Vermont is well known as a place to ski, but there’s lots more to see and try in the Green Mountain State before spring. Here are three places to go for a fun weekend away from the slopes, but not too far away from home:
The most populated city in Vermont, it’s an artsy urban oasis with a half-dozen colleges nearby and a thriving arts scene. To catch a live performance, head to Higher Ground (1214 Williston Rd.; 802-652-0777, highergroundmusic.com) to see notable musical acts like Lotus (Jan. 25), Big Thief (Jan. 31), Stephen Sanchez (Feb. 19) and Pepper (March 7).
Shopping can also be found within its Church Street Marketplace pedestrian mall (131 Church St.; 802-863-1648, churchstmarketplace.com, where visitors can peruse shops selling clothing, sweets, home décor and more.
Denizens and visitors alike can look for seasonal “wild ice” rinks that open to the public when the weather makes alfresco skating around the city possible. The city posts updates to its social media when outdoor park rinks are open (enjoyburlington.com). Leddy Ice Arena (216 Leddy Park Rd.; 802-865-7558, enjoyburlington.com) offers indoor public skating sessions and skate rentals.
For an equine experience, Third Branch Horse Logging (89 Old Bass Rd., Braintree; 802-345-7488, thirdbranchhorselogging.com) offers 35-45-minute horse-drawn sleigh rides (weather-permitting) on weekends over 2 miles of trails, fields and open ground.
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Bolton Valley Resort (4302 Bolton Access Rd., Richmond; 802-434-3444, boltonvalley.com) offers night skiing (Tuesdays through Saturdays) under LED lights from 4 to 10 p.m. Daytime skiing is also available, and its 71 trails vary from beginner to advance in ratings. This winter, the resort launched its Timberline Lodge, with additional parking and access to the Timberline lift, where skiers arriving in the morning will be greeted with hot chocolate or coffee and there’s also a full bar. Come the weekend, the spot serves Italian food. Weekend rates to stay start at $199.
A very outdoor-oriented destination, Stowe is also a town that offers an array of food and drink options to choose from. Over at the Stowe Cider cidery (17 Town Farm Lane.; 802-253-2065, stowecider.com), the winter will include open mic nights Thursdays and free live music Saturdays.
On the craft beer front, Idletyme Brewing Company (1859 Mountain Rd.; 802-253-4765, idletymebrewing.com) has 10 of its own brews on tap, ranging from lagers to IPAs and Pale Ales, all of which are made on-site and guests can also hang by an outdoor fire pit.
For those looking to see art, walk in and watch glassblowing performed live at Little River Hotglass Studio (593 Moscow Rd.; 802-253-0889, littleriverhotglass.com) by staff artisans for no charge. There are also finished pieces for sale and classes can be booked by phone.
Stoweflake Mountain Resort and Spa (1746 Mountain Rd.; 802-253-2232, stoweflake.com) offers $53 day passes for non-guests, which includes use of the gym, game room, squash court, steam room, sauna, indoor pool and a waterfall pool.
Catamount Fishing Adventures (699 Glenbrook Rd.; 802-253-8500, catamountfishing.com) will take participants out to catch fish like trout, perch, smelt and walleye. Fishing will take place on a heated shanty and all who attend will receive instruction in ice safety. (Customers must purchase a Vermont fishing license beforehand; a nonresident one-day license can be purchased online for $21 via vtfishandwildlife.com).
Stowe Mountain Resort (5781 Mountain Rd.; 802-253-3000, stowe.com) has 485 skiable acres and 116 trails that range in level of expertise from beginner to black diamond runs. New for the 2022-23 season, the resort has upgraded to its firstsix-passenger chairlift.
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Trapp Family Lodge (700 Trapp Hill Rd.; 802-253-8511, trappfamily.com) features snowshoe trails, cross-country ski trails and sleigh riding, as well as a maple sugar tour, forest tour and nighttime headlamp tour — all by snowshoe. The resort also features fondue nights in a 20-person hot tub and overnight weekend stays start at $420.
This eclectic town in Southern Vermont is home to the Southern Vermont Arts Center (860 Southern Vermont Arts Center Dr.; 802-362-1405, svac.org). The space features gallery exhibits and a sculpture park. Its CurATE cafe serves artisanal sandwiches, flatbreads, salads, curated small plates and dinner plates while featuring a full bar. Current exhibitions to explore include the art of Gail Winbury ( “The Girl Who Drew Memories”; through Feb. 25) and a “Solo Exhibition Program” showcase (Feb. 11-May 7).
Travelers seeking spirits can also find a tasting room at Smugglers' Notch Distillery (18 Depot St.; 802-309-3077, smugglersnotchdistillery.com), where specialty single bourbons and limited releases can be sampled (Dead Buck Bourbon and Maple Rum). Samples of its nonalcoholic barrel aged maple syrup can also be tried. Visitors can also get an informative guided tasting experience that covers the company’s history and creating methods.
A different speed of fun awaits at Pastime Pinball (4802 Main St.; 802-366-1200, pastimepinball.com) an interactive museum featuring a chronologically ordered collection of 65 pinball games that are set to Free Play. Participants pay an entrance fee and then can play away. Open weekends and some holidays weekdays, food and Vermont-based beers and ciders are available to purchase on its mezzanine level, where classic arcade games are also available to try.
Private sleigh rides pulled by a team of draft horses can be booked by phone at Taylor Farm (825 RT. 11, Londonderry; 802-824-5690, taylorfarmvt.com), an 180-year-old farm where passengers will pass through fields and woods during each approximately 45-60-minute ride before stopping at a fire and warming hut for some complimentary hot cider. Guests can also order s’mores kits or a bread-and-cheese basket or bring along a bottle of wine.
MAKE A STAY
Stratton Mountain Resort (5 Village Lodge Rd., Stratton Mountain; 802-787-2886, stratton.com) has 99 skiing trails and a summit elevation of 3,875 feet, providing runs good for all experience levels. The resort also offers snowmobiling, snow tubing, fat biking, ice skating and snow shoeing. The resort offers a “One-Nighter” package for two that includes two days of lift tickets, plus dinner and breakfast that starts at $189 per person.