20 things to do in Stowe, Vermont

Any travelers on a quest to uncover the USA’s most picturesque landscapes will be delighted by the whimsical town of Stowe, Vermont. Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast looking to conquer the slopes in winter or a nature lover eager to explore scenic hiking trails in summer, the number of exhilarating things to do in Stowe is seemingly endless. 

The experts at Greenvans believe Stowe is the ideal starting point for your New England vacation. Apart from the unmatched scenery, the region is peppered with unique roadside attractions and not-to-be-missed mountain villages. When it comes to all things road-tripping, Greenvans has got you covered, so buckle up and pile into one of our secure, spacious vans and gear up for your Green Mountain Vermont road trip!

1. Visit Stowe Mountain Resort 

Attractions in Stowe, Vermont appeal to both winter lovers and sun worshippers. With its pristine slopes, breathtaking alpine views, and a variety of terrain suitable for all skill levels, the resort offers an unforgettable winter experience. A rental van makes your visit to Virginia ski resorts weekends so much easier. Just toss your skis in the back, and set out for the slopes!

But Stowe Mountain Resort isn’t just for winter sports enthusiasts. Summer lovers will find tons to do, including hiking wooded trails, enjoying scenic gondola rides above the green hills, and perhaps indulging in mountain biking adventures. Stowe Mountain Resort has something to offer everyone year-round.

Source: Stowe.com

2. Visit the Trapp Family Lodge

Does the name ring a bell? We know the lodge as the former home of the famous von Trapp family from “The Sound of Music”. But did you know it’s also the first location in the country to open a cross-country skiing center? Situated on 2,500 acres, this mountain resort offers a range of year-round outdoor activities including cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, hiking, biking, and yoga. 

With its picturesque surroundings and European-inspired charm, Trapp Family Lodge provides a magical atmosphere for families and couples looking for a peaceful getaway, any time of year. 

If you’re a ski buff and want more time on the slopes, check out other amazing USA ski trips!

3. Take a tour of the Ben & Jerry’s Factory

Ice cream enthusiasts rejoice! Ben & Jerry’s, which has captured the hearts and taste buds of dessert lovers worldwide, originated in Stowe. If you’re traveling with kids, or you still identify as one, don’t miss a factory tour where you’ll get a behind-the-scenes look at how their delectable ice cream is made. The tour is both fun and informative, presenting the production process in its entirety, from the mixing of the creamy ingredients to the packaging of the final product. 

One of the highlights is a peek at the flavor graveyard, an eccentric resting place for retired ice cream flavors, complete with headstones and amusing epitaphs. As part of the tour, you’re invited to indulge in a sample tasting experience of famous flavors and others that haven’t yet hit the shelves. This combination of entertainment and education makes the Ben & Jerry’s Factory tour a must-visit destination for ice cream lovers of all ages.

Source: Honeyfund.com

4. Take a stroll down the Stowe Recreation Path

The Stowe Recreation Path is one of the loveliest attractions in Stowe! This 5.3-mile multi-use trail is a haven for walkers, runners, and cyclists who want to immerse in nature while getting some movement after a scenic ride in the van. The path is easily accessible and welcomes people of all ages and fitness levels, offering a gentle and well-maintained surface that is suitable for strollers, wheelchairs, and bicycles. 

You’ll feel like the character in a fairytale as you admire the mountain peaks, vast meadows, and babbling brooks around you. When hunger hits, local eateries and shops are just a few steps away. Whether you’re looking for a leisurely stroll, an invigorating run, or a scenic bike ride, the Stowe Recreation Path offers something for everyone, allowing you to soak in the town’s beauty while enjoying some outdoor exercise.

5. Enjoy the Stowe arts and culture scene 

Art lovers are sure to enjoy Stowe’s many local galleries. Check out Spruce Peak Arts, a prominent cultural hub in Stowe hosting everything from theater productions and live music concerts to art exhibitions and film screenings. The Helen Day Art Center is a contemporary space, featuring rotating exhibitions that showcase the work of emerging and established artists of painting, sculpture, photography, and mixed media. 

Culture enthusiasts and couples will delight in the Stowe Foliage Arts Festival which takes place annually in October. Dive into Vermont tradition with live music, local art, craft demonstrations, and regional food tastings. From craft beer to maple syrup, don’t miss this opportunity to eat your way through Stowe’s quirky culture. Traveling in September? Take a short drive in the van to Manchester for its Southern Vermont Art & Craft Festival instead!

6. Experience dog sledding adventures

One of the coolest, quirkiest things you can do in the area is go dog sledding. It’s a thrilling experience for all ages and widely available in Stowe. Check out Eden Ethical Dog Sledding to meet and learn about the sled dogs that live happily on their 140-acre farm.

Umiak Outdoor Outfitters is another reputable dog sledding company in Stowe that provides unique night tours, allowing people who are skiing all day at Stowe to experience dog sledding as well. They offer family-friendly tours that cater to younger children, giving them the chance to interact with the pups.

