Located in the heart of Vermont’s Green Mountains, Stowe has long been known as the “ski capital of the East.” Yankee Magazine even named it the “best winter town” in New England. High praise, indeed.
But Stowe’s got more than just winter cred. It’s a prime romantic destination, too. Outdoor adventure, exquisite cuisine, unmatched spa options—you name it. So, whether it’s date night, date weekend, or even date week, you won’t be disappointed by what you and your loved one discover. Read on for our list of ten great reasons to make Stowe your next romantic getaway.
Written By Ian Aldridge
Dinner for Two at Flannel
In a state where local flavor is savored, Flannel ups the game with Vermont-fresh ingredients, seasonal aspirations, and world-class wines. Think of it as a friendly bistro with an open kitchen. Local cheese plates give way to divine entrees like duck breast with local honey carrot puree, braised beef cheek, and sesame-crusted tuna. Finish off the evening with a bottle of champagne and dessert (hello, maple crème brûlée) by the restaurant’s outdoor fire pit.
Couples Massage at Topnotch Resort & Spa
With so many treatments to choose from, including the locally inspired Maple Sugar Body Smoothie, you’ll find no shortage of ways to let it all go at Topnotch Resort. But true relaxation for two comes in the form of its couples massage. Here, partners can enjoy side-by-side 65-minute treatments, finished off by a sparkling beverage by the fireplace. For something truly special go the “deluxe” route. The itinerary: Mugs of hot tea, foot massages, full body treatments, and a well-deserved drink. Cheers!
Sweets with Your Sweetie at Laughing Moon Chocolates
This beloved confectionary is a bucket-list destination for any serious chocoholic. Sea salted caramels, turtles, butter-creams, and truffles are just a few of the sweet options found at this family owned shop. If you’re up for it, take advantage of the free chocolate dipping demonstrations, held daily at 2 p.m., or sign up for one of its chocolate making workshops so you can make your Valentine a personalized creation.
Team Up for Tennis
Say, “I love you” and crank that serve up to the next level with some doubles play and instruction at Topnotch Resort. Consistently voted one of the top tennis resorts in the East, Topnotch packs a dedication to the sport that reigns supreme. Players of all types can find their game at the resort’s world-class courts, under the tutelage of Topnotch’s world-class coaches. Aces!
Lovin’ Spoonfuls at Ben & Jerry’s
Waterbury is just ten miles south of Stowe and if you miss out on a visit to the Ben & Jerry’s headquarters you’re, well, missing out. Over the course of a fascinating 30-minute tour, you’ll get the inside scoop on the company’s rich history and how it makes its famous ice cream. Don’t leave without a visit through the maker’s “Flavor Graveyard,” where you can pay your respects to those no-longer-with-us-flavors of yesteryear. You’ll always be in our hearts, “Wavy Gravy.”
Get Your Covered Bridge Selfie
This being Vermont it’s almost criminal if you leave the state without stepping foot inside at least one covered bridge. And there are few more picturesque than Gold Brook, otherwise known as Stowe Hollow Bridge or Emily’s Bridge. This small wooden span was originally built in 1844 and is the only surviving 19th century covered bridge in town. It has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1974. Focus, smile, and share. Photo: Madison Messer
Two Wheel it To Town
Ditch the car and rent a pair of bikes at Mountain Ops, just down the hill from Topnotch Resort. Then, head to town via the Stowe Recreation Path, scenic and paved 5.3-mile trail, which stretches from the resort into the heart of Stowe Village. Enjoy breathtaking mountain and water views as you criss-cross the West Branch of Little River, before peddling into town to explore more than 70 shops, including The Boutique, Tangerine & Olive, and Stowe Wine & Cheese. Check out the region’s art scene at galleries like Robert Paul, Stowe Craft, and Northwood. Up your outdoor look at Shaw’s General Store and marvel at the antiques at Chalet Life, whose inventory is packed with prime finds from France and Belgium.
Hit the Trails
Stowe’s skiing lineage stretches back to 1912, when Swedish families moved to town and introduced the sport to the region. A generation later, a rope tow was assembled on Mount Mansfield and the rest is, you know, history. Today, skiing and snowboarding couples descend on Stowe throughout the winter. But wait! There’s more! Sunrise Mountain Guides offers expert guided backcountry, ice climbing and mountaineering trips. Learn the craft of dog sledding with Peace Pups, Umiak Outdoor Outfitters, or Eden Mountain Dog Sledding. When the warm weather hits, tamer excursions to popular swimming holes and scenic waterfalls such as Moss Glen Falls and Bingham Falls, also await. Photo: Bomber Ski
Over the River and Through the Woods
Not that you really need an excuse to cuddle, but this scenic winter traipse from Gentle Giants will be sure to bring you and your partner closer. Led by a team of Percheron and Belgian draft horses, you’ll journey through a covered bridge, along wooded trails and beside a picturesque brook. Warm blankets provided. Equally romantic carriage rides are also offered in the summer. All trips can be booked through Topnotch Resort.
Drinks (Or More) for Two
When it’s time to come inside, you and your partner will be delighted to find that Stowe boasts some of the finest adult beverage makers in the country. There’s the Alchemist (home to the world famous Heady Topper), and neighboring Idletyme Brewing, which is housed in a former blacksmith’s shop. And because this is apple country don’t skip Stowe Cider, a family-run business that uses only Vermont apples to make its award wining hard ciders. The maple infused Berry Merrill is highly recommended.