If you're a fan of the popular Broadway musical and movie The Sound of Music, get the real story from a von Trapp family member at the Trapp Family Lodge. After leaving Austria, the Trapp family settled in Stowe in 1941, where they purchased a farm that they converted to a 27-room lodge for guests in 1950. Today, the family owns and operates a 2,400-acre Austrian-inspired resort, with a 96-room historic Alpine Lodge, 100 two-bedroom guest houses and 16 three-bedroom villas. The resort offers history tours, often led by a Trapp family member.
Trapp Family Lodge: Breathtaking Views
The Trapp Family Lodge is set atop the hills of Stowe, offering breathtaking, 360-degree views of the mountains and pastures.
Trapp Family Lodge: Outdoor Recreation
During the winter, guests of the Trapp Family Lodge can take advantage of one of the country's best cross-country ski centers. The resort's extensive trail system features 100 kilometers of trails with terrain suitable for every level of Nordic skier or snowshoer. In warmer months, guests can walk, hike or even mountain bike the trails. Equipment rentals are available at the sports center.
Trapp Family Lodge: Carriage Rides
Explore the resort and scenery with an old-fashioned horse-drawn carriage or wagon ride.
Trapp Family Lodge: Pool and Fitness Center
The Trapp Family Lodge's Fitness Center features a 60-by-25-foot indoor swimming pool, a 20-person outdoor hot tub and two heated outdoor pools. The 4,000-square-foot exercise room offers the latest fitness and cardiovascular equipment and classes.
Brewery at Trapp Family Lodge
More than a decade ago, Johannes von Trapp, the 10th and youngest child of the original Trapp Family Singers, started thinking about brewing his own beer for guests of the resort. His dream was to produce an American version of the tasty lager he enjoyed when he visited his ancestral Austrian home. Johannes' dream became reality in the spring of 2010, with the opening of the Trapp Family Brewery, which produces 60,000 or so gallons of beer a year.
Beer at Trapp Family Lodge
The Trapp Family Lodge Brewery produces three flagship beers: Golden Helles (a crisp, malt-flavored beer with a touch of hop to finish), Vienna Amber (an amber lager style beer with a sweet finish) and Dunkel Lager (a dark beer with chocolate notes and a full malt backbone). The brewery also offers seasonal beers, interpretations of various traditional Bavarian lager beers.
Trapp Family Lodge: DeliBakery
The DeliBakery offers specialty sandwiches, salads, soups, baked goods and other treats. Try the authentic and much-raved-about Linzertorte and Applestrudel and sample the Trapp beers.
Maple Syrup Making
As the largest producer of pure maple syrup in the United States, Vermont is synonymous with maple syrup making, known as "sugaring." The sugaring season usually starts in early March and lasts for six weeks. Sugarmakers drill small holes in sugar maple trees, fit the holes with plastic or metal spouts to create "tapholes," and collect the sap with buckets or tubing. The sap is then transported to a sugarhouse, where it is boiled and processed to make the syrup.
Stoweflake Mountain Resort and Spa
Initially a motel built in 1963, the resort today is a world-class luxury property featuring 120 guest rooms and suites, townhouses, a 50,000-square-foot spa, fitness facilities, two restaurants, a conference center and more than 60 acres of manicured gardens.
Topnotch Resort and Spa
The family-owned Topnotch Resort and Spa grew from a small, 22-room inn in 1959 to a world-class, 127-unit resort on a 120-acre wooded estate.
Topnotch Resort and Spa: Pool
Swim or soak year-round in Topnotch's two outdoor heated swimming pools and hot tub. With 86 lounge chairs, guests can relax or dine poolside.
Topnotch Resort and Spa: Equestrian Center
Topnotch's Equestrian Center is the largest among area resorts, featuring a full livery stable, private and group lessons and guided English and Western trail rides on the resort's 120 acres and surrounding hills.
Vermont-based Cabot Creamery is a 1,200 farm family-owned dairy cooperative with members in New England and upstate New York. The company has been producing all natural, award-winning cheddar and other cheeses since 1919. Visitors can shop at the Cabot Annex Store in Waterbury, Vt., near Stowe.
Cabot Creamery Visitors Center
At the Cabot Creamery Visitors Center in Cabot, Vt., an hour east of Stowe, you can take a guided factory tour, watch cheese makers create award-winning cheddars and sample a variety of cheeses, including the "World's Best Cheddar" and "Best Flavored Cheddar."
Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream Factory
Nearby Waterbury, Vermont, is home to many popular tourist attractions. Perhaps the most popular is the Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream Factory, which attracts thousands of sweet-toothed visitors each year. Learn about the ice cream production process on a guided factory tour, see the manufacturing line in action, sample the flavor of the day and visit the gift and scoop shop.
Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream Factory: Tours
Visitors can take a 30-minute guided factory tour and learn how two childhood friends, Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield, turned a $5.00 Penn State correspondence course on ice cream making into a global ice cream phenomenon.
Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream Factory: Flavor Graveyard
Tour the factory's Flavor Graveyard, where flavors with the lowest sales are "laid to rest" on a hill in back of the plant. Walk among tombstone placards and pay homage to flavors that, for one reason or another, didn't cut it in the mass market, such as Bovinity Divinity, Devil's Food Chocolate and Peanut Butter and Jelly.
Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream Factory: The Vermonster
This monster of a sundae is no joke and is only available in Ben and Jerry's Scoop Shops. Served in a bucket, you get 20 scoops of ice cream (roughly four and a half pounds), four ladles of hot fudge, four bananas, three cookies, a brownie, your choice of toppings (such as peanuts, sprinkles, M and Ms and gummy bears) and a lot of whipped cream. Bring friends.
Cold Hollow Cider Mill and Store
Cold Hollow Cider Mill, a top New England producer of fresh apple cider, is another popular tourist attraction in Waterbury, Vt. Learn how cider is made, explore the vintage mill, try the popular cider donuts and sample Vermont specialty foods and delicious baked goods. During the summer, watch bees make honey in the Bee Observation Hive.
Cold Hollow Cider Mill: Tours
Take a free self-guided tour to watch workers use a traditional rack and cloth press built in the 1920s to make pure apple cider.
Boyden Family Farm and Winery
Located in a restored 1875 carriage barn on the Boyden family farm, the Boyden Valley Winery is located in Cambridge, Vt., north of the HGTV Dream Home 2011. The 1,000-acre farm features 8,000 grapevines and 100 acres of maple trees. The winery is part of a fourth generation farm that produces a bold red wine called "Big Barn Red," various red and white wines, and "Vermont Ice," a premier line of Vermont ice wines.
Boyden Valley Winery: Dining
Inside the restored barn, visitors can sample wines with cheese, bread, fruit and specialty meat or take a tour of the tank and barrel room and learn about wine production, barrel aging and bottling.
Green Mountain Coffee Roasters
Green Mountain Coffee Roasters was founded in 1981 as a small cafe in Waitsfield, Vt. Now headquartered in Waterbury, the company is recognized for its award-winning coffees, innovative brewing technology and socially responsible business practices.At the Green Mountain Coffee Visitor Center and Cafe in Waterbury, visitors can take a self-guided tour, learn how coffee is grown and processed, sample coffees from around the world and shop for unique gifts and crafts.
Green Mountain Coffee: Visitor Center
The historic, restored 1875 Waterbury train station is home of the Green Mountain Coffee Visitor Center, which features an interactive exhibit and multimedia coffee experience. The station also serves the Amtrak train that runs from St. Albans, Vermont to Washington, D.C.