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!

New Mountain Bike Trails at Okemo

Looking for something new to do on your summer trip to Vermont? Okemo Mountain will soon be offering lift-serviced mountain biking trails! Okemo Mountain is just a 15 minute drive away from Golden Stage Inn. Enjoy a day of exhilarating mountain biking and then cool off in our bed and breakfast’s in-ground pool…or with a cool beverage on our shady porch!

The mountain bike trails are scheduled to open for July 4th weekend. There will be three miles of trails at the Clock Tower base area. Here’s the idea: one of the mountain’s lifts, usually used for skiing, will instead take you and your bike to the top of the mountain. From there, enjoy the ride down on trails designed just for mountain biking. Okemo will offer mountain bike rentals, as well as helmets and other protective gear–so don’t worry about lugging your own equipment here (or, for that matter, even owning your own equipment!).

Prices have not yet been determined, but it looks like there will be a variety of options available. The other summer activities at Okemo Mountain will make for a full day of adventure and fun. These include: the Timber Ripper Mountain Coaster, climbing wall, challenge courses, zip line tours, disc golf, the Stump Jumper Bungee Trampoline, and the AMP Energy Big Air Bag. (Make it on a Friday and enjoy the summer live music series at Jackson Gore, too!)

Rent The Inn: Family Reunion, Business Retreat, Arts & Crafts, Elopement…

It’s not too soon to be planning a “Rent the Inn” event for this fall for a family reunion or a reunion of that group of great friends you never get to see. Or maybe this is the perfect time to sneak away for a small wedding with only your most intimate friends and family.  You don’t need to wonder what you’d do with an entire Vermont inn to yourself?  We’ve got it all figured out for you!

This “Rent the Inn” special is available every Spring (April 15 through June 30) and late Fall (November 1 through December 15). There is no minimum night stay required.

Here are a few ways of making the most of our Rent the Inn offer:

  1. Weddings (the small and informal kind)

    We’re only half-joking when we say that if your idea of a wedding includes either hiking boots or flip-flops, then we are the wedding venue for you!  Really, our grounds are spacious and rambling, and our inn is super welcoming and comfortable — just the right spot for a simple and intimate ceremony.  We can help simplify further by putting you in touch with any services you may need, like caterers, wedding cakes, photographers and wedding officiators. Of course, we’re LGBTQ-friendly.  (We take this for granted, but realize that maybe we should state it for clarity.)  Overall, we find things to be pretty stress-free around here and we’d love to share Vermont’s relaxed nature with you on your wedding day!

  2. Small Business Retreat

    Planning a casual Board of Trustees meeting or a small business retreat? Golden Stage Inn’s first floor has ample space and natural light for meetings and discussions of about 10 to 15 people. Free Wi-fi on site; modern amenities in all rooms. A two-course, homemade breakfast is included in your rate–we’ll take care of the details so you can focus on your agenda. We are also happy to make dinner reservations at a nearby restaurant for your party.

  3. Arts and Crafts Workshop

    For instructors of the arts or for crafting circles with a desire to delve deeply into their work and expand their skills. Rent our bed and breakfast for a truly unique group workshop experience. A rural Vermont setting, surrounded by lush gardens, will cut out all distractions and thoughts of “day-to-day life.” Our sitting room has ample space for classes to take place; extra space and tables available in our dining rooms. Or, try a plein-air painting group in our front yard or one of the many scenic landscapes in our area. If you and a group of crafty friends would simply like to get away for a few days of quiet knitting, we can recommend art & antique galleries and local arts classes to round out your trip. (Plus, Six Loose Ladies yarn & fabric store is walking distance from our Inn!)

  4. Family Reunion

    Last, but certainly not least, gather your family together for a reunion. Maybe there’s a special occasion in your life–an anniversary, a birth, a graduation… Even Vermonters can make the most of this offer with a stay-cation, or by renting rooms at our bed and breakfast for out-of-state family members. And, of course, we won’t limit this to just family! Get a group of friends together for a spring road trip or mini college or high school reunion. Fridge space is available for storing food and drinks. We are a BYOB Inn, but we do have wine glasses and bottle openers available for your use. Enjoy our in-ground pool, one of the many hikes in the area, or shopping and dining in the quaint nearby towns.

