Stowe, VT, is a quaint, small village in the heart of the Green Mountains. It is surrounded by three towering peaks from Vermont’s famous Green Mountain range, Mansfield, Powwow, and Sprague Peak. The village is charming, historic, and has all that you may desire in vacationing—from peaceful, breath-taking views to exhilarating activities.
Regardless of why you’re here, Stowe is a great place to bring the family or enjoy a couples’ getaway.
You can easily spend a week here and you’re only 20 minutes from nearby Burlington (to take advantage of the shopping) and 45 minutes from Montpelier (to go to all those Ben & Jerry’s Factory Tours that your kids have been begging for). And don’t forget about Cabot Creamery!
While in Stowe don’t miss out on activities that will help immerse yourself with the city (hurry while they’re hot!):
- The 10 Best Things To Do In Stowe VT
- The Stowe ZipTour
- Fall Foliage Scenic Boat Charters
- Trapp Family Lodge
- Ride In A Hot Air Balloon
- Hiking The Long Trail
- Gentle Giants Sleigh and Carriage Rides
- West Branch Gallery and Sculpture Garden
- Bingham Falls
- Stowe Golf Park
- Piecasso Pizzeria and Lounge
- Which of these best things to do in Stowe VT do you most want to try? Let us know in the comments section below!
The 10 Best Things To Do In Stowe VT
Stowe Mountain Resort // (435) 336-8800
Want to feel like a bird soaring through the sky? Headed to Stowe, VT and don’t have the time or physical ability to hike up Mount Mansfield (Vermont’s highest peak and home to Stowe Mountain Resort)?
A slew of transportation options are available to you, whether it’s via gondola, chairlift, or zip line.
As you may have guessed from the name, zip-lining, or flying down a mountain side on a zipline, is an exhilarating experience. The ZipTour at Stowe, Vermont provides riders with amazing views of the Green Mountains throughout the experience, and is certainly one of the most breathtaking, and fun, things to do in Stowe.
Riding tandem through an old-growth forest, you and your partner will move at approximately 40 mph over 3,200 feet, crossing five suspension bridges and four zip lines between towers.
The ride up the mountain provides a 360-degree view of the Green Mountains. After the gondola stops, there are several hiking trails that will lead you to the top and a restaurant. Mt. Mansfield is home to many small waterfalls that flow into the valleys below. This makes for great pictures that you will surely enjoy, cappturing great memories of Stowe.!
2703 Waterbury Rd // (802) 253-7346
Enjoy the dazzling display of fall colors while enjoying the scenic views that both the reservoir and its mountains provide. The Fall Foliage Scenic Boat Charters gives you a relaxing experience in the fall foliage. The scenery is memorable, and the foliage tour is something you must do in the fall in Stowe.
The beautiful Waterbury Reservoir is 860 acres, surrounded by the Adirondack Mountains, and offers a host of recreational activities to include fishing and boating all year round.
The tour from Burlington into the beautiful Winooski River and past the Mount Snow Ski Resort is filled with scenic views of a vibrant fall setting in Stowe. After your picnic lunch, you’ll weave through the Bolton Valley Reservoir, giving you an amazing view of Vermont’s fall foliage in full splendor.
This scenic boat ride is great for individuals or couples, since a modified pontoon boat can accommodate up to 16 people. The boat trip also includes snacks and beverages that can be enjoyed on board. The Fall Foliage Scenic Boat charters have a lot to offer while you are wondering what to do in Stowe.
Experience the fall colors, wildlife, and natural scenery of New England from a unique perspective. Get a great workout, burn off some steam, enjoy good food and company aboard a 19′ Century Classic Algonquin fishing boat. Marvel at the beautiful views of southern Vermont’s rolling hills, valleys, and mountains as you speed across the waters of the historic Waterbury Reservoir.
This fall foliage trip gives you the opportunity to experience nature with fresh eyes in one of the most amazing times of the year. It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for something to do in Stowe in the fall, definitely not to be missed!
700 Trapp Hill Road // (800) 826-7000
The Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, Vermont is full of Austrian charm. And it’s also quite memorable. Whether you are a fan of The Sound of Music or not, you can’t help but be charmed by the lodge’s internationally known story. This charming hotel features an on-site beer hall and plenty of activities for outdoor lovers.
The Trapp Family Lodge is a top destination in Vermont. If your family wants to escape to the mountains, this is the perfect spot on which to do so. The lodge was built in 1940 as an Inn for skiers, but it was purchased by the von Trapp family (whose story was told–and expanded upon–in the film The Sound of Music) shortly after its construction.
