Vermont Winter Activities

Not a skier or snowboarder?  Need a different way to get outdoors and explore other Vermont winter activities?

Luckily, near Golden Stage Inn, there is no shortage of winter activities.  Whether you want a relaxing day enjoying scenic beauty, a thrilling adventure, or are a more “indoors-y” type, we have you covered.  Check out our Top Ten List for non-skiing wintertime activities in Vermont!  Book your room for a winter-y wonderland vacation.

  1. Dog Sledding in the Moonlight

  2. Snow Tubing

  3. Horse-Drawn Sleigh Rides

  4. Cross-Country Skiing

  5. Snowmobiling

  6. Ice Skating

  7. Cozying up by the fireside

  8. Snowshoeing

  9. Build a snowman and a snow fort!

  10. Spa & shopping day

dog sled dogs 2013

Dog sledding with Great River Outfitters of Windsor, Vermont is a fantastic way to get on the snow.  You can go during the day, get a custom tour, or even have a moonlit dogsled ride!  Meet all the dogs before you zoom along over the snow through gorgeous Vermont winter scenery.  Best of all, you won’t have to do any of the work!  This is what the husky sled team loves to do, and you’ll feel the dogs’ and trainer’s enthusiasm, too.  You may have the opportunity to do a bit of the sled driving yourself!  Dog-sledding is new this year to Grafton Ponds Outdoor Center as well.

Snowtubing is a thrilling way to spend an afternoon! Take the kids (or kids at heart!) to Grafton Ponds Outdoor Center, which also offers snowshoeing, XC-skiing, and sometimes ice skating. Magic Mountain and Okemo also have snow-tubing hills.  You’ll have a hard time wiping the smile off your face.  :)

“Dashing through the snow in a one-horse open sleigh…o’er the fields we go, laughing all the way!”  Take an old-fashioned horse drawn sleigh ride, one of the most classic family-friendly Vermont winter activities.  Horse-drawn sleigh rides are offered at several locations around Southern Vermont.  You’ll want to call in advance to be sure of times, weather conditions and cost.  Here are a few places within driving distance from our Inn:

Billings Farm & Museum: (802) 457-2355

Great River Outfitters802-674-9933

Kendron Valley Stables: (802) 457-1480 or (802) 457-3015

Taylor Farm: (802) 824-5690

Green Mountain Orchards: (802) 387-5851

Grafton Ponds Outdoor Center (December 20th and 24th-28th only; 11 am-3pm)

Cross-Country Skiing may not seem as thrilling as downhill skiing, but there are tons of benefits.  Vermonters love cross-country skiing because you really get into nature – no mechanized ski lifts, no crowds – it’s just you and the trail.  Cross-country skiing is a fantastic workout if you like to get your heart rate up, or if you miss running and hiking during the snowy season.  And, best of all, it’s way less expensive than downhill skiing!  Check out Viking Nordic Center in Londonderry, Grafton Ponds Outdoor Center, Okemo’s cross-country trails, or Wild Wings in Peru.  Wild Wings offers yoga, and Viking Nordic Center has a cookie trail…cool!

Ever considered snowmobiling?  Rent a sled nearby!  The Wood family tried snowmobile rentals through Snowmobile Vermont in 2013 – and loved it!  This snowmobiling company is less than a half hour from our bed and breakfast, and is located in the scenic Calvin Coolidge State Forest.  Read about their snowmobile experience here.

You can go ice skating at Okemo’s Ice House for $5.  Skates and helmet rentals are an extra $5 each.  There is a warming hut decorated with antique ice-harvesting equipment.

Grab a hot drink and cozy up with a blanket by our Inn’s fireside.  Grab your favorite book or browse our selection in the common room.  Choose one of our many games to play, or solve a puzzle on your own.  We also offer free Wi-fi connection, if you need to do some holiday shopping or browse the web.  Stay satiated with hot cider, endless access to the cookie jar, and hot coffee and tea.  Winter afternoons offer homemade soups!  Soups, cookies and beverages are all complimentary when you stay with us.

