Don’t let the church steeples and quaint New England vibes fool you: Stowe can party. The town serves up some of the best skiing on the East Coast, including Vermont’s highest peak, Mount Mansfield, which pulls down 314 inches of fresh a year. And the après cene is just as legit. Just make sure you boogie like a true Vermonter: wearing flannel and drinking Heady Topper.
With Your Boots Still On: The Matterhorn
The Matterhorn sits on Mountain Road, at the bottom of an old ski run that locals take directly to the bar. The party goes all night, but we like it just after the lifts shut down, when the snowbanks out front are full of skis and the crowd is a mix of hardcore locals and families looking to escape Mountain Road's post-ski traffic.
Cheap Eats: Pie-Casso
The pizza is always cheap here, but on Thursdays it gets crazy—two slices and a PBR for $6.50. Not enough? If your timing is perfect, they’ve been known to give away the remaining slices at the end of the night. Plus, you’ve got to love a bar offering PBR tallboys for $3.50 and Heady Topper from the Alchemist.
Up All Night: Rimrocks
You don’t necessarily go to Stowe to get your dance on, but it’s nice to know it’s available. At 10 p.m., Rimrocks switches from your standard mountain-town tavern to a beat-driven frenzy where locals are dressed like normal people and tourists are dressed in shiny clothes and heels.
Best Restaurant in Town: Michael’s on the Hill
Put Vermont farm-to-table concepts into high-end French cuisine served in a 19th-century farmhouse and barn, and you get Michael’s on the Hill. The setting is ridiculous (acres of pasture in the foreground, the Green Mountains in back), the menu is on-point Vermont (the olives come in a bowl hand-shaped by a local potter), and the food is legit. Swiss-born chef/owner Michael Kloeti was honored as one of this country’s top culinary talents in the inaugural Best Chefs America guide. Too fancy? Kloeti just opened Idletyme Brewing downtown, which has a similar ethos but with a comfort-food bent (and price tag).