Country stores embody the rural, old fashioned, we-can-outfit-you-for-any-occasion spirit of Vermont. Some of the best may be found in and around Stowe along with an array of country-like specialized shops that make you feel miles away from the local mall (you are, in fact) or an online shopping experience (heavens to Betsy). If you’re into charm and authenticity, you’ll love visiting Stowe’s many and varied shopping emporiums.
Penny candy, sweet and savory comestibles, shelves full of collectibles such as dozens of creamers, regional products and more are displayed chock-a-block at Stowe Mercantile, a store that looks and feels like your traditional Vermont country store. Go to Shaw’s for the real deal. Founded in 1895, this family-owned and operated business still rings people up (OK, mostly slides their credit cards) from behind their original wood counters. Their creaky wooden floors could tell the story of folks taking a whole day to ride in on their horse or in their buggies from the country to replenish supplies. Get a load of the sock and rugged shoe walls here. Check out the racks of flannel shirts as well. These sensible goods as well as loads of fun stuff guarantee a quintessential Vermont purchase for all.
The Country Store on Main presents a more polished version of a Vermont country store. They offer an exquisite selection of table arts, kitchen accessories, home décor items, bedding, children’s clothing and bundles more of finely curated goods within a bright space evocative of today’s country homes in the Green Mountain state.
Old time-y wooden display cases warm the heart even more when filled with chocolate. Such is the case at Laughing Moon Chocolates where you can procure chocolates, fudge, coffee and other goodies that make you feel over the moon. A stop here gives new appreciation for hand dipped!
Also in historic Stowe Village, those looking for something to mark a special occasion should saunter into Von Bargen’s, a family-owned business, specializing in classic and artisanal jewelry of the finest quality.
If you fancy art and antiques, there’s much to take in both in and outside of Stowe for discriminating shoppers (or browsers) of those stripes.
Up at the Trapp Family Lodge, you can visit a few shops: the gift shop at the outdoor center, the gift shop downstairs from the main lodge and the gift shop at the Von Trapp Brewery & Bierhall Restaurant. If you like beer, Austrian-themed items and quality outdoor wear, you’ll want to check out all three.
For the most down-to-earth shopping foray around, drive up to the Nebraska Knoll Sugar Farm to buy yummy maple products with an abundance of heart and soul. Tucked back into the woods, a visit to this down-home outpost and operation may best be navigated during the fair weather months. It’s worth it though, since you certainly will not encounter a tour bus here.
You might, however, find some at Lake Champlain Chocolates, Cabot Annex, Ben & Jerry’s and newcomer Vermont Artisan Coffee & Tea Co. No worries though, these Vermont biggies specializing in chocolate, cheese, ice cream and coffee (life’s essentials!) rank supreme in dealing with crowds and serving up delicious goods.
Midway between these two areas, you’ll likely find yourself driving along Mountain Road Marketplace. Save time to check out the many shopping possibilities within its mixture of stores including those at The Alchemist Brewery & Visitor Center, a destination microbrewery best known for their Heady Topper beer.
One of the least-known finds, however, is Elements, the spa boutique at Stoweflake Mountain Resort & Spa. Park in their main lot and head toward the spa to locate this retail space. Here you’ll discover a huge selection of goods that will help you on your path toward total wellness. Ayurvedic products, soaps, elixirs, tinctures, creams, makeup, yoga wear, clothing and accessories, chocolate (essential to any wellness program) and other select goods–both from Vermont and faraway lands–have clearly been specially sourced by someone in the know. Before you leave, make sure to experience a sweet dose of wellness and calm outside in Stoweflake’s labyrinth and meditation gardens. Even better, book yourself a spa appointment, a spa day or a stay at the resort to begin to set yourself right.
Since Stowe is synonymous with outdoor activities, know that you can find a mountain of merchandise for sports of every season in and around Stowe. Whether it’s skis, fly rods, bike jerseys or backpacks, rest assured you can be well outfitted and geared up in a blizzard of styles. If you’re lucky enough, you might be able to take advantage of some of their terrific end-of-season sales, too.