travel

Winter Guide to Stowe Vermont

Named one of America’s Top 10 Best Ski Towns by Forbes, Stowe Vermont has a little something for everyone. One of my favorite spots to ski during the long New England winters, Stowe is great for beginners just learning how to ski, those seeking black diamonds, and if your more into Après Ski than actual skiing don’t worry, there is plenty for you to entertain yourself with! Stowe offers 116 trails, 13 lifts, and a gondola connects the two mountains, Mount Mansfield and Spruce Peak. Filled with great restaurants, highly rated day spas, a long list of distilleries, breweries, and wineries, and plenty of outdoor activities.

If you’re trying to plan a ski trip this winter here is my breakdown of where it stay in Stowe, what to do during the winter in Stowe, and when to go!

There are so many options when it comes to Stowe accommodations, and a lot of factors to consider. First you need to decide do you want something on mountain – this is ideal for people who want to ski all day. Do you need something bigger for a larger group? Or do you want something quiet and a little further away from the mountain.stowe-mountain-resort-gondolas.jpg

The Lodge at Spruce Peak – This is really a one shop stop. If you’re looking to ski all day and plan on being to tired at the end of the day to go out this is the spot for you. There are a few different options here, The Village, offers traditional guest rooms, studios and suites. It is also the only spot with ski-in/ ski out option in Stowe. If you’re planning a trip with a large group The Lodge at Spruce Peak also offers luxury rentals and mountain cabins that can come with up to 5 bed rooms.

There are a number of dinning option located at The Lodge which is really convenient if your worn out from a day on the slopes. from the casual Great Room Grill to the more upscale Solstice Restaurant you will have a hard time finding a reason to leave Spruce Peak.

If you’re all skied out there is also Ice Skating, snowshoeing, ice climbing, horseback riding, and dog sledding! For my Après Ski warriors there are local brewery tastings, checking The Whistlepig Pavilion for fire baked cheese and whiskey cocktails!

 

Trapp Family Lodge – Want to feel like you went skiing in the Austrian Alpes? Check out Trapp Family Lodge, and yes that is in the Von Trapp Family. From traditional guest rooms in the lodge to 3 bed room villas, there is even pet friendly lodging if you want to bring your furry friends!

The Trapp Family Lodge has cross-country skiing, backcountry skiing, and snowshoeing. There is downhill skiing just a few miles from the Trapp Family Lodge.

For those looking for an Après Ski experience Trapp Family Lodge offers Farm-To-Table Dining, on site brewery, and enjoy mountain side hot chocolate at the Slayton Pasture Cabin.  While you’re there take advantage of the Trapp Family Wine Cellar, you can do tastings and guided tours. Book a massages and then go for an afternoon carriage ride, truly a magical experience in the snow covered mountains, end the day in the outdoor hot tub, don’t worry its surrounded by heated slate!Trapp_Lodge.jpg

Stowe Meadows – Valentine’s Ski Getaway? Yes please! If you’re looking for a romantic couple’s weekend Stow Meadows if the perfect spot for you. With only 4 suites, Stowe Meadows can easily feel like your own private mountain lodge.

Onsite there is cross-country skiing, snowshoeing. Downhill skiing is just a short drive away, Stow Mountain is 20 minutes up the road. You can also take advantage of the shopping and dining options in Stowe Village just 5 miles away.

Stowe Meadows if for those looking for a relaxing mountain vacation. If this sounds great but you were really hoping for more skiing, consider visiting in the summer to take advantage of their gardens, hiking trails, and swimming.

 

The Field Guide – This charming boutique hotel is part of the Lark Hotel collection, one of my personal favorite brands to stay with. Every room is uniquely decorated, with rooms starting at low as $87 a night. Stay in the main Lodge or in one of the Trail House suites, you can’t go wrong!

There is homemade breakfast every morning, they event partner with the BHAV Spa near by to offer Field Guide guest exclusive spa packages. Right in the heart of Stowe Village you are walking distance to tons of shopping, restaurants, and still just a short drive to Stowe Mountain.Screen Shot 2020-01-08 at 10.18.48 PM.pngrarebrick_20150811_2824.jpg

 

General Tips for Visiting Stowe Vermont this Winter:

-Book your lift tickets ahead of time!

