QUICK WEEKEND ROAD TRIP TO THE TOP NOTCH RESORT/STOWE,VT.
Fill up the gas tank and pack up the car, Fall is coming and the perfect time to drive from Boston to Vermont and view the fall foliage and snack on everything pumpkin. The trip takes approximately 3 hours and 15 minutes without traffic. The drive is beautiful and the countryside is blanketed and adorned with a gorgeous array of fall colored trees and leaves this time of year.
Healthy Warrior Bars-Coconut and Dark Chocolate
Garden Of Eatin’ Blue Chips(we polished off the bag ;-))
So after some road trip required car karoake and classic girl talk-we finally reached our destination. We pulled into a long ascending driveway that led up to the tucked away ..TOP NOTCH RESORT & SPA. The hotel just went through a major renovation a couple of years ago, so everything looked new. First impression was good-felt like a very modernized lodge or “where rustic meets luxury.” Ready to eat the steering wheel at this point, we threw down our luggage in the room and headed to lunch. I think we found the only “healthy food spot” in Stowe. GREEN GODDESS CAFÉ has the largest salads I have ever seen! They also serve breakfast, sandwiches, smoothies and various pastries. We both ordered custom salads and they were great. Overall, It was casual, yummy and great if you are looking for a quick bite. After sitting for hours in a car and full bellies we decided to get some exercise and partake in some of the local tours and sites.
A COUPLE OF PLACES TO VISIT:
Cold Hollow Cider Mill: Upon entering the aroma alone of their fresh and hot cider doughnuts is enough to entice anyone to enter this store! They give free samples of cider and they sell maple syrup, apples, tons of baked goods and even ornaments! Its definitely touristy, so be prepared for it to be busy.
Ben & Jerry’s Factory Tour: For $4 as an Adult you can go thru a 30 minute tour of the facility and watch them make ice cream. They also have all flavors of ice cream for sale including their “special” flavors.
Cabot Annex Store: If you are a cheese lover this is a must stop! Shop and sample their award-winning cheeses, and enjoy local brews, hard cider, and wines from Vermont.
After a long day of touring it was time to head back to the hotel to shower, freshen up and head to dinner. We decided to try Edson Hill. We drove up this windy road which seemed to go to nowhere, but all of the sudden a red barn, a pond and then the main check in area where you park appeared. The outside screams quintessential Vermont, but when you walk in the interior is contemporary and updated like it could be in the city. The restaurant is casual fine dining. The dining room decor I loved. All shades of grey accented by stark white. My favorite piece was a lighting fixture in the center of the room that overlooked a long community style rectangular table. Beautiful crystal eyelets and small candle-filled glass terrariums hung from tree branches and dried cranberries draped the ceiling. The restaurant is very small and intimate, overlooks a pond and the atmosphere was serene. The service was fabulous, the food was good and it is definitely a hidden little gem. If you are looking for a little more of a social atmosphere than you can head downstairs to their tavern, which is more of a bar.
Some other notable mentions for dinner are Solstice at Stowe Mountain Lodge, and Flannel and The Roost at Top Notch. We were also told that the later evening spot to go was Doc Ponds.
After a great night of sleep, we treated ourselves to ultimate pampering at the Top Notch Spa. We both got the signature treatment of October, the Mount Mansfield Saucha. I was definitely in my element. Classic logo-embroidered white robes, slippers, hot tea, healthy fruit, the smell of lavender and a cozy chair to lounge in ’til our treatments. The treatment itself was AMAAAAZING. Sugar scrubbed, wrapped in a detoxifying cocoon and massaged until my skin was as smooth as silk. What else could you ask for? My therapist was highly skilled and knew the body well. Money well spent. I felt like a new person! I highly recommend my therapist and the treatment! They run specials on treatments all the time, so make sure you call beforehand and check!
Although, we could have stayed all day just at the spa we had to pack our bags and check out and say farewell to Stowe and the Top Notch Resort. Before we did there was one last stop that we needed to make. Eggs, ham, brunch… led us to McCarthy’s, a local breakfast hotspot. I had my typical custom egg scramble and the best homefries I think I’ve ever eaten. My friend had a pancake and an omelette. I also bought a pumpkin whoopee pie and a cinnamon muffin to take back for my parents. It’s diner- like in style, very casual, but everything was very yummy and reasonably priced!
All in all it was a successful road trip!
I would recommend going in September/early October if you want to see the best of the Fall foliage. I would also suggest booking early for the best prices and making reservations for dinner, because Fall is a very busy time in Stowe. Another amazing time to visit is during ski season. The snow is fluffy, the snow-covered mountains are beautiful and the skiing and après ski is pretty fantastic. Prices tend to be a little higher, but there are definitely more active things to do and more things open in Winter.
To read more from keri.. go to Blogs