"The hills are alive with the sound of music."

We all remember the famous song from the story of the von Trapp family that settled in Stowe, Vermont, a town that reminded them of their native Austria.

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Today, those hills are alive with great skiing, great restaurants, cool shops, breweries and trendy distilleries, great hiking and scenery, and perhaps the friendliest town we’ve ever visited in decades of travel writing. We couldn’t have been more pleased with our choice of lodging, Stoweflake resort.

As we pulled up Stoweflake looked like a quaint inn. What a surprise awaited us. Stoweflake has 120 upscale guest rooms and suites, family-friendly townhouses, state-of-the-art conference facilities, two venues for dining, 50,000 square feet of spa (rated one of the 14 best in the country by Elle Magazine, with a great waterfall feature) and sits on 60 acres of pristine landscaped wonder.  Despite the size, which provides a host of nice amenities, you still get that intimate feel.  

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Fireplaces were everywhere, both wood burning and gas, for booth warmth and ambience. Other amenities include both indoor and outdoor pools and hot tubs. The heated outdoor pool is open year round providing the temperature is at least in two digits.

Charlie B’s offers both fine dining and pub options  and is not to be missed – whether you are seeking a foodie experience from their world class chef, or an after ski pub experience.

Stay on site and enjoy snowshoeing cross country skiing, golf, or interesting events like ice carvings and dog sled rides . . . or easily walk to other restaurants and shops in town. A shuttle bus can take you from the property to any of the ski slopes, the town center or variety of places.  Not sure what to do? Their concierge is FANTASTIC, listening intently on your wishes and offering perfect options to make your stay optimal.

The most striking aspect of Stowe is a tie between the friendly people everywhere and the breathtaking scenery . . . and yes, it too reminds us of our trip to Austria. Majestic mountains and tons of skiing as well as snowmobiling through the state parks offer excellent wither options. If warmer weather, enjoy the recreational paved hiking path with several miles with conventional footbridges, and covered bridges, that goes right into town as it meanders along a stream.

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Stowe is a foodie destination and ranks the highest among all ski towns including toney venues such as Vail. In addition to sumptuous offerings of farm to table, locally sourced foods in tasty and interesting varieties, breweries and distilleries abound. Don’t miss the Green Mountain Organic Vodka distillery where you can learn about how it’s made and enjoy sampling some of the finest vodkas we’ve ever had. Of course no visit to Vermont is complete without a maple sugaring experience. Make sure you stop in one of the many local sugar shacks and learn how the products are made and enjoy some samples.

Getting there is a snap. Many discount airlines fly into the nearby Burlington (BVT) airport, an absolute joy of an airport.  From there, you have two options; rent a car (recommended if you want to get off the main road into some of the unspoiled countryside), or arrange a ride (Uber and Lyft are both available) for the roughly half hour away, easy bucolic drive.  Don’t forget to visit RecreationNews.com and see our full photo and video library covering this trip.

For more information, visit www.stoweflake.com or call 802-253-7355.

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