Snowshoe in style…with wine and cheese!  Grafton Ponds Outdoor Center offers wine & cheese snowshoe tours for $25 per person.  Call ahead for a reservation: 802-843-2400.  Difficulty level of the tour is determined by the group.  Enjoy wine and Grafton Village Cheese by a crackling fire in the warming hut.  Feel like staying closer to home (or, ahem, the Inn)?  Borrow our snowshoes for a tromp around Proctor-Piper State Forest, directly adjacent to our backyard!  (This option is completely free.)

Got kids?  After you’ve had your fill of our delectable homemade breakfast, bundle up and head out to play in the yard!  Build a snowman, snow sculptures or a snow fort…and prepare for the inevitable flinging of snowballs.  While you’re out there, say hello to our friendly sheep and backyard chickens (which supplied the eggs you ate for breakfast!)  Our latest addition is a young lamb…yet to be named.

Snow farm animal at Vermont lodging

Looking to get out…but not in the snow?  Enjoy a unique spa and shopping day.  There are plenty of year-round activities in our area of Vermont.  Get a spa treatment at the Castle Resort next door.  You can borrow our punch card to access their fitness room and pool for just $15.  Through us, you can also get $10 off of a pedicure at Salon 2000 and $8 drop-in yoga classes at Sama Yoga, both in Chester.  Ask about our other numerous coupons for shopping and dining.  Explore locally-owned bookstores, sugar houses, cafes, wine & cheese shops, galleries and craft stores.  Finish your day on the town with dinner at one of the fantastic restaurants in South Central VT.

Christmas Eve Smorgasbord 2014

Each year, Golden Stage Inn decks the halls for Christmas Eve festivities.  Innkeeper Julie celebrates her Swedish heritage with her family, and all are invited to participate in the feast.  Appetizers and beverages start the evening off.  Traditional Swedish dishes are served in a buffet-style dinner, followed by an array of desserts.  It is truly an evening of light and laughter!  Guests are invited to participate for $25 per person.  Dinner is served around 7, but arrive earlier for appetizers and mingling!  For more information, please read 2013’s blog post about the Christmas Eve Swedish Smorgasbord at Golden Stage Inn.  Here are a few photos from last year’s Smorgasbord:

Swedish Smorgasboard with decor at the Golden Stage Inn

Swedish decorations and tablecloth.

Delicious almond cake and apple cake

Santa Lucia offers Swedish desserts of apple cake and almond cake.  “God Jul,” as the napkin says, is pronounced “Good Yule” and means Merry Christmas!

Golden Wedding Anniversary Special

Celebrating your 50th anniversary?  We’d like to treat you to one night at the Golden Stage Inn for just $50 – valid any time during the month of your 50th anniversary.  After all these years, you both deserve a relaxing getaway to the countryside.  Recently, we had two instances of two couples celebrating their 50th anniversary at Golden Stage Inn at the same time!

50th Wedding Anniversary

In October, we said ‘Congratulations’ to John and Donna (above), and Theodore and Judy (below).

Golden 50th Anniversary!

The couples above spontaneously celebrated their anniversaries on the same weekend without having known each other in advance!  Back in September, two sisters celebrated their 50th wedding anniversaries on the same weekend as well.  They kindly provided these photos for a flashback.

50th wedding anniversary

Congratulations to Rose and Bert (above) and Judy and Bob (below)!

50th wedding anniversary

Your Golden Wedding Anniversary getaway special includes our signature 2-course breakfast, coffee and tea, and access to the bottomless cookie jar.  Innkeepers Michael and Julie have great recommendations for restaurants and day trips in the area.  Let them know what you’re looking for, and they’ll point you in the direction that best suits your idea of a perfect 50th anniversary spent in Southern Vermont.

To make your reservation, call Golden Stage Inn at (802) 226-7744.  You can also book online.