-Book equipment rentals ahead of time, super important if you’re not bringing your own equipment, rentals will sell out during peak season so book ahead.

-Take a lesson! If you’ve never skied or are a little rusty Stowe is a great place to learn.

-Take a tour of the Ben and Jerry’s Factory Tour, its great trust me.

– Avoid school vacation weeks and holiday weekends, the mountains will be super crowded.

-If you want to ski all season long at a bunch of different locations look into the Epic Pass.

Looking for more recommendations on where to ski in New England? Check out my post on some of my favorite skication spots!

 

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travel

Pre-Holiday Getaway with Lark Hotels

The Holidays can be wonderful, but they can also be stressful! So this year Mike and I decided to get away for a weekend before the Holidays really ramped up. We checked in to The Hotel Salem, a fabulous Lark Hotel located in the heart of down-town Salem. It was perfect timing, the Halloween crowds were gone and things were still calm ahead of the Holidays. 4DF123E3-BEBF-44C7-8C54-9B501FA8B29E

The Hotel Salem opened just over a year ago. It is conveniently located, a bunch of great restaurants and cute shops are all within walking distance. The Peabody Essex Museum is just one block away and The Witch Museum is right next door! If you’ve never been to Salem I highly recommend doing both.

On Saturday we hit up Far From The Tree Cider and did a couple of flights to sample all their different ciders. On warmer days you can sit out on the patio, they don’t serve food but you are welcome to bring your own or have something delivered! Definitely try the seasonal cider, everything is made with local, freshly pressed apples for small batch cider.  BDBE0C89-84B2-44D7-B718-58E1C7D62B49_1_201_a.jpeg

The Hotel Salem has a restaurant located on the first floor of the building, The Counter. The staff was super friendly and the food was delicious! Friday night I had the Short Rib Grilled cheese, this thing was bigger than my head and it was amazing!! For breakfast in the morning I had the French Toast and Mike had the Chorizo Hash,  while we planned out our fun day of exploring Salem. When you stay at the hotel you get 10% off food at The Counter so definitely stop in for at least one meal during your stay.

Our hotel room was roomie and as with all Lark Hotels was uniquely designed to fit the location. It was the perfect setting to unwind and relax. Each room comes with all the necessary amenities; waffle robe, big screen TV, comfy bed, and most importantly a wine opener! There is also a coffee and tea station on each floor that you can help yourself to anytime of day. The station was also equipped with sparkling and filtered water. We had such a nice time, after a long day of exploring Salem we literally just crashed and took a quick nap before dinner. If you’re a light sleeper, try and request a room towards the back of the hotel, our room overlooked Essex St and it was definitely a bit noisy with all the bars and restaurants right there. 8B22BFFF-27FA-425A-9437-3C4AE745F35062CEFF46-6F25-4BB9-AADF-A4253727A52118287A47-CEC3-47B1-86B3-46C204DD84C7

After a weekend with The Hotel Salem I am feeling refreshed and ready for the holidays! What are you doing to relax and unwind before the holidays?

Thank you so much to Lark Hotels for hosing us for the weekend, as always all opinions are my own.
travel

Ancient Rome

Rome is on a lot of people’s bucket lists. It’s easy to see why so many flock to the Eternal City, from the amazing food to ancient ruins there is a little something for everyone. My recent trip to Rome was a whirlwind, we fit so much into just a few days!

On Day One we took on Ancient Rome, doing the three hour tour of the Colosseum. It’s incredible to stand in front of a structure built nearly 2000 years ago. In my opinion he skyscrapers we build today will never be as impressive as what civilization were able to create thousands of years ago with significantly less technology.

Throughout the tour you will hear stories of Ancient Emperors, gladiators, and executions. The Colosseum was much more than a simple sports stadium.

The Three Hour your also takes you to the Roman Forum, the birth of civilization as we know it today. Standing in the middle of the Roman Forum you are surrounded by ruins that once held important government offices, temples dedicated to the Roman Gods, and even housed the Vestal Virgins.

