Vermont Family Multisport Adventure

“Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes memory.”


Hiking the Inca Trail? Biking in Tuscany? Wine tasting in New Zealand? Yes, we love those. But truly some of our most fun moments every year come on our group family vacations, such as this Vermont Family Vacation. (Questions about family tours? Check out our answers.)

Organized family tours with Zephyr Adventures are not like a typical family vacation for multiple reasons. First and foremost, the kids love being in a group with other kids and tend to bond within the first five minutes. Second, we provide a structure that offers group activities when you can enjoy life with your kids while at other times we separate adults and kids, allowing you to have a nice glass of wine with a fancier dinner or a long hike while we take care of your brood.

It is also true that vacation is simply easier when our guides are in charge. It is they who are responsible for driving, directions, reservations, planning, and answering “Are we there yet?” But perhaps the biggest reason our family tours are often the most fun events of our year? Kids simply know how to have fun and that directs everything we do on our family vacations.

We love Vermont and the small mountain town of Stowe is the perfect place to use as a base for this family vacation. We engage in a wide variety of activities, including hiking on the Von Trapp family property (from Sound of Music fame), taking a gondola up Mount Mansfield, canoeing on the Lamoille River, trying out Stand Up Paddle Boarding, bicycling on the Stowe Recreation Path, and even doing a Ropes Course Challenge.

The hotel we use as a base for four nights (which means no packing and unpacking) has a large lawn, is situated on a small creek, has a swimming pool, and has both a bowling alley and mini golf course on site! Stowe has excellent restaurants for families and is easily accessible by car from the Northeast or via our shuttle from Burlington International Airport if you are flying in.

We all know as parents that time flies and we have to make sure we stop and enjoy moments of each day. We will give you plenty of those on this Vermont Family Vacation.

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Other Info: -> Kids staying in a room with their adult(s) receive a 15% discount - not combinable with alumni discounts.
->Adults wishing to have their own room can pay a single supplement of $800.
-> Aunts, uncles, and grandparents are welcome, too! This trip is appropriate for kids ages 5 - 18.

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Trip Highlights

  • Enjoy the family-friendly setting of Stowe, Vermont, one of the cutest small mountain towns in the Northeast
  • Hike on the Von Trapp family property of Sound of Music fame
  • Canoe on the Lamoille River, try Stand Up Paddleboarding, and swim in Bootlegger's Basin
  • Hike or take a gondola ride up Mount Mansfield, Vermont's highest peak
  • Pool time, ice cream, bowling, and mini golf for everyone

We meet shortly after lunch in Burlington and shuttle to Stowe. After introductions, our first activity is to bicycle on the Stowe Recreation Path, a beautiful, winding, mostly flat path along a river that runs through the center of the valley in which Stowe is located. You will have options for 5 or 11 miles. Later, we'll walk to dinner to eat outdoors at Idletyme Brewing, which is family friendly but also fun for adults.


After breakfast we will shuttle to Stowe Mountain Resort, where you have two options. You can choose to ride the gondola to the top (and either ride or hike back down) or you can choose to hike up, with 2, 4, or 6.4 mile options. The route is steep but doable, sometimes in woods and others out in the open with views of the valley below. At the top, Vermont's highest point, there is a visitor center and options to explore. In the afternoon, we'll have a mini golf challenge as well as pool time before walking to Stowe Cider (optional for adults while kids play in the park) and then dinner at Tres Amigos.


Today's is Smuggler's Notch, the low point in the pass that runs through the Green Mountains north from Stowe into northern Vermont and eventually Canada. While this was a key crossing point for smugglers during the early 1800s when trade with Canada was banned, as a route for runaway slaves, and as a smuggling route during Prohibition. We love it for its dramatic scenery. Today we'll rent canoes or kayaks and paddle down the Lamoille River, with lunch and swimming en route. In the afternoon we'll participate in a Ropes Course Challenge (fun for all ages) and then stop for an afternoon swim in Bootlegger's Basin. This evening we'll split up for dinner, with adults enjoying a quiet meal on their own and kids doing a pizza party at the pool.


After breakfast we drive the short distance to the Trapp Family Resort and hike to Slayton's Pasture Cabin. The property is beautiful and it is immediately clear why the Von Trapp family located here after their escape from Austria, as depicted in the Sound of Music. We'll have options for shorter hikes for those not wanting to go the full six miles. In the afternoon you have two choices. You can try your skills on the Disc Golf course on the Trapp Family Resort. Or you can drive in the van to the Cold Hollow Cider Mill for a tasting of apple cider and to the world headquarters of Ben & Jerry's for some ice cream. For our final dinner, we'll have a bowling party - fun for all ages.


On our final morning, we'll drive to Waterbury Center State Park and rent a few Stand Up Paddleboards. We can try paddleboarding or just use them as a floating device to launch into the lake for a swim. After drying off and changing clothes, we'll say our goodbyes and depart for Burlington or on our own paths.

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Trip Accommodations


This is a great family hotel. Located on a small creek, there is a large grassy area in the back that is perfect for games or enjoying a quiet moment (if you can find one!) The sleeping rooms are large and have two double or queen beds, great for families wishing to share. There is even a bowling alley and mini golf course on site!

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Arrival & Departure

We meet you at 1:00 PM at the Burlington airport if you are flying to the tour. If you are driving your own car, we'll meet you directly in Stowe. On the final morning, we'll check out and head to Waterbury Center State Park for some water activities before departing in the late morning. You can plan to fly out that afternoon after 1:00 PM.

What's Included?
  • One or two Zephyr guides accompany each trip.
  • Double occupancy lodging is included. If kids stay in your room, they get a discount of 15% off the tour price. If you are a solo adult in your family group, you may pay a single supplement to have your own room.
  • All breakfasts and dinners are included. Gratuity for these meals is also included. One picnic lunch is included.
  • All your transportation is included once you meet your guides on the first day.
  • All activities and permits are included.
  • NOT INCLUDED Beverages, lunches, gratuities to your guides, personal expenses and travel to and from the destination.

The average high temperature in Stowe in July and August is beautiful, in the upper 70s, a welcome respite from many areas of the country. Overnight lows are in the 50s, so great for sleeping. It does rain year round in Vermont (the "Green Mountain" state) so be prepared for that and we will adjust activities as necessary.

Type of People Who Will Enjoy This Tour

Kids of any age are welcome but this trip is most appropriate for kids five through 18. We as guides can vouch that kids are the true experts at having fun and it makes this tour special for everyone. It takes kids about five minutes to go from unknowns to fast friends! This trip includes activities that both kids and adults will enjoy, sometimes together and sometimes separately. We know you love your little darlings, but we realize it is nice to have an occasional break for an adult drink or longer hike — our guides are more than happy to oblige you in this! We plan a couple of separate activities and dinners for kids and adults (your older teenagers can make up their minds which group they would like to join these times!). Keep in mind that our definition of family is quite liberal: traditional nuclear families, single parent households, and aunts, uncles, and grandparents are all welcome.

Changes to Your Itinerary

While everything under “What is Included” will remain the same, the actual restaurants, hotels, and activities listed in our itineraries are subject to modifications. Changes that are out of our control are common – a restaurant closes or loses its awesome chef, a winery changes its visiting hours, a hotel gets remodeled, a road or trail undergoes construction. You are entrusting us to create an outstanding vacation for you and so it is possible we may take the liberty of making necessary changes (even at the last minute, during the guides’ scout trip) to the itinerary that will improve your overall trip experience. If there is any one experience that is going to make or break your trip, please discuss this with us in advance! We will attempt to keep our website itinerary as current as possible and communicate any major changes with you in the weeks prior to the tour.

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