VT Ski and Stay Deals (and Secrets!)

Our Vermont ski and stay deals have gone live!  Read our three secrets for an unforgettable ski trip in Vermont.

Ready to plan your ski trip for the upcoming winter?  Our ski and stay deals are available now!  If you’re looking for an affordable ski trip, we have a couple of recommendations for you.  Ski midweek to save on both lodging and lift tickets.  Golden Stage Inn’s ski and stay deals offer 20% off of midweek lodging (excluding holidays*).  If your work week or kids’ school schedule makes a midweek getaway impossible, you’ll still get a deal by skiing on weekends.  For reservations of two nights or more, our rooms are 10% off during weekends (excluding holiday periods).  Purchase your Okemo lift tickets through us and save up to $14 per person per day.  Book now to plan your Vermont ski trip!

*Holiday periods for ski and stay deals include Christmas/New Year’s Week, MLK weekend, and President’s Day week.

 

Secret #1…Eat well!

golden-stage-inn-baked-egg-rosemary

Enjoy the local food Vermont has to offer!  When you make your lodging reservation for ski season, don’t forget to look into the area’s restaurants as well.  Some of our favorites are those that feature locally harvested ingredients.  Check out Stemwinder and The Downtown Grocery in Ludlow, Lucy’s Tavern at the Inn at Weathersfield, or SoLo Farm & Table in South Londonderry.  What’s more, Golden Stage Inn’s two-course complimentary breakfasts feature local ingredients, including local meats and eggs and honey from our own backyard!  Finally, slope-side prices for lunch can get pricey.  Save money and enjoy a healthful meal by picking up lunch ingredients at Singleton’s Market or Jersey Girls Farm Cafe & Market – two independent grocers near our bed and breakfast.  Both offer a deli counter and Vermont-made foods.  Get sandwiches and soups to go, or create your own lunch back at the Inn and store it in our guest fridge.  We will happily provide any kitchen utensils you may need.

 

Secret #2…Rest up!

Golden Stage Inn - rooms Family Suite - Beehive Queen

Get the most out of your day at the slopes by getting a good night’s sleep.  The beds at our Inn are designed for comfort and a restful night.  Plenty of guests have asked where we purchase our soft sheets – so we decided to stock them at the Inn for those who’d like to buy a set for home.  You’ll wake rejuvenated and ready for a day of exercise and fun!  Once you’ve skied to your heart’s content, return to a hot shower with excellent water pressure, comfortable couches, complimentary hot soup & cider, and a crackling fireside.  If you want to get out on the town, Okemo Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce offers great a calendar of events.  You can also catch a movie in Springfield, or attend the occasional concert at Gethsemane Church down the street.

 

Secret #3…Find the magic!

Winter sheep

Okemo Mountain Resort is just a few minutes drive and a wonderful place to ski…but did you know there are many more winter activities in Southern Vermont?

  • You can also downhill ski at Magic Mountain, Bromley and Killington – all within 45 minutes of Golden Stage Inn.  Each has its own unique features, trails and beauty.  Bromley is south-facing and (usually) sunny with Terrain-Based Learning.  Magic is old school and rustic, for the more rugged skiers.  And it would take more than a day to discover all the trails and terrain parks on Killington Mountain!
  • Cross-country skiing may not seem as daring as downhill skiing, but you’ll sure get a workout!  If you miss running or hiking during the winter, this is a fun and affordable option to get outside and active.  The natural beauty of VT wintertime forests is stunningly peaceful…you’ll find yourself forgetting about all the troubles back in the ‘real world’.  Viking Nordic Center in Londonderry offers an extensive trail network for all levels, as does Grafton Ponds Outdoor Center.  You can take lessons to master this new skill at both locations.
  • Become a kid again by snow tubing, ice skating or dog-sledding!
  • Borrow Golden Stage Inn’s snow shoes to take a winter hike or challenge yourself in the hilly Proctor-Piper State Forest (adjacent to our backyard!).
  • Have the kids build a snowman, or trek across the Inn’s snowy lawn to visit our sheep and chickens.

