Laid-back and Picture Perfect Family Summer Travel Day in Stowe, Vermont

If you remember my blog post from Stowe last summer, you remember how much we loved everything. We were convinced we needed to visit again on our family road trip to Great Diamond Island in Maine.  

You may be like us, planning an east coast trip, driving through the area and spending the night in Stowe, Vermont. Or maybe you have more time. Either way, read below for your laid-back and picture perfect family summer travel day itinerary in Stowe. 

Late morning/early afternoon

Visit Waterbury Reservoir

This beautiful little area around Waterbury Reservoir was so peaceful and truly, we had the best afternoon enjoying sunshine, sand, water, great views and a good book!  To enter the reservoir, there is a small fee, kids under 4 are free (I think it cost us around $12 for two adults and two kids) , but the parking is easy, bathrooms are tidy and spacious and the whole area is clean and enjoyable. 

If you are similar to me and don’t love going to the beach between the unlimited sand EVERYWHERE, lack of shade and nothing to do… I promise, you will enjoy Waterbury Reservoir.  There IS a small section of sand for the kids to play on along the shoreline, however, everyone parks their blankets and chairs on the grass. I would sooo much rather lay on the grass than sand and when the kids came up to sit down, the sand came off their feet mostly before they arrived to me, which I reallllly appreciated. There are trees in the grass area that provides nice shade for anyone who needs it.  The best part: the VIEW! Looking all around the lake at the beautiful  Vermont forest and mountains across- the landscape was just breathtaking. 

The highlight of our day at the reservoir was renting a paddle boat, $20 for 2 hours, and exploring all around the water’s coastline. The scenery was gorgeous and it was so peaceful to be out on the reservoir soaking in the sun and views. 

Late Afternoon:

Ice Cream at Lake Champlain Chocolates 

A quick stop at Lake Champlain Chocolates for ice cream and a maple syrup milk shake made everyone’s afternoon after a day in the sun.  We just can’t say no to ice cream on vacation and what’s better than a Vermont local shop with specialty selections from the green mountain state. 


Highland Cows at Von Tropp Family Lodge 

That night, at sunset, we visited the highland cows at the Von Tropp Family Lodge. I think the highland cows are my favorite thing to see in Stowe. It doesn’t hurt that they graze along one of the most scenic pastures I’ve ever seen in America. It reminds me of our trip to Switzerland and the beautiful cattle there. I highly recommend waiting until sunset to visit the highland cows. The lighting is best for that perfect “golden hour” photo and watching the sun set over the rolling hills is beautiful to see. 

Full disclosure: I did edit out the fencing out of most of these photos, so although it does appear like we are just roaming around with the cattle, there is certainly a divider between us. 

Stowe Visits: A summer Tradition 

I have a feeling summer visits to Stowe will become a family tradition. There is something about the scenery, lifestyle and of course, fresh maple syrup that keeps making us come back! 


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