Hot Air Balloon Festival with Stoweflake Resort & Spa - Stowe, Vermont

This past weekend we headed up to Stowe, VT for one of the most unique events we’ve ever attended – the 32nd annual Stoweflake Hot Air Balloon Festival. The event is hosted by the Stoweflake Mountain Resort & Spa, on one of the large fiends on the property.

Over 25 balloons launch at once in front of a crowd of local and tourists over the Green Mountains. One of the most challenging aspects to hot air balloon flights is the weather. The winds need to be really light and the temperature mild to ensure safety and the perfect flight. Luckily we were blessed with the perfect conditions and were able to watch flights on both Saturday morning and evening. It was amazing how close you could get to the balloons taking off. The myriad of colors and designs made for a majestic site soaring over the town of Stowe. On top of the balloons there was a live band and local food, drink, kids activities and VT merchants adding to the atmosphere.

We also stayed at the Stoweflake, which of course was convenient for the festival, but a fantastic place to stay any weekend at any time of year. Being the kind of people who enjoy a number of activities, Stoweflake had it all. They have a huge property with a variety of guest room options from standard guest rooms to townhouses and the accommodations are all top-notch. Aside from the rooms, there were indoor and outdoor swimming pools, hot tubs, fitness center, labyrinth garden, 9-hole executive golf course, tennis, and volleyball.

And it's only fitting with all those activities, they have a world class spa to unwind and relax. Be sure to check out the spa with over 30 luxurious treatment rooms and communal spa areas to relax and enjoy a soak, or a massage under the indoor waterfall.

On top of the activities be sure to check out the on-site restaurant, Charlie B's. We tried both the breakfast and dinner and they were delicious. The dinner menu was recently redesigned and you couldn't beat the ambiance with live music playing in the background and the painted murals of hot air balloons flying over Stowe.

Outside of the hotel and the festival there is still so much to explore around Stowe during the summer time. During the day on Saturday we kicked things off with a hike to Moss Glen Falls. Just a short 15 minute hike in and we were able to beat the crowds and catch a beautiful view of the falls from the bottom. You can also hike the trail up along the falls for an aerial view.
Moss Glen Falls

Moss Glen Falls
Next we took a drive through Smugglers Notch, which begins at the base of Stowe Mountain Resort/Mt. Mansfield. Whether it's taking in the sights, going for one of the many hikes in the notch, or just stopping along the way and reading the signs that educate you on how the notch was formed and the history of how it became developed--we highly recommend making this drive and setting aside a few hours for exploring. While we didn't have time to fit it in, the Sterling Pond Trail hike is one of the most well-known trails within the notch, leading to the pond towards the top of the mountain.

On our way back to Stoweflake, we stopped at Bingham Falls, right off the main road just a few miles from Stowe Mountain. The falls are equal parts sight to see and a great swimming hole. Just another short 15 minute hike, it was the perfect way to cool off after a jam packed day.

Bingham Falls
Whatever time of year, there's always a abundance of ways to enjoy the mountains & culture of Stowe!
Vermont Artisan Coffee & Tea

Travel the East ©
Kristy & Matt Pickering                                                      

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