Today, this is an Austrian-inspired property that has gorgeous views overlooking Stowe. In addition, there are numerous activities available for guests. This includes winter skiing and winter fun, summer sports and hiking opportunities, complimentary bike rentals year-round, and water sports nearby at Lake Champlain.
At the Trapp Family Lodge, you can indulge your inner child! This is one of the primary opportunities Stowe, VT is know for, so don’t miss a look at the lodge during your visit.
1746 Mountain Rd // (800) 253-2232
If you’ve always had a desire to fly in a hot air balloon, but never mustered up the nerve to do so, you should take advantage of this opportunity, and go on an adventure in one of the most scenic aerial locations in the state.
Thinking of taking a flight in a hot air balloon over Stowe, Vermont? The views are breathtaking, and the unique Stowe region experiences are worth the trip. Stoweflake Resort offers it all with hot air balloon flights over Thomas Land and beyond on Sunrise Flights.
Not only does the hot air balloon ride provide amazing views of the area, but it also gives tourists and locals alike an activity to do together in a setting that showcases the natural beauty of Vermont. It’s a perfectly unique way to see the sights in Stowe.
If you’ve never been on a hot air balloon ride, it’s more than just an aerial view. It truly is an experience. Fly over the Stowe Mountain Resort on a Stoweflake Hot Air Balloon and see firsthand the beauty of winter in Vermont.
Located at Stoweflake Mountain Resort, The Stowe Vermont Ride in a Hot Air Balloon tour offers a unique flight over the scenic landscape of the Green Mountains with spectacular views of the Northeast Kingdom’s most treasured landscapes, from farmland to mountain ridges. Young or old, this is a must-do activity in Stowe.
4711 Waterbury-Stowe Road // (802) 244-7037
The Long Trail is a 165-mile wilderness hiking path that traverses Vermont’s Green Mountains, equivalent to a hiking distance from Boston to Montreal. It was the vision of James P. Taylor and later became the inspiration for the Appalachian Trail.
Organized by the Green Mountain Club and part of Vermont’s park system with day use fields, camping sites, and shelters along the way, it is maintained by about 800 volunteers from multiple trail organizations.
Wild, rugged and scenic, the Long Trail traverses 155 miles of the Green Mountains of Vermont. It’s the state’s oldest long-distance hiking trail, begun in 1910 to blaze a wilderness footpath for city-bound urbanites.
Home to wildlife such as moose, bobcat, and black bear, it also follows scenic mountain peaks, cliffs, and vistas.
The Long Trail has evolved over time, but its mission remains: to provide outdoor recreation opportunities in a natural setting. It provides a remarkable visionary perspective of the area, and is something you must try while in Stowe.
4000 Mountain Rd // (802) 253-2216
There is nothing more scenic than a horse-drawn Victorian sleigh and carriage riding through the snow-covered pear orchards in the Mad River Valley of Vermont.
There is no better way to spend an afternoon or evening in December than by riding in a carriage with your special someone, on a crisp winter’s day, bundled under blankets against the cold, and taking in the breathtaking beauty of snow-covered farmlands and quaint villages.
Stowe Vermont Gentle Giants, the oldest and largest carriage company in the country, is conveniently located 1½ miles from Stowe Mountain Resort.
Gentle Giants offer a simple, safe carriage ride unlike any other in the entire Stowe area. Open air, spacious carriages for up to two passengers are pulled by a pair of powerful but gentle Belgian and Percheron horses.
Explore the charming, historic village of Stowe, Vermont in a horse-drawn carriage or sleigh. Perfect for celebrations, family outings, romantic getaways, and photo opportunities, you will enjoy the majestic beauty of your surroundings while sitting back and relaxing in their authentic carriages or sleighs. It many not be a one-horse open sleigh, but it is for sure something to do in the winter in Stowe.
17 Town Farm Lane // (802) 253-8943
No trip to Vermont is complete without a visit to the Stowe Vermont West Branch Gallery and Sculpture Garden. Home to some of the best world-class contemporary art in a peaceful regional setting, the gallery provides an intimate setting to let art work inspire.
The 440-piece strong West Branch Gallery and Sculpture Garden collection is shown year round. The high ceilings, excellent lighting, and the nooks and crannies of the gallery offer a meandering exploration of the eclectic art treasures that the gallery houses.
