Holiday Shopping in Vermont

It’s time to start thinking about the dreaded chore of holiday shopping… But you can de-stress from the pressure by completing your holiday shopping in Vermont!  In our area of Ludlow, VT, you’ll find an abundance of small businesses and local food.  You can even find the most local honey possible – harvested right here in the backyard of our B&B.  Holiday shopping in Vermont is stress-less.  Why waste time, energy and money on stress-full shopping malls?  Here in Southern Vermont, countless locally-owned stores offer unique gifts and products.  You might even (gasp!) enjoy checking off your holiday shopping list!  Read on to learn about some of Golden Stage Inn’s favorite local shopping destinations in the Okemo Valley Area. Depot Street Gallery – “Home of the Silver Spoon!”  This gallery combines gorgeous art with funny trinkets.  Find local art and crafts. Angelina’s Market – a new addition to the Ludlow businesses, and a sweet spot for holiday shopping in Vermont.  We were pleased to welcome Angelina’s Market to the VT Golden Honey Festival held at our bed and breakfast this past September!

Photo from Crowley Cheese

Photo from Crowley Cheese

Wine and Cheese Depot – The owner and staff are highly knowledgable about their products and will help you find just the taste you’re looking for.  The selection of Vermont cheeses is to die for!  Speaking of Vermont cheese, you can also visit Crowley Cheese or Plymouth Artisan Cheese if your loved ones deserve better than coal in their stockings. The Book Nook – Find all your reading needs here!  It’s fantastic to have a small, independent bookstore right in the center of downtown Ludlow, VT.  Getting your holiday shopping done at locally owned bookstores helps keep quaint Vermont towns thriving! Blue Sky Trading Company is right in downtown Ludlow as well, and offers every kind of gift you could think of. Six Loose Ladies, a fiber arts store, is right down the road from our bed and breakfast!  Stop at Crow’s Corner Bakery along the way for some freshly baked bread.  Complete the circuit with a visit to Singleton’s – your classic Vermont general store.  (Golden Stage Inn sources our breakfast bacon from Singleton’s!) YouTube Preview Image Maple syrup is a classic hit if you’re doing your holiday shopping in Vermont.  Check out Green Mountain Sugar House, not far from the Inn on Vermont 100 North.   Clearly, the options are limitless…there are several more stores, galleries and cafes in the area to visit during your shopping spree.  You can find a full list at Okemo Valley Regional Chamber of Commerce’s website.  While planning your holiday shopping in Vermont, take advantage of Golden Stage Inn’s ‘I Hate Malls!’ special.  Discounted rates, gift-wrapping supplies, free wood-fired pizza…find out more on our specials page!

Black Rock Steakhouse: Restaurant Review

Black Rock Steakhouse is a fun night out in Springfield, Vermont.  Just a twenty minute drive from our bed and breakfast in Ludlow, a dinner at Black Rock pairs well with a movie in downtown Springfield or a visit to the VAULT art gallery.  While a dinner at Black Rock Steakhouse could work for any event, I especially find it fun for a family gathering.  This August during a family reunion, eleven of my family members enjoyed a dinner out together.

Black Rock steakhouse appetizer

The concept of Black Rock Steakhouse does indeed involve a black rock!

Among many appetizer and entree options, the main event is a selection of entrees delivered to you on a piping hot black rock.  These are mainly different kinds of steak and seafood.  The rock is super-heated (I think to around 400 degrees Farenheit, but don’t quote me on that!) so it is not recommended for children under 12.  That being said, this is an amazingly fun interactive experience!  You can cook your meal exactly the way you like.

Black Rock Steak entree

I ordered the seafood special with scallops and shrimp, and most of my relatives ordered steaks.  If you’re going for steak, the consensus seemed to favor the Argentinian and the Filet Mignon.

Black Rock Steakhouse scallops and shrimp

Above: scallops and shrimp ready to be cooked.  Below: scallops and shrimp ready to be eaten!

Black Rock steakhouse, Springfield VT

For dessert, my brothers and cousins ordered a chocolate fondue – another fun, interactive food that two or more people can enjoy.

To see the full Black Rock Steakhouse menu, see their website or check out the Golden Stage Inn Vermont dining guide, located in the fireside sitting room adjacent to the entryway.

Fall Foliage Views from Mt. Ephraim

Mt. Ephraim is a relatively short and easy hike, located in Springfield, VT.  The hike is a 20-25 minute drive from Golden Stage Inn.  Due to its gentle grade, it is a fun hike no matter the season.  Even snowshoes or cross-country skis can make it up for some winter views of the snowy ski trails on Okemo, Magic, Bromley, and Mt. Snow.  I recently took a hike with my dogs to take in the stunning fall foliage of 2014.  We’ve been lucky to have vivid, stunning color from the leaves as well as an especially long New England foliage season.

 

Fall foliage views in vermont

You can view a Trail Guide and Map to Mount Ephraim and other hikes in Springfield, VT here.  Mt. Ephraim’s guide is on page 12.  There are several different trails you can take, but no sign posts or blazes, so be sure to take a map and compass with you if this is your first time up Mt. Ephraim!

