Blazing fall foliage, steaming maple syrup, snowshoes leaning against a barn. These are the images that call one to The Vermont Way to Stay. And there is no better way to visit the beauty of this magnificent state than from the warm and friendly enclave of the Vermont bed and breakfast inns.
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Fit together like two pieces of a puzzle and separated by the Connecticut River, Vermont is the ying to New Hampshire’s yang. Centrally located in the very heart of New England, Vermont is known as the rural Northeast Kingdom and is a nature lover’s playground. In Southern Vermont, Manchester and Bennington are small towns but worth checking into due to their proximity to the Green Mountain National Forest.
As bed and breakfasts in Vermont go, there is an endless selection of luxury inns from which to choose. Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway in the chill of winter, a family vacation during the warm summer months, or the spectacular autumn scenery undulating across the landscape, you’re sure to find the perfect luxury B&B inn to complement your stay.
Vermont was initially settled by the French and the English in the early 18th century. As history shows, tensions between the two super-powers, never the best of friends, escalated into the French and Indian War. The defeated French ceded the land to the English where it became the 14th state of the Union in 1790.
However, a curious event occurred that saw Vermont actually secede from the original 13 colonies during the American Revolution. The Continental Congress refused to recognize the secession, and Vermont existed somewhat in limbo as an independent republic for 14 years before being welcomed back into statehood. Perhaps the other colonies missed all that maple syrup!
In addition to enjoying one of the first ski lifts created in the US in 1934, the first Social Security check was issued to a Ludlow, Vermont resident, for the grand total of $22.54. Famous ice cream makers Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield opened their first Ben & Jerry’s homemade ice cream shop in Burlington in 1978. Sweet folks, those Vermonters. If the maple syrup doesn’t get ya, the ice cream surely will!
Fancy a mountain lodge with wood stacked high on the porch to feed the fire? Perhaps something close to the world-class beauty of the ski resorts in Stowe or Killington? Maybe you prefer a slower pace and opt for a cross country ski tour of the backwoods on a splendid morning with fresh-fallen snow.
But don’t forget fun on the water. New England winters are long, but the warm summer months are always waiting for their time to thaw things out. Burlington is a vibrant college town located on the shores of Lake Champlain where you can score scenic views from your B&B. Boating, swimming, and kayaking are popular activities during the short summer season. Winter on the lake brings ice fishing and snowmobiling competitions.
With Vermont possessing some of the most charming ski resorts in all of New England, when the snow melts many of the resorts offer guests summer hiking and mountain biking activities for the whole family. Cross country ski courses covered by feet of snow in the winter transition to superb trails to explore the woods and forests. The Green Mountains are home to several of these now year-round resorts that provide breathtaking vistas of vibrant spring colors as well as the dramatic fall cornucopia that attracts visitors from across the globe.
The Green Mountain State possesses an embarrassment of riches! Known for its landscape which is predominantly forested, it is also famous for its maple syrup. It is also home to more than 100 covered bridges. Rivers, lakes, and streams ribbon among the peaks, and there are waterfalls and gorges galore to climb and contemplate. Game trails beckon to that next bend in the curve, the next meadow, or precipice where a scene right out of National Geographic awaits the persistent explorer.
A state park named Quechee Gorge promises to deliver, and indeed it does with a gorge that drops 165 feet to the rapids of the tongue-twister Ottauquechee River. In central Vermont, Mt. Moosalamoo and Lake Dunmore offer visitors the gateway to the Green Mountain National Forest. Smugglers’ Cave is located in scenic Smugglers’ Notch State Park and will scratch the itch of spelunkers with excellent camping facilities nearby.
When you factor in the terrain across this region, the dramatic difference between the four seasons, the natural beauty that stems from such a diversity of ecology, geography, and geology, there is never a shortage of exciting places to see for those willing to engage all the state has to offer. Centered around a mountainous spine that runs from Massachusetts to the Canadian border and flanked by the beauty of an inland ‘sea’ in Lake Champlain, any which way you turn there is another adventure to explore.
Lake Champlain is that rare large body of water in a mountainous state. It stretches for 120 miles north to south and comprises much of the Vermont-New York border. Home to a combined 400 species of birds and fish, much of the lake’s 587 miles of shoreline are protected by several wildlife reserves and are undeveloped. These wetlands provide a much-needed rest stop for thousands of snow geese as they go about their wondrous migratory journey every October.
