For families looking for a relaxing Vermont getaway with a host of family activities, the Woodstock Inn & Resort is an excellent upscale choice. Nestled between the Green Mountains and the Ottauquechee River, the village of Woodstock dates back to 1765 and is chockablock with quaint shops, white-steepled churches, galleries, cafes, and a classic New England village green lined with stately Federal-style homes.
Blessed with a superb location right on that green is the Woodstock Inn, a four-season resort where family time means games and hikes, farm visits, and afternoon cookies and cider. An oversized framed chalkboard in the lobby announces the daily activity offerings, which may include a “float and flick” at the indoor pool, wine-and-cheese tasting in the lobby, or a gardening or flower-arranging lesson from the inn’s master gardener. Kids will enjoy the retro game room with pinball machines, a pool table, table shuffleboard, classic board games, and old-school video games like Pac-Man and Frogger.
Want to explore the area? The inn’s staff can recommend a variety of activities within a short drive of the inn. In the winter, that may mean a day at one of America’s oldest ski areas, Suicide Six, with its sky blue chairlift and traditional J-bar. The inn also offers outings at New England Falconry, where kids and parents can learn to handle and fly a Harris's hawk and learn about raptor adaptations and conservation. For nature-loving kids, there’s nothing quite like being a perch for a bird of prey just before it swoops in to swallow a mouse.
Other activities at or near the resort include golf, fly fishing, tennis or racquetball, summer swimming in the outdoor heated saltwater pool or winter swimming at the Athletic Club, hiking along 60 miles of interconnected trails, walking tours along miles of colonial carriage roads, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, biking on single and double-track trails or fat biking at the Nordic Adventure Center. The spa at the Inn offers Vermont-inspired treatments, such as a hot chocolate body wrap or a pear fig facial, along with teen treatments for kids over 16.
For a casual dinner, head to Richardson's Tavern, a laid-back space with a menu that highlights local farm-to-table specialties like the Billings Farm Cheese Fondue or the Farm House Beef Stew. For a slightly more formal experience, try the Red Rooster where the inn’s chef and gardener partner to create the ultimate Vermont tasting experience. Looking for a maple moment while in Vermont? Three words: maple crême brulée. Breakfast at the Red Rooster is a dream for parents traveling with picky eaters.
From traditional menu items to a breakfast buffet with just about everything made to order, you’ll be well-fortified for whatever outdoor activity you’re headed off to next.
Each of the inn’s 142 prettily decorated guest rooms provide a comfortable space to hang out in front of the fire, enjoy the flatscreen TV or get a great night’s sleep under a fluffy duvet topped with luxurious pillows. Vermont to the core, the décor features handmade furnishings from local artisans and bathrooms clad in Vermont marble and subway tile.
Best rooms: The Woodstock Inn & Resort offers a wide variety of room types to accommodate families. Besides standard rooms, there are suites featuring a king bed or two queens plus a living area with a sofa bed and two bathrooms. The Morgan House, which accommodates 8 people, is complete with a kitchen and dining room. All guest rooms are equipped with candles, robes, hair dryers and Keurig coffee makers. The property has free wi-fi and parking but there is a fairly hefty $30 daily resort fee added to the room rate.
The Inn is pet-friendly, though there is a fee and reservations are required.
Best season: The Woodstock Inn & Resort is open all year, with peak rates during holidays and fall foliage season. Bargain hunters should consider a spring trip and check the inn’s packages page.
Visited: February 2016
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