Rad Resort: Stowe, VT — The East Coast’s Big Mountain
There’s a reason why Stowe, VT is considered the “Ski capital of the East”. With 485 acres, the most high speed lifts on the East Coast and longer trail lengths than any other resort in New England, Stowe Mountain Resort is home to some of the finest world-class shredding in the area. Considered the local resort for the crew at Burton headquarters, based in Burlington about 40-minutes away, you’ll likely find founder Jake Burton slashing around on any given pow day. Burton employees get a pass as a perk and are encouraged to snowboard before work, making it easy since Stowe’s lifts start running at 7:30am.
Although the East Coast often gets a bad wrap with its colder weather and lack of comparable terrain to the west, Stowe is one place that delivers on everything from accommodations and restaurants, to parks and natural open runs, making it hard to beat. Stowe can keep up with west coast snow totals, with 333 inches annually, making for some fun hiking above and cruiser tree laps below. The trees bring an iconic East Coast flair and the views into the valley on a clear day are something surreal.
While there isn’t a major village right at the base, there are places to eat and relax spread out around the area including the four-star Stowe Mountain Lodge. The town of Stowe is nearby too, bustling with local shops, inn’s and eateries, complete with an east coast charm that’s unlike anywhere else. The open farm land and iconic churches that you pass while driving in make Stowe stand out from other places, but it’s the mountain and energy of the locals that keep visitors coming back.
Women’s Hardgoods Manager at Burton, Clarissa Finks, is one of those stoked locals, and is forced to ride Stowe and test out equipment often, fine-tuning Burton’s products; it’s part of her job. Clarissa fills us in on the best of the best in Stowe, so take it from her…
Best place to scare yourself: Anything above the lifts – Stowe has lots of hike-only access, but be careful and don’t venture out unless you know where you’re going or you’re with someone who does.
Best secret stash: I’d tell you, but then I’d have to kill you. Stowe peeps are very secretive about their stashes.
Best side-country hike: Right Right
Best people to ride with: The testing managers at Burton Snowboards – those guys ride Stowe all the time and know the best spots.
Best month to shred: March
Best hit run: Stock Run – it’s not the actual name of the trail, but that’s what everyone calls it.
Best pow run: Centerline to Hayride Woods.
Best live music: Matterhorn
Best bar: The Reservoir – this is actually in Waterbury, but it’s worth the drive. Great beers and fantastic food. The owner has a sweet 80′s limo that he bought for fun and if you can find him and sweet-talk him you may just be able to get him to give you a
ride back to your hotel in Stowe!
Best nightlife: Ale House
Best hotel: Stowe Mountain Lodge is baller – fantastic accommodations and the staff is super friendly and helpful.
Best hotel on a budget: Mountain Road Resort
Best hot tub/hot spring: The hot tub/pool area at Top Notch are all-time – they have this waterfall thingy that you can sit under to massage your back and it’s amazing!
Best breakfast: McCarthy’s Restaurant
Best grocery store: Technically it’s in Waterbury but it’s right on Route 100 on the way to Stowe – a little market called Sunflower Natural Foods. They have coffee for a donation, Kombucha on tap and tons of local goods available every day.
Best pizza: Piecasso
Best burger: The Blue Donkey
Best snowboard shop: Darkside
Where: 5781 Mountain Road Stowe, VT 05672. Located in north-central Vermont, Stowe is 40 minutes from Burlington airport and 20 minutes from Interstate 89
Base Elevation: 1,280 feet
Top of Highest Lift Served: 3,625 feet
Parks: 6 park options serve all levels
Snowfall: 333+ annual inches