A Vermont Winter Vacation Your Family Will Love
Tips for getting outside and enjoying the snowy days of winter.
Plan a Vermont winter vacation and get outside! As Vermonters, we know it can be tempting to hibernate during the colder months, but that’s not nearly as much fun as getting out and enjoying this beautiful time of year.
Not sure how to start (or convince the kids)? Read on for our favorite tried and true tips to getting out and enjoying a winter vacation in Vermont!
1. Start Small
Planning one or two outdoor activities in Vermont during the winter is plenty! Especially if you’ve got small children, don’t expect to spend the entire day outside when temperatures are low and the snow is flying.
Make a plan to get out for a small adventure and see where the day takes you. We find that just getting out the door is the biggest hurdle, so you may find that the one hour of time you planned turns into more – consider that a bonus rather than a goal!
2. Treat Yourself!
There’s a reason that there is such a thing as Après Ski – after outdoor winter exercise it feels good to relax and treat yourself!
This doesn’t necessarily mean eating and drinking in front of a roaring fire (although that is also a great choice). Stowe offers a lot of opportunities to find a little reward for your efforts – whether that is shopping in some of our fabulous local establishments, booking a spa treatment, bowling a few lanes, or sitting down to a great meal, there is something for everyone.
Now that you’ve got the formula for creating a fun winter vacation the following are our own favorite things to do to get out and enjoy and then relax and enjoy…
Trapp Family Lodge – A perennial favorite, Trapp Family Lodge encompasses 2500 acres of beautiful Vermont woods and pastures. Outdoor options are plentiful and include snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, nature walks, and carriage rides. For a little extra exercise, you can venture to Slayton Pasture Cabin, an off-the-grid cabin hidden in the woods that serves hot food and drinks to skiers and hikers.
Stowe Mountain Resort – Perhaps the most famous destination of the area is Stowe Mountain Resort. Many skiers and riders plan their vacations around the mountain for good reason. It offers premier skiing and riding on two great mountains. We love that there is something for everyone here, from beginner to expert, making it a great place for first-timers, experts, and everyone in between.
Sleigh Rides – A totally unique experience and the perfect way to soak up the beauty of Vermont in winter is to take a sleigh ride. Local company Gentle Giants offers sleigh and carriage rides behind their beautiful horses while you stay warm under a heated blanket!
A Winter Walk – “In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks.” – John Muir.
One of the simplest, and sometimes most rewarding, ways to get out in the winter is just to bundle up and go for a walk! Stowe provides the perfect place to do this with our Stowe Recreation Path. The 5.3 mile paved trail meanders through Stowe, offering mountain views and crossing over rivers and streams. Access to the path is right across the street from our door so guests can easily hop on and enjoy!
There are no motorized vehicles allowed on the path, so little ones can run ahead and explore. This is a great low-key activity for some downtime that still gets you out the door. The path also connects with local eateries so you can take a break along the way or make the restaurant your destination!
Fat Bike Tours – Fat bikes are relatively new to the outdoor scene and increasingly growing in popularity. Fat bikes employ super-wide tires, making it possible to bike through the snow without losing traction. Experiencing Stowe’s snowy trails on a winter day is a really fun and unique experience! You can rent fat bikes and explore on your own or try a tour with a local guide.
Snowshoe Tours – Snowshoeing has such a great, easy pace and is one of our favorite ways to get outside in winter. Great for beginners or experienced trekkers, young and old can enjoy snowshoeing and you can make it as leisurely or vigorous as you choose! Umiak Outdoor Outfitters rents snowshoes and also leads Moonlight Cabin Tours. We’ll let their description speak for itself:
“Our professional staff will instruct you on using snowshoes, then lead you to a hidden sugarhouse in the woods by the light of the moon or a headlamp. There, you will enjoy a toasty fire, Cabot cheese, crackers and hot, mulled Cold Hollow apple cider. Bring friends and a bottle of wine, if you’d like, for a memory to last a lifetime.”
Below are some recommendations for treating yourself and warming up after all of that fresh air!
Eat, drink, and be merry – If you like food, Stowe, VT has got you covered. Explore and enjoy the many restaurants in the area. If you’re staying at our hotel, you can enjoy the full menu at the Eatery at Stowe Bowl – or even have it delivered to your room! Other favorites include Idletyme Brewing Company, Piecasso Pizzeria & Lounge, and Sushi Yoshi.
If craft brews are how you treat yourself, good news: There are several breweries within five minutes of our front door!
Spa Day! Book a whole day or stop by for a massage or a facial and really feel like you are on vacation. Stowe has several spas to choose from including Stowe Mountain Lodge and Stoweflake Mountain Resort and Spa. There is even a kids’ spa with mini-treatments designed just for younger ones at the Stowe Mountain Lodge so everyone can get in on the action.
Entertainment – After some downtime and a little relaxation you can plan for a fun evening. Strike up some friendly competition at Stowe Bowl while sipping a signature cocktail and enjoying the comfortable couches. Or, grab some popcorn and settle in for a movie at Stowe Cinema.
Don’t hibernate this winter. Plan your vacation to Stowe and you will understand why this is one of Vermont’s best seasons!
If you have questions about planning a winter vacation in Stowe, or want to learn more about our amenities, please give us a call. Our friendly local staff will be able to answer your questions and help you craft a great getaway!