How to Plan a Ski Trip in Vermont

Killington is already open for business and Okemo, Bromley, Magic and Stratton are busy making snow.  Skiers and snowboarders are dreaming of the snowfall soon to come.  If you are hoping to plan your ski vacation in Vermont, we have a few tips that will help make life easy.

How to Plan a Ski Trip in Vermont

1. If you have kids or are traveling with a large party, plan early.

There is a bit more flexibility for last-minute bookings for parties of two, but when traveling with a family or a party of friends, book in advance.  Golden Stage Inn and many other small bed and breakfasts offer suites.  Our double-roomed suites offer multiple bed size options, privacy between the two rooms, and a better deal than booking multiple separated rooms.

Cavendish Suite

The Cavendish suite has one room with a Queen-sized bed, and a second that can have two twin beds, or one king-sized bed.  

The Beehive Suite has a Queen-sized bed in one room.  The second contains two twin beds and a pull-out couch.

2. Choose accommodations that are close to the slopes…

…but maybe not too close.  While some people enjoy staying slope-side, many find that the quick drive between the mountain and their choice of accommodations makes for a cozy home base.  If your preferred ski mountain is Okemo, Golden Stage Inn is just 10 minutes down the road.  This is a perfect distance because we are also close to Killington, Magic and Bromley, giving you multiple options if you’d like to ski the many mountains Vermont has to offer.

3. Find an Inn or B&B that has many dining options nearby.

Ideally, you’d like those dining options to be close to the Inn.  Better yet if there are restaurants between the ski slopes and your lodging, making for a convenient apres-ski and less time on the road.  Between Okemo and Golden Stage, you’ll come across many dining options.  Restaurants in Ludlow are diverse in their offerings of food.  Some of our favorites include Stemwinder, The Downtown Grocery, Sam’s Steakhouse, and Mr. Darcy’s.  If you ski Bromley, check out Johnny Seesaw’s or the Mill Tavern on your way back.  A diversity of dining options is nice as well, so that you might sample the wide range of delicious food Southern Vermont has to offer.

Downtown Grocery dinner ludlow VT

A delicious daily special at The Downtown Grocery, a fine farm-to-table dining establishment located midway between Okemo Mountain and Golden Stage Inn.

4. Choose accommodations that offer fireplaces and warm treats.

There’s like a crackling fire to warm you up on a snowy day!  Golden Stage Inn’s sitting room has a fireplace front and center.  You’ll also have unlimited access to hot tea, coffee, and cider…as well as the bottomless cookie jar, whose contents are often freshly baked!  Curl up with your hot beverage on a comfy couch by the fire and enjoy your book or puzzle.  The back sitting room and several of our guest rooms offer gas fireplaces as well: Otis’ Room, Cornelia’s Room, and the Cavendish Suite.  Another great reason to book early…you can snag the fireplace rooms!

Golden Stage Inn Sitting Room

5.  Purchase ski & stay packages to get discounted lift tickets.  See if you can swing a midweek getaway to save big time!

When considering how to plan a ski trip in Vermont, money is always a factor.  You’ll save big on your ski trip if you combine your tickets and lodging.  Skiing midweek gets you even greater discounts on lodging and ski tickets.  At Golden Stage Inn, we offer ski & stay packages that will let you save money on lift tickets at Okemo Mountain.  If you’re not booking a ski & stay package, you can still order lift tickets through Golden Stage Inn at lower prices than Okemo’s retail value!

6.  If you have non-skiiers, choose a location that offers activities and winter adventures for them as well.

Occasionally, we’ll host parties where one or two people don’t ski or snowboard.  Luckily, our bed & breakfast is right in the middle of several quaint Vermont towns that have so much to offer non-skiiers.  The innkeepers often recommend that guests visit the Vermont Country Store in Weston or take a sleigh ride at Billings Farm in Woodstock.  Visitors also love to shop for antiques in Chester, taste cheese or maple syrup at nearby local producers, and tour art galleries.  For non-skiiers who still want to get outdoors, borrow snowshoes to trek around the woods of Proctor-Piper State Forest in Golden Stage Inn’s own backyard, or go skating at Okemo’s skating rink.  There is even a place to go dog-sledding in Windsor, VT: Great River Outfitters!  Non-skiiers even love just hanging out at the inn – which offers a spacious common room not found in your typical hotel or condo.

Dog-Sledding

7.  Finally, plan ahead for lunch.

Buying food on the mountain can be EXPENSIVE, and ski mountains might not offer the kind of lunch you’re interested in.  Stop at a grocery store on your drive up to Vermont and stock up on lunch supplies.  Ask the Inn or B&B you’re staying at if you’ll have access to a fridge and kitchen accessories for creating and storing your lunch.  (Golden Stage Inn offers both).  And remember that at Golden Stage Inn there will be warm homemade soup awaiting you back at the Inn (starting after Christmas!)

 

We hope these insider tips help guide you in how to plan a ski trip in Vermont.  More questions?  Feel free to call the Innkeepers at (802) 226-7744.

