We forged the trek cross country to Vermont this past weekend for a wedding and while I knew it would be pretty this time of year, I wasn’t fully aware of the beauty I was in store for! We took a red eye flight from LAX to JFK…then hopped on a 1+ hour flight to Burlington. I had scoped out a highly ranked breakfast spot for us in the heart of town for when we landed – Penny Cluse Café – with supposedly amazing egg and chorizo tacos with black beans and avocado and it did not disappoint. Their home fries and banana bread are also out of this world. Don’t be surprised if you find yourselves subject to a 30 minute to 1 hour wait for a table but you’ll appreciate that time to wander the adorable and bustling cafes and shops of Burlington’s main square!
Penny Cluse Café (Burlington, Vermont)
169 Cherry Street, Burlington, Vermont 05401
With bellies full, we embarked on the scenic hour drive up to Stowe. We arrived at our hotel and were in awe of the pristine and majestic beauty of the Stowe Mountain Lodge. The quintessential New England resort, you could definitely feel the beauty of the mountains and the charm of the surrounding town and can only imagine how beautiful the resort would be covered in snow. Located at the base of Mount Mansfield, the resort is the only ski-in/ski-out lodging in Stowe, boasts farm-to-table dining at their Solstice Restaurant and has a plethora of shopping options at The Shops at Stowe Mountain Lodge (including the Beanery coffee shop that just happens to have THE best breakfast sandwiches in town). Take the gondola up for skiing in the winter and for zip-lining and hiking in the summer!
Stowe Mountain Lodge (Stowe, Vermont)
5781 Mountain Rd, Stowe, Vermont 05672
We settled into our king suite with a fireplace, kitchenette and bathrobes then decided to tackle a Smugglers’ Notch hike that we had read about that ends at the beautiful Sterling Pond. We drove up to the Smugglers’ Notch Park visitor center and parked (well at least half of the car) at the base of the trail. The hike is about 2 miles on a well-maintained yet vertical trail…look for the 2” x 6” blue blazes to mark the trail. Make sure you reward your efforts with a refreshing dip in the pond!
If there’s one thing that’s a given in Vermont, it’s that they sure like their Heady Topper. This American Double IPA is packed with hops and while it’s not the strongest or bitter double IPA, you’ll get a hint of orange, tropical fruit, pink grapefruit, pine and spice hops in every sip. It is unfiltered and contains 8% ABV and because it’s sold only in limited production, it sells out within days or hours of being released. You’ll most likely see a silver can of Heady Topper being dranken at every restaurant table in Vermont…we even saw someone drinking it at 8 am with breakfast!
The Alchemist Brewery
35 Crossroad Rd, Waterbury, Vermont 05676
Wedding time! The ceremony and reception were held at the bride’s beautiful family home up in the mountains of Stowe. Escaping the forecasted thunderstorms, we had the perfect sunny weather for a beautiful romantic ceremony by the pond. The wedding was flawless and we danced the night away to music by the groom and friends…and of course Heady Topper galore!
You cannot leave Stowe without buying some maple syrup…and eating at one of THE best places to get a salad or sandwich. Ever. Green Goddess Cafe makes the most amazing “create your own” colossal salads served in huge wooden bowls with mouthwatering dressing (think maple balsalmic, jalapeno cilantro lime and their signature green goddess just to name a few). Their double peanut butter chocolate chunk cookie isn’t too bad either!
Green Goddess Café (Stowe, Vermont)
618 S Main Street #2, Stowe, Vermont 05672