Vermont is one of our favorite weekend escapes. It feels so quaint and earthy. Vermonters focus on all things homemade and healthy. We adore this, of course!
Outdoor activities are huge. Hiking and camping are easy in Vermont. There's so much open space! Aaron and I have loved getting to know the West Townshend area, which is featured in this Vermont guide.
Watch for more from Vermont as we continue exploring, but, in the mean time, enjoy West Townshend.
Where to stay:
We stayed in one the most magical places in the world: The Windham Hill Inn. We've been to the Inn three times because we're simply in love with the place!
The Windham Hill Inn was originally a farmhouse built in 1825. It's been converted to a charming Bed & Breakfast. The owners kept much of the traditional farmhouse decor. You can channel another era with all the modern conveniences. I loved the amazing bathtub.
The Windham Hill Inn sits on 160 acres of beautiful meadows and lush forests. I love the thoughtful touches throughout. Everything from tea time (with home baked cookies) to cheese plates in the lobby keep the "hangries" away!
Visiting the Windham Hill Inn has become a tradition for us. When YOU visit, be sure to sign the guestbook and look for our entries-haha!
Where to eat:
The Windham Hill Inn actually serves breakfast, picnic lunches and dinner in the house! It's so wonderful to stay and enjoy a B&B without having to search for meals elsewhere!
Imagine jumping in a hot bath RIGHT after dinner…or breakfast…or maybe lunch! That's what I’m talking about!
It also helps to have dinner at the B&B in case you get snowed in. That's what happened to us!
Seriously, the food Windham Hill Inn serves is all farm-to-table and delicious. Even if you don’t stay at the Inn, you can eat breakfast or dinner there and enjoy the gorgeous scenery. Their breakfast is delicious with everything from oatmeal, to pancakes, to delicious Vermont cheese omelets and Eggs Benedict. For dinner, I loved the ravioli. Aaron loved the chicken.
If you want something more casual for breakfast or lunch, we really enjoyed the Townshend Dam Diner. It’s definitely not fancy, but there's so much character and charm in the decorations. It's also a great spot to people watch.
If you’re looking for something that's casual, but possibly less diner-direct, go to the West Townshend Country Store. It’s actually at the bottom of Windham Hill Road. They have some basic breakfast food options which are all very tasty and fresh.
While you’re waiting for your food, take a stroll around the vintage shop upstairs! Also, every Friday night in warmer months the Country Store serves wood-fired pizza outside! This is fantastic! I’d highly recommend the experience. Pizza night outside provides such a local small town atmosphere. We love it!
There's one more food option we loved: a burger joint called Honeypie. This restaurant looks like they totally renovated an old gas station and turned it into a hip little burger stop.
There are many obscure burger options. Aaron got a burger called “Bring It" which even included organic kimchi as a garnish. It also included bacon. How can you go wrong? You can even request to get your burger wrapped in lettuce if you're on a gluten-free diet. Oh, and their fries are gluten free. Yay!
Along with their burgers, Honeypie Is also known for sausages. They have everything from lamb to pork to beef sausages. Just like the burgers, they also offer plenty of obscure toppings.
What to do:
Vermont is a great place for outdoor activities, even in the middle of winter. One of our favorite activities was dog sledding at Vermont Husky Works. This adventure is run by a young husband and wife. Their family has over 200 acres of land transformed into dog sledding trails.
Aaron and I didn’t know what to expect at all, so we just went with the flow! We arrived, literally, in the middle of a snow storm. We brought our ski goggles and bundled up. Once we arrived, they introduced us to all of their huskies (over 30 of them) and told us about how they care for their dogs and a bit of history of their property and business. It was great getting to see how much they care for their dogs.
After teaching us about their business, they bundled us into sleds and we were off! The sledding explores about five miles of pathways throughout their property. There were so many snowy gorgeous sites to see!
Half way through, the leaders made a quick stop at a small cabin they built in the woods. The view was breathtaking! They even treated us to hot chocolate and homemade chocolate chip cookies. We couldn’t have asked for a better experience! We can’t wait to go back next year!
If you want to hike instead of sled, Vermont is also a great place for snow-shoeing. Last year I surprised Aaron with snow shoes. This was our first time to take them out and put them to the test. They worked great! We were able to traverse through rough snow with ease.
We meandered around the Windham Hill property (primarily because we were snowed in). You can find many trails and nature preserves all over Vermont, however. If you’ve never been snow-shoeing, be sure to try it out!
If you’re in town during the summer, a good old fashioned hike is always a good idea. We explored Hamilton Falls, but, beware, this hike can be dangerous! There is a very large waterfall that weaves throughout the rocks. The rocks are extra smooth and slippery. Towards the top of the waterfall, there's a large swimming hole. It even has a ladder to help you easily enter the swimming hole. What an exhilarating experience!
Tired of hiking? How about riding a horse? Aaron and I love horses. In the summertime, we took horses on a trail at Adam’s Farm. In the winter, they also provide sleigh rides with their horses through the snow. They also give out hot chocolate for the ride :) I'd definitely recommend horseback riding anytime.
Finally, Vermont is wonderful for skiing. Windham Hill Inn is surrounded by a couple of ski villages. We didn’t actually go skiing in the area, but everyone we talked to seemed to love the skiing.
Vermont can be so fun whether you have an adventurous spirit or just need to relax for a few days. It’s amazing to know something so beautiful and unique is so close to NYC.
I hope this guide helps you have a great time. Good luck exploring!