Editor’s Note: Our #LocalInsiderTips interviews give you a peek at local gems and top travel tips from influential travelers in the know.
This week, we are chatting with the founder and president of Boundless Journeys, Matt Holmes. Holmes is based in Stowe, Vermont. Before founding Boundless Journeys (an award winning adventure tour operator), Holmes worked for many years as a destination manager, tour designer, travel agent and guide. He has lost count of the number of countries he’s been to and enjoys exploring new and lesser known destinations, so he can introduce to travelers to off the beaten path locations.
Best Local Food in Stowe:
There are so many great places to eat in Stowe that it’s hard to choose. Most places change their menu seasonally and use lots of local ingredients. Among my favorites are Idletyme, Doc Ponds and The Bench. All of these combine comfort food with creative dishes and great beer lists.
Don’t Drink the Water in Stowe, Drink the Beer:
The whole state of Vermont is a beer lover’s haven, and Stowe has two of the most famous regional breweries: von Trapp Brewery (owned by the youngest son of the famous von Trapp family that, “The Sound of Music,” movie was based on) and The Alchemist. You can sample the von Trapp beer in its alpine style bierhall and then head down the road for the Alchemist’s most sought-after beer, Heady Topper. There’s also Stowe Cider for those who prefer hard cider.
Best Local Retailer Shop in Stowe:
Stowe Mercantile has something for everyone. From souvenirs to bulk candy, cards, gifts, jams, unique housewares and even socks. This is one stop shopping at its finest with many local products.
Best Thing to Do in Stowe:
Stowe is great for enjoying the great outdoors. Each season brings something different—skiing in the winter, mountain and road biking in the warmer months, a plethora of all-season hikes, some that culminate with views to Canada on a clear day. And we can’t forget the fall since Stowe is one of the best places for “leaf peeping.”
——Now Let’s Take This Interview Abroad—-
Stamp My Passport Again Please:
Bhutan holds a special place in my heart, especially having been there three times. The Bhutanese are incredibly warm and welcoming, their Buddhist culture is unique and well-preserved, and the landscape of the Himalayan foothills are stunning—a travel triad! I could return to Bhutan time and time again and have sent members of our home staff there to experience this country for themselves.
Travel Experience that Most Left an Impression on You:
The Julian Alps of Slovenia left a huge impression on me. It reminded me so much of Vermont with the mountains, hiking, cheese, and rural, self-sufficient culture. And the wine—I had no idea Slovenia produced such amazing wine (very little is exported), but it is some of the best I’ve ever had. Between the cuisine, the landscape, the opportunities for the adventure and few tourists, this corner of Europe is the ultimate hidden gem.
I’m hoping to carve out the time to join our newest trip, Raja Ampat Snorkeling, a yacht-based, water adventure in a stunning and remote Indonesian archipelago. I love disconnecting and being totally immersed in nature, which is why this destination is so high on my list.
Favorite Travel Hack or Item of Travel Gear You Can’t Live Without:
I am a huge fan of Darn Tough Socks (made in Vermont!). They last forever and have a lifetime guarantee. Hiking, walking, running, skiing, lounging—there’s a sock for every activity.
Connect With This Globetrotter:
Are you an in-the-know traveler on the go who has favorite local spots you want to give a shout out to? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and share your hidden gems with FoodWaterShoes.