Almanac: Stowe, VT


(All area codes are 802 unless otherwise specified)

Getting There Stowe is 45 minutes from Burlington Airport; 15 minutes from the Waterbury Amtrak station; 3 1/2 hours from Boston and 6 hours from New York City.

When to Go Hard to predict, but February and March are the snowiest months.

Sleeping In For high-end pampering, two local institutions: the Topnotch ($160-$590, 800-451-8686) and Trapp Family Lodge ($165-$750), or the newer Stone Hill Inn ($325-$425). For in-town charm: the Green Mountain Inn ($79-$299). For family value: The Town & Country ($84-$119) or the Golden Eagle ($99-$199). Central Reservations: 800-247-8693.

Dining Out McCarthys for hearty breakfasts; Depot Street Malt Shoppe for Americana lunches; The Blue Moon Café for relaxed atmosphere and ambitious cuisine; The Chelsea Grill for city sophistication.

Après-ski/Nightlife It's a downhill affair, literally: Start at the Matterhorn for après; grab a taco and a tequila at Miguel's or a burger and a house microbrew at The Shed; then rock into the night at The Road House and the Rusty Nail.

Kicking Butt If you can ski Goat and Starr in the same day, you're a hero. Conquer Hell Brook, and you're a god.

Kicking Back LaStone Therapy (lava-rock massage) at the Stoweflake Resort (253-7355).

Activities Sleigh rides (Charlie Horse, 253-2215), ice skating (Jackson Arena, 253-6148), cross-country skiing (150 km of groomed trails).

Don't Miss The best on-mountain lunch is at the Cliff House, atop the Gondola.

Vital Stats 480 skiable acres; summit elevation: 4,395 feet; vertical drop: 2,360 feet; average annual snowfall: 260 inches; lifts: one gondola, one high-speed quad, one triple, six doubles, two surface lifts; adult lift ticket: not available till opening day (last year: $54); six-day, non-holiday pass: $248.

Info 802-253-3000; snow phone: 802-253-3600;