Why it's so great: Because it's quintessential Vermont. You have mountains, you have rivers, you have covered bridges, you have mountain biking and horseback riding, you have ski resorts that turn into spa getaways, you have ski mountains that turn into summertime hikes. You have farm-to-table restaurants, you have local breweries, you have the friendliest folks New England has to offer, and you have Ben & Jerry's nearby.
Must-do: Field Guide, the area's newest boutique hotel, gives you that hidden-lodge vibe, complete with video games in the lounge area, a pool area with fire pit and lounge chairs, and a comfort-fare restaurant and bar, Picnic Social, slated to open any minute. The Stowe Farmers' Market goes well beyond whatever your neighborhood's dinky roadside stand provides: locally made cured meats, cheeses, sodas, and spirits, as well as lunchables and takeaway snacks.