Visions of being snowed in, carving sweet turns with your
sweetie. It’s that time of year to plan a Vertical Valentine’s getaway. I
firmly believe Vermont has the most romantic ski spots. Picture small towns
with towering church steeples, covered bridges, charming inns and posh
lodging properties, snow covered peaks and surrounding scenic valleys.
Now – where to go depends upon your ski style, and more importantly, that of your very special ski buddy.
Stowe is romance capital of East
If you are core skiers-the first chair, serious fall line type - then Stowe is still and will always be “The Ski Capital of the East.” The only thing more challenging than Stowe’s Front Four terrain, would be finding a more postcard-perfect town than Stowe village in the heart of winter. Staying at the Stowe Mountain Lodge is the ultimate, slopeside, posh, with a spa. But if you wish to stay closer to town, reserve an Inn room or a whole townhouse at the four-diamond Stoweflake, owned and inn-kept by the Baraw family since 1963.
Stoweflake is a cupid-approved choice for two reasons. One: it’s centered between the ski slopes and all the tempting boutiques and restaurants of downtown Stowe. You’ll want to divvy your time with your true love between both. Exploring the happening après ski spots and shops along the Mountain Road is a great way to cap off your day on Mt. Mansfield.
Second reason: Stoweflake’s award-winning spa, where you can share couples treatments (120 to choose from), or just wade under the 12-foot waterfall in the Spa’s atrium. This ski trip to Stowe for two can only get better if you are fortunate enough to get “snowed in.”
Stowe notes: The Quad opens at 7:30 on weekends so be there (I told you Stowe is for serious skiers), then reserve a table for two with a view at the Cliff House atop the gondola for a memorable midday meal.
Mad about the Mad River Valley
If you aren’t quite so venerable about your vertical stats– a beautiful bed and breakfast amid 245-acres in the Mad River Valley might make you fall madly in love. If you wish to stay on mountain, Sugarbush's Clay Brook Inn is the place. But for a true Vermont country Inn experience, The Inn at Round Barn Farm is a wedding spot and honeymoon haven (or anniversary, birthday, any excuse will do) for couples. As the innkeeper says, “We make romantic heroes out of men every day.” You may find yourself in your fluffy robe and slippers lounging over fluffy cheddar quiche and savory maple sausage, instead of skiing first tracks because the food here is deliciously homemade and the hospitality is endless.
Skiing at nearby Sugarbush or Mad River Glen is an alpine amenity, so is touring the Vermont villages of Waitsfield and Warren. Sugarbush has two separate ski areas, Lincoln Peak and Mount Ellen, to make turns on. The Vermont views from both summits are awe-insuring (or perfect for a proposal if that’s a ring in you pocket).
When you ski Sugarbush with your sugarpie honeybunch, be sure to have lunch at Timbers, the new roundhouse restaurant at Lincoln Peak. Sit down table service with a view of the slopes should have her falling for you…timber.
Returning back to the Round Barn Farm after skiing, you will find a plate of freshly baked cookies and a roaring fire. Of note, the 1910 Round Barn next to the Inn is a popular spot for weddings, countless of couples have said “I do” in this authentic cow barn. The doting staff at the Inn love to help stage proposals in the snow too. Certain nights you can snowshoe to a four-course candlelit dinner in a remote cabin. Get this – your guide is Cooper the lovable black lab.
So there you have two ideal inns to point your tips for a vertical valentine trip. Remember to select your ski trails as carefully as you have picked you partner. Things can go downhill rapidly if you tackle terrain too difficult for yourself or your ski buddy/bunny. Diamonds are a girl’s best friend, but not all girls love black diamonds. Look for the hero snow, and be sure to save plenty of time for the ski activity invented by the very amorous French – “après ski.”