A popular skiing town in winter, Stowe offers a summer escape from everyday life

STOWE, Vt. — When a ski resort comes to mind, flying down the mountain on white stuff is what most people think of—not hiking up the slope. Many people don’t know that a number of ski resorts offer a variety of activities in their off-season.

Stowe is a quaint, friendly town nestled between many beautiful mountains and cute villages. Stowe is known as the ski town of the northeast, but during the off-season, it’s just as busy and full of visitors. Many residents and visitors enjoy mountain biking, hiking to the tops of mountains and taking a dive in swimming holes.

A great place to cool off on a hot summer day is Foster’s Swimming Hole. Off the beaten path, Foster’s is a local secret. The Little River runs through Stowe, feeding the 16-foot hole people jump into. It’s the perfect place to send older children or to enjoy a picnic lunch with the family.

If the weather isn’t cooperating, head on over to the Swimming Hole for an indoor lap pool, a diving board and a kiddie pool with a slide. For those looking to exercise, the Swimming Hole also has a workout room, a cardio room and Cybex and Free Weight equipment.

There are three resorts in Stowe, and they all offer summer activities. Stowe Mountain Resort has Vermont’s biggest zip-line, indoor rock climbing, a gondola and an aerial challenge course. The Trapp Family Lodge was founded by the Von Trapp family whose story is told in the movie “The Sound of Music.” The lodge offers hiking, mountain biking and tennis. Last, Smugglers’ Notch has a number of pools, slides and reservoirs, along with a zip-line tour, a treetop obstacle course and treetop climbing.

Since Vermont has many farms, there are no chain restaurants or stores in sight. Stowe is filled with farm-to-table restaurants.

In town, the Stowe Historical Society Museum and a revamped one-room schoolhouse from 1845 are open to the public during certain days in the summer. Another museum to check out is the Vermont Ski and Snowboard Museum, which offers a piece of winter all year round and everything there is to know about the history of snow sports.

The main street is the complete opposite of the big city. There are no flashy tourist traps and no tall buildings, which means you can enjoy the view of the mountains from anywhere in town. Most buildings have retained their old exteriors. The town even kept the general store that dates back to 1895. This all gives Stowe a relaxed, old-timey feel that allows visitors to escape from their busy lives at home.