Stowe is one of New England's oldest and most exclusive resorts. This historic town was established over 200 years ago and was one of the first ski resorts in America. There is as much to attract non-skiers as skiers to Stowe and, as a result, the town is hugely popular all year round. Those visiting for the snow should know that Mount Mansfield is six miles from Stowe and, although there are frequent daytime bus services, a car is recommended. On the slopes, the three sectors of Mount Mansfield have a good range of terrain, offering a fun and challenging ski break for all abilities. Stowe's ski school and childcare facilities are superb and, combined with a low-key après ski atmosphere, help make this a first class family ski resort.
Stowe is an excellent place for beginners and novices to develop their skills. The ski and snowboarding school here, rated among the top ten in the US, offers a huge range of specialist courses and clinics. Fast learners will move on from the Spruce Peak school area to the selection of gentle cruising and free riding on greens and blues. Budding snowboarders will be able to take advantage of the specialised equipment and learning techniques at the Burton Method Centre.
Over half of the pistes on Mount Mansfield are aimed at intermediate skiers and snowboarders. The beautiful views from the long, wide Perry Merrill run are worth a particular mention, but there is a wonderful progression from simple blues up to the more testing black diamond runs. Freestyle skiers and snowboarders will want to head to the half pipe on Stowe's North Slope.
Stowe is most famous for the exhilarating 'Front Four' double black diamond pistes - Goat, Starr, National and Lift Line - on Mount Mansfield. Together, these four runs offer the moguls, powder and steeps that demanding skiers and snowboarders crave. The Jungle terrain park on Lower Standard is the toughest in Stowe, with demanding rail slides and barrels.
Families will find the facilities in Stowe of a very high standard. The non-skiing nursery provides care for children aged 6 weeks to 6 years. The Spruce Peak ski and snowboard school offers full-day tuition for children aged between 4 and 12 years old. And the Holiday Adventure Camp offers specialist skill clinics for advanced skiers and snowboarders aged between 11 and 14 years.
The historic town of Stowe has a relaxed atmosphere. Après ski tends to be on the quiet side and is spread along the Mountain Road and Route 108. Eating out in and around Stowe is excellent - there is a great choice of world cuisine to be found. Places like Norma's Restaurant combine beautiful, panoramic views with hearty local dishes. Authentic Austrian food is served from the Trapp Family Lodge, whilst Red Basil offers Thai food and a sushi bar. Livelier après ski can be found at the Matterhorn Bar on the Mountain Road outside Stowe. This vibrant venue is often busy, especially after the ski lifts have closed, and features pool tables, a dance floor and a big screen TV. The Rusty Nail has plenty of live music, particularly blues, and The Shed is a friendly bar that brews its own beer. Stowe's après ski is less lively than the large European resorts but has a relaxed and friendly feel.