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Nestled at the foot of Vermont’s highest peak, Mount Mansfield, the picturesque village of Stowe welcomes over 850,000 tourists from all over the world each year. With great food and activities for the entire family of all ages, it is the perfect 4-season destination. 

But have no doubt, this is a ski town and they take their winter sports seriously. For 70 years, you will see several yellow buses headed for the mountain so school kids in the Stowe Friday Program can learn to ski or ride.  This small community has produced a slew of Olympic athletes including Billy Kidd. Needless to say, the resort’s ski instructors teach both adults and children at all levels how to progress safely and shred the mountain. The Stowked Teen Camp at the ski resort was my daughter’s favorite program where she enjoyed backcountry skiing and hitting black diamond trails with other teenagers.   But there is also cross-country skiing, tubing, and even ice skating all year round at Stowe Arena.

For those who prefer pampering, there are numerous spas including Stoweflake Mountain Resort, Topnotch Resort and the Spa at Spruce Peak. You can also find amazing yoga classes at, in addition to the fitness centers at various hotels.

During the summer and fall, families have fun exploring Stowe’s Recreation Path,  and the many hiking trails including  Pinnacle, a 3.7 mile steep hike that rewards you with 360 degree views of the surrounding mountains, breathtaking in autumn. Other hikes are Sunset Rock which provides an iconic view of Stowe’s main street and Sterling Pond, the highest alpine pond in Vermont. Its trailhead is a 9.7 mile beautiful drive from Stowe to Smugglers Notch on Rt. 108, with large boulders and hair bending twists. The trail is across the road from the parking lot and a moderate hike of one mile.

Stowe’s Fourth of July celebration and Hot Air Balloon Festival are family favorites during the summer. Fodors Travel recognized Stowe as having one of America’s best Independence Day celebrations with its traditional parade, fun activities and fireworks. Kids also love visiting the renowned Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory in Waterbury and Shaw’s General Store on Stowe’s Main Street.

And with Stowe’s numerous restaurants, you will have no trouble in accommodating everyone’s taste.  Some of my family’s favorites are the funky Piecasso on Mountain Road serving pizza, fresh salads and pasta (make sure you ask for the Silly Bread); the Whip Bar & Grill at the Green Mountain Inn serving more upscale American cuisine with homemade bread and pastries and of course, the Bench with a wonderful atmosphere for everyone.