After a few hours of walking, it was time for lunch and cider at Stowe Cider (Stowecider.com). Built inside a massive warehouse, Stowe Cider makes their own hard and nonalcoholic cider, as well as their own cold brew coffee and some delicious food options. They also host a rotating roster of local talent to provide entertainment. During our visit, a girl with an acoustic guitar performed unplugged versions of various hits from the 1990s and 2000s. To me, this totally fit the vibe of Stowe.
Most of our group ordered the cider flight, which included many of Stowe Cider’s most popular drinks, like their Shandy, which combines cider and lemonade; the Starberry Fields, which blends cider with strawberries and mint; and their famous High & Dry, made with nothing but apples, no added sugar or anything. Just cider the way it used to be made. As with everything we had in Stowe, it was delicious, and I couldn’t help but wonder how Stowe manages to attract such a talented crowd of restaurateurs. I then looked out the window at the rolling, tree-covered mountains and blue sky. That probably has a lot to do with it.
After lunch, we headed into “Downtown Stowe,” which is more like a small Main Street. Most people have probably seen photos of Stowe’s famous white chapel. That’s located downtown, along with a selection of excellent coffee shops, inns, and stores. One of my favorites was Stowe Mercantile (Stowemercantile.com), which sells all things Stowe and Vermont. There, you can buy bottles of local maple syrup, maple candies, maples cookies, and even maple-infused tea! There’s also goodies galore, like handmade fudge, pancake mixes, smoked cheese, and retro style lollipops and chocolates.
If you need a drink to go along with those cookies, simply walk two blocks down to Black Cap Coffee and Beer (blackcapvermont.com). This local favorite hasthree locations in Vermont, and they serve what many consider to be the best coffee in the state. Those looking to indulge will swoon over their creamy and decadent Nutella latte. For purists, order one of their freshly-brewed coffees, or try their cold brew, which is surprisingly smooth and floral.
To make the most of our last dinner in Stowe, we headed to Doc Ponds (Docponds.com). It’s a classic bar and grill that’s really popular with the ski and snowboarding crowd. They’re known for their burgers, but I fell in love with their sides and small plates, including Marinated Beets topped with Whipped Goat Cheese, Roasted Local Carrots with Homemade Dill Sauce, and Braised Local Greens with Chili, Garlic, and Lime. I’m happy to report that they were all delicious. Everyone else’s burgers looked great, but have you ever had a roasted beet with horseradish and goat cheese? Or sautéed greens with a hint of spice, sweetness, and tang? I regret nothing!
We arrived back at Talta around 10 P.M. I had enough time to shower and pack for my early flight the next morning before hopping into bed, turning off the lights, and simply enjoying the quiet stillness of Stowe at night. Living in New York City, it’s always amazing to visit small towns and outdoor destinations where the stars light up the night skies and the near- silent symphony of nature lulls you to sleep.