, you might be like.. what is there to do besides ski up in Vermont? But think again, because Stowe is so beautiful and actually has some fun history and spots to visit. The Stowe Mountain Lodge also has an entire section on their site dedicated to things to do for each season – that’s a great resource! See my list below:
Von Trapp Family Lodge – Yes, the Sound of Music family! After fleeing Austria in 1938, the von Trapps settled in Stowe, VT in 1942 where they established a lodge, summer music camp and more. The original lodge was ruined in a fire, and the current lodge was built to replace it. You can stay at the lodge, tour the 2,500 acre property, get involved in tons of their on property activities, and take in the most breathtaking views as it’s nestled in the mountains of Stowe. We drove up here one afternoon to see what it was all about, but I’d love to take a tour and spend more time on the property – the Sound of Music was one of my favorite movies growing up!
Smuggler’s Notch – The entire area of Smuggler’s Notch includes a state park, resort, coffee shop, and more. You could easily spend at least a whole day exploring it, but the state park is right on the edge of Stowe and offers gorgeous views of the fall foliage, hiking, and more.
Downtown Stowe – walking around the downtown Stowe area is a must. It’s a small area, but has an old general store, coffee shop, little restaurants, and more.
Spa at Stowe Mountain Lodge – we spent one afternoon at the spa at Stowe and it was so incredibly relaxing. I opted to get the Vital Energy massage that started out with a Himalayan sea salt scrub. After starting a massage like that, now I never want to have one without it! The relaxation room overlooks a gorgeous view of the base of the mountain I grabbed a glass of Rose and had a few moments of quiet after my treatment.
Visit Emily’s Covered Bridge – Vermont has tons of covered bridges that are kind of quintessential to fall in Vermont. I’m sure you’ve all seen tons of them on instagram or pinterest! This one has a few different stories behind it – and why it’s named Emily. I went for merely the photo because it’s an iconic spot in Stowe. When we were there, lots of different people were stopping by to snap photos!
Cold Hollow Cider Mill – a must visit if you’re headed up to Stowe – it’s a quick little drive from downtown Stowe right on the main road. Inside they show how their cider is made (something I’ve never seen before!) and have a shop full of local vendors foods and goodies.
Thank you so much to the Stowe Mountain Lodge for hosting us – we had such an amazing week! And a huge thank again to Toyota for the road trip wonder vehicle. I cannot wait to get back up to Stowe.. maybe next time when there’s some snow on the ground! I’ll be rounding up all of my fall outfits worn in Stowe on the blog later this week, too.
I have learned so much from your travel guide. I live in CT too and this sounds like a nice weekend trip for my husband and I.
We loved Stowe, VT. The town is so cute that it looks like it belongs in a Christmas movie. The small town charm and amazing scenery is really something to see. We really enjoyed the nearby tasting tours and the Von Trapp Lodge. Check out our top 7 things to do near Stowe, VT. https://theadventuredetour.com/7-fun-things-to-do-near-stowe-vermont/