Unwind in Woodstock
Small towns don’t get more picture perfect than Woodstock, Vermont. It is quintessential Vermont at its finest— quaint shops, historic homes, white picket fences, brilliantly colored gardens, classic church, village green and even a covered bridge. Located in the foothills of the Green Mountains on the banks of the Ottauquechee River, the town is surrounded by lush farmland and pristine nature.
Directly across from the village green, the Woodstock Inn and Resort stands as the centerpiece of the village, a spot occupied by an inn since the 18th century. The Woodstock Inn was purchased in 1968 by Laurance S. Rockefeller, a dedicated conservationist and champion of America’s national parks, to create a place for “renewal of the human spirit.” Today, it is still owned and operated by his foundation as is Billings Farm and Museum and Suicide Six Ski Area. On the exterior, the stately Woodstock Inn & Resort looks centuries old, but only a small portion of the original structure actually remains. Inside the grand entrance, the Inn has been transformed to meet the needs of today’s travellers while still retaining its traditional warmth and charm.
There is ample public space for families and groups to gather. Plush sofas and armchairs focus on the rugged 6-foot fieldstone fireplace in the lobby. Books and board games are available in the library where tea and cookies are served each afternoon. Each of the 142 guestrooms have been renovated with spacious baths and contemporary country decor featuring classic hardwood furniture and artwork by area artists. Adjoining rooms are a convenient option for families.
Guest services include an outdoor pool and luxurious, full-service spa, plus access to the indoor pool, tennis, racquetball, steam room and sauna at the Racquet & Fitness Club a short drive or shuttle ride down the road. The resort also features a 6,000 yard 18-hole par 70 golf course designed by Robert Trent Jones, Jr., continuing the golf tradition that began here in 1895 with the opening of the first golf club. In winter, the golf course and clubhouse become the Woodstock Ski Touring Center, offering over 60 km of groomed trails on the golf course and nearby Mt. Tom. Lessons and rentals are available as well as a full shop of outdoor equipment including snowshoe gear.
There are several restaurants in town to choose from and the Woodstock Inn’s own Red Rooster serves outstanding new American cuisine utilizing fresh, local ingredients including Vermont cheese, produce, herbs, bread and New England seafood. A creative children’s menu is available or, better yet, arrange evening child care so you can savor dinner at your own pace. Box lunches can be ordered ahead for outings during the day.
Billings Farm & Museum
Just steps from the Inn, over 30 miles of continuous walking trails link the sidewalks of Woodstock with the two hills of Mt. Tom and Mt. Peg. You won’t want to miss a visit to Billings Farm & Museum, a half-mile walk or five minute drive from the Woodstock Inn. Admission is complimentary as a guest of the resort and here you will learn the interesting story of Vermont’s rural heritage and tour the still working dairy farm started in 1872 by Frederick Billings, a native Vermonter who set out to build a farm which would serve as a model of environmental stewardship. The farmhouse includes the authentic business office for the farm manager, his family’s living quarters, the creamery and adjoining ice house all restored to their heydey in 1890. Kids can try their hand at stencilling and buttermaking most days and stop by the dairy barn for the afternoon milking of the herd. Take a self-guided tour through the cow barn, calf nursery, milk house, sheep pen, horse barn and chicken barn and visit with the sheep grazing the lush, green pastures. Demonstrations and talks on traditional farm activities take place throughout the day. A 30-minute Academy Award nominated film, “A Place in the Land,” is shown in the Visitor Center theater and traces the history of the Billings Farm and its three families, describing their farming, forestry and sustainability practices for over a century and a half.
Special weekends are held throughout the winter season and weekly during summer. December through early January, visitors can see the farmhouse authentically decorated for the holidays, enhanced by the aroma of holiday baking and traditional music. During winter holidays, bundle up for a horse drawn sleigh ride and sledding with jack jumper sleds.
National Historical Park
Across the road from the farm is the entrance to the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park, gifted to the U.S. in 1992 by Mary and Laurance Rockefeller. Once home to pioneer conservationist George Perkins Marsh, the 550-acre park includes the mansion built in 1805-1807 for his father, Charles Marsh Sr., formal gardens and a model forest developed by Frederick Billings and continued by his granddaughter, Mary French Rockefeller, and her husband. It is the only national park to tell the story of conservation history and the evolution of land stewardship in America. The old Carriage Barn serves as the Park Visitor Center and is open from Memorial Day weekend through October. Ranger-guided mansion, garden and forest tours are offered then. The park grounds, encompassing twenty miles of carriage roads and trails crisscrossing the gentle slopes of Mt. Tom, are open year round. In winter, the carriage roads are groomed for cross country skiing and snowshoeing.
Suicide Six Ski Area
Winter guests at the Woodstock Inn and Resort can ski at the resort’s own nordic center or Suicide Six alpine ski area located three miles from the village. Don’t let the name scare you off, it dates back to the ski area’s beginnings in 1937 and has met steadfast resistance to change. The area is actually ideal for families. Beginner and intermediate terrain comprise seventy percent of the mountain which is serviced by a J Bar and two chairlifts. There are virtually no lift lines, and non-skiing family members can easily view all the action from the comfort of the lodge.
Woodstock Vermont Area Chamber of Commerce
Woodstock Inn & Resort
Lodging includes complimentary admission to Billings Farm & Museum. See website for seasonal packages and to sign up for special offers.
Fourteen The Green
Billings Farm & Museum
Open daily May 1-Oct. 1, Nov.-Feb. weekends, Christmas & Feb. vacation weeks
Rt. 12 North & River Rd.
Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park
Suicide Six Ski Area
247 Stage Rd.
South Pomfret, VT
Quechee, Vermont (eight miles south of Woodstock)
Vermont Institute of Nature Science
Nature preserve and living museum of injured birds of prey, self-guided nature trails.
6565 Woodstock Rd.
Simon Pearce Glass
Glass & pottery gallery, glassblowing demonstrations, restaurant on the falls in Quechee.
1760 Quechee Main St.
We were introduced to the Woodstock Inn & Resort as guests on a family media tour.