Vermont Autumn foliage

 

These photos were taken on October 13th.  The foliage is sticking around a while longer, so if you’re interested in getting to Vermont before the leaves disappear, check out our Last-Minute Leaf Peeper Special.  (Expires October 24th, 2014.  Applicable to new reservations only.)

 

View from the top of Mt. Ephraim

The views from the top of Mt. Ephraim make for a hike worthwhile!  You can see to New Hampshire and to several ski areas, including Killington.

Happy hiking!

Vermont Fall Foliage 2014

It’s about that time when autumn leaves are at their peak…

…and it turns out 2014 is an exceptionally excellent year for Vermont fall foliage!  It’s Friday, October 10th at Golden Stage Inn, and the Okemo Valley region is in full color just in time for Columbus Day travel.  But beyond the reds, oranges and yellows of autumn, some green lingers.  This is a great sign for late season foliage seekers!  While some trees are already bare, we’re hopeful that a second wave of color may be in our (and your!) future.  If we haven’t convinced you, here are some interactive maps and articles on Vermont’s foliage for 2014.

1. CNN Travel named Ludlow one of ten “Best Towns for Fall Color”!

And do you know where Ludlow, VT is?  Right next to Golden Stage Inn!  That means you can enjoy your favorite New England bed and breakfast AND see some of the best fall foliage in the United States.  We can put an expiration date on our specials (like the Last Minute Leaf Peeper Getaway), but with the leaves we can never be certain just when they’ll all disappear.  Luckily, the autumn foliage is still going strong and there’s still time to make a reservation.  Click on the picture below to read more about Ludlow, VT and the foliage views atop Okemo Mountain.

Ludlow VT fall foliage

2. Get the academia take on 2014 fall foliage success.

Dr. Marc Abrahams, (Professor of Forest Ecology at Penn State University) and Dr. Michael Day, (Physiological Ecology research professor at University of Maine) weigh in on what makes 2014 such a good year for foliage.  Looks like the Northeast is the place to be!  (Click on the picture below from Accuweather.com to read the article.)

Vermont Fall Foliage

 

3. Use maps to find the peak peeping!

So much fun!  Yankee Magazine has one that shows you predictions based on the calendar days.  Pause at the date you want to vacation to Vermont to get a prediction of what the leaves will be like.  Click here for Yankee Magazine’s Peak Foliage Forecast Map.  Click on the picture below, taken by Anthony Quintano, to see another advanced foliage-finding map that allows you to see others’ autumnal pictures of exact locations and upload your own.

Autumn foliage Vermont

4. Day Trips through Southern Vermont

CT Now has put together great ideas for foliage trips that are do-able in a weekend or less.  Scroll down through the article to see what they have to say about Southern Vermont and Southwestern New Hampshire.  “Even a good look at Vermont foliage is possible in a single day…The annual Newfane Heritage Festival, which draws thousands of visitors, will be held Columbus Day weekend, Oct. 11 and 12.”  Click on the image below, taken by Bettina Hansen of the Hartford Courant, to see CT Now’s article.

CT Now fall foliage report

 

 

2014 Vermont Golden Honey Festival…A Hit!

What’s all the buzz around Golden Stage Inn?  Well, every September our bed and breakfast hosts the only honey festival in the state of Vermont!  We’d like to thank all 20 vendors, 300+ attendees, and tens of thousands of honeybees that participated in making the Vermont Golden Honey Festival of 2014 a smashing success.  We’re already looking forward to the VT Golden Honey Festival of 2015…but we’ll let those hard-working honeybees take a well-deserved rest over the winter.  Let’s check out some of the great photos from the event (Photo credits: our very own Sadie Wood!)

Honeybee Arts & Crafts in Proctorsville VT Honeybee kids activities at the festival

Make your own honeybees!  Arts & crafts, games, face-painting and activities were a hit for families with little ones.

Goodman's American Pie honey pizza

 Goodman’s American Pie (above and below) fired up a storm of honey-cinnamon-apple pizzas with their traveling beehive oven.  Irresistible!

Goodman's American Pie wood-fired oven

 

We had twenty wonderful vendors attend the Vermont Golden Honey Festival this year.  They showed off products like beeswax candles, handmade art, preserves, fresh food, woodcarvings, music, mead, and of course…honey!  See some of their photos below.

Penni's Pantry and Hawk's Meadow Farm

Penni’s Pantry and Hawks Meadow Farm make delicious preserves, pickles and honey syrups.

Chainsaw carvings Southern Vermont

Unique VT chainsaw carvings from Alex out of Southeastern VT

 

 

CabinFish of Cavendish at VT Honey Festival

CabinFish of Cavendish displays their myriad homemade arts and crafts.

Angelina's Market at VT Golden Honey festival

Angelina’s Market is a new business in downtown Ludlow, and served delicious hot cider to warm up festival-goers!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tenpenny Bit bee quilt and music

Tenpenny Bit made musical magic happen.  We absolutely loved the honeybee costume and the honeybee quilt backdrop.

And finally, thanks to all the Vermont Golden Honey Festival mascots!

Vermont Golden Honey Festival Mascots

See you all in 2015, the weekend after Labor Day…we hope you’ll bee there!

 

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