Can't decide if you'd rather dive into American History or maybe just relax with a scoop of the freshest Ben and Jerry's straight from the factory? You can have both! These 6 Vermont road trips have stops that make every trip memorable (and delicious!)
The best of Burlington – just outside your door!
This Yankee Magazine award-winning property (“Best Bed & Breakfast in Burlington,” 2016), combines turn-of-the-century Victorian charm with contemporary comforts, services, and amenities. The stunning 1881 Queen Anne Victorian, whose 11 rooms display lavish original craftsmanship, is ideally located on Burlington’s historic Main Street. After enjoying a full breakfast, made with locally sourced ingredients, guests can walk to Church Street Marketplace (10 minutes), the heart of downtown Burlington and all the shops, galleries, pubs, cafes, sights and sounds that comprise this vibrant town; Lake Champlain (20 minutes); or the University of Vermont campus (10 minutes).
As befitting a waterfront, sports-crazy town, visitors can choose from a delightful array of recreational activities, both in town and nearby. Canoeing, sailing, kayaking, cycling, ice skating (at an indoor Olympic-size rink), and golfing are just a few options.
History buffs and museumgoers can easily spend an entire day at the Shelburne Museum (15 minute drive) that houses American folk and decorative art in a collection of historic buildings. And no day in or around Burlington, of course, is complete without a Ben and Jerry’s ice cream cone!
The crown jewel of the kingdom
Set on the shores of a pristine, glacial lake, the enchanting Willoughvale Inn is a jewel located in the heart of the state’s vast Northeast Kingdom. In this remote and stunningly beautiful setting, guests enjoy supremely comfortable accommodations and amenities in each of the historic inn’s beautifully appointed rooms and cottages. An on-site restaurant, that serves dinner in season, offers sweeping views of the lake and mountains.
Outdoor activities are almost limitless, and the inn provides complimentary canoes, kayaks, and bikes. Guests can swim right from the inn’s shores -- or do nothing except sit and listen to loons. Fishing, scuba diving, bird watching, rock climbing, golfing, hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking are all nearby. For a change of pace, visit one of the region’s many country stores, gift shops, studios, and galleries that feature the work of talented craftspeople. And, if you’re lucky enough to visit in August, don’t miss the Orleans County Fair in nearby Barton – it’s been a regional “must” since 1867!
Kicking back in rustic luxury
Just like Stowe itself, Field Guide is an enchanting combination of rustic luxury, playfulness, and relaxed ambience. The plush, boutique hotel’s amenities are so enticing that it’s tempting to simply kick back by the heated, seasonal pool, hot tub, fire pit, and seriously cool bar and restaurant, and never leave. But for those wanting a bit more activity, Stowe definitely doesn’t disappoint.
Guests can paddle a canoe or kayak on one of several nearby lakes or rivers; float over the mountains in a hot-air balloon; rent a mountain bike and hit one of the dozens of area trails; or get a bird’s eye view of the countryside on a zipline. (And, there’s some mighty fine downhill skiing here, too!) If exploring art galleries, browsing for antiques, and experiencing museums are more your style, downtown Stowe won’t disappoint.
Field Guide is a Lark Hotel, which are distinctive properties located in the most desirable locations in the country. They are also known for cherishing “sense of place” with imagination and touch of mischief. At Field Guide, the common spaces and guest rooms (some of which welcome well-mannered dogs) are punctuated with so many delightful visual surprises that even wandering the halls is a treat. When guests do venture outside, the village of Stowe offers an endless, year-round array of activities, events, attractions, and recreational opportunities.
Quintessential New England, right down to the Village Green
Middlebury is home to the world-renowned Middlebury College, making the village is a delightful combination of small-town charm and global influence. It has been hailed as the “cultural and intellectual capital of Vermont” for its full spectrum of world-class visual and performing arts offerings. The area offers dozens of year-round recreational opportunities, and craft beer breweries, wineries, museums (the Shelburne Museum is 30 minutes north), Revolutionary War sites, Lake Champlain, and Robert Frost’s vacation home (grounds open to the public) are all just a short drive away.
Having it all while having fun
For a small town, Manchester seemingly “has it all.” A summer theater festival produces new plays each year, many of which go on to Broadway, and a summer music festival hosts concerts featuring award-winning musicians from around the world. Anglers know Manchester for its acclaimed fly-fishing (the Orvis Fly Fishing School, flagship store, and the American Museum of Fly Fishing are all just steps from the Inn). Readers love Northshire Bookstore, one of the country’s largest independent bookstores, and historians enjoy Hildene, the 1905 Georgian Revival mansion home of Robert Todd Lincoln. And for those who love a bargain – Manchester is home to dozens of designer outlets and company stores.
Tranquility and travels in southwestern Vermont
Located on a peaceful hillside above the historic village of West Dover, guests at Deerhill Inn enjoy spectacular views across Mount Snow Valley to the tranquil Green Mountains beyond. Some of the 13 elegant guest rooms (all of which are appointed with luxury amenities) feature private, furnished decks; all enjoy either a mountain or garden view. A seasonal, secluded pool is surrounded by lovely gardens. After a full day of exploring the area, many guests enjoy a relaxing dinner at the Inn, where dining room views of the nearby ski slopes complement locally sourced fine food and drink.
The Deerhill is perfectly situated to explore southern Vermont’s charming towns, including Putney and Brattleboro, which are about 30 minuets east. A bit farther afield (about an hour’s scenic drive) is The Clark, a spectacularly beautiful, world-class art museum located in Williamstown (MA). Although known for its winter sports, the area attracts outdoor enthusiasts year round to enjoy hiking, biking, golfing, canoeing, kayaking and lake boating, all of which are within easy distance from the Inn. Those who like to explore galleries, craft and antique shops, historic sites and homes, cheese and wine makers, sugar houses, and the like will be delighted with the myriad of choices awaiting them, all within easy reach of the Deerhill Inn.