Although exciting getaways to tropical destinations are always fun, you can never go wrong with a quick weekend escape to somewhere that you can drive to from home, just to getaway… a staycation.
From the Boston area in winter, whether you are a skier or not, a weekend trip to Stowe is the perfect retreat for a group of friends, couples or families. From delicious restaurants and bars, fabulous boutique shopping, and exciting local attractions to world-class skiing, snowshoeing and horse-drawn sleigh rides; Stowe is the place to be. You can choose from charming Inns to luxury resorts with options from standard guest rooms to multi-bedroom, and fully equipped town homes. This unique New England town offers a different getaway experience for each person or group experiencing it.
Plan your staycation to Stowe with this sample itinerary to get you started or check out Stowe’s website for more ideas to add your own flair:
9:00am: Pack the car and head up early for the scenic drive to Vermont.
12:00pm: Once you get off the highway in Waterbury, stop at the Cabot Annex to sample 20 flavors of Cabot cheeses, sip on 6 varietals of wine with a tasting from Snow Farm Vineyard and mull over a selection of hundreds of Lake Champlain chocolates. Pick up a bit of cheese, wine and chocolate to bring to your hotel for the weekend.
3:00pm: Check-in at your hotel and spend the afternoon getting settled, relaxing in front of the fireplace or enjoying the hotels amenities and dining options for lunch. Some of my favorite Stowe hotels include Topnotch Resort & Spa offering magnificent luxury accommodations including guest rooms, suites and resort homes, unsurpassed service at every turn and fabulous amenities including a heated outdoor pool that can be used in the dead of winter. Stowe Mountain Resort is the luxury resort at the base of Mount Mansfield, winner of a number of accolades. Try the Trapp Family Lodge for a bit of history from the famous family featured in the “Sound of Music,” breathtaking mountain views and a wide array of activity options. The Green Mountain Inn with a variety of accommodation types in an ideal downtown location close to shops and restaurants, featuring classic elegance and modern amenities.
6:30pm: Head out on the town and indulge in one of the multitude of dining options found throughout Stowe for dinner tonight, from casual to fine dining, Hibachi to burgers. Browse the options here.
8:00pm: Schedule a sleigh ride for after dinner. Bundle up to stay warm, sit back and enjoy the scenery. There are a few different companies/hotels in Stowe that offer sleigh rides even to guests not staying at the hotel.
9:00am: Skiing at Mount Mansfield. All of the lifts are open by 9:00am so this is the perfect time to get there. Enjoy the views from around the mountain as you hit the slopes on a large selection of trails ranging from beginner to experienced. Take a break in the lodge for a fantastic lunch in the Great Room at Spruce Camp Base Lodge (this is not your typical ski lodge food). Many hotels offer complimentary shuttles to/from the mountain and drop you off right at the base so that you don’t have to worry about parking and lugging your gear from the car.
3:00pm: Back at your hotel, relax after a tiring day of skiing. Take advantage of the hotel’s spa and hot tubs to rest your muscles or just stay in your room for some R&R while napping, reading a book or watching TV.
6:00pm: Take advantage of one of your hotel’s dining establishments for dinner or stay in and cook in comfortable if you chose a resort home for your accommodations.
9:00am: Sleep in, take your time packing up and get ready for checkout.
11:00am: Checkout of your hotel and head back through town towards home. Stop at a couple of the local shops along Stowe Mountain Road for art, jewelry, crafts, specialty foods, locally produced goods, clothes and more. Pick up some cider donuts and fresh warm apple cider at Cold Hollow Cider Mill for breakfast on the ride home.
4:00pm: Arrive back home and get ready for the work week ahead as you daydream of your next staycation…