Learn what this premier New England skiing destination and town has to offer its visitors as Cathie Arquilla takes us along during her family vacation. Enjoy the town’s pleasures of Nordic Walking , Mexican dining, and knitting lessons. Just don’t forget your skis!
Over homemade scones at the breakfast table of the Timberholm Inn, a bright-eyed Brit explained why she chose to spring ski in Stowe. “When we think of a resort (I think she was speaking for the entire European continent), we think of a town. Not like Americans, who think of a great big developed complex attached to a ski resort.”
Stowe is indeed a town unto itself. When someone says they’re headed to Stowe, the ski resort is usually what comes to mind first; but I found out that the town has its own sophisticated vibe and prideful presence.
Stowe, the ski resort and Stowe the village have formed a symbiotic relationship. The ski resort fancies itself the premier New England skiing destination for its skiing and because it harbors the lovely town of Stowe. Meanwhile, the town seems equally pleased to host one of the best skiing mountains in the East.
Similar to the vibe found in Nantucket, Stowe has that nuance of a hip town with lots going on against a very historic, quaint background. And it works as a vacation destination all year round. I went with my family during mud season, often referred to more sensitively as the shoulder season.
I’m talking about late March, early April. Even though it was, dare I say it, crap weather (half the time) with plenty of mud, Stowe did not disappoint. It is just too cool a place to get bogged down, literally.
Stowe –- The 411
Stowe is quintessential New England. The first settlers, just two families, arrived in the early 1790s. By 1800 the town’s population had reached 800. It is located in the Green Mountains of Vermont, 35 miles from Burlington and 325 from New York City, our point of origin –- a manageable six-hour drive away.
We considered taking the ski train. Known as the Vermonter; it’s run by Amtrak and takes eight hours from New York’s Penn Station, ending up in Waterbury Vermont, a mere 10 miles from Stowe.
No one has to drive, and for $100 (per person) round trip you’re treated to the space and freedom of train travel. But in the end we drove. The convenience and saved expense of having to rent a car once there, as well as the hours saved in getting there made our decision.
Stoweflake, a Vacation Saver
We stayed at Stoweflake Mountain Resort & Spa. The townhouse suite we checked into was ideal, luxurious in fact. This two-bedroom, two story “attached home” was decorated in gold, tan and brown hues, and features rich fabrics, granite counter tops and marble tiles.
Big fluffy beds, flip-a-dial fireplaces and flat screen TV’s, produced a happy dance from my daughter, a banshee scream from my son and meaningful sighs from my husband and me.