As a somewhat avid skier, it’s become tradition over the past several winters to visit Vermont to hit the slopes. If you’re an East Coaster and skier, it’s the premier destination for the best trails and terrain. Yet, it never occurred to me until recently to visit the Green Mountain State during the time of year when it’s just that – green. This August, I was lucky enough to get invited to Stoweflake Mountain Resort and Spa to experience the city of Stowe when it’s not covered by a wintery blanket of snow. From the wonderful accommodations to the endless amount of physical and outdoor activities, Vermont in the summer is the perfect weekend getaway.
Where to stay:
Stoweflake Mountain Resort and Spa is a family owned and operated resort in the heart of Stowe. Originally founded by Beatrice and Stuart Baraw in 1963, Stoweflake has grown from a modest Inn into a premier 4-diamond luxury resort. It was under the direction of Chuck Baraw, Beatrice and Stu’s son, that the family property has also become known as America’s spa destinations. The resort has anything and everything you can possibly need – a fabulous spa, an outdoor and indoor pool, state-the-art gym and racquetball court, 9-hole golf course, bike rentals, on site restaurants and the most friendly and professional staff you’ll ever meet. The rooms are extremely charming and best of all, the resort is pet-friendly. My French Bulldog, Louie, had the time of his life playing frisbee on the vast property before my husband and I set out to dinner at the resort’s pub, Charlie B’s.
Stoweflake is located right in the middle of Stowe’s Recreation Path, a 5.3-mile trail that’s ideal for jogging, biking or a leisurely walk. One direction takes you into the main part of town, and the other takes you through breathtaking views of the natural wonders of Vermont – luscious greenery, cornfields that seem to go on forever, crystal clear creeks and more. My husband and I decided to bike the path one day and found ourselves stopping on several occasions just to take it all in. When you live in a big, metropolitan city, moments like these completely recharge the soul. *Insider tip: if you find yourself in Stowe on Sunday, you MUST check out the Stowe Farmers’ Market located conveniently across the street from the Stoweflake Resort, in the middle of the Recreation Path entrance at 108 Mountain Rd, Stowe, VT 05672. Wonderful food, friendly people and lots of maple products to try!
Where to relax:
If you love to spa like me, then you’ll definitely want to check out Stoweflake’s award winning spa. I’ve visited, what seems like a hundred spas over the years, and The Spa at Stoweflake is definitely one of the more impressive facilities I’ve gotten the luxury of experiencing. I wanted to try something different, so I went with an Ayurvedic Massage. Ayurveda is the ancient Indian science of life and wellness. The massage involved different types of oils used on my scalp all the way down to my feet. It was definitely an enlightening and unique experience!
My favorite part of the spa was the AQUA SOLARIUM. A rock cave pathway leads you to a water therapy solarium featuring Bingham Hydrotherapy Waterfalls and Hungarian Mineral Soaking Pool. The Bingham Hydrotherapy Waterfalls is a 12-foot rock formation cascading waterfall inspired by the area’s famous Bingham Falls. Sitting in there is an invigorating therapeutic hydro massage experience, while the Hungarian Mineral Soaking Pool is a relaxing European-style mineral soaking pool which features mineral salts from Hungary. After soaking for about an hour in both pools, I had never felt more relaxed and renewed.
Where to find adventure:
A ten-minute drive from Stoweflake will take you to an almost hidden street entrance to Bingham Falls, one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen. We parked our car on the side of the Route 108/Mountain Road (parking is available in two paved pull offs on either side of the road) and made the 15-minute hike down hill. Once at the bottom, you will witness one of the most gorgeous natural waterfalls with crystal clear water perfect for swimming. Make sure to bring your swimsuit and camera for some amazing photos ops!
Other things to do, see and eat!
Kayak, paddleboard or picnic at the Waterbury Reservoir. Located inside Waterbury Center State Park, make sure to see the Umiak Outfitters team who will get you suited up with all your water sport equipment needs. We spent two hours out on the water – by far one of my favorite parts of the trip. Absolutely stunning mountain views from the water!
Make a pit stop at the Cold Hollow Cider Mill and get the fresh baked apple cider donuts while they’re still hot. Also, make sure to pick up a quart of Vermont’s famous maple syrup.
Love ice cream? Then you’ll definitely want to visit the most famous tourist site in Stowe – Ben & Jerry’s Factory. Take a tour of where the magic all began and learn how Ben and Jerry got their start. Or, just head there for a double scoop of your favorite B+J flavor.