By Allison Tibaldi, Taking the Kids correspondent
Vermont is loaded with quaint villages and covered bridges, but Woodstock stands tall even in state that’s chockfull of adorable. Town folks catch up on local news via the Town Crier, a big chalkboard located near the storybook-pretty village green, adding yesteryear authenticity and small town charm. Nestled in the majestic Green Mountains, a blanket of white makes winter look as fun and festive as the inside of a snow-globe.
The idyllic scenery would be enough for me, but my active teenagers crave outdoor adventures, no matter how low the temperatures dip. We struck the right balance during our recent weekend at the Woodstock Inn. The resort offers an array of frosty activities plus plenty of creature comforts.
The 142 spacious rooms and suites are the essence of New England, with wood-burning fireplaces and handcrafted bedframes. The common areas are equally inviting. We appreciated thoughtful touches such as locally made flannel blankets and tea and home-baked cookies served each afternoon.
The inn offers a complimentary shuttle that takes you to the ski area and around town.
The staff is uniformly terrific. Many employees have been working at the resort for decades. I struck up a conversation with my friendly shuttle driver, Bill. He has worked at the hotel since he was a high school student 43 years ago and wouldn’t dream of working anywhere else.
Downhill Skiing and Snowboarding
The inn has it’s own ski resort, Suicide Six. It’s got a cozy vibe, right down to the blazing fireplace in the base lodge. The new quad chair lift whisked us to the top of the mountain in a flash. The terrain provided a good mix of slopes. I stayed on the easy green and blue trails, like Easy Mile and Bunny’s Boulevard while my husband and kids enjoyed the fast-pace of the steeper runs like The Face. I appreciated Suicide Six’s manageable size and the excellent food, particularly the homemade chili.
The Nordic Adventure Center
30 miles of groomed trails are located just a few minutes walk from the hotel at the Nordic Adventure Center. We rented cross-country skis and snowshoes and gave Fat Tire Biking a try. These bikes are specially designed with fat tires, around 4 or 5 inches wide, that allow you to pedal directly on the snow. It was strenuous and fun. My husband and I stayed on the flat, groomed trails while my kids explored the hilly un-groomed terrain.
The Woodstock Athletic Club
After our days spent engaging in snowy activities, we all enjoyed a dip in the heated indoor pool at the hotel’s athletic center. I also took a Pilates class to stretch my weary muscles. The large exercise space and wide range of classes put my New York City gym to shame.
F.H. Gillingham & Sons is Woodstock’s general store, owned and operated by the same local family since 1866. They sell an eclectic range of goods, but quality is the unifying factor. Vermont products, such as cheese and maple syrup, are mouth-watering.
Don’t miss a visit to the Billings Farm & Museum. It’s a fully operating Jersey dairy farm where you can get up close with the cows at the milking barn and explore the 19th century farmhouse and creamery. Educational programming and sleigh rides make it extra special. Hotel guests enjoy free visits.
My family loved the casual flannel goods at the Vermont Flannel Company, all made in the U.S.A. We purchased comfy flannel lounge pants and shirts, warm souvenirs to remind us of our weekend of snow-capped fun.
Photos courtesy of the Woodstock Inn and the author