Von Bargen’s For the first time, we actually went shopping in Stowe. And boy, did we have fun.There’s nothing like hitting a tourist town pre-Christmas to loosen the purse strings. My daughter and I ogled the gorgeous jewels at Von Bargen’s long enough that my husband actually got the hint and we both found lovely little packages under the tree. This fine jeweler offers an interesting mix of smaller designers, next to the big guys like John Hardy and Roberto Coin. We loved Anne Sportun’s delicate chains of raw stones intermixed with gold or silver beads that can be wrapped around wrist or neck, Todd Reed’s raw diamonds are show-stopping (a BIG anniversary is coming up), and John Iverson’s delicate and classic works. vonbargensjewelry.com Chalet Life My family had to drag me out of Chalet Life (and no, not empty-handed). This inspired home decor destination carries a mix of new and antique goods that will transform your home into an alpine chalet. It’s just like taking a jaunt to Megeve! You’ll find blankets and pillows sporting woodland themes, classic French linens, antique cutting boards, vintage crystal and ironstone. Make sure to stop at the owner’s antique shop just down the road, too: Alpine Home Antiques. www.chalet-life.com Winterfell If you’re ready to trade in your North Face for something with a bit more attitude, head to Winterfell. Here you’ll find a high-end skiwear paradise, filled with the likes of Bogner, Parajumpers, M. Miller and Colmar. It’s not all tres cher, however; here we discovered Skida, a Vermont company that produces bright printed hats, neck warmers and headbands for $16 – 30. Better yet, Skida has a lovely philanthropic angle. Purchase a hat online, enter the promo code and Skida will provide a free hat to a cancer patient undergoing chemotherapy. www.winterfellvt.com Green Envy This is a department store pretending it’s a boutique. So much inventory! A wall of every denim label imaginable, racks of cashmere from the likes of Autumn Cashmere and Vince, those gorgeous hand-knit Loma sweaters, Eileen Fisher and Joie, plus an incredible lineup of apres ski boots (we’re big fans of Ilse Jacobsen). If you’ve forgotten ANYTHING head here, down to Tara Harper’s organic cosmetics (she’s based in Vermont, after all) and cute Susanna Monaco dresses. This shop is perfect for all ages, especially mother/daughter excursions, and you won’t walk away empty handed. www.vermontenvy.com Laughing Moon Chocolate You must stop for a hot chocolate at Laughing Moon. Deep, dark, so rich, but not too sweet, it IS the ultimate cocoa. And while you’re there snag a box or two of their famous buttercreams, chocolate bark or truffles. This is artisanal handmade chocolate at it’s best. Head over at 2pm for dipping demos and free samples. www.laughingmoonchocolates.com The Mysterious Heady Topper When beer drinkers arrive in the state of Vermont they begin the local treasure hunt. Where to find Heady Topper beer? There is a shroud of mystery around this Double IPA, mainly because it’s impossible to get your hands on it. My husband (who is not a beer-drinker) even succumbed to the chase, which meant multiple runs to various package stores to find a four-pack. On Tuesday, which apparently is Heady Topper Delivery Day, practically a town holiday in these parts, he finally snagged the prize. The upshot? It’s good beer. Me, I’ll stick to Citizen Cider. Find Heady Topper (on Tuesday) at Stowe Wine & Cheese and check out their newly opened wine bar, Swirl. You may also like our articles on Where to Stay and Where to Eat in Stowe.