Greg and I love going to Vermont since it’s the perfect outdoorsy getaway from New York City. And while we normally spend time in Killington where his house is, during our last visit we decided to do a day trip to Stowe to experience a new area of the state.
Growing up I was obsessed with The Sound of Music. I had an imaginary friend named Gretl, and I told my parents I was going to legally change my name to Fräulein Maria once I turned 18. I didn’t, of course, but I did go on The Sound of Music tour in Salzburg during college!
All this to say, it should come as no surprise that our first stop in Stowe was at the Trapp Family Lodge. This is where the Trapp family settled in the 1940s after touring the U.S. as the Trapp Family Singers. They began hosting their friends on the property in the 1950s, and soon afterward opened a formal lodge where they welcomed paying guests. And their doors are still open, so you can still stay at the Trapp Family Lodge when you visit Stowe.
I suppose I should have expected it, but I was pleasantly surprised at how Austrian the lodge architecture is.
And the Trapps aren’t just limited to a lodge. The 2500-acre property is huge, and includes cabins and sports activities and is basically the perfect place for summer camp, with the gorgeous mountains looming in the background.
Greg and I decided to eat in the Bierhall Restaurant, where he took one for the team and sampled many of the von Trapp brews.
For our starters we had the Lager Cheese Soup made with Helles lager and Cabot white cheddar.
And we ate the Grilled Bratwurst served with apple sauerkraut and house mustards.
For our main course, we had the Chicken Schnitzel with apple kraut, braised red cabbage, arugula, lingonberry vinaigrette and a von Trapp farm-fried egg.
And we ordered a massive side of Spätzle to share since it’s my favorite!
The food was really delicious, and it was a treat having authentic Austrian food in the middle of Vermont!
After lunch, we drove through Smugglers’ Notch, a mountain pass that separates Mount Mansfield from Spruce Peak and the Sterling Range. It was such a beautiful drive, and it will be even more stunning once the leaves begin to change.
Then we drove into the heart of Stowe, parking and walking through a quaint downtown area lined with historic homes and shops.
Then it was time to head back, but not before making some important stops along the way!
About 10 minutes south of Stowe is Cold Hollow Cider Mill, where you can find apple everything.
There are apple jellies…
And apple sauces…
And my favorite, fresh apple cider!
And of course the shop wouldn’t be complete without apple-cider donuts!
They were the second-best apple-cider donuts I’ve ever had!
Then you can cross the street to The Barn to taste more “adult” versions of apple cider!
When you’re done with that stop, continue down VT-100 south to the Cabot Farmers’ Store.
Here you can sample nearly every single Cabot cheese there is. We ate so much cheese – it was wonderful!
And then you can walk next door to the Smugglers’ Notch Distillery‘s tasting room.
Where you can sample various gins, vodkas, rums and bourbons.
And finally, if you continue down the road a little further, you can stop at the Ben & Jerry’s factory where you can go on a factory tour, or just buy ice cream in their shop.
It’s a cute idea, however on a Saturday it feels like everyone has the same idea. The line was so long, even winding outside the place, that Greg and I decided it wasn’t even worth it. After all, you can buy Ben & Jerry’s ice cream everywhere!
Besides our unsuccessful Ben & Jerry’s stop, it was a perfect day and I’m so glad I got to see more of Vermont!