Stowe Golf Park IS Golf in "miniature"! This is not your typical "putt-putt"! So much for for everyone of any age. Avoid the sand traps while putting on this beautiful landscaped course. Open at 10am and last rounds can start as late as 9:30pm! Very fun to play at night under the lights and it is more challenging to read the green at night vs. day light. lol
Fishing is a great way to get out and enjoy the scenery in Vermont.
Willy is the most patient guide you'll find anywhere. Here's what his web site says he offers:
"fishing guide with 15 years of experience. Year around guided trips for trout, smallmouth bass, northern pike, landlocked salmon, and pan fish. Offering fly fishing, spin fishing, and ice fishing adventures for all abilities."
We had a wonderful day on the water! Would like to try ice fishing in the winter.
The Long Trail is the oldest long-distance trail in the United States. The Long Trail follows the main ridge of the Green Mountains from the Massachusetts-Vermont line to the Canadian border as it crosses Vermont's highest peaks.
Take a ride up Route 108 from the town of Stowe toward Mt. Mansfield (summer, Fall, or spring, of course). Pass the ski resort and you will start climbing and it will look as though the mountain is going to swallow you. The weather may start to change; where it was nice in Stowe it might be snowing up there.
The road will wind, creating hairpin turns and your skin will crawl when you spot another vehicle coming toward you on what now resembles a foot path. You will pass large boulders that look as though they just tumbled down off the mountain. On your left you will see a small gravel parking lot. Stop, get out of the car, and walk around. Go into the woods and climb around on, over, and through the stunningly beautifel rock formations. Crane your neck and look above you, especially in the Fall when the leaves begin to change. Walk down the road in both directions and continue to look up and around you. It will become a place that you will not want to leave.
Drove through here many times,
once on a bicycle.
This photo is taken near the
entrance to the ski area.
Further along is a steep winding
road through a mountain pass
with big rock outcrops.
Good place to go in the fall.
Closed in the winter when
ice often gets on the road
in the notch
Ben & Jerry's factory is actually located in Waterbury, VT, but it's very near and on the way to Stowe and is the big non-skiing thing to do in the area. The factory is open seven days a week, but there is no ice cream production Saturday-Monday and on holidays. This is the factory where the little pint-sizes are made. The biggies are produced in another part of Vermont.
The 30-minute tour itself is relatively interesting - first you go upstairs and are shown a video giving the history of Ben & Jerry's (Neither Ben nor Jerry still own Ben & Jerry's as they sold the company to Unilever in 2000). Then you walk above the production floor (not in operation on the Sunday we were there) and down steps, past R&D areas where new flavors are experimented with and produced. Finally you're given free samples in small paper cups (if your group is small, you may get seconds!) and you're soon deposited back in the gift shop. Scoops are available from the windows outside.
The tour is $3 for adults, $2 for seniors, and free for the 12 and under set, and tour/ice cream/t-shirt packages are available.
Be sure to visit the Flavor Graveyard, at the far end of the upper parking lot, to see the memorials to some of your favorite B&J flavors.
By the way, free cone day at B&J's is April 25 this year (2006).
If you're in Stowe in the summer, as we were, the main attraction - skiiing - is of course not available.
A nice drive, though, is to go from Stowe to Jeffersonville through Smugglers Notch along Route 108. The road is closed in the winter. In the summer, though, it's like driving through a forest primeval, with towering trees, hanging fog and enormous boulders along this twisting, winding trail. There is a pull off to a trailhead where you can park and take pictures or just enjoy the surroundings.
This is a MUST! We had so much fun here. Its a quick tour through the factory to see how the famous (and delicious) ice cream is made from start to finish.
You get a glimpse of the machines and the dedicated staff which runs the machines. New flavors are made here and the tour actually gets a chance to try the experimental flavors and vote for their favorites. For just the freebies alone, its worth it.
On the day we went, it was free for the tour, I think there is normally a nominal cost. Ben & Jerry's certainly borrowed a page from Walt Disney and steered the end of the tour to filter out right into..you guessed it..a Ben & Jerry's Gift Shop. Its all ice cream themed items, the kids were going nuts! Of course, there was also an ice cream counter, I had a bit of my favorite Ben & Jerry's flavors...Phish Food & Cherry Garcia!
Outside was a fun festival with all kinds of games and trivia for all ages. We did the whole tour in less than an hour, it was pretty fun!
I recommend this tour for families because the kids will certainly enjoy it!
If you are in the area you have to go to the the Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream Factory. They make premium ice cream and are a very enviornmentally and socially conscious company. Of course a visit here may mess up your diet!
They give a cheap tour that is intersting and they give samples at the end of the tour. The grounds are also very nice and you can walk around and enjoy the scenery.
It starts with a 7-minute “moovie” shown in the Cow Over The Moon Theater. You’ll find out how two childhood friends, Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, turned a $5 correspondence course on ice cream making into a very successful business that shares its success with its employees and with the community, and has fun doing it! From there we take you to the mezzanine, where you’ll get a bird’s eye view of “Vermont’s Finest” in action and an explanation of the ice cream manufacturing process. Then it’s off to the FlavoRoom for delicious samples of the day!
After the tour, feel free to visit the scoop shop & gift shop. The scoop shop features 30-40 euphoric flavors, & the gift shop offers lots of cool stuff & gifts with a socially responsible mission. Many of these gifts are available through the on-line catalog too.
Ice cream factory tours are 30 minutes long. Sign-up is on a first-come, first-served basis. Tours tend to fill up quickly, so please plan accordingly! There is no ice cream production on weekends, holidays, & Company celebration days. On those days, the tour features a video of the ice cream production line in action and, of course, a sample of ice cream, frozen yogurt or sorbet.
Experience an exhilarating 2,300 foot ride down Spruce Peak on the Stowe Alpine Slide. Fun and excitement for all ages! Adult 1 ride tickets are $11, Junior (6-12 years) are $8. Five ride tickets are also available for $32 adult and $26 junior. Open 10 am - 5 pm daily June 14 through September 1 and weekends September 9 - October 19.
Take the easy way up in the famous Stowe gondola. Spectacular views await you near the peak of Vermont's highest mountain. From the Gondola, access hiking trails or stop for a "peak" lunch experience at the Cliff House Restaurant (when open). Gondola tickets are $12 for adults (round trip), $7 for juniors (ages 6-12), $10.50 for seniors, $8.50 for a one-way ride, and $47 for five ride tickets. Family Packs (2 adults & 2 juniors) are $31. The gondola is open 10 am - 5 pm daily, June 14 - October 19.
Head down to the Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream production factory just around the corner from downtown. It's great fun, and the tours include free ice cream samples. Outside, they sell every flavor of B&J's ice cream ever made. It's fun fun fun!
Visit the Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Factory and Museum
This is a great activity to do in the Stowe area. You can see how the ice cream is made, and even sample a few of the flavors. Can you say...Cherry Garcia, or Chunky Monkey...mmmmmm!
Take the gondola ride to the top of Mt. Mansfield.
No matter what the time of year it is this is a fun thing to do. The picture on the front of my Stowe page was taken from the top of Mt. Mansfield in the second week of October. You can see the gondola lift to the left. There is a great restaurant (The Cliff House Restaurant) at the top, which is inexpensive and has very good food. On the day we were up there is was snow profusely and was very foggy. When we finished lunch all of the sudden the skies opened up for a slip second revealing the town of Stowe and the autumn-colored valley below. Somehow I managed to get a snapshot. It was breathtaking!