One is a colorful college town nestled on the shores of Lake Champlain; the other a pretty mountain town tucked in the valley between Mount Mansfield and the state’s namesake Green Mountains. Fewer than 40 miles apart, Vermont’s Burlington and Stowe make the perfect winter escape for combining small-city finds and snowy adventure.
You can drive, take the train or fly to the area from New York City, and if you’re not driving, rent a car, take a taxi or catch a bus between them.
The state’s most populous city has a quirky small-town vibe, with coffee shops like Maglianero (47 Maple St., 802-861-3155, maglianero.com) showcasing a love of third-wave roasts. It’s also home to iconic snowboarding brand Burton (80 Industrial Pkwy., 802-660-3200, burton.com).
Burlington’s crowning gem is the pedestrian-friendly, open-air Church Street Marketplace, running for four blocks between Main and Pearl streets. This busy thoroughfare has a majority of locally owned businesses such as Crow Bookshop (14 Church St., 802-862-0848, crowbooks.com).
After a stroll, visit Lake Champlain Chocolates factory store (750 Pine St., 800-465-5909, lakechamplainchocolates.com) for tours and tastings of its signature sweets made with local ingredients, such as fresh cream and maple syrup.
Surrounded by Christmas tree farms and small breweries, Stowe is one of the East Coast’s top ski resorts for its lovely old-world feel, cozy restaurants and clapboard churches. Hit the exhilarating slopes of Mount Mansfield, soaring 4,395 feet, or unwind in the charming village.
According to legend, after touring the U.S., the Von Trapp Family Singers, who inspired “The Sound of Music,” settled in Stowe because it reminded them of the Austrian Alps. Warm up with tea and streusel at their mountain estate-turned-resort, Trapp Family Lodge (700 Trapp Hill Rd., 800-826-7000, trappfamily.com).
Vermont is filled with craft breweries. Check out cult fave Alchemist Brewery and Visitors Center (100 Cottage Club Rd., 802-882-8165, alchemistbeer.com).
WHERE TO STAY
Get the warmth of a B&B and service of a resort at family-run Stoweflake Mountain Resort & Spa (1746 Mountain Rd., Stowe, 800-253-2232, stoweflake.com), it’s near the Stowe Recreation Path and Idletyme Brewing Co. (1859 Mountain Rd., 802-253-4765, idletymebrewing.com).
On the way to Stowe
Fuel up on ice cream and doughnuts at these local legends between towns.
Ben & Jerry’s Factory: Take a tour of the Ben & Jerry’s Factory (tours $4/adults, $3 seniors, FREE ages 12 and under; 1281 Waterbury-Stowe Rd., Waterbury, 866-258-6877, benjerry.com). You can also pay your respects to retired flavors from the Ben & Jerry’s catalog at the adjacent Flavor Graveyard, where frozen legends include Wavy Gravy and Rainforest Crunch.
Cold Hollow Cider Mill: Pop in for delicious cider doughnuts at the ever-popular Cold Hollow Cider Mill (3600 Waterbury-Stowe Rd., Waterbury, 800-327-7537, coldhollow.com), where they churn out upward of 800 dozen per day. You can also see fresh apple cider being pressed near daily.