Traveling to Stowe, VT

Published Date Author: , February 27th, 2014

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By Robert Saldarini for Diversity Rules Magazine
Appeared in January 2014 Issue

Even those with a passion for travel may pause to plan a regional trip in winter. The northeast winters can offer hideous airport and highway conditions. A weekend may be spent sleeping on a dirty carpet at LaGuardia or stuck for hours burning gas on the Thruway. Still, before you pull a movie from your DVD collection as a weekend experience, why not get away by train? With all due respect to the absolutely wonderful resorts in New York State, think about taking a trip to Vermont.

If a winter outdoor activity is a short-list item, within the beauty of Stowe, activities ranging from snowboarding to dog-sledding makes a day spectacular. Nonetheless, if you are more ‘cozy by the fire’ by day, Stowe, VT generates many exciting gatherings to keep you well entertained at night.

Consider the Amtrak train ride to Stowe as a part of your getaway by focusing on the journey. The train allows you to sit back, walk around, and socialize with your travel companions. Seats are comfortable, you are not strapped in, you may use the restroom at any time, there is no boarding by rows, and most inviting, no one is pawing through your stuff. Some routes even provide free WiFi if unwiring is not an appealing option; although, I find Amtrak’s wireless to be sketchy at best even on the Acela.

There are two train stations that service the Stowe area, i.e., Essex Junction and Saint Albans. From the station you are going to need transportation to your final destination. I highly recommend discussing your Vermont traveling arrangements with a lodging reservation specialist. Transition smoothly since being left at a train station miles from where you want to be is exasperating. Yet, a distance from Stowe may offer lodging availability that can easily cost justify renting a car.

Stowe is home to Mt. Mansfield that rises 4,395 feet. Mansfield makes its fame as being Vermont’s “high point.” The town is picturesque from its legendarily haunted Emily’s Covered Bridge (Gold Brook Road) to the Stowe Community Church’s (Main Street) gleaming steeple. Downtown Stowe is quaint, encouraging people to visit the 70 unique shops in its New England Village and along Stowe Mountain Road.

If you are a Sound of Music aficionado, make your way to Trapp Family Lodge (Trapp Hill Road). When alive, Maria, would actually sit among her guests and share stories of the real experience. Dinner in the Dining Room provides a more formal environment and can be the center of a romantic or special occasion. Should you be visiting the Resort by day, grab lunch or coffee at the DeliBakery. If you are a cross-country skier or enjoy snowshoeing, time your day so a three-mile trek gets you to Slayton Pasture Cabin for lunch. The Cabin offers a perfect winter day meal of hearty soup and a sandwich.

Since Stowe is a desired ski community there are many places to stay. Most hotels and inns are friendly; for example, the Timberholm Inn (Cottage Club Road), Stone Hill Inn (Houston Farm Road), and the Brass Lantern Inn B&B (Maple Street) have great relationships with the LGBT community. If you prefer to stay at a gay-owned and operated establishment, reach out to Michael and Cory who run the Arbor Inn (Mountain Road). The guys speak five-languages providing an added welcoming experience. The bed-and-breakfast is attractive, clean and well maintained. The hosts received the 2013 Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor making this the third year in a row. Rates range from approximately $110 to $150 a night.

Beyond the beauty, hospitality and activities of Stowe, the region does not offer a dynamic nightlife. This low-key mountain area has no exclusive GLBT bars or clubs; therefore, if exciting nightlife is in your plan make sure to book your trip during the days of Rendezvous when the ‘party is brought to the town.’ Stay warm and have fun.

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