A Very Scary Halloween

This Halloween was quite a fright at Golden Stage Inn!  Every October, Innkeepers Julie and Michael continue the tradition handed down by the previous owners of the inn – transform the quaint bed & breakfast into a haunted house!  Each year has a theme…2013 was the Insane Asylum, 2012 was Proctorsville Prison, 2011 was “The Guests Who Never Left.”  (Just kidding, we let our guests leave…eventually…)

And for 2014, we turned Golden Stage Inn into a Carnival…or is it Carn-EVIL?!

Check out the spooky photos and spine-tingling video!  We reward visitors for their bravery with homemade cookies, hot apple cider, and Halloween candy, of course.  This year, about 100 people came through the bed & breakfast.  So if you’re ever in Cavendish or Proctorsville for Halloween, stop by the Inn!  We’ll be sure to scare you silly.

YouTube Preview Image

 

halloween car-evil

 

 

Halloween Group Photo

 

Happy Halloween, from all of us ghouls to you!

 

Southern Vermont Events: November – December 2014

Let’s look ahead to what’s in store for November and December of 2014.  Check out the Okemo Valley Chamber of Commerce’s complete calendar for more information on Southern Vermont events.

 

Okemo Valley Events: November 2014 

Hear notable Vermont authors speak at the First Universalist Parish in Chester, VT.  This event takes place every Sunday in November at 2 pm!  For more information, visit Misty Valley Books’ website

On November 7th, see Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame singer Mavis Staples at Bellows Falls Opera House!  Enjoy a rockin’ night of music, and perhaps stop at a restaurant along the way.

Movie night!  Watch UP in Ludlow, VT on November 8th.  Fun for the whole family!

On November 15th (and 22nd), taste Plymouth Cheese at the Vermont Country Store in Rockingham from 12-3 pm. That same evening, enjoy Celtic music in Ludlow’s Town Hall Auditorium ($15).

Jenni Johnson and the Jazz Junketeers raise the roof on November 16th at the Gethsemane Church in Proctorsville – walking distance from Golden Stage Inn.  Bed and breakfast guests can enjoy this blend of blues, soul and funk for $10.

It’s time to look forward to ski trips in Vermont!  OMS Ski Swap takes place November 21-23 at the Clocktower Base of Okemo Mountain Ski Resort.  Buy and sell new and used ski gear.

On November 23rd, Vermont is the place for holiday travels!  The Santa Express leaves from Bellows Falls to “The North Pole” at 9:30 am, 1:15 pm and 5 pm.  Great fun for the family, and to get in the Christmas spirit.  There are other ways to celebrate the season as well – Billings Farm in Woodstock, VT offers Wagon Rides every weekend in November ($14 for adults, $8 for kids 5-15).  Thanksgiving weekend happens at Billings Farm the following weekend, on November 29th.

 

Okemo Valley Events: December 2014

Think snow, skiing, and holiday season!  Lots of Christmas events, holiday shopping, and getting ready for the upcoming winter snow…

December 6th – Coolidge Holiday Open House from 10-4 in Plymouth, VT.  Enjoy sleigh rides, crafts, lunch, music and more at this historic site.  On the same day, check out Christmas in Weston, VT!  Voted a top ten winter event by the Vermont Chamber of Commerce.  That evening, enjoy colonial cocktails and food with Corin Hirsh at the Inn at Weathersfield.

On December 13th, two authors will talk about their books at the Vermont Country Stores in both Weston and Rockingham.  Later on, celebrate Christmas in Mount Holly with a visit from Santa, refreshments, Christmas carols and plays.

New Years Eve on Star Lake is a wonderful event happening not far from Golden Stage Inn.  Every year, people gather at Star Lake for skating, a bonfire, and fireworks.

 

We hope this brief calendar of events helps as you plan your holiday travels, your ski trips, and your Vermont vacation!  If you plan to visit Vermont in November or December, don’t forget to check out our discounted rates with the “I Hate Malls!” package from November 4th through December 15th.

Added Flair & Hair!

Golden Stage Inn Sitting Room

We’ve renovated one of our sitting rooms!  This cozy sitting room is towards the back of inn – as you approach the solarium for breakfast, you’ll see it just past the coffee & cookie room.  There is a comfortable sofa and a rocker for reading and chatting, or a table with chairs if you prefer playing games and solving puzzles.  A gas-fired stove provides warmth, while plants liven up the space.  We hope this space offers everything you seek in a New England bed and breakfast.

Amazingly, we’ve had an unexpected triumph with one of our houseplants!  This Dr. Seuss-like oddity is called a ‘Pony-tail Tree.’  Check out these before and after pictures…

Golden Stage Inn house plant in sitting room

Before:  The plant was in a cramped pot and a shady, cool corner on the second floor.  Were those frail little wisps of pony-tail leaves even worth keeping?  Julie thought it deserved a chance…

 

After:  The Pony-Tail Tree was re-potted and given a new home in the sunnier, warmer sitting room downstairs.  This photo just goes to show what a change of location can do for you!  Addressing your own needs is something we all need to do, and when we give them attention and care, we flourish.  Maybe a relaxing break in the sunny Golden Stage sitting room is what we all need!

B&B Sitting room renovation

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!

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