Stowe or Burlington – How to Choose Your Vermont Vacation Destination

stowe or burlington

Towering mountains, lush foliage, and the invigorating energy of summer in a place that has a long winter, Vermont is a dream summer getaway. Unlike California or Colorado, Vermont is quite small making it easier to decide where to explore.

Stowe or Burlington – a Few Things to Consider

With that being said, Vermont has two destinations that are difficult to choose between, since they’re both spectacular – Burlington and Stowe. When planning a trip to the Green Mountain State, it’s likely you’ll come across the debate of Burlington vs. Stowe while researching your trip. To help you make a choice, we’ve compiled a list of reasons one might choose Burlington over Stowe and vice versa.

Spoiler alert – both destinations are incredible and only 40 minutes apart. It’s entirely possible to visit both and, if so desired, to stay in both!

Shore or Mountains?

stowe or burlingtonBurlington is situated along the eastern shore of Lake Champlain, providing plenty of water-focused adventures and entertainment. Stowe, on the other hand, is nestled in the mountains, providing ample mountain air and adventures.

Bustling City or Quaint Mountain Town?

Both destinations are nature-focused, but of the two Burlington is a sizeable city. Stowe is more of a country retreat, which makes sense since in the winter it’s mostly a ski and snowboard town! If you enjoy activities such as pursuing a Farmer’s Market, strolling along shop-lined streets, and having ample dining options, then Burlington would be a great fit. If you prefer to have plenty of peace, few to zero shops or establishments to look at (nature instead), then Stowe would be a wonderful fit.

Can’t Decide? Stay in the Middle! 

Near the Airport or Not?

If being close to the airport is important, then Burlington will be the better choice as the airport is in Burlington and not Stowe. It’s important to note – the airport is only an hour from Stowe, not all that far either!

Culture or Nature Exclusively?

stowe or burlingtonBeing the largest city in Vermont, Burlington offers the most cultural and educational institutions. In Burlington, you can visit the Burlington City Art, ECHO Lake Aquarium, and Science Center among others! Stowe does have a Ski Museum and a Historical Society, but again the main focus of Stowe is on the surrounding nature!

Kid-Friendly or Adult-Oriented?

Both destinations, once again, are great for kids and adults. If we’re completely discerning, Burlington is a bit more kid-friendly. This is because there is more for kids to do besides spending time in nature. As mentioned above, there’s a Science Center, an aquarium, and there’s also Circus Smirkus, Ben and Jerry’s Scoop Shop, Church Street, and more. Vermont is the kind of state people visit to get away from it all, to enjoy pristine nature, and often adults love the serenity of Stowe.

Outdoor Adventure Or Outdoor Adventure?

It’s difficult to say which destination offers more in the way of outdoor adventure. Stowe is geared towards hikers and bikers, but both of those activities are readily available in both destinations. If you truly want to be immersed in nature day and night, then Stowe is the place for you! But if you want a blend of city and nature, then Burlington is where you should stay.

The best part here is that you can’t go wrong. Truly, Burlington and Stowe are both exceptional places, each offering something different but both providing an authentic Vermont experience. Only being 40 minutes apart, it’s easy enough to visit both places and/or stay in both places.

For luxurious, relaxing, and aesthetically pleasing accommodations in Burlington, book your stay at The Essex, Vermont’s Culinary Resort & Spa. For an incredible experience in Stowe, book your stay at Topnotch Resort.


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