We did one of the Skip the Line tours with City Wonders and I highly recommend! The lines to get into the Colosseum were insane. Bring your camera, a reusable water bottle, and very comfortable walking shoes! I’m in my 20s, in pretty good shape and I was sore at the end of the tour. It is a lot of walking across uneven ancient paths, so be prepared, and whatever you do do not try to squeeze the Colosseum and Vatican City into one day. You will be so miserable by the end you won’t enjoy any of it!

In late fall the afternoons can still be pretty hot, we booked a 3pm tour, the first hour was a little warm but but 4pm the sun was starting to set and we got some relief. If you’re visiting Rome in the summer I would recommend going with an early morning tour so you can wrap up and get into the AC before the sweltering heat sets in. Definitely book your tours ahead of time, trust me this will save you a lot of stress when you arrive. The tour company will give you a meeting spot and when you arrive just look for the flags that have your tour company listed. If you’re only in Rome for a short period of time you should absolutely do the Colosseum, we all studied Ancient Rome in school but getting to see it first hand was really special.

Have you been to Rome or are you planning a trip? Let me know in the comments what the highlights are for you!

travel

Guide to Fall in Woodstock Vermont

If you love fall (and of you don’t why are you even here?) then you’ll want to plan to visit Woodstock Vermont this season. Viewing New England fall foliage is a must every year and I personally believe that Woodstock is one of the best places to take it all in. The charming little town is just under three hours from Boston, so it makes the perfect weekend getaway! IMG_4908IMG_4953IMG_5164

Set your GPS to the Woodstock Inn and Resort. The charming inn is conveniently located in the center of town. If you can book a room I highly recommend staying there for the weekend! If not grab a drink or lunch at the restaurant, check out their giant pumpkins and fall display on the front steps before you head out to explore!

Couple other great places to stop for a bite:

  • Mon Vert Cafe, sandwiches to die for and plenty of vegan and gluten free options!
  • Worthy Kitchen, if its a brisk day stop by for their mac and cheese, its amazing!

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Stroll through town, start at the Inn and walk down Central Street and pop in and out of art galleries, boutiques, and some residents even deck their stoops out in pumpkins and fall decor, they make the perfect photo! IMG_4862IMG_4840IMG_5158IMG_4839

Hop back in your car and take a ride over to the Billings Farm and Museum. I’d also recommend heading over to Sugarbush Farm for gorgeous views plus cheese and maples syrup tastings! These are great options for learning a little bit about this history of Vermont.

For the ultimate fall views you’ll want to drive up Cloudland Road, right up the street from Billings Farm. The road winds up a giant hill that allows you to take in amazing views of gorgeous farm land! When you get to the top turn left on Galaxy Hill Road for more picturesque farms and views!

Peak foliage in Vermont is quickly approaching so book your trip now!

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travel

My Favorite Spot — Dennis

People often ask me my favorite spot in New England, it’s impossible to choose! New England is so diverse and changes with the seasons. My favorite spot on the cape during the summer is totally different from my favorite spot in Maine. Today I’m happy to introduce a new series, My Favorite Spot, I will feature my favorite spots in various towns and New England getaways. This will be updated throughout the year so you can get an inside look at all the best spots throughout the seasons.

Today I’m happy to start with Dennis, Cape Cod. Dennis will always hold a special place in my heart, I grew up coming here every summer, just like my dad and granddad did. Cape Cod has a little something for everyone, beaches, hiking trails, golf, water sports, fishing, and so much more!

One of my favorite spots in Dennis is Sesuit Harbor Cafe. Located right on the water, sesuit harbor sits on the bay side of the cape. If you don’t know where to look for the cafe you will miss it, why? Because it is located behind the marina! Sit and watch boats get out in the water, watch people take off on jet skis and enjoy some of the freshest seafood out there.

I stopped by the other day for a mid day snack, I walked around the the raw bar and ordered some oysters. If you’ve never been you have to try their lobster roll! Sit outside at a picnic table and watch boats come and go from the marina. Sesuit Harbor is definitely worth a stop if you’re new to Dennis, or have been coming to Dennis for years and never been! After take a drive along the water and take in the amazing views!