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A Holiday Visit to Stowe, Vermont

The Green Mountain town of Stowe, Vermont, is a two-for-one winter destination. Known as the “ski capital of the East” thanks to Mount Mansfield, the state’s highest peak, Stowe also boasts a classic early-19th-century New England village that’s perfect for strolling, shopping, dining, and (of course) photo-snapping. At the invitation of Field Guide, Stowe’s newest resort lodge, I was lucky enough to squeeze in a recent holiday-season overnight that let me enjoy a taste of this charming mountain town during one of the most magical times of the year.

EXPLORING DOWNTOWN STOWE

Historic downtown Stowe is postcard-perfect (you’ll find it on our list of the 10 Best Winter Towns in New England), with plenty to see, do, eat, and drink. I had only a few hours to stroll and enjoy all it had to offer, so I did my best!

Here’s a quick look:

Scenes from downtown Stowe - a Vermont vacation favorite.

Scenes from downtown Stowe — a Vermont vacation favorite.

Aimee Tucker

The Stowe Community Church has to be one of the most photographed churches in New England.

The iconic 1863 Stowe Community Church has to be one of the most photographed churches in New England.

Aimee Tucker

A festive entrance for sure.

A festive entrance!

Aimee Tucker

Stowe

“Helping Vermonters survive in style since 1895” is the motto at Shaw’s General Store. Inside, you’ll find jackets, boots, sweaters, scarves, gloves, hats, and an entire wall of socks.

Aimee Tucker

Holiday cheer in downtown Stowe!

Holiday cheer in downtown Stowe!

Aimee Tucker

Rocking chairs at the Green Mountain Inn on Main Street.

Rocking chairs at the Green Mountain Inn on Main Street.

Aimee Tucker

A pair of festive trees outside the Stowe Theater Guild.

A pair of festive trees outside the Stowe Theatre Guild.

Aimee Tucker

The Old Depot Building is home to multiple businesses today, including a cafe, bookstore, and country store.

The Old Depot building is home to several businesses today, including Café on Main, Bear Pond Books (featuring a truly impressive Vermont selection), and the Stowe Mercantile country store.

Aimee Tucker

Mercantile

Located in the lower level of the Old Depot, Stowe Mercantile is a quintessential old-fashioned New England country store, offering souvenirs, clothing, gifts, seasonal items, housewares, candy, food gifts, toys, gift baskets — everything, really.

Aimee Tucker

The Country Store on Main.

The Country Store on Main is a fun stop for gifts, housewares, and general browsing.

Aimee Tucker

The Stowe Visitor Center

The Stowe Visitor Center has ALL of your Stowe vacation needs covered.

Aimee Tucker

Items for sale on the front porch of Chalet.

Uber-stylish items for sale at Chalet Life.

Aimee Tucker

Laughing Moon

Laughing Moon Chocolates has not only multiple glass cases brimming with tempting sweets but also a viewing area where you can watch the goodies being made. On the day of my visit, they were making buttercream-filled chocolates.

Aimee Tucker

A delicious dark chocolate sea salt caramel from Laughing Moon.

Giving in to temptation, I succumbed to one, solitary (delicious) dark chocolate sea salt caramel.

Aimee Tucker

The Stowe Public House

The Stowe Public House is a great spot for those in search of highly rated and local beers, wines, and ciders — both for sale and for quaffing at the on-site bar. They sell snacks and gifts, too.

Aimee Tucker

The Vermont Ski and Snowboard Museum

Located right downtown, the Vermont Ski and Snowboard Museum (open Wednesday through Sunday) offers a look at winter-sports history.

Aimee Tucker

It being the first weekend in December, I passed many cars and trucks with Christmas trees in transit.

It being the first weekend in December, I passed many cars and trucks with Christmas trees on board. This is a sight that never fails to bring a smile to my face.

Aimee Tucker

FIELD GUIDE

Our digs for the night, Field Guide by Lark Hotels, was the main reason we were in Stowe. I’ve long been a personal fan of the colorful, curated collection of Lark’s boutique hotels, and I couldn’t resist the invitation to check out Lark’s first foray into Vermont. Most recently the Ye Olde England Inn, the hotel (built more than a century ago) was completely renovated and had its grand reopening as Field Guide in the fall of 2015.

Perched high on Mountain Road, just minutes from anything and everything Stowe has to offer (including the famous alpine skiing at Stowe Mountain Resort, a mere 15-minute drive north), Field Guide didn’t disappoint. As with so many other Lark properties, the creative mind of Boston-based interior designer Rachel Reider was on display here in full force — from the silver tree-stump end tables and birch log “walls” in the lobby to the mounted papier-mâché deer heads and whimsical pattered wallpaper. Pops of softness, wood, mossy green, and burnt orange were everywhere. This is a stylish, fun, and relaxed hotel, ideal for folks wanting a bit more than a B&B experience but less than a traditional resort.

Field Guide

The cozy, rambling Field Guide boutique hotel in Stowe, Vermont, offers 30 rooms (including many suites) plus on-site dining.

Aimee Tucker

Lobby

Decorated for the holiday season, the Field Guide lobby was even more comfy and cozy, complete with a twinkling wooden Christmas tree.

Aimee Tucker

Our suite for the evening had all of our winter needs covered. Fireplace? Check. Soaker tub? Check. Birds in the bedroom? Check.