While dog sledding is known as a winter activity, it is possible to participate all year! Check with your preferred supplier about summer sledding on wheels.

Source: GoStowe.com

7. Unwind with a spa day 

After a long day on the slopes (or, perhaps, instead of the slopes) there’s nothing that recharges you like a day at the spa. Choose from a variety of rejuvenating options offered in an oasis like the award-winning Topnotch Resort Spa or the holistic Stoweflake Mountain Resort & Spa. After all, why wrap yourself in snow when you can be wrapped in maple sugar body polish?

Spa days in Stowe are not only ideal for individuals looking to recharge but also make for a wonderful couple’s activity. Ask about available couples’ packages, so you and your honey can relax side by side and indulge in luxurious treatments together. 

8. Go on a brewery tour

What’s better than sharing a cold beer with your friends after a long, scenic drive through the Green Mountains? Stowe is the place to be while road-tripping along the New England coast. Home to a handful of excellent breweries, the most refined beer snobs will discover plenty to adore, including:

  • The Alchemist quickly gained a cult following after releasing their world-renowned IPA, Heady Topper. The brewery offers tours to learn about their brewing process and sample different beers. 
  • Von Trapp Brewing is an Austrian-inspired brewery and beer hall that stays true to its European roots by producing traditional lagers and ales. Oh, and, it’s engulfed by spectacular mountain views. 
  • Idletyme Brewing Company has a spacious outdoor beer garden and a cozy indoor pub for beer enthusiasts to gather together and relax over a quality pint.

9. Visit Smugglers’ Notch State Park

History buff? Make your way to Smugglers’ Notch State Park, which played a crucial role in facilitating illegal trade between Canada and the United States during the War of 1812. The treacherous route was skillfully carved through the rugged terrain, using natural boulders and rocks to create hidden crevices. This meant smugglers could easily evade detection, quickly disappearing until it was safe to continue their journey.

While you won’t run into smugglers anymore, you will encounter incredible trails and breathtaking views. If you and your travel companions like hiking and a little mystery, don’t miss your chance to explore this park just a short, but exhilarating, drive from Stowe!

Source: The Dyrt

10. Try locally-made spirits

When you’ve hit your daily hiking quota, head to Smuggler’s Notch Distillers, where you and your friends can sample their exceptional craft spirits. Their tasting room includes a variety of award-winning vodka, gin, bourbon, rye whiskey, and rum, all made with locally sourced ingredients. 

But before you get too tipsy, make your way to Green Mountain Distillers in nearby Morrisville. Here you can sample their special Maple Liqueur, a delightful and unique treat that captures the essence of Vermont’s iconic maple syrup with a kick. 

11. Explore local shops in Stowe Village

Speaking of maple syrup, have you thought about sweet souvenirs? Stowe Mercantile, one of our favorites, sells Vermont-made crafts, gourmet foods, clothing, and toys for the little ones. Shaw’s General Store offers a nostalgic shopping experience, with an eclectic mix of goods, like locally made cheeses or kitchen gadgets, as well as outdoor gear. 

Know someone with a sweet tooth? Laughing Moon Chocolates is a must-see artisanal chocolate shop that offers handmade chocolates crafted using traditional techniques. Indulge in a world of truffles, caramels, and chocolate-covered fruits that make both great gifts and even better road trip snacks!

12. Take a hot air balloon ride

If you want to make your partner fall in love all over again, we’ve got the answer: take them on a hot air balloon ride at Stoweflake Mountain Resort and Spa. It’s arguably the perfect activity for thrill seekers, couples on romantic getaways, and those celebrating special occasions. 

Soar above the picturesque landscapes of Stowe with a bird’s eye view of the rolling hills, lush forests, and charming towns that define Vermont’s allure. Whether you’re celebrating a special milestone or simply indulging in the beauty of nature from a bird’s eye view, a hot air balloon ride at Stoweflake Mountain Resort and Spa promises an enchanting journey that you will never forget.

13. Enjoy seasonal festivals

Some of the USA’s most fun, unusual festivals are in Stowe. Catering to families, friends, and couples, there seems to be a party for anyone to enjoy at any time of the year!

  • Stowe Winter Carnival: A multi-day winter carnival showcasing snow volleyball tournaments, snow golf, live music, and bonfires.
  • Fall Foliage Festival: If you’re traveling in October, check out this festival for guided foliage hikes, scenic bike rides, art and craft shows, live music performances, and its farmers market brimming with fresh produce. 
  • Stowe Brewers Festival: Attention craft beer lovers! Reserve your van with Greenvans and hit the road in late July to sample the best regional breweries.
  • British Invasion Weekend: Grab your best friends and take a road trip to Stowe in mid-September for the chance to celebrate classic British automobiles and motorcycles. 

14. Hike Mount Mansfield

Vermont’s highest peak is Mount Mansfield, which means incredible hiking trails and unmatched panoramic views. Visitors can challenge themselves on the Long Trail or opt for a more leisurely experience on Toll Road. Whatever you choose, continue to the summit to grab your well-deserved reward of Vermont’s most spectacular vistas of the Green Mountains and Lake Champlain. For adventure seekers and nature enthusiasts, this is a must-visit.

