Stowe is one of New England's cutest towns, with dinky clapboard shops and restaurants, and a pretty white church. The slopes have something for all. The limited slopes of Mount Mansfield, Vermont's mainly wooded highest peak, are a 15-minute drive away. There's a good, free, day-time shuttle-bus service, but a car is useful. The slopes span two main sectors, Mansfield and Spruce Peak, linked by the Over Easy gondola at base level. There are few queues during the week. Snowmaking is extensive, with big investments recently. The main slopes are dominated by the famous Front Four - a row of double-black diamond runs, with genuine challenges for experts. But there is plenty of easier stuff, too. The nursery slopes at Spruce Peak are excellent, and there are splendid long green runs to progress to. There are six terrain parks, and the resort is popular with snowboarders. Children's facilities are excellent, too. There are a couple of decent eateries. The table-service Cliff House, at the top of the gondola, has impressed readers. There is a lot of lodging along the road between the town and the slopes but there is increasing amounts at the base of Spruce Peak - swanky Stowe Mountain Lodge and the new Club Residences. Elsewhere, the Green Mountain Inn is a reader favourite. There are restaurants of every kind in the town; the Spruce Camp Base Lodge, Whip in Green Mountain Inn ('always good') and Piecasso pizzeria are reader tips. Nightlife is muted, especially later on, but the Matterhorn is 'an institution not to be missed' and the Den at Mansfield base 'still rocks'. Stowe is a pleasant place to spend time off the slopes - at least if you like touristy shopping. There is a cinema, and snowmobiling and dog sledding too. Ben & Jerry's ice cream factory is just down the road.
Pros

Classic, cute Vermont town

Queue-free except at weekends

Great children's facilities

Cons

Slopes a bus ride from town

Slow chairlifts in main area

Lacks après-ski animation

Getting there

  • Boston airport: 3.5 hours
  • Burlington airport: 1 hours
  • Montreal airport: 2.5 hours

Contact Details

  • Tourist office: +1 (1) 800 253 4754

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