Killington is another area of great interest for visitors to the state. Located in the central part of the Green Mountains, it is home to two ski resorts. The famous Appalachian Trail runs through the area and the region is well known for its production of maple syrup. World-class scenery is on display in every direction from this classic New England town.
A bit farther north, the avid outdoorsman will find the four-season Sugarbush Resort located in the Mad River Valley near Warren. With a reputation of being one of New England’s largest ski resorts, it boasts over 53 miles of trails and 16 lifts scattered across 4000 acres. While downhill skiing dominates the activities, there are miles of snowshoe and cross country ski trails for those interested in quieter pursuits.
Vermont’s weather ranges from warm and humid in the short summer months to dangerously cold and windy during the long winters. Especially in the highlands and mountainous regions, extreme care should be taken when venturing out for your favorite sporting activity. Wind chills take the lows well below zero, making getting around challenging at the least.
Spring serves up frequent thunderstorms and rain showers with weather systems from the cold Canadian provinces colliding with warmer, more humid fronts that drift west from the New England coast or up from the southern parts of the mid-Atlantic regions.
Autumn, of course, the peak time of visitation for the annual blaze of color, can be a mixed bag after September. Mild mornings can turn cold quickly with wind and rain as fronts frequently sweep down from the more frigid north. By late October, any semblance of Indian summer is gone and it’s time to get serious about staying warm if you’re headed outside.
With an abundance of rain year-round and health-conscious farmers constantly nurturing fresh produce from the earth, Farmers Markets are an increasingly popular place to purchase much of the kitchen’s stock. Artisanal cheeses have become an artful way of adding zest to any home-cooked meal and the Vermont Cheese Trail has even become a thing of quite some repute.
Not familiar with the Vermont food scene? No worries, there’s great culinary fun to be had starting with a few delightful oddities. Ramps are among the earliest greens to sprout through the cold spring soils. Actually wild leaks, they gain potency as they mature and are popular for pickling and grilling as well as for soups. Amusingly-named Fiddleheads are also early comers to the spring table and are steamed, creamed, or sautéed with butter. They’ll add some zest to seared scallops.
Grab a side of maple baked beans to balance the palette and finish off the repast with some decadence in the form of maple cream pie. The name itself inspires an additional slice (the whole pie?) to go!
Wineries are becoming more popular across the state as the science of cold-weather wines, similar to those of the Finger Lakes region of New York, gains enthusiasts. Breweries crop up with every new harvest it seems, and variations of cider-making is attracting more attention. In fact, as required by law, apple pie is to be served with a glass of cold milk and a slice of cheddar cheese. Not even lyin’…!
A crackling fire hisses its welcome as you stamp the snow from your cross-country ski boots. The sweet aroma of pancakes hot off the griddle and smothered in just-from-the-woods maple syrup beckon a visit to the kitchen. An apple pie follows from the oven to cool. Can your innkeepers make it any more enticing?
You wipe away frost from the inside of the window, again, for that view you can’t seem to get enough of. An impossibly comfortable chair beckons from near the fireplace. This is why you chose this boutique country inn over just another hotel room. Pamper versus pragmatic. Boutique hotels have a way of winning their guests over like that. Host-friendliness, coupled with a romantic getaway and aesthetically pleasing Victorian architecture rounds out the sensory delight.
Bed and breakfast inns work hard to please their guests and with good reason. Innkeepers are passionate about the service they provide. While comfort and extravagance are at the forefront of the guest’s experience, the hosts are extremely safety-conscious to ensure all rooms and facilities are safe and clean. This includes precautions about the current state of affairs with Covid-19. Speak with your hosts at check-in to address any questions you may have regarding their health and safety protocols.
Amenities at your favorite bed and breakfast inn can range from the expected to the luxuriant. Free wifi, baby-soft linens, and organic bath products are often staples today in all guest rooms and other basics can include free parking, bicycles for about-town touring, snowshoes, and cross country skis. Many inns will offer a private bath or whirlpool tubs. The height of luxury is a fireplace nearby for added ambiance, especially when booking a private guest house. Farm-to-table freshness can be counted on with any gourmet breakfast enjoyed in the dining room or the comfort of your own room.