Outdoors, among rolling lawns, trees, and a river, is a sculpture garden with stone and metal creations. Sculptures are by invitation only, to prove that they are finished and available for purchase. Surrounding the large outdoor space is a second-story deck from where you can enjoy your lunch or snack with panoramic views of the Adirondack Mountains.
Whether you’ve come for the gallery or the sculpture garden, you’ll find yourself tapping your toes to the tempo of a beautiful Vermont day. You’ll want to stay longer than you planned, so come early and bring your camera. You’ll want to take home something to remember all this from your Stowe vacation time.
6524-6892 Mountain Rd // 802-253-7221
Bingham Falls is a popular swimming hole in Stowe, Vermont. The 72-acre property is part of Mount Mansfield State Park and over one million visitors enjoy the waterfalls every year. There are lots of trails to explore on foot or snowshoe and some people even choose to climb Bingham Falls!
There are several different waterfalls, deep natural pools for swimming, and hiking trails as well as picnic areas along the falls that lead to an overlook.
Bingham Falls is a popular hiking destination due to its torrents of water cascading nearly 100 feet over rocky terrain. The park offers more than 17 miles of trails and is known for its deep, natural pools, which are perfect for swimming.
Visitors often picnic at the base of the falls or climb the adjacent boulders to learn about the geological phenomenon that formed them. Make a visit to Bingham Falls one of your afternoon activities in Stowe.
1613 Mountain Road // (802) 253-7159
On the other side of Montpelier lies the Stowe Golf Park, a miniature golf course that has been created as an actual golf course in miniature.
The design reminds you of miniature golf, with winding courses and obstacles ready to wreak havoc on your putts. However, while there are windmills, water hazards and one of those giant forts that kids love to climb on, the Stowe Golf Park has been designed by true golf pros.
These obstacles are perfectly placed for actual play and have been tested personally by the owner of the park himself.
The 4,300-square-foot layout is made up of four par-3 holes and one par-5 hole. Each hole offers a different way to play from the tee area. The more agile or daring players can roll their balls down slopes and through mazes of carefully sculpted shrubs. Others may opt to put their way through small tunnel-like obstacles or over easy rolling greens.
If you are looking for family entertainment in Stowe, this is a fun place to try.
1899 Mountain Rd // (802) 253-4411
Two things most of us can agree on: The Vermonters sure do love a good slice of pizza, and the choices of where to find that slice in Stowe have dwindled in recent years. Piecasso Pizzeria and Lounge fills in the gap between the humble pie shops dotting the downtown streets and the ever-changing roster of restaurants that dominate the mountain resort town’s renowned dining scene.
Piecasso Pizzeria and Lounge has been delivering delicious, hand-tossed gourmet pizzas to the surrounding communities of Stowe for more than 16 years.
Although Piecasso was one of Stowe’s original restaurants, it had been virtually unchanged in the previous 20 years, with a dated interior, and has become somewhat of an out-of-place shuttered eyesore within the city. But after many years of sitting vacant, the building is now being brought back to life by local restaurateur and owner Eduardo Rovetto.
To find out what are other best food restaurants in Stowe VT check out The Best Seven Restaurants in Stowe article!
Stowe is a small, independent town in Vermont that’s situated at the base of the Green Mountains. The community has managed to retain its character and charm, even as it has grown into the most desirable resort area in New England.
Today, Stowe is a bustling, year-round destination with an urban village — complete with restaurants, hotels, shops, galleries, and entertainment — as well as natural areas where horses roam the mountainside freely.
But be sure, there’s never a shortage of things to do in Stowe!
Which of these best things to do in Stowe VT do you most want to try? Let us know in the comments section below!
Travel writer and owner of the blog. My work has been featured on Fodors, Eater.com, International Living, and Great Escape Publishing, among many others. My story? Nearly six years ago, I left my job at an Oklahoma City law firm and embarked on a journey around the world. At the time, I thought I would only be gone for 6 months, but the more I traveled, the longer my bucket list became. Flashpacker describes how I travel. Rather than traveling as the normal world wise backpacker and staying in hostel dorms, I prefer a more comfortable experience, and typically stay in private rooms, take Ubers instead of taxis, and now use a suitcase instead of a backpack. Foodie, on the other hand, describes one of the key reasons why I travel. I love to pick a central “base camp” and then explore the surrounding area, really immersing myself in the culture and interacting with the people, and enjoying and exploring the food of an area is an essential part of this experience.