Skiing in Vermont is magical…and there is always more magic to be found!

Coupons Announced for our B&B Holiday Special!

This year we’re reintroducing the “I Hate Malls” B&B holiday special, for all those out there who dread the holiday shopping list.  As before, we’ll provide the gift certificate for a delicious wood-fired pizza and all the wrapping supplies you could need.  But new this year are exclusive coupons available only to Golden Stage Inn guests!  Some of our favorite shops, restaurants and wellness services have partnered with us to get you discounts on your holiday shopping in Vermont.  Moseying from place to place in Ludlow, Cavendish, Proctorsville and Chester is anything but hectic and stressful.  These wonderful discounts, along with the low room rates of our B&B holiday special, will only make it easier to check all those items off that pesky shopping list without breaking the bank.  Check out these VIP offers below…

Blue Sky Trading Company

It’s hard to leave this store once you enter!  Eclectic gifts, VT foods, jewelry, pottery, glass, candles… As a guest of our B&B, enjoy 25% off of one item.

The DaVallia: Art and Accents

Fantastic shopping for unique gifts, art and home décor.  Details of the promotion yet to come.  Below, a handmade espresso coffee mug from the store.

Espresso Coffee Cup

Goodman’s American Pie

Irresistible wood-fired pizza in downtown Ludlow.  You’ll receive a gift certificate for a pie of your choice through our B&B holiday special.  Get your pie to go and enjoy by the fireside at the Inn’s sitting room.  (It will go great with your BYOB cocktail and our complimentary hot cider and cookies!)

Six Loose Ladies

Fiber arts store just down the street, offering classes, a gallery and yarns.  Your coupon will get you 20% off of non-consignment items and a free gift with purchase!

Sama Yoga

A fantastic new studio in Chester offering Vinyasa Flow, Power Yoga, and Primary Series.  Try out one of their yoga classes for just $8, as opposed to the regular $12 drop-in rate.  They’ll certainly lower your blood pressure during the holiday stress!

Northern Ski Works

Ski shop and rentals, located in Ludlow and Killington.  Re-stock on gear for the 2014-2015 ski season, or rent during your ski vacation to Okemo or Killington mountains.

Meditrina

(Named after the Roman goddess of health, longevity and wine!)  This wine, beer & cheese shop is situated in the lovely town of Chester, VT. Great variety of products, local options, and knowledgeable service.  “I Hate Mall-ers” will receive 10% off of all purchases.

beerWall

Misty Valley Books

Small, independent bookstore with every genre, plus Vermont-themed books and Vermont authors!  With a coupon from the Innkeepers, you’ll receive 10% off of your purchase.

Salon 2000

This calm and relaxing spa offers beauty and personal care.  It has a great location by a quaint train station in Chester.  Salon 2000 has offered $10 off a pedicure for Golden Stage Inn guests – a great way to treat yourself!

MacLaomainn’s Scottish Pub

Great atmosphere, food & drink!  Stop in for lunch, dinner, or a beer.  Those who’ve purchased the “I Hate Malls” package will receive 15% off of bill, excluding tip, tax and alcohol.

Mr. Darcy’s Bar and Grill

Delicious pub fare just a few minutes down the road from our B&B…parmesan truffle fries, burgers, pasta, salads, seafood, various entrees.  With a coupon from the innkeeper, you’ll receive 10% off your meal (excluding alcohol).

appetizer

We hope you’ll check out these independent Vermont businesses, regardless of whether you are participating in our B&B holiday special. Each one has something unique to offer and is committed to customer service and maintaining the unique character of Vermont downtowns.  The owners are often found at the store, making for a more personal experience than you’d have at a chain store or a mall.  Small, owner-run businesses are truly a characteristic of Southern Vermont, and we hope you’ll someday discover in person what makes the towns of Ludlow, Chester and Cavendish so special!

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