He’s a die-hard mountaineer; you’re happier in spa slippers than hiking boots. It’s a good thing Stowe is an ideal place for pairs of all kinds to come together. Nestled among Vermont’s lush Green Mountains—including Mount Mansfield, a sports mecca—the village once known for its dairy farms is now capable of hosting the most luxurious fetes. Throughout the year, skiers, hikers, leaf-peepers, and plenty of fit-to-be-tied couples revel under its blue skies and towering backdrop.
The crème de la crème of retreats is the 139-room Stowe Mountain Lodge, which opened in 2008; many of its spacious, fireplaced rooms have sweeping views (802-253-3560, stowemountainlodge.com). The expansive spa, Mario Russo salon, outdoor pool, hot tubs, and lounges provide ample opportunities to reconnect with family and friends. Come ski season, the slopeside location also makes the lodge great for couples who schuss. More restrained—but no less charming—are the sprawling Stoweflake Mountain Resort & Spa (802-253-7355, stoweflake.com), The Lodge at Stowe Meadows (802-888-0002, stowemeadows.com), and The Green Mountain Inn (802-253-7301, greenmountaininn.com).
And then there are the unbeatable rehearsal dinner options. At star chef Eric Warnstedt’s Hen of the Wood in nearby Waterbury (802-244-7300, henofthewood.com), the changing menu spotlights local produce, artisan cheeses, and sustainable meats (think grass-fed rib-eye with fingerlings, tarragon aioli, and grilled wild leeks). Likewise, Solstice presents organic foods from small farms, e.g., pan roasted Misty Knoll Farms chicken and Grafton cheddar potato gratin, and a stupendous wine list (802-253-3560, stowemountainlodge.com).
Stowe is also full of diversions for wedding guests, from art galleries and craft shops to seasonal activities like winter sleigh rides, summer golf and tennis, spring sugarhouse tours, and colorful fall hikes. And, of course, there’s the nearby Ben and Jerry’s factory (802-882-1240, benjerry.com). Really, is there a sweeter way to thank your guests than with a slice of Cherry Garcia wedding cake?
– Donna Garlough