15. Play a round of golf

If you’re not into skiing or hiking, you might be wondering what to do in Stowe. You can always golf! There are several beautifully scenic golf courses suitable for players of all levels. The Stowe Country Club is an 18-hole public course encapsulated by mountains and ripe with well-manicured fairways and greens. Ryder Brook Golf Club, located in nearby Morristown, is a lovely 9-hole course known for its picturesque setting. 

Looking for something more kid-friendly? Stowe Golf Park is your answer. This professionally designed miniature golf course gives you the feeling of a real course without the pressure.

Source: Spruce Peak

16. Visit the Stowe Historical Society Museum

The Stowe Historical Society Museum is housed in two one-room schoolhouses on School Street in Stowe Village, right by the Waterbury River. Volunteers who work here are dedicated to recording and studying the history of the town in a small, authentic setting that even the kids will love.

17. Take a gondola ride

If you’re exploring Vermont by van between mid-July and mid-October, don’t skip the Gondola Skyride, which takes you to the summit of Mt. Mansfield, the state’s tallest mountain. The panoramic scenes from the gondola are breathtaking, showcasing the surrounding Green Mountains. Hiking enthusiasts can access various trails, including the Long Trail and Sunset Ridge Trail. When you’re hungry, enjoy a well-deserved meal with a view at the Summit House Restaurant. 

18. Take a road trip to Woodstock  

A short and beautiful drive away is Woodstock, a quintessential farm town with covered bridges, hiking trails, and cozy cafes. From local cheese and syrup tastings to the interactive experience on Billings Farm & Museum, a working dairy farm, your family road trip to Woodstock offers nature, history, and quaint New England allure.

Before heading back to Stowe, stop for a family photo at Middle Covered Bridge, which spans the Ottauquechee River. Drive back along Cloudland Road, passing traditional farms and rolling landscapes, a picture-perfect show of Vermont’s true charm.

19. Go snowmobiling in winter

Adventure lovers can’t miss an exciting day on a snowmobile that is guaranteed to make everyone smile. Snowmobile Vermont, just a short drive from Stowe, offers guided tours led by experienced guides. 

Explore the snowy landscapes on a family-friendly tour, designed to accommodate different skill levels. If you want a more intimate experience, opt for a custom or private tour that can be tailored to your preferences and allows you and your family to explore the trails at your own pace. 

Source: Spruce Peak

20. Visit Moss Glenn Falls

One of the most special things about Stowe is Moss Glenn Falls. Cascading down a rocky mountain gorge is a beautiful 120-foot waterfall. Just a five-minute drive from Stowe’s historic Village, it can be easily accessed via a short, scenic hike and is an essential piece of your New England road trip. 

Want to keep adventuring? Extend your trip and find more to do in the winter in New England

Common questions about things to do in Stowe, VT

Stowe, Vermont is a charming destination known for its natural beauty and outdoor activities. If you’re considering a visit to this picturesque town, you may have some questions about what to do and how long to stay. In this FAQ section, we aim to provide answers to common queries to help you plan your Stowe adventure.

Is Stowe, Vermont worth visiting?

Yes, Stowe is definitely worth visiting! This scenic town offers a plethora of attractions and activities for all types of travelers. From impressive mountain views and outdoor adventures to its quaint village feel, Stowe has something for everyone. Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast, a foodie, or a lover of arts and culture, Stowe’s natural beauty and welcoming atmosphere make it a destination worth exploring.

How long should I spend in Stowe, VT?

Ideally, you should spend about three to four days in Stowe, VT. This provides plenty of time to take advantage of all that Stowe has to offer. Spend your days hiking or skiing the scenic trails with your family, exploring Stowe Village with your partner, or visiting local breweries and wineries with friends. No matter who you travel with, you’ll be satiated by Stowe’s delicious farm-to-table cuisine. Just a few days in Stowe is enough to truly experience the essence of this beautiful town!

What is there to do in Stowe, VT on a rainy day?

On a rainy day in Stowe, you can explore a variety of indoor activities that are just as enriching as the outdoor ones. Visit the Vermont Ski and Snowboard Museum to learn about the region’s winter sports history, enjoy a relaxing spa day at one of the local wellness centers, or explore the many art galleries and boutique shops in town. Additionally, Stowe offers a range of cozy cafes and restaurants where you can savor a warm cup of coffee or indulge in a delightful meal.

Plan your Stowe adventure with Greenvans!

There’s no better way to immerse in Stowe than on a road trip in a 15-passenger van with Greenvans. Our safe and spacious vans provide the perfect mode of transportation, at any time of year. Hit the road with the people you love and create unforgettable memories discovering Vermont’s scenic landscapes, adorable villages, and outdoor adventures. 

Whether you’re a couple celebrating a momentous occasion, parents with children who love an adventure, or a group of rowdy friends looking for good beer and great hikes, Stowe is the ultimate New England getaway.


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