The Seasons of Vermont

Vermont is a state ruled by seasonality; discover what each season brings near the Golden Stage Inn bed and breakfast in Southern VT. From dangerous hurricanes to the first gentle snowfall of winter, there’s often something to talk about!


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.

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.

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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