Friday, May 1, 2015

A Weekend in Woodstock, VT

Josh and usually try and fly somewhere new every spring (last year we went to Bermuda), but with a wedding and Greek honeymoon coming up, it just wasn't in the cards this year. So we chose the next best thing - a long weekend somewhere close to home but somewhere we'd never been before - and that place was Woodstock, Vermont. We'd heard amazing things about this little corner of New England but even with josh being a Vermont native, neither of us had ever been there. So we decided on a Patriots Day weekend "staycation" at the Woodstock Inn, and we are so glad we did! Here is a little bit about what we did and our favorite parts of the weekend in case you are considering traveling there yourself.
We fell in love with the Woodstock Inn pretty much immediately when pulling in the driveway on Friday afternoon (I mean, look at it). And things got even better when we headed inside and were greeted by friendly staff and the most massive fireplace I had ever seen. After settling into our room (which was also adorable), we decided to wander around Woodstock while it was still light out. The Inn is right in the center of town so it's easy to just walk right down the driveway and onto Central Street street, where all of the shops and restaurants are located. Our favorite stop was at the General Store, which was stocked with a little bit of everything and where we filled up a hefty bag of penny candy.
Friday night we had a late dinner at Richardson's, which is a cozy tavern right inside the Inn. We sat by the fire and enjoyed some beers and shared a to-die-for crock of lobster mac & cheese topped with apple butter. Needless to say, after night one, the Inn had already completely won us over.
Saturday morning we were up bright & early to grab a couple of the Woodstock Inn cruisers and bike to the Farmer's Market, which we had heard was one of the best in Vermont. Luckily, the weather was warm and sunny so the short 3-mile bike ride was so much fun! We loaded our baskets up with some fruit, bread, and local chocolates before heading back to the Inn.
From there, we drove to the Quechee Antique Mall (which we had driven by on our way in and looked very intriguing) to do some shopping. And wow, did this place pull at my thrift-loving heartstrings. We learned that the man who owns the basement space clears out old houses for free, and they sells all of his finds. And as you can imagine, there was a lot of junk, but also a lot of gems. We happened to be in the market for a few antique rugs for the wedding and scored BIG on that front, as well as on some vintage peacock chairs at the antique store next door. Moral of the story? Woodstock, VT = antique landmine. Who knew?
After stuffing our car to the brim with  our extremely dusty (but amazing) purchases, we headed back towards Woodstock for lunch, stopping to take some photos of the stunning Quechee Gorge on the way, which runs under RT 4. We sat outside for lunch at Worthy Kitchen, which proved to be a very worthy stop. This place doesn't mess around when it comes to beer and food, and has over 18 New England brews on draft as well as an extensive locally-sourced menu.
With full stomachs, we headed back to the Inn for an afternoon we had booked in advance at the spa. As first time Woodstock Inn spa-goers, booking any of the services gets you all-day access to their spa, which is nothing short of incredible. Even though our massages weren't until 5pm, we made sure to take full advantage and go early in the afternoon so that we could enjoy the outdoor hot tub, sauna, steam showers, and generally just relax in our robes and drink cucumber water in what was one of the prettiest spaces I'd ever seen. Josh and I aren't generally massage people but I can safely say that I think it's the most relaxing afternoon we've ever had together! Even if you are planning a trip to Woodstock and not staying at the Inn, I highly recommend spending some time at this spa.
Saturday night we were in the mood for some pizza so walked into town for dinner at Pi Brick Oven Trattoria, where we shared the arugula and sausage pizzas. When traveling to Vermont, we are usually spoiled by the amazing pizzas at Flatbread, but these were definitely comparable and on point!
^josh thoroughly enjoying his pizza despite this face ;)

The weather on Sunday was equally sunny and beautiful, so after breakfast downstairs at the Inn (breakfast is complimentary and the buffet is incredible), we decided to hike Mount Tom. This is an easy hike that you can walk to right from the Inn and takes about an hour. Since it was still early spring, everything was still a bit brown, but I can imagine the views being really stunning in the fall.
After our hike, we walked straight from the mountain into town to grab a light lunch at Mon Vert Cafe, which we had heard had the best coffee and sandwiches in town. The cafe was lovely and brought back memories of college days spent in so many similar cafes in Burlington. Next, we hopped in the car to check out the Simon Pearce factory, which is powered hydroelectrically by Ottauquechee River that it sits upon. Everyone told us we had to stop there, and I could immediately see why! The company is known for their glassblowing and pottery, and I wanted to take every single piece in their showroom home. And we weren't hungry, but the restaurant, which hangs off the back of the building over the river, had a delicious-looking menu and unbeatable views.
Our last night at the Inn was spent enjoying drinks and cheddar fondue at Richardsons and then exploring the game room, which was essentially like walking into heaven for josh. This game-lovers dream room was stocked with Foosball, pool, shuffleboard, life-sized scrabble, giant connect four, and then my favorite - vintage pinball machines. Not to mention, all of this is inside the most cozy lodge-style space complete with a roaring fire. We played every game in the room and lost count of the hours we spent in there!
All in all, I can't say enough good things to say about the Woodstock Inn. Josh and I were almost angry that this special place was only a quick 2-hour trip from Boston and we had never been there! And since it was the end of April and no longer peak ski season, we really felt like we had the place to ourselves. It was so nice to explore a new place, reconnect, and recharge before what will be a very busy summer ahead. Woodstock, we will absolutely be back!

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