While most visitors are familiar with Stowe for its world-class ski slopes and stunning mountain vistas, there are a number of lesser-known ways to experience the picturesque Vermont town when you fly with Tradewind Aviation from hubs in the Northeast.
Whether you prefer a long-standing, traditional festival or innovative new culinary establishments, plan to enjoy some of our favorite events and pursuits this winter—in between powdery ski runs, of course.
The Stowe Derby
In 1945, two expert skiers raced down Mt. Mansfield and into the village of Stowe in a personal competition. Today, the Stowe Derby is the oldest downhill and cross country ski race in North America, attracting hundreds of enthusiastic competitors to Vermont each winter. This season’s race, set for February 26, begins with 14 kilometers of downhill skiing followed by 6 kilometers on the flat Stowe Recreation Path and in the village. The total drop is 2,600 feet.
Competitors also have the option to undertake the 14-kilometer Fat Bike race or the Fat Meister, which combines the ski derby and the Fat Bike race and is only recommended for serious outdoorsmen. In any case, both competitors and viewers can enjoy a spectacular Stowe tradition.
Vermont Craft Beer
History meets present day at Idletyme Brewing Company, a European-inspired brewery housed in an 1830s building that has previously been home to a cider mill, a camp run by a local legend, and a classic Stowe restaurant. Today, Brewmaster Will Gilson crafts creative flavor profiles that are a combination of classic European brewing and Vermont hop culture. The result: renowned brews like the Idletyme Double IPA.
Along with an incredible selection of ales and lagers (try the English Brown Ale, Danube Blueberry Hefeweizen, and Munich-style Helles Brook Lager), Idletyme also serves some of the best comfort food in Stowe from the casual Pub Burger to Truffle Mac-N-Cheese and Maine Crab Cakes.
A Fresh Take on New England Cuisine
In the realm of acclaimed restaurants, Plate stands out in both incredible cuisine and architectural design. The Main Street eatery was featured in Spain’s Voyeur Design magazine and the Restaurant & Bar Design Awards for its contemporary take on a rustic space – the work of designer and interior architect Tania Kratt.
On the menu, guests will find a combination of local flavors and healthy California style in dishes like the Beef Tenderloin with apple bacon maple bourbon chutney and the Roasted Southwestern Cauliflower with jalapeno lime quinoa and roasted red pepper coulis. There are plenty of vegan and gluten-free options, and you can even reserve the Chef’s Counter for up to four people for an up-close-and-personal view of the kitchen during your dining experience.
The Stowe Winter Carnival
For more than 40 years, the Stowe Winter Carnival has highlighted reasons why locals and visitors alike love Stowe. With 20 plus activities and events, the annual, two-week gathering brings the community together for winter sports, ice carving competitions, a children’s carnival, music, the infamous Snowgolf and Snowvolleyball tournaments, rail jams, and more.
During this year’s festival, held January 14 – 28, the theme will be “StowOasis.” The impressive NICA sanctioned Ice Carving Competition will take place on January 21, and for the second year, the Broomball Tournament and Beer Garden will be returning on January 27.
Snowshoeing Stowe Pinnacle
Much of the region’s beauty is visible from the ski slopes, but there are some views that require snowshoes and a short trek. At 2,651 feet, the summit of Stowe Pinnacle affords sweeping panoramas of the country to the west and the surrounding snow-covered forest.
Pack some French onion soup from the village or a mug of hot cider and begin your journey at the Upper Hollow Road parking area. The moderate trail winds through an open meadow and the forest, climbing 1,520 feet to a rocky overlook. Along the way, you may see animal tracks in the snow, perhaps even a wild turkey, and at the peak, unforgettable views over the Stowe countryside.