The Happiest Place on Earth

A city untouched by time, Stowe offers great skiing, loads of activities, terrific restaurants and hotels, all without compromising its quaint New England small-town charm.

The Happiest Place on Earth

Member Rating 0 out of 5 by lizzers on June 9, 2006

Stowe Vermont is everything a New England ski village should be. They are a town of tradition—every year in January they have a winter carnival, featuring the world's coldest parade. They are untouched by modern civilization—you won't find a McDonalds in town, and even the Mobil Station looks kind of like a cozy ski cabin with gas pumps. It is quaint and welcoming and it boasts the essence of New England winter. Oh yeah, and the skiing's great too!

Mt. Mansfield offers some of the most challenging skiing in New England (try Goat if you're brave or crazy). Mansfield is for the intermediate or advanced skier, but Spruce Peak, Stowe's other mountain, offers some great runs for beginners and intermediates. If skiing's not your thing, there are plenty of other things to keep you busy, from dogsledding to snowshoeing, and loads of cross-country skiing trails if you fancy a good workout. There are also two terrific spas at the Top Notch Lodge and the Stoweflake if you need to pamper yourself.

The town itself offers some of my favorite restaurants, and just about every cuisine you can think of. There are so many great restaurants that it is sometimes overwhelming deciding what to eat.

Even in the off-season, Stowe is a great place to visit. There are a few great country clubs, and you can always hike or mountain bike on Mt. Mansfield. Autumn in Stowe is something else...with all the different colors on the mountain it is truly beautiful.

${QuickSuggestions} There are loads of great places to stay in Stowe, but I of course prefer the Top Notch Lodge (with its waterfall hot tub) and the Stoweflake. Pretty much anywhere you can stay is ok, and if you're diligent, you can always find affordable accommodations.

Ski your heart out during the day. There are many places to stop for lunch on the mountain, including a nice place at the top of the gondola. The best spot, however, is the Stowe-away at the Midway Lodge. It's usually super crowded, but it is worth the wait.

After last chair, the first stop is the Matterhorn bar. You'll see it on your way out of the mountain—it's the place with all the cars on your right. After that, there are quite a few restaurants to choose from. I highly suggest Gracie's for some good home-style food, but if you want something spicy, try Miguel's (Mexican), or Red Basil (the best Thai restaurant with the best chicken satay in the world). You also have to hit up the Shed Brewery Restaurant—good food and fresh brewed beer.

No matter what you do for dinner, try to save room for a Doggie Bag back at Gracies. It's definitely a treat to share and it is sinfully good. I won't bother describing it, just go try it.${BestWay} There are shuttles that go to the mountain frequently, but you can't beat the convenience of driving and being able to come and go to the mountain or town as you please. If you can't drive, the shuttle will get you where you need to go.

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