Northshore Magazine

Northshore January February 2021

Northshore magazine showcases the best that the North Shore of Boston, MA has to offer.

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99 to bring the outdoors in: the stunning heated solarium pool. Soaring 60-foot ceilings and floor-to-ceiling windows afford views of moun- tains dotted with thousands of trees sure to wet the appetite of adventure seekers. rills are easy to find just across the street thanks to Topnotch's partnership with a local outfitter whose winter rentals include downhill and cross-country skiing, mountain-biking, and snowshoeing. We opted to get James snuggled into our hiking backpack to explore the Stowe Recreation Path, easily accessible by a five-min- ute walk down the road. e whole 5.3 miles of the paved trail—which spans all the way from Topnotch to quaint Stowe Village—was a little too ambitious for one day and with a tot in tow, but provided good intel about the restaurants and shops dotting the path. Several eateries expanded their outdoor dining options this year, including a few with fire pits. Sushi Yoshi's new patio has festive strung lights and a convenient complimentary shuttle service for those who want to warm up with sake or a spicy cocktail. Local favorite Piecasso Pizzeria & Lounge—named one of Travel + Leisure's favorite places to grab a slice—brings the feel of a wood oven outside with several circular setups. ere's no place better than Vermont for artisanal cheeses, but we opted for ours in unmelted form on a charcuterie plate at Roost. Topnotch's more casual on-site restaurant has high chairs and kid-friendly options while still keeping the feel of a date-night spot thanks to the cozy fireplace and mulled tipples. Cabot clothbound cheddar and a soft goat cheese from Vermont Cream- ery were delectable, but the Holy Grail of the trifecta was the Bayley Hazen from Jasper Hill Farm. "I don't even like blue cheese," said my husband, "but this is the cheese to which all others should aspire." We made a plan to hit up e Butchery fromagerie just down the road and treat ourselves with a delicious souvenir. Of course, no vacation is complete without a little dessert, and the sprawling hills of the Kaf- feehaus at Von Trapp Family Lodge provided an ample canvas for James to wiggle and scoot while Mom and Dad sipped the fuel to chase him around. We enjoyed Bavarian confections while an activities director got a roaring fire prepped for a weekly s'mores extravaganza— and even invited us to stay for more sugar despite us not being guests. As a Stowe native, he gave us the intel on family activities like easy waterfall hikes and the Lodge's maple sugar tour mile-long hike. It's held year round but is particularly pretty in winter. e suggestion of a Moss Glen Falls excur- sion was perfect—low effort provides a high reward and the 40-foot-tall waterfall is only a quarter-mile from the trailhead. Hikers with more time on their hands often explore the whole 2.9-mile path, but we opted to use diminishing daylight hours by doing some Christmas shopping on the stroller-friendly streets of Stowe Village. Shaw's General Store yielded cuddly duds and affordable toys while small-batch chocolates from Laughing Moon were flagged for stocking stuffers. We were also able to track down sought-after beers from local brewery e Alchemist at Stowe Public House & Bottle Shop, which doubles as a store and bar with outside seating. While only half of our sugary and hoppy treats managed to make it back home, we put Stowe back on our short list of haunts to return to in any season. PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY OF STOWE MOUNTAIN RESORT, BY SAVANNAH BROWN/COURTESY OF STOWE MOUNTAIN RESORT (BOTTOM LEFT AND RIGHT)

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