No matter what your gathering’s purpose is, you’ll leave Golden Stage Inn feeling relaxed and renewed…and looking forward to the next visit!

B2VT Bike Ride 2015

Calling all cyclists for the B2VT Bike Ride of 2015!  On June 13th, 2015, start pedaling in Massachusetts and end at Okemo Mountain in Ludlow, VT.  Register here to ride this year.  Stay with us for one night on June 13th, 2015 and get your second night free, using promo code: b2vtride2015

Formerly known as the Brewery to Brewery Ride (or B2B), now the B2VT Ride has a slightly different course, with new starting and ending points that were established last year.  You’ll get on your bike between 5 am and 8 am, roughly.  Ride over 130 miles of scenic hills to end in celebration at Okemo Mountain.  The B2VT website touts the B2VT Ride as “one of the most challenging single-day rides in New England…for cyclists who are physically and mentally tough.”

This is an exciting ride, and we want to celebrate your hard work and determination.  When you stay with us on June 13th, 2015, your second night of lodging will be on us if you participated in or watched the B2VT bike ride!  After the exhaustion of the ride, spend time in comfort pampering yourself at our inn…you deserve it!  To redeem this offer when you book with us online, use promo code b2vtride2015.  If you’re reserving by phone, simply mention the promotion to get your free night’s stay.

Here are a few of the resources on the B2VT Ride website for cyclists who plan to participate in 2015….

Ride Day Timeline (from 2014; the 2015 version will go live on May 15, 2015.)

Comprehensive Athlete Guide from 2014 (the 2015 version will be posted on May 15.)

New for 2015: Short Course Loop (full details should be posted by late January.)

Registration for 2015 (just opened recently!)

b2vt ride 2015

Image courtesy

Okemo’s Other Offerings

Okemo is not just for skiers anymore…

Maybe you’ve booked a ski vacation and the weather isn’t what you’d hoped for downhill and cross-country skiing – pouring rain or extreme windchill.  Perhaps there’s someone in your group who doesn’t ski or snowshoe and is looking for different things to do.  Some families might have young children who can only spend half a day on the slopes, or want various activities and extra excitement.  There are plenty of reasons one might pursue winter activities in Vermont aside from cross-country and downhill skiing.  So, we’ve compiled a resource list of the many, many things to do at Okemo Mountain: kid’s snowmobile tours, mountain coaster rides, snow tubing, ice skating, massage & spa services, fitness & pool center, snowcat excursions – even indoor golf!

Okemo clock tower

New this year: Kid’s Snowmobile Tours

At Jackson Gore, kids can experience a snowmobile ride for $29.  Tours are 20 minutes, with 15 minute ride time.  There are only 4 sleds available per tour.  You can purchase tickets in advance, or when you get there at Jackson Gore’s Resort Services desk.  Children between 5 and 12 years old, under 120 lbs and less than 5′ 4″ are eligible to ride.  More details here or by phone: 802-228-1600.

Through March 30th, the coaster is open on Sunday, Monday, Thursday and Friday from 11 am to 4:30 pm, and on Saturdays from 11 am to 6 pm.  Timber Ripper is also open for extended hours during holiday periods: from 11 am to 6 pm on January 18th, from 11 am to 6 pm February 14th through 21st, and from 11 am to 8 pm on March 14th.

Timber Ripper Mountain Coaster

Imagine flying smoothly through the air down a mountain, and you’ve got the Timber Ripper.  This mountain coaster operates out of Jackson Gore, taking off by the Coleman Brook Express Quad.  Each sled can hold two people, but you can go it alone as well.  To drive the sled, you must be over 48″, and to ride with a driver, a child must be over 36″.  The mountain coaster operates in most weather conditions, so it’s an outdoor alternative to skiing that maintains a thrill-seeking element.  Call 802-228-1600 if you’re wondering if the coaster will be running in the current weather.  Hours are the same as listed above for kids’ snowmobiling.  


