- Overall Rating 5
- Family Friendly 5
- All Mtn. Terrain 5
- Terrain Park 2
- Nightlife 4
Pros: Varied terrain, lots of hidden glades, snow, apres
Recommended For: Single/Newlyweds, Family Friendly, Empty Nesters
Date Visited: Feb 1, 2012
I have skied Stowe around a dozen times, and I have no qualms about stating that Stowe is the best ski mountain in the East. There is good snow to complement both lots of terrain and terrain variety. There are classic New England groomers (see the all-natural Sterling on Spruce Peak), sick steeps (Starr, Nosedive), hair-raising trees (Goat), and hidden glades all over the mountain (explore Spruce to find these gems).
The lift system is one of the more advanced in the East, which keeps the sometimes long lifelines moving as fast as possible. But this can result in some pretty crowded trails (especially their groomers). Weekend powder days can get VERY crowded, so the lift system can help with traffic at the bottom of the mountain.
On-mountain eats are great. They have one of the nicer cafeteria-style eateries I've ever been to (East or West). The Cliff House near Mt. Mansfield's peak offers superb food, wine, and beer. And there are so many places in town or on Mountain Road (which connects the town to the ski area) to eat at, you'd have to be there for a month to cover them all. My personal favorite is Frida's, which has the best Mexican food I have ever eaten.
Which brings me to the town....classic New England village. Quaint, colonial, clean, and nice. Cool Inns, great bars, nice shops. Worth a day if you can spare leaving the slopes.
Area lodging, like the terrain, is plentiful and varied. There are budget places to stay as well as opulent 5-star lodging for people who can afford it.
And here's my only gripe about Stowe......it is very pricey. The on-mountain food (as I stated earlier) is unbelievably good. But you pay dearly for it. Single-day lift tickets were over $90 during the 11-12 season. That's by far the most in northern Vermont. Lodging is overall pricey, too, but if you look, you can find deals. We usually stay at the Golden Eagle near town.
If you go to Stowe, you will pay for it. But in my humble opinion, it is worth every cent. Stowe it the best overall ski area in the East, hands down.