The winter season seems to have really upped its game this year on the East coast—bomb cyclones and powder days galore, it’s almost like being out West (without all that plane hopping). It’s actually even better than being out West this year—with the draught of Colorado there’s no reason to adventure farther than Vermont. Run out of the office and drive north as soon as the weekend hits to take advantage of the Jackson Hole-esque skiing conditions up in Stowe, Vermont. The historic village combined with Vermont’s most spectacular landscape creates the quintessential New England getaway.
Stowe is the ideal ski getaway—it’s a picturesque country retreat with awe-inspiring mountains and friendly slopes that caters to all types of skiers, just 300 miles from NYC. Plus, it’s got that whole Austrian Swiss Alps vibe, courtesy of the stunning mountains that surround you and the legacy the Von Trapps instilled when they settled down here.
Our Favorite Places to Stay in Stowe
There are a lot of great places to stay in Stowe. The Stowe Mountain Lodge has ski-in, ski-out convenience, the Trapp Family Lodge has cross-country skiing and a Bavarian brewery, but we’re partial to the Stoweflake Mountain Resort & Spa for a few reasons.
There’s the beauty of being right in town—for any non-skiers in your party they don’t have to get a shuttle into town, just walk outside and the quintessential New England streets await. There are also a ton of restaurants all along Main Street, eliminating the need of having to drive back and forth from the mountain when you want to explore the local flavors. And, of course, the spa.
Don’t leave without booking a treatment at the spa here. It is the best spot to relax after getting those turns in, and they really know how to massage those sore muscles and help your body recover after a tough day on the slopes.
It’s a ‘true spa’ with actual relaxation rooms, luxurious cascading waterfalls to swim under in the co-ed tranquility room, and a treatment menu that includes a Vermont Maple Sugar Body Polish—because when in Vermont, everything is maple.
Originally founded by Beatrice and Stuart Baraw in 1963, Stoweflake has grown from a modest Inn into the resort it is today. Now owned and operated by three generations, the Baraw family remains dedicated to each other—and preserving their local legacy.
The resort exudes charming New England style in every regard: decor, warm staff, lots of activities and onsite dining for an après cocktail or hearty breakfast. Charlie B’s is the ideal spot to fuel up before a long day on mountain. Super cozy, with suites or townhouses if you head up with the whole family or local party crew. It’s also pet friendly, so you don’t need to leave your furry best friend at home! Stoweflake has extensive trails located on the 60 acres of wide-open space–pretty drastic difference from a walk through Hell’s Kitchen.
It’s the perfect place to kick back after a hard day on the slopes and watch the sunset against a backdrop of breathtaking mountains, Snuggly Snowman in hand.
Finding Fine Dining in the Green Mountains
Michael’s on the Hill is the place to go when in Stowe. Okay, it’s technically in Waterbury, but it’s worth the short drive, no matter the conditions. We headed out in the middle of a blizzard for a truly spectacular chef’s tasting menu.
Born, raised & trained in Switzerland, Chef Michael Kloeti dreamed of enriching his classical education with that of other cultures. He runs the restaurant with his wife, Laura, who he met in that same Swiss kitchen years ago.
His cooking inspiration stems from his childhood—European comfort food, sustainable & unprocessed. His passion combined with Vermont’s culinary bounty makes for a truly unforgettable dining experience.
Chef Michael has worked in a variety of settings ranging from New York City’s 4-star Lespinasse, to upcountry comfort food at the award winning Lodge at Koele in Lanaii, Hawaii.
The invitation to join the St. Regis Hotel as Chef de Cuisine brought him back to Manhattan, & the decision to raise their family in Vermont led them to the eventual opening of Michael’s on the Hill Restaurant.
The menu changes with the seasons but if you pop in this winter, start with the Root Vegetable Frites with Meyer Lemon Aioli, Reggiano & Cured Duck Egg Yolk before moving on to the super tender Pasture Raised Beef Tenderloin with Potato Gratin, Maple Glazed Heirloom Carrots, Browned Spice Butter and Demi Glace.
The flavors are rich, mountain town inspired flavors but the execution is elegant and the balance between sweet and savory is expertly implemented. No overcooked or over sauced lamb shanks here—just really creative dishes that take the freshness of the land around you and bring that brightness to ever course. The last bite you should indulge in (before heading into full gluttony mode) is the Vermont Apple Galette with Extra Sharp Cheddar Crust, Cider Reduction & Honey Rosemary Ice Cream.
Absolute Vermont perfection. Do not attempt to share with your dining companion and savor the indulgence all on your own.
On and Off Mountain Adventure
In order to earn all that pampering and apple galette indulgence, don’t forget to earn your turns and hit the iconic slopes! Stowe resort is surrounded by majestic Mt. Mansfield – the highest peak in Vermont – and Spruce Peak. With a summit elevation of 4,395′, 2,360’ of vertical drop and 485 skiable acres there’s something for everyone here. Plenty of sidecountry to pop into to catch those faceshots too, nothing quite as epic as first tracks out there.
Cruise around the blue groomers in the morning, stop by for a fancy lunch with stunning views at the Cliff House, and head to the newly opening (and slightly more challenging) Nosedive and Liftline. There are currently 59 trails open, so there’s plenty of wide open slopes and no need for any sort of overcrowding. The Terrain Park is also open, definitely not for the faint of heart but always entertaining, even just for spectators.
For the little ones who need a break from ski school (or the adults too, for that matter), you can find everything from snowshoeing, tubing, and just enjoying the quintessential vibe of New England that everyone seems to be flocking towards. There’s a Vermont charm here that is impossible to fabricate, and only found in small magical towns like Stowe. Call out sick and make it a weekend to remember.