Best Mountain Biking at the Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe.
Photo Credit : Trapp Family Lodge
Set against the impressive backdrop of Mount Mansfield, the 200-year-old village of Stowe offers charming inns and fine dining on the doorstep of New England outdoor adventures. Always a popular winter destination — Yankee ranked Stowe No. 1 among “Best Winter Towns in New England” — Stowe is equally appealing in summer, with more than enough recreation and relaxation offerings to fill a weekend getaway.
Here are some of our favorite ways to spend a summer weekend in the Stowe, Vermont. For even more travel inspiration, check out episode 5 in season 3 of Weekends with Yankee, in which we visit the Trapp Family Lodge, founded in Stowe by the family made famous by The Sound of Music.
Plan Your Perfect Summer Weekend in Stowe, Vermont
One of Vermont’s most popular parks draws hikers, campers, and those who simply want to navigate the notch by car, narrowly squeezing through towering boulders. The steep, mile-long Sterling Pond Trail, which begins at the crest of the notch, summits at the eponymous jewel of a pond, one of the state’s highest bodies of water.
This 5.3-mile scenic paved trail stretches from Stowe Village to Topnotch Resort on the Mountain Road. With four parking and access points, it’s easy to find and enjoy, and two bike repair stations make fixing a flat a breeze.
Visit Stowe Mercantile for gifts, souvenirs, housewares, toys, and local gourmet goodies like handmade fudge and maple-smoked Vermont cheese. Pick up a novel or two at Bear Pond Books. Satisfy your sweet tooth with handmade truffles, turtles, and sea-salted caramels at Laughing Moon Chocolates. And finally, if you find yourself dreaming of winter, you can browse jackets, boots, sweaters, scarves, gloves, hats, and an entire wall of socks at Shaw’s General Store.
Set on 2,500 rural acres, Trapp Family Lodge has welcomed visitors since 1950. Built by the von Trapp family — whose dramatic escape during the Nazi occupation of Austria inspired the film The Sound of Music — this 96-room lodge blends Vermont character and Austrian-inspired architecture to create a unique country escape.
Ideal for folks wanting a bit more than a B&B but less than a traditional resort, Field Guide puts upscale country chic on full display, from the tree-stump end tables and birch log “walls” in the lobby to the mounted (papier-mâché) deer heads and whimsical wallpaper. Downtown is just minutes away.
Luxury is the hallmark of this couples-only retreat nestled on nearly 10 acres in the heart of Stowe. Each of the nine rooms has a king bed, Jacuzzi tub for two, and bedroom/bath fireplace. Couples are seated at private tables in the sunlit breakfast room and can enjoy a stroll around the manicured grounds before settling in for massages back in their room.
Housed in the Butler Hill Inn but open to the general public, this place specializes in a.m. treats such as homemade buttermilk biscuits smothered with mushroom or sausage gravy, homemade maple sausage, fluffy French toast, and acai bowls topped with granola, fresh fruit, coconut, and pure maple syrup.
Try the smoked bluefish dip, steamed mussels, or crispy chicken sandwich, washed down with a frosty milkshake or your favorite selection from the killer beer list, including weekly draft specials of local favorites.
This restaurant serves up Vermont staples combined with what the owners call the “healthy food style” of California. Options include vegan “crab cakes,” burgers (veggie or wood-smoked), maple-brined pork chops, and the house dessert specialty: banana pudding in a Mason jar.
At this award-winning restaurant in an 1820 farmhouse, menus follow the seasons. Summer options may include house-smoked duck breast, pasture-raised beef tenderloin, and strawberry-rhubarb biscuit shortcake. If you can’t decide, two tasting menus offer a curated collection of starter, entree, and dessert options.
It’s a casual bistro at a popular lodging spot that boasts mountain views and a fireside lounge, but the real draw is a menu ranging from barbecued pork shank to Vietnamese grilled shrimp. Burgers? Buns, chips, and even mustard and pickles are all house-made.