It's summertime. In other words, you need a vacation. Everyone else might be heading to the coast this weekend, but not you. You're going to Vermont. The antithesis to the frenetic Jersey Shore, Stowe, Vermont, is the perfect place to spend a long weekend. Here’s how.
Roll out of bed, step outside for a breath of fresh air and get ready to explore the beauty of Vermont. Start with a healthy breakfast at the Green Goddess Café or indulge at the Dutch Pancake Café with a stack of flapjacks. After all, you’re on vacation.
Work off the calories by hiking up Stowe Mountain to the summit. This is the highest point in the state of Vermont, and perhaps the best view. If you're not in the hiking mood, the mountain also offers gondola rides for $25 ($17 for children) with shorter, scenic trails at the top.
Stowe's Attraction Park at the base of Spruce Peak is great for kids. You can deplete their energy with bungee trampolines, a climbing wall, and an inflatable obstacle course. There's also a 2,300-foot alpine slide that will leave them smiling until they board the school bus on Monday. Tickets for individual activities and day passes are both available.
After some time on the mountain, cool off with a swim up Notchbrook Road Foster’s Swimming Hole awaits you on the Lamoille River, four miles from the resort. Here you can relax and appreciate your surroundings, unlike your friends trying to find an open space on the beach down in Jersey.
The Depot Street Malt Shop in downtown Stowe is the perfect place to stop for lunch on your return from the swim. They offer a variety of Classic 1950s American comfort food that satisfies all comers.
After lunch, hop in the car and shootup to Burlington, a 45-minute scenic drive to one of the “healthiest and happiest” cities in the country. Stop by the farmers market (Saturdays only, 8 a.m.–2 p.m.) in City Park. Over 60 local vendors come every week. Each has unique crafts, eats or produce that have made the event so successful since its start in 1980.
The Church Street Marketplace, adjacent to the farmers market, is lined with local shops and 26 outdoor cafes. There are also 20 separate street vendors accompanied by consistent street entertainment.
In the midst of your day, take a break and return to the wonderful nature Vermont has to offer. For an afternoon dip visit Lake Champlain’s North Beach. If you want something extreme, Oak Ledge Park and Red Rocks Park have some great cliffs for jumping.
After taking in a Vermont sunset, grab some grub in Burlington. Try American Flatbread and be sure to order a beer sampler. You can’t experience Vermont without a few local brews.
For something more upscale, try The Farmhouse Tap and Grill. They have an always-changing menu filled with local and organic options, many of which come from farms you passed on your way over.