Field Guide's A to Z list of Things to Do in Stowe
With natural beauty at every turn, it's no wonder that many artists have set up shop in Stowe. Clustered in the village and along Mountain Road, art enthusiasts will find myriad galleries showcasing local talent and a variety of mediums. When you're looking for things to do in Stowe, casually wander through the spaces or consider purchasing a one-of-a-kind piece of Stowe to bring home with you.
The Alchemist, master brewers of Vermont's famous IPA, Heady Topper, has a 14,652-square-foot brewery, visitor's center, and retail outlet just up Mountain Road from our Stowe hotel. Don't miss a stop to taste (and stock up on!) this hoppy winner, or one of the company's other brews.
Hundreds of species of North American birds call Stowe home. With a thick canopy of birch, maple, and evergreen trees dotting the landscape, it is easy to see why -- it's a prime habitat for our feathered friends. Take a guided birding tour by an area naturalist or attend an event sponsored by Audubon Vermont.
There’s more to Stowe than mountains! Take in Vermont’s lush scenery from the water while you canoe or kayak through the Green Mountains, farms, and countryside. There are several lakes and rivers within a short drive of Stowe including Lake Elmore, Green River Reservoir, and Lamoille and Winooski rivers, with rentals and guided tours for paddlers of all levels available from veteran outfitters like AJ's Ski & Sports, Berts Boats, Pinnacle Ski & Sports, Vermont Canoe & Kayak and Umiak Outdoor Outfitters.
Prepare your sweet tooth and set your clock for 2 pm, when you can watch the daily chocolate dipping demonstration at Laughing Moon Chocolates on Main Street. Leave with a selection of delicious homemade truffles, fudge or other candies. Laughing Moon also offers adult and family workshops to create your own chocolates. Call the shop at 802-253-9591 (or ask our front desk to call) to schedule.
Watch apples yield their juice and legendary cider donuts pressed into deliciousness at Cold Hollow Cider Mill in nearby Waterbury. Check out the mill's bee hive (safely from behind glass!) and taste fresh-pressed cider while observing the process or watching a video about it. Always cranking in the Fall, the mill also presses four days a week in summer and winter.
Yes, really! Learn about mushing and the vibrant Siberian Husky breed as you glide through the snow in the trusty paws of man's best friend. It's an exhilarating (and cuddly) experience not to be missed. We recommend Peace Pups Dogsledding or Eden Ethical Dogsledding.
Distilleries, Breweries & Wineries
Plan a day sipping local spirits at nearby wineries, breweries and distillers. Don't forget to use the hashtag #drinkstowe!
Von Trapp Brewing
Boyden Valley Winery
Smugglers Notch Distillery
There’s nothing quite as serene as standing on the banks of a wide river or lake, taking in the scenery while you wait for that telltale tug on your line. Strike out on your own or join one of the many guided trips or instructional clinics offered by the experts at Catamount Fishing Adventures or the Fly Rod Shop Programs vary by season and range from fall foliage charters to ice fishing.
Located in the nearby historic village of Morrisville, Copley Country Club is a 9-hole public golf course situated on 38 rolling acres of the bright green stuff. Grab lunch or a quick afternoon snack at the on-site Copley Bar & Grill, which overlooks what has been called one of the most beautiful panoramic public courses in the state.
So skiing and boarding aren’t your thing? That doesn't mean you can’t enjoy the view from the top. Stunning vistas await near the peak of Vermont's highest mountain when you take a ride in Stowe’s gondola, which operates daily year round.
Given its location in the Green Mountains, it’s not surprising that Stowe is home to many well-maintained hiking trails. From meanderers to more experienced trekkers, there are trails to suit all levels. Check out Go Stowe’s hiking guide here to pick the one that’s just right for you.
Hot Air Ballooning
Ready, set, launch! get a bird's eye view as you float over the Green Mountains and shores of Lake Champlain. Seasonal tours are available from sunrise to sunset (fall foliage is a particularly popular time to fly), culminating in a spectacular 3-day festival every July. Marvel from the ground as up to 25 brightly colored balloons take flight in the Vermont sky. Get flying with Above Reality Hot Air Balloon Rides.
