Jul 7, 2015

Visit Stoweflake Resort in Stowe

It has been years since John and I have been to Vermont so it was time to return.  We had never been to Stowe and always thought it was a solely a ski destination. That is not the case.  In fact, Chuck Baraw, the owner of Stoweflake Resort said that the 80% of his guests visit outside the winter season.  I can
understand that.  There is so much to see and do.  First of all the drive is much nicer when there is no snow and ice on the roads.  The 60-acre Stoweflake Resort is a destination in itself with a 30-room spa with a marvelous Aqua Solarium and a seven-circuit Zen Labyrinth, indoor and outdoor pools, a 9-hole golf course free to guests, tennis courts, squash/racquet ball court, and more – I am sure I missed something. 

On the way, via Route 100, we stopped at Ben & Jerry’s in Waterbury, just a few miles from Stowe. I love the Ben & Jerry story.  They took a five-dollar online ice cream making course from Penn State and turned it into a multi-million dollar business.  Part of their success is due to using only fair trade products and giving back to the community. I asked the
young lady directing traffic, “Do you get free ice cream.” The answer was, “Yes, three pints a day.” The place was busy but we only had to wait 20 minutes for the next tour.  It started with a video about the company and then a walk by the production floor.  The best part was the free ice cream at the end.  The taste treat of the day was Salted Caramel Blondie – vanilla ice cream with blond brownies and salted caramel swirl.  Oh! My! So delicious. They have a Wall of Honor. We were
surprised to learn that the long-time favorite Cherry Garcia is no longer the number one favorite flavor; it is now Half Baked: Chocolate & Vanilla Ice Creams with Fudge Brownies & Gobs of Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough. Before we left we walked up the hill behind the parking lot to the Flavor Grave Yard. Sugar Plum was the flavor that died out the fastest – sounds good - but even though based on the tombstone it lasted a year it actually only lasted a couple months, from just before Christmas to just after New Year’s. Some of the “dead” flavors sounded great like Tennessee Mud.

After we arrived at Stoweflake we had a light lunch in the resort’s casual restaurant, Charlie B’s Pub & Restaurant with a lovely alfresco deck.  I am not a real fan of sushi mainly because it is often too fishy but I loved their Spicy Duck Ninja Roll made with duckling leg comfit, rice, miso aioli, and rolled in nori paper. It was lightly coated in tempura batter. It was served with a surprisingly delicious seaweed salad and ginger.

After we settled in our luxurious room we drove into Stowe, a
classic 200-year old village in the shadow of Mt. Mansfield, Vermont’s highest peak. They have preserved its small village ambiance. We visited the museum of the Stowe Historic Society housed in old West Branch Schoolhouse. We picked up their free Historic Walking Tour of Stowe and wandered the Historic District. Also in the village is the Vermont Ski and Snowboard Museum – but it was closed while we were there.