Updated: Aug 5, 2022
Stowe is brilliant in the late summer and early fall. We’re sharing our top insider tips to enjoy this stunning region of Vermont all summer and into September.
Our Vermont-based contributors share our top Stowe mountain activities, hikes, mountain biking trails, evening concerts, craft breweries and spots for outdoor dining. Where should you stay in Stowe? We’ve compiled a list of our favorite hotels in the region and highlighted where you can get VIP perks thanks to our travel agency partner, Fora.
1) Summer Mountain Activities at Mount Mansfield
Stowe Mountain Resort provides great opportunities to play in the shadow of Vermont’s highest peak during the warmer months. Whether it is on the climbing wall at the Adventure Center, a scenic gondola ride (complete with lunch at the Cliff House restaurant), or a trip up the Auto Toll Road to the summit ridge of Mount Mansfield, there’s plenty to do for the whole group.
Epic Pass holders for the 2022-23 season have summer Gondola access at Stowe. Day passes can be purchased online in advance or at the window. Learn more about summer activities at Stowe here.
2) Local Hiking Trails for All Ability Levels
From left to right: (1) Mount Mansfield Chin looking South (2) Moss Glen Falls (3) Mount Mansfield Chin via the Long Trail
Hiking is one of the easiest ways to enjoy the pleasures of Vermont’s Green Mountains. The Stowe area is blanketed with a well-marked network of trails from scrambles up the Chin of Mount Mansfield to the short family-friendly path that leads to the Moss Glen Waterfall. There are trails and paths for all abilities, so pick the route that suits your day.
Best Family Itineraries: Check out these enjoyable walks fit for the whole family. Most are short, manageable journeys (under 1-2 miles) that explore the area’s beautiful mountain landscape Wiessner Woods, Mill Trail, Sunset Rock, Moss Glen Falls, Bingham Falls, Sterling Falls Gorge
Best Experienced Itineraries: Sterling Pond Trail (1 mile out and back), Stowe Pinnacle (3.3 miles out and back), Hunger Mountain Trail (1.9 miles out and back), Elmore Mountain Loop (4.4 mile loop), Mount Mansfield Chin via the Long Trail (2.4 miles summit out and back), Haselton Trail (1.4 miles out and back), Hellbrook Trail (a steep 1 mile out and back)
3) Mountain Biking
Mountain Biking has become wildly popular in recent years, and Stowe's scene is no exception. With options for all abilities, you're guaranteed to find a fun and challenging way to explore the area throughout the winter and well into the beautiful fall months.
4) Evening Concerts
Summer evenings in the valley come alive with concerts. Outdoor concert series have been expanding in the Stowe area in recent years as a mid-week treat for locals and visitors alike. These events provide a great opportunity to take in the local Vermont music scene and excuse to visit during the (slightly) quieter mid-week days.
Music and Concerts: The Trapp Family Lodge Concert Meadow for the Music in the Meadow series features Symphony to Jazz concerts. For popular national acts, Spruce Peak hosts concerts on summer Thursdays through the Spruce Peak Summer Concert Series. Catch popular regional musicians and a bite to eat at the Stowe Country Club Concert & Cookout Series on Tuesdays.
For music fans, check out downtown Burlington VT for bigger national acts and popular music venues like Higher Ground and The Green at Shelburne Museum. Click here for Burlington area shows.
5) Craft Breweries
From left to right: (1) Lost Nation Brewery (2) The Alchemist (3) Beer sampler at Idletyme Brewery (featured below in the dining section)
Vermont is home to many proud, successful and popular small businesses that work tirelessly to provide quality goods and services. The craft breweries of Northern Vermont are no different. Visit one of the many breweries that dot the Northern Vermont landscape for a fun, communal afternoon of brews, food and activities, all while taking in the view. Remember to pick up a few four-packs to take with you. Eager friends back home may want to give these world class beers a try. A few of our favorites include:
Visit The Alchemist beer garden on summer Thursday - Sunday afternoons for yard games, fun, and hanging out with some of the best beers in the country. People come from near and far to enjoy the beer here. Curbside pickup is also available 7 days a week.
For a full brewhouse experience, Von Trapp Brewing offers a lunch and dinner menu in their beer hall or outdoor garden. Stop by for a tasting, snack, or European-inspired meal.
Up the road in Morrisville, Lost Nation Brewing is a popular spot for beer lovers looking for a diverse offering of beers and lunch. Lost Nation brews unique and tasty beers from IPAs and Pilsners to thirst quenching Goses and Session Ales.
In recent years Stowe Cider has grown into a destination right on Mountain Road. Once occupying a small warehouse space, Stowe Cider has taken over the full building with a large taproom serving creative ciders, a fun outdoor space, games, concerts and yes, even a few guest beers.
If you don’t mind an hour scenic drive, the legendary Hill Farmstead Brewery is a treat for any beer lover. Open Wednesday- Saturdays in the summer, It is well worth the journey north to try top-rated and rare beers from a farm with a view. Be sure to stop by Willy’s Store in Greensboro to pick up some Jasper Hill Farm cheese (made right down the street) to go with the beer.
Dining in Stowe
Where should you eat in Stowe? The short answer is likely ‘you can’t miss’ due to the number of creative culinary gems that focus on fresh, local ingredients. From elevated bar food to high-end seasonal cuisine, you can easily turn your next trip to Stowe into a food-focused vacation. During the warmer months many of Stowe’s best restaurants and bars bring the party outside so all can enjoy the beautiful weather and surroundings. Take a peek at our Après Ski Guide for our favorite restaurants in the area that are just as fun and enjoyable in the summer. Also, here are some of our favorite spots to grab a bite when the weather’s great and you want to dine outside.
Where Should You Stay in Stowe?
The Stowe area has plenty of accommodation options close to the action, whether you are looking for a large resort experience or a sleek boutique hotel retreat.
The Lodge at Spruce Peak is the perfect basecamp for a long weekend (or week) of adventuring around Mount Mansfield with multiple restaurants, a spa, stunning Bob Cupp designed golf course, and family-friendly resort amenities. Dining offerings include multiple restaurants and special culinary events including a guest chef dinner series. Don't miss the week-long A Taste of New England celebration in late August. The Lodge at Spruce Peak is a unique, full resort experience with easy access to Stowe Mountain Resort.
$100 resort/hotel credit
Breakfast for two
Upgrade & extended check-in/out, based upon availability
Edson Hill offers an ideal boutique hotel experience in a quiet, bucolic corner of town. Enjoy designer appointed rooms (some with wood burning fireplaces) and a wonderful restaurant on premises. Don’t miss the snug cozy downstairs tavern at the end of a day for a nightcap.
Topnotch Resort features a luxurious spa, fine dining and activities from tennis to horseback riding all from its 120 acre resort perched above Mountain Road. The resort is situated between Stowe Mountain Resort and town amenities, placing it in the perfect location to explore all the Stowe area has to offer.
Trapp Family Lodge gives its guests the chance to experience an expansive Austrian-inspired resort owned and operated by the von Trapp Family. The European-style accommodations and old-world comforts feel natural on this 2,500 acre property. Enjoy mountain biking, hiking, tennis, a well appointed fitness center, restaurants and even a brewery all without leaving the grounds.