Mountain Top Experience
When the snow disappears, Stowe Mountain Resort unpacks a whole new season of activit ies.
Tee off at Vermont's Stowe Mountain Resort
WHILE MANY FAMILIES FLOCK TO STOWE MOUNTAIN RESORT DURING THE WINTER FOR its exceptional skiing, spring and summer bring an entirely new set of opportunities for enjoyment. Although you most definitely will want to pack your clubs for a getaway to Stowe Mountain, you' l l also want to explore some of the many other ways to celebrate the great outdoors.
Starting with the Stowe Mountain Club Golf Course, which was recognized by Golf Magazine as one of the top 10 new courses in the United States when it opened a decade ago, the resort offers a spectacular way to get away.
“We're fortunate to have 36 holes of golf,” says Ron Philo, Jr., director of Stowe Mountain Club, which i s an exclusive year- round club. The Stowe Mountain Club Golf Course, whose 18 holes take players through the slopes of Mount Mansfield and Spruce Peak, capitalizes on Vermont's serene natural beauty and the course reaches an elevation of 1,800 feet.
“It redefines mountain golf, with sweeping elevation changes and majestic mountain views,” Philo says of the Bob Cupp- designed course. “It's visually intimidating but incredibly fair. It's not a test of l ength, but tee shots demand precision and the small greens require players to f ind the right side of the hole.”
The resort's second course, Stowe Country Club, i s set in a space formerly occupied by a turn- of- the- century dair y farm. Surrounded by mountains and sporting beautiful undulating greens,
BEYOND PLAYING THE COURSES, THE BEST WAY TO SEE WHAT STOWE HAS TO OFFER IS THROUGH A ZIP TOUR OR TREETOP ADVENTURE.
Philo says it of fers a “terrific juxtaposition” to the Mountain Club course.
“It i s perfect for families and golfers of all abilities, while of fering enough risk- reward shot- making options to keep smiles on the faces of the accomplished golfers in your group,” he says.
Philo acknowledges that photos of the courses and the surrounding area are nothing short of breathtaking, but what makes Stowe's courses stand out even more i s that they are more stunning in person.
“Even the best photography struggles to capture the sheer beauty of the setting,” he says. “The No. 1 comment we hear from golfers i s that they have never played a course with such spectacular views.”
He cautions that those same views may provide a distraction from your game; so bring a camera but also be sure to bring your l aser- sharp mental focus. The fourth and 15th holes of the Mountain
Club course provide the course's best views of Mount Mansfield and the valley below it.
“Both holes are par-4s on the short-ish side, but they are diabolical in design and require precision—which is hard to do when you are distracted by the views.”
The most challenging moment comes on the sixth hole, with a Reverse Redan par-3 overlooking Peregrine Lake. During the winter, that 110-million gallon reservoir fuels the resort's snowmaking system, but in warmer months it creates an imposing and challenging obstacle.
“Again, it's a hole that's not that hard on paper,” Philo says, noting that it maxes out at just under 200 yards. “But the prevalent winds get magnified by the narrow notch between the mountains, and the thin, angled green and carry over the water makes par on the hole a great score.”
If you're worried about your swing and your score, stop by the indoor golf studio first, which includes putting and chipping areas.
GETTING OFF COURSE
In addition to the courses, Stowe Mountain Resort is fi lled with ways to actively enjoy the great outdoors. Beyond playing the courses, the best ways to see what Stowe has to offer is through a Zip Tour or Treetop Adventure.
Th e Zip Tour Adventure is touted as “the world's fastest and most exhilarating zip line experience” and it allows you to reach speeds of up to 80 miles an hour while zipping above and through the Green Mountain State Forest. Th e memorable experience begins with a ride in the Summit Gondola from the base up to the launching point, which is near the top of Mount Mansfield.
Th e TreeTop Adventure takes you through the forest using aerial tree-to-tree connections. Six different courses provide different views as well as different levels of challenge, and it is designed for most ages.
Of course, there are also such activities as tennis, hiking and fi shing to take in. And, if shopping is your sport, the Shops at Spruce Peak Village Center are waiting for you.
MAKE TIME FOR DOWNTIME
After a busy day on the golf course, zipping through the trees or meandering through the shops, you'll have earned your relaxation time. The Spa at Stowe Mountain Lodge is designed with exactly that purpose in mind.
“Our guest enjoy truly being able to relax while they're here with us,” says Bill Butler, spa director. “For some, that comes with the touch of a massage or facial; for others, it's a yoga session, laps in the pool, or relaxing in the hot tub and sauna.”
And, after a full day of recreation and relaxation, the only thing left to do is enjoy one of the many restaurants at the resort.
The Stowe Mountain Club Golf Course is designed to fully immerse golfers in Vermont's natural, breathtaking landscape—the course even reaches an elevation of 1,800 feet.
When not on the course, guests spend their time riding the Summit Gondola up to the top of Mount Mansfield, relaxing at the resort spa or visiting the farmers market to pick up fresh produce.