  • 1 ride: $13 driver, $9 rider
  • 3 rides: $36 driver, $24 rider
  • 5 rides: $55 driver, $38 rider
  • 10 rides: $100 driver, $72 rider

Indoor Golf Simulator

For golf lovers missing the course over the winter, keep up your game at Okemo’s indoor golf simulator.  The course includes a 6,000 square-foot practice area, a putting green, three swing stations, and a locker room.  The simulator is booked fairly frequently during the winter, so call ahead to reserve your spot: (802) 228-1396.  You can reserve the course as a group of up to 16 players, or as an individual.  


  • Simulator Group Fees: $50/hour
  • Simulator Individual Fees: $30/hour
  • All-day access to hitting stations and putting green: $15
  • Hourly access to hitting stations and putting green: $7/hour

Snowcat Excursions

This is a unique opportunity to book a ride in a snowcat, which grooms the mountain’s terrain.  On this hour-long journey, you’ll get to see the mountaintop view of Vermont at night – lit up under a starry sky.  Seats are $39 per person – unless you want to ride shotgun, a privilege which will cost you an extra $10. Rides are weather dependent and consistently fill up; we recommend making your reservation several days before you plan to go.  (For example, if you plan on taking a Friday ride, call on Monday.)  Holiday excursions fill up more quickly, so reserve your spot at least a week in advance.  Call 802-228-1600 to book your spot on the tour.

Excursions leave from Jackson Gore on Tuesdays at 5 pm and 7 pm, on Fridays at 7 pm, on Saturdays at 5 pm, 7 pm and 9 pm.  There are special extra tours on MLK weekend and President’s Day Week.

snowcat excursions at Okemo Mountain

Snowcat Dining Adventure

An added layer of luxury to the typical snowcat excursion, this trip takes you to Epic, Okemo’s fine dining restaurant.  Snowcat Dining Adventures are offered every Saturday night through March 7th, 2015, as well as Sunday, January 18th (for the Craft Beer Dinner Special) and Sunday, February 15th.  Call 802-228-1600 to reserve your spot; $125 includes a snowcat ride and fireside 5-course meal (but does not include tax and gratuity).  You’ll want to make your reservation about a week in advance, and perhaps even earlier during holiday periods.  Childcare is offered for $20 per child with the Kid’s Night Out Program.

The Spring House

The Spring House has excellent indoor recreational facilities, including pools, exercise classes, spa services and a fitness room.  Contact the Spring House at 802-228-1419.   

  1. Aquatics:  Open from 8 am to 10 am for lap swimming, and from 10 am to 9 pm for open swim, hot tub and splash pool.  Heated recreation pool, maximum depth 4.5 feet.  Heated splash pool for small children with fountain and slide, maximum depth 1.5 feet.  ADA-accessible hot tub.  You can host a pool party at the Spring House too, but only between April and Thanksgiving; call the number above for more info.
  2. Fitness:  Open from 7 am to 9 pm.  Reserve time in the courts between 7 am and 9 pm to play racquetball or volleyball.  There are locker room facilities with saunas.  The Studio offers fitness classes of all types: Zumba, yoga, aquatics and kickboxing.  Check out the schedule and sign up by calling the number above.  The fitness room features ellipticals, treadmills, bikes, weights, mats and other various strength training equipment.
  3. Spa Services: Massages of all kinds (even for mommies-to-be!), facials, body scrubs (Vermont maple and brown sugar, anyone?) all offered by trained, accredited therapists.  See all of Okemo’s spa options and pricing here.  By appointment only at 802-228-1419.


  • $14 day pass ($4 for seniors 65+, free for children under 3.)
  • $10 per fitness class
  • $3 Racquetball court fee (includes equipment)

Snow Tubing

This is one of the best options for an affordable day of fun.  Each hour on the hill is $12, which includes snow tube rentals.  Children must be over 42″, and all snow-tubers must sign a waiver.  Snowtubing hours are the same as listed above for kids snowmobiling.  Call 802-228-1600 for information on conditions.

The Ice House

Another affordable option for non-skiing winter fun.  Skate and helmet rentals are $5 each, and unlimited skating pass is $5. The ice is kept in great condition for smooth skating, and there is a warming area as well.  The Ice House is open Saturdays, Sundays and holidays from 10 am to 9 pm.  Monday through Friday, skate anytime from 1 pm to 9 pm.   Call 802-228-1406 for more information.

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.

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