Ice Cream -- Ben & Jerry’s Factory
If you prefer more of a taste adventure than a physical one, be sure to stop by the ice cream legend’s factory in nearby Waterbury. Step inside this Willy Wonka-like world of frozen delights and take a 30-minute guided tour that manages to be fun, educational, and tasty at the same time.
Few things typify Vermont more than the classic art of maple sugaring. Visit Nebraska Knoll Enterprises in the foothills of Mount Mansfield. Their retail room features maple products for sale at sugarhouse prices and a display of photos and artifacts. Call ahead to schedule a tour of the sugaring barn and facilities.
Don’t forget to schedule in some to unwind at one of Stowe’s top-notch spas. The newly renovated spa and wellness center at Stowe Mountain Resort puts the ah in spa with an extensive menu of services that will help you relax from top to toe. Also consider the spas at nearby Stoweflake, Golden Eagle Resort, Stowe Village Massage or Trapp Family Lodge.
Called “the mountain biking mecca” by the Boston Globe, Stowe is home to a large network of trails for riders of all abilities. In fact, bike trails are located right behind our Stowe hotel. Detailed trail maps are available at local bike shops, the Stowe Visitors Center, and right here at Field Guide. One of our favorite thrill rides - Kimmer’s Trail - was voted one of Vermont's Top Ten Mountain Bike Trails. For the beginner or more advanced mountain bike instruction or assistance in finding the right trails for your needs, consider Four Points Mountain Bike School.
Stowe has a vibrant cultural scene, including several museums that celebrate the area's history and bustling ecosystem. Trace the roots of Vermont's 100-year history of snowsports at the Vermont Ski Museum; study indigenous bird species at the Birds of Vermont Museum; or learn more about the history of Lake Champlain at the Maritime Museum.
Stowe boasts one of the largest, most diverse Nordic ski trail systems in the United States, with over 3,000 acres of conserved land and 150 km of groomed trails and 100 km of backcountry terrain.
For those looking to explore Stowe at a lower altitude, the Stowe Recreation Path awaits. Stroll along this mostly flat path, with access to many shops and restaurants, and take in spectacular views of Stowe and area mountains. Cyclists, runners, and rollerbladers are also welcome on the path. The best part? An entrance to the path is right across from Field Guide.
Whether you're new to the sport or have a few climbs under your harness, local guides can help to introduce you to the mountain and teach you basic or more advantaged skills. Sunrise Mountain Guides have years of experience and a firm focus on safety, communication, technique and a variety of equipment. The company also offers ice climbing tours in the winter and a variety of other guided sport adventures.
Skiing & Snowboarding
It may be obvious but we would be remiss if we didn’t include skiing and snowboarding on this list. At 4,395 feet, Stowe's Mt. Mansfield is the peak of Vermont, forming the foundation for some seriously snowy action. Stowe Mountain Resort, with 116 ski trails and 13 lifts, has been an internationally acclaimed four season resort area since the 1940's. A gondola now connects the resort's two mountains, Mount Mansfield and Spruce Peak.
Flex those cultural muscles and take in a performance by one of Stowe’s theatrical troupes or musical groups. The Stowe Theater Guild, Waterbury Festival Players, and Lamoille County Players regularly perform high quality productions to a packed house at inspiring venues like Spruce Peak Performing Arts Center and historic Hyde Park Opera House.
Year-Round Gear Rentals
No matter whether you’re a boarder or biker, cyclist or canoeist, you can rent your gear of choice right in the heart of Stowe. We like AJ’s Ski & Sports for ski and board rentals, while Pinnacle Ski and Sports is a one stop gear shop for bikes, kayaks, and canoes. Both have experts that will get you fitted and out on the trail, mountain, river, or road in no time.
Get a bird’s eye view of the Vermont countryside with a zipline tour led by ArborTrek Canopy Adventures. Located at nearby Smugglers’ Notch, take to the tree tops for 2.5-3 hours of breathtaking, adrenaline-pumping, and eco-friendly fun. Tours, which range from serene to extreme, are available year round.