It is hard to resist a vacation in a quintessential Vermont town at an Inn that encompasses both New England charm and resort-like amenities. For many years, The Woodstock Inn and Resort in Woodstock, Vermont has hosted generations of families who wish to enjoy what the Inn and town of Woodstock has to offer. With breathtaking views everywhere you look, and activities like hiking, biking and hot air ballooning, this could be the most wholesome summer vacation you experience.
The Woodstock Inn is certainly not your cozy “little” New England Inn. Rather, it is a sprawling and grand place with 142-rooms, yet offers the quaintness and charm of a smaller establishment. Upon entering the Inn, you are greeted by a massive fireplace that is usually surrounded with people gathered on all sides enjoying drinks and conversation. I doubt anything in life says ‘welcome and relax’ like an open fireplace.
The main part of the Inn is truly a maze of long hallways dotted with cozy sitting areas. My favorite was outside of the dining room and the gift shop. Appointed with wicker furniture and great deep cushions, this is the perfect place to enjoy the fantastic light streaming in through the massive windows overlooking the street. Catching up on your favorite reading here could be a vacation in itself.
The Inn’s restaurant, The Red Rooster, is located outside the lobby on the first floor, and is a bit more modern than one would expect. With a square marble decorative pool in the center of the room and comfy booths, it’s easy to settle in for a great meal. I was impressed with how reasonable both the drink and food prices were for such a popular resort. Long Trails on draft (a local favorite and neighboring brewery within close range to the resort) sells for only $4. The wine list, while not extensive, is again more than reasonable. Like many Vermont restaurants, they are a part of the Vermont Fresh Network and listed on their menu are all the local purveyors from the cheeses to the meats.
Entrees are wide-ranging and can include anything from Black Truffle Risotto to a Grilled Cornish Hen served with a green bean casserole. One particularly good appetizer is a house-made Pate served with Huckleberry Compote, cornichons and whole grain mustard with Rosemary Toast. Worth noting is that Yankee Magazine voted The Red Rooster “best new restaurant”.
What Inn, especially a New England one, would be complete without a Tavern? Their tavern is large and has a wonderfully cozy feel to it. The menu offers favorites such as five cheese mac & cheese and seafood stew and very reasonable drink prices. And each weekend throughout the summer you can enjoy entertainment.
The Spa opened officially in September 2010 and is located in the main building (unlike the sports center and indoor pool which is about 1.5 miles away with shuttle service provided.) The Spa has a reception area that mirrors the modern look of the Red Rooster, but the sleekness is appropriate for this state-of-the-art spa. It was designed to be both elegant and functional, while keeping with the New England ambiance. Light spills dramatically through the windows in the main areas and each treatment room is private and beautifully appointed. One such touch are the bronzed botanical door hangers used as monikers for the treatment rooms.
The co-ed sanctuary adorned with Simon Pearce glass has a fantastic hot tub outside in a private spa courtyard, which is also co-ed. The Sauna is also located in the courtyard.
The spa treatments vary by season and incorporate the foods, flavorings and spirit of the Vermont season, i.e. Vanilla Maple in the spring and Pumpkin Spice in the fall. If I pressed myself for a favorite room, it would have to be the doubles accommodation room that can be used for couple massages. Woods adorn this room exquisitely and the center piece is a wooden Japanese soaking tub.
Forgive me if I have painted a picture of an adult vacation spot. Families galore enjoy this resort and take part in many activities and amenities designed for adults and kids alike. I spoke to a few people staying here who have such fond memories of their vacations as children that they have traveled back from all over the country to marry at the Inn, certainly ensuring many more years of new families making the Woodstock Inn & Resort a treasure to be enjoyed for years to come.
For more information visit www.woodstockinn.com or call 888.481.8802.
Points of interest
Billings Farm and Museum
5302 River Road, Woodstock
Explore one of the finest operating dairy farms in America and a museum of Vermont’s rural past – your gateway to Vermont’s rural heritage. Get to know the Jerseys, sheep, horses, oxen, and chickens through interactive programs and activities. Explore the barns and calf nursery and watch the afternoon milking of the herd. Experience a first-hand sampling of actual farm work, animals and agricultural processes. The authentically restored 1890 Farm House, the center of the farm and forestry operation a century ago – features the farm manager’s office, family living quarters – and creamery, where butter was produced for market. Interactive programs in the farmhouse interpret 19th century agricultural improvement, butter production and domestic life. Engaging exhibits housed in 19th century barns depict the annual cycle of rural life and work, as well as the cultural values of Vermont farm families a century ago.
The Marsh Billings Rockefeller National Historical Park
54 Elm Street, Woodstock
Vermont’s first National Park interprets the history of conservation and the evolving nature of land stewardship with tours of the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller mansion and the surrounding 550 acre forest. 20 miles of carriage roads (no driving) and trails for hiking. Guided tours of mansion & gardens.
President Calvin Coolidge State Historic Site
Route 100A, Plymouth Notch
The birthplace of the 30th President of the United States; born on July 4. Homes remain as they were at the beginning of the century. Fine perennial gardens. National Historic Landmark Plymouth cheese Factory located here, open and making cheese regularly for the public to view.
Simon Pearce, Quechee
1760 Quechee Main Street, Quechee
Simon Pearce designs and manufactures original products in glass and pottery. Come and watch traditional glassblowers and potters at work and shop the store which features the best of their work. Complete the occasion by enjoying fine Irish American cuisine served on original Simon Pearce designs.
The Mill, Route 4, Bridgewater
Charles Shackleton is a famous furniture maker and Miranda Thomas is a world-renowned potter who has done work for the United Nations and the White House. Studio is located in a woolen mill.
There are some wonderful and interesting shops and galleries in the Village including FH Gillingham and Sons (www.gillinghams.com), celebrating their 125 year in business this year.
For more information on the area visit www.woodstockvt.com