With so much serenity, natural beauty, and scenic landscapes on display across this magnificent state, it is little wonder the romantic Vermont bed and breakfast getaway is tops on the list of many inn-goers. Vermont bed and breakfasts cater to those who are looking not only to rejuvenate themselves but to re-energize their relationship with that special someone. When it’s time to retreat from the stress and strain of life’s pressures, the best bed and breakfast in Vermont is the ticket. ‘Best,’ of course, is subjective. But there are plenty of choices for that timely visit to a sanctuary that will dote on your every wish.
Under the bnbfinder Diamond Collection banner, the following havens are often the first stop on any bed and breakfast search in Vermont. Burlington’s Made Inn Vermont has attained the distinguished “Top 5 Vermont Hotels” as a winter vacation destination. West Hill House B&B in Warren is close to the Sugarbush Ski Resort and offers a golfing resort as well. Strong House Inn is a historic 1834 inn centrally located in the Champlain Valley. Boasting 14 rooms, each individually appointed, Strong House Inn makes an excellent location for a wedding or family reunion. The Inn at Ormsby Hill in Manchester is Southern Vermont’s premier romantic B&B. This luxurious country inn is one of twelve 4-Diamond Inns/Hotels in the state.
Bed and Breakfast Southern Vermont
Inn on Putney Road Bed & Breakfast is another romantic bed and breakfast Brattleboro has to offer. Its elegant French provincial style overlooks the West River but is close enough for a short walk to town and is close to miles of trails that are protected on conservation land. Four Chimneys Inn has the classic look and feel of a graceful summer home and offers the quintessential experience you expect from an elegant property. A bit farther north there are numerous beautiful options for bed and breakfast in Killington.
Bed and Breakfast Stowe Vermont
The Hobble Inn in historic Stowe Village offers quiet solitude yet is close to the skiing, shopping, dining, and other action associated with this vibrant community. Owned and operated by a Stowe native whose life has been dedicated to caring for others, she specializes in providing only the best for her guests. A cozy 4-bedroom home that sleeps 7, there is also a handicapped-accessible bathroom in the home’s shared space. Full use of the kitchen and living room is available as well.
Brass Lantern Inn is the perfect setting to get snowed in with a loved one. A romantic bed and breakfast Vermont experience is guaranteed at this 200-year-old restored farmhouse. With ample snowfall every winter setting the scene for a perfect winter getaway, you are just a short drive away from Stowe Village and grand vistas featuring Mt. Mansfield, Vermont’s highest peak.
Bed and Breakfast Woodstock Vermont
With a perfectly picturesque New England setting, it’s difficult to beat a bed and breakfast in Woodstock. Surrounded by rolling hills with fall foliage contrasting the town’s many white buildings, there are several attractions within walking distance that allow you to leave the car parked at your B&B. The Woodstocker B&B even includes a sauna in some of the 9 rooms and suites available. Talk about a warm reception! The Jackson House Inn, just outside town, is the epitome of refined distinction. You can also tackle a section of the nearby Appalachian Trail to stretch your legs for an afternoon. With its scenic grounds and spacious lawns, it’s the perfect location for weddings and outdoor parties.
The most convenient air service to Vermont is by way of Burlington (BTV). With a recent $15 million expansion, it is just minutes from Lake Champlain and within an hour’s drive of 5 world-class ski resorts. Several major carriers service BTV but utilize regional jets for many flights.
Driving across the state to St. Johnsbury, VT on the New Hampshire border is a mere 90-minute trek. Traversing north to south from, say, Enosburg Falls to Brattleboro in the south is still a reasonable three and a half hours.
For B&Bs located on Main Street, Anytown or near the historic district, many will have easy access to desired attractions including shops, restaurants, and museums often within walking distance of your inn. For ventures farther afield, consider a bike ride for some fresh air, or the convenience of a cab, Uber, or rental car.
Regardless of your method, upon arriving in Vermont you have one of the most varied and exciting playgrounds in all of New England within a short drive no matter the direction you choose.
The topic of which is the most romantic bed and breakfast in Vermont is right up there with the chicken and the egg conundrum. No one knows but everyone has their opinion. Being a matter of the heart, romance is perhaps more about style than the form or function of an inn. It depends on the experience of the one attempting to define romantic. Opinions, who’s first, and who knows aside, the good news is there is an endless number of case studies one can conduct on the topic. All you have to do is get out there and travel, and Vermont is a grand place to start your research. Of course, it helps to have your loved one alongside, just to be sure you get the answer right.