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While many families flock to stowe mountain resort during the winter for its exceptional skiing, spring and summer bring an entirely new set of opportunities for enjoyment. Although you most definitely will want to pack your clubs for a getaway to Stowe Mountain, you’ll also want to explore some of the many other ways to celebrate the great outdoors.

Starting with the Stowe Mountain Club Golf Course, which was recognized by Golf Magazine as one of the top 10 new courses in the United States when it opened a decade ago, the resort offers a spectacular way to get away.

“We’re fortunate to have 36 holes of golf,” says Ron Philo, Jr., director of Stowe Mountain Club, which is an exclusive year-round club. The Stowe Mountain Club Golf Course, whose 18 holes take players through the slopes of Mount Mansfield and Spruce Peak, capitalizes on Vermont’s serene natural beauty and the course reaches an elevation of 1,800 feet.

“It redefines mountain golf, with sweeping elevation changes and majestic mountain views,” Philo says of the Bob Cupp-designed course. “It’s visually intimidating but incredibly fair. It’s not a test of length, but tee shots demand precision and the small greens require players to find the right side of the hole.”

The resort’s second course, Stowe Country Club, is set in a space formerly occupied by a turn-of-the-century dairy farm. Surrounded by mountains and sporting beautiful undulating greens, Philo says it offers a “terrific juxtaposition” to the Mountain Club course.

“It is perfect for families and golfers of all abilities, while offering enough risk-reward shot-making options to keep smiles on the faces of the accomplished golfers in your group,” he says.

PICTURE PERFECT

Philo acknowledges that photos of the courses and the surrounding area are nothing short of breathtaking, but what makes Stowe’s courses stand out even more is that they are more stunning in person.

“Even the best photography struggles to capture the sheer beauty of the setting,” he says. “The No. 1 comment we hear from golfers is that they have never played a course with such spectacular views.”

He cautions that those same views may provide a distraction from your game; so bring a camera but also be sure to bring your laser-sharp mental focus. The fourth and 15th holes of the Mountain Club course provide the course’s best views of Mount Mansfield and the valley below it.

“Both holes are par-4s on the shortish side, but they are diabolical in design and require precision—which is hard to do when you are distracted by the views.”

The most challenging moment comes on the sixth hole, with a Reverse Redan par-3 overlooking Peregrine Lake. During the winter, that 110-million gallon reservoir fuels the resort’s snowmaking system, but in warmer months it creates an imposing and challenging obstacle.

“Again, it’s a hole that’s not that hard on paper,” Philo says, noting that it maxes out at just under 200 yards. “But the prevalent winds get magnified by the narrow notch between the mountains, and the thin, angled green and carry over the water makes par on the hole a great score.”

If you’re worried about your swing and your score, stop by the indoor golf studio first, which includes putting and chipping areas.

GETTING OFF COURSE

In addition to the courses, Stowe Mountain Resort is filled with ways to actively enjoy the great outdoors. Beyond playing the courses, the best ways to see what Stowe has to offer is through a Zip Tour or Treetop Adventure.

The Zip Tour Adventure is touted as “the world’s fastest and most exhilarating zip line experience” and it allows you to reach speeds of up to 80 miles an hour while zip-ping above and through the Green Mountain State Forest. The memorable experience begins with a ride in the Summit Gondola from the base up to the launching point, which is near the top of Mount Mansfield.

The TreeTop Adventure takes you through the forest using aerial tree-to-tree connections. Six different courses provide different views as well as different levels of challenge, and it is designed for most ages.

Of course, there are also such activities as tennis, hiking and fishing to take in. And, if shopping is your sport, the Shops at Spruce Peak Village Center are waiting for you.

MAKE TIME FOR DOWNTIME

After a busy day on the golf course, zipping through the trees or meandering through the shops, you’ll have earned your relaxation time. The Spa at Stowe Mountain Lodge is designed with exactly that purpose in mind.

“Our guest enjoy truly being able to relax while they’re here with us,” says Bill Butler, spa director. “For some, that comes with the touch of a massage or facial; for others, it’s a yoga session, laps in the pool, or relaxing in the hot tub and sauna.”

And, after a full day of recreation and relaxation, the only thing left to do is enjoy one of the many restaurants at the resort.