Like all Lark hotels, the decor in our room was colorful.

In our suite, we found even more bright colors, fun prints, and wood elements. I absolutely loved the whimsical bird wallpaper in the bedroom.

Aimee Tucker

No animals were harmed in the creation of this wall decor.

No animals were harmed in the creation of this wall decor.

Aimee Tucker

For dinner that evening, we headed to the inn’s on-site restaurant. At the time it was Picnic Social, helmed by chef Justin Perdue, but a new concept is currently in the works, so stay tuned! The colorful dining space features a large indoor seating area and bar, plus an outdoor dining deck and seasonal fire pit.

Holiday Visit to Stowe, Vermont

One section of the dining room. When we settled into a booth on the left for dinner later that evening, the lights were pleasantly low (ideal for dining, but tough for photos!). On the other side of the wall you’ll find a full bar, a large fireplace, and more seating.

Aimee Tucker

The outdoor dining patio at Picnic Social, the on-sire restaurant at Field Guide.

The open outdoor dining deck is understandably popular in the summer months, and ceiling heat lamps help extend the season as the temperatures dip.

Aimee Tucker

A hand-delivered daily breakfast basket is included in the rate for each room. Ours offered coconut overnight oats, a cinnamon raisin scone, peanut butter oat muffin, honeydew, and fresh-squeezed orange juice. Picnic Social also serves a full brunch

A hand-delivered daily breakfast basket is included in the rate at Field Guide. Ours offered coconut overnight oats, a cinnamon raisin scone, a peanut butter oat cookie, honeydew cubes, and fresh-squeezed orange juice.

Aimee Tucker

VERMONT CRAFT BEER

Even if beer isn’t your favorite adult beverage, it’s likely you’ve heard of the thriving Vermont craft beer scene. My husband, a New England craft beer enthusiast, was keen to sample some of the brews that have been crowding his must-try list, plus an old favorite or two. And naturally, this being Stowe, the first old friend was a Heady Topper. Brewed by the Alchemist just down the road, it’s one of the most famous and sought-after beers in the world, and it goes great with meatball pizza at Piecasso (as did my lunch beverage, High & Dry, a deliciously dry cider from Stowe Cider made from 100 percent locally sourced apples).

Note: The Alchemist has a brewery and visitors center in Stowe, but it’s open only Tuesday through Saturday. Our visit was Sunday to Monday, so we weren’t able to check it out. Next time! 

A meatball pizza was the perfect complement to an ice-cold Heady Topper.

A meatball pizza at Piecasso was the perfect complement to the esteemed Heady Topper.

Aimee Tucker

The mini-fridge in our room at Field Guide kept a few cans of Heady Topper cold during our stay.

The Alchemist advises you drink Heady Topper from the can, but sometimes you just need to get a look at what you’re enjoying! The mini-fridge in our room at Field Guide was the perfect amenity to encourage relaxed, responsible sampling.

Aimee Tucker

Along with Heady Topper, we also managed to find and sample the following “hoppy, hazy IPA’s with a heavy citrus aroma” (my husband’s description) during our brief Vermont visit:

At the Bench.

A pint of Grassroots Brewing Legitimacy IPA from Hill Farmstead Brewery. This brew isn’t sold in stores. You have to visit the brewery in Greensboro Bend or find a bar with it on tap, which we did at the Bench, located just across the street from Field Guide. Both come highly recommended.

Aimee Tucker

All in all, our holiday visit to Stowe turned out to be a mighty pleasant way to spend an overnight. By the time we woke up on Monday morning, there was even several fresh inches of snow on the ground, giving us yet another angle of this quintessential Green Mountain town to appreciate and admire — even if it did force us back on the road sooner than we’d hoped.

Good morning, snowy Stowe!

Good morning, snowy Stowe!

Aimee Tucker

But not before a quick stop at PK Coffee for a latte to go!

Our final stop? PK Coffee for a to-go latte.

Our final stop? PK Coffee for a to-go latte.

Aimee Tucker

Stay beautiful, Stowe. We hope to see you again soon!

HOLIDAY VISIT TO STOWE, VERMONT | FEATURED SPOTS

Bear Pond Books. 38 S. Main St. 802-253-8236; stowebooks.com
The Bench. 492 Mountain Road. 802-253-5100; benchvt.com
Field Guide/Picnic Social
. 433 Mountain Road. 802-253-8088; fieldguidestowe.com
Laughing Moon Chocolates. 78 S. Main St. 802-253-9591; laughingmoonchocolates.com
Piecasso. 1899 Mountain Road. 802-253-4411; piecasso.com
PK Coffee. 1880 Mountain Road. 802-760-6151; pkcoffee.com
Shaw’s General Store. 54 Main St. 802-253-4040; shawsgeneralstore.com
Stowe Mercantile. 38 S. Main St. 866-454-3482; stowemercantile.com
Vermont Ski and Snowboard Museum. One S. Main St. 802-253-9911; vtssm.com

Have you ever enjoyed a holiday visit to Stowe, Vermont? Let us know your favorite spots!

My thanks to Stowe, Vermont, for a beautiful visit, and to Field Guide for hosting our stay! This post was first published in 2016 and has been updated. 

The post A Holiday Visit to Stowe, Vermont appeared first on New England Today.



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