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Why Should You Visit Smugglers’ Notch in the Summer?

While it’s a buzzing town in the ski season, Smugglers’ Notch doesn’t sit idly during the off-season (aka summertime) waiting for cold weather to return. Instead, this northeastern destination continues to offer plenty of charm and family-friendly adventures that are far from boring. So, if you’re looking to cool things off a bit, here are the top reasons why you should visit Smugglers’ Notch in the summer. 

1. Embark on a Treetop Adventure

A treetop adventure is waiting for you year-round at ArborTrek Canopy Adventures. But you won’t have to shiver your way through the snowy tree lines in the summer. Instead, you’ll soar past lush greenery, making you feel as though you’re Peter Pan flying through Wonderland. And, if we’re being honest with ourselves, who doesn’t want to spend the afternoon feeling like a kid again? 

2. Cool Off with Beloved Ice Cream

When you need to take a break to cool off (and you will), there’s no better place than at the Ben & Jerry’s Factory. Tour the site that crafts your favorite ice-cold treats, then head outside for a picnic. And if you time it right, you can hang out on the lawn for a fun movie night! Your sweet tooth (and your kiddos) will thank you.

3. Lounge at the Lake

If you’re looking for a fun way to seriously savor the summer, the two on-site reservoirs at Smugglers’ Notch should do the trick. Bootleggers Basin offers the picture-perfect seasonal fun in your kids’ dreams. With an inflatable Zoom Flume slide, swimming area, and paddleboarding, there are plenty of exciting ways for your littles to make a splash. 

And if you want a more adventurous way to get wet, then make the trek up to Rum Runners Hideaway where you’ll enjoy the stunning mountain backdrop. Plus, with a water swing, water trampoline, and jump pillow, your kids are sure to wear themselves out.

4. Sweeten Things Up at the Vermont Maple Outlet

You can’t go to the Green Mountain State without stopping at the Vermont Maple Outlet. One stop at this sweet tooth haven will have you jittery and drooling like Ross Gellar. And if you need something to calm the sugar rush, not to worry. This family-owned farm offers tasty treats like cheeses and smoked meats in addition to their naturally sugary maple syrup, candy, and more! 

Tripbound Traveler Tip: a little bag full of mapley goodness is the perfect souvenir for friends and family! 

5. Reserve One-on-One Time with Nature

Though Smugglers’ Notch is a winter wonderland during the cold season, the summertime setting is equally breathtaking. Even better, you can get out and explore without the added layers! And what greater way to enjoy the outdoors than venturing on foot? 

With family-friendly trails nearby, a hike is an adventure all the littles in your family can enjoy. 

  • Sterling Pond Trail. This 2.3-mile trail is a moderate, to-the-pond-and-back hike, which is perfect for the whole family. 
  • Pinnacle Trail. For 3.4 miles round-trip, your travel crew (as long as it only includes those ages 7 and up) will enjoy a short but relatively steep trek to the summit. Along the way, you’ll encounter bridges, a wooden teepee, and other sightings you’ll have to see to experience. The views alone are worth it!

For more options, here’s the Smugglers’ Notch Trail map.

And you don’t want to miss Mount Mansfield — Vermont’s highest peak at 4,300 feet. The hike is better suited for the oldest members of your travel crew. But if the uphill climb isn’t doable, then there are two options to help you make your way to the top: 

Where should you eat? 

With all these fun things to do, there’s no denying that you’ll work up an appetite playing at Smugglers’ Notch. Thankfully, there’s something for any time of day and any kind of craving when it’s time to refuel. 

Take your pick: 

  • Martell’s at the Red Fox: With live music (sometimes outdoors if the weather permits), this family-owned and operated restaurant marries food and entertainment! The BBQ pulled pork sandwich, chicken sandwich, and chicken wings are a few favorites. Plus, a winning kid’s menu!
  • Butler’s Pantry: This is one popular spot for breakfast! You definitely can’t go wrong with the french toast, maple sausage, or eggs benedict. 
  • The Bench: Craving comfort food? This place has it all — from chicken tenders to mac & cheese, salt n’ vinegar fries, nachos, wood-fired pizza, and more. 
  • Ranch Camp: Head to this fast, casual eatery where you can grab local brews and healthy food such as “hippie” fries, salads, burritos, power bowls, and kid-friendly options to satisfy even the pickiest of eaters. 
  • Stowe Bee Bakery & Cafe: Who could ever resist morning pastries, sweets & treats, and even lunch specials if you get a late start to your day? Also, get your caffeine fix with any of their hot or cold beverages. 

Where should you stay? 

smugglers' notch in the summer

The decision is a simple one—Wyndham Vacation Resorts Smugglers’ Notch! Set on more than 18,000 unspoiled, high country acres, this resort will provide you with a perfect recipe for solitude and family fun. Here’s why we think you’ll love staying here:

  • This area is especially family-friendly as it’s known for being “America’s Family Resort!”
  • There are all kinds of swimming options at Smugglers’ Notch, thanks to eight heated pools, four waterslides, and two freshwater reservoirs.
  • If you’re traveling with kids in tow, they’ll love the FunZone 2.0 Family Fun Complex.
  • The resort features award-winning children’s programs for nonstop adventures.
  • Spacious two-bedroom deluxe suites (in the Tamaracks and Aspens), starting as low as $176 a night, feature a kitchen, private balcony/deck, and plenty of home comforts.

If you fell in love with it as a top ski destination, you’ll love getting to know the other side of it. With incredible backdrops and endless things to do, Smugglers’ Notch is the summer vacay that will have you coming back year after year (after year). So what do you say?

Let the team here at Tripbound help you plan and book a stress-free escape for the summer!

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