A trip along Route 100, Vermont’s Main Street.

Vermont is our brand here at the October Country Inn, we do our best to provide our guests with as much local knowledge about whatever might interest them. For sure, especially during the fall, taking a drive along Route 100, also known as Vermont’s Main Street, is sure to please. Following the eastern edge of the Green Mountains for 146 miles, Route 100, now designated as a Vermont Scenic Byway, is recognized as one of the most scenic drives in New England. Along the route you’ll find great food, farm stands, brewpubs, cheese makers, opportunities to explore history and culture, museums, and country stores. There are wonderful opportunities to visit galleries and shops featuring handmade furniture, ceramic wares, antiques and contemporary art. You’ll find treasures similar to what you’d expect at an urban gallery. There’s also the oldest craft school in America, live theater venues, and classical music. There’s also easy access to Vermont’s end-to-end hiking and backcountry skiing trails. The Green Mountain Forest contains an exceptional network of cycling routes, State Parks, snowmobile trails, camping sites and lakes.

In Vermont, one thing is beautifully certain: The seasons will change. And with that change, so changes the landscape, the activity, and the way of life. With every season comes different opportunities to explore, and recreate. Vermont is a state that is truly never out of season. Spring is all about enjoying the soft snow conditions on the mountain and visiting a sugar house for some pure Vermont maple syrup. Summer is the season to soak in the warmer weather; fishing, biking, hiking, and camping are just a few popular activities to enjoy during the summer. Fall is incredible. Vermont has the world’s best foliage colors. Combine the stunning scenery with comfortable weather, hearty food and great company, it’s guaranteed to be a trip to remember. Of course, Winter brings colder weather and snow—which either invites you to play outside or drives you indoors to sit around the fire with friends. With it’s award winning ski resorts and spas, Vermont celebrates more than just the holidays during the winter months.

Regardless of the time of year that you decide to explore Vermont’s Route 100, the attractions and destinations that await are plentiful throughout the state. Truly a four-seasons state for tourism, weather is no factor in finding a good time in Vermont. Even if you’re already familiar with Route 100, enlist the aid of a personal tour guide. Download the Vermont Rt 100 Gypsy Guide before hitting the road. Available for smart phones from the App Store or Google Play, this GPS empowered app picks up from where you are, and entertains as well as educates. It’s really fun.

By |2019-10-02T20:23:44-04:00September 20th, 2019|Sightseeing & Local Culture|

Vermont is the place to take a balloon ride for Father’s Day.

Everybody here at the October Country Inn understands that time spent in Vermont is never wasted.  That said, as a bonus, during the Father’s Day weekend, June 14th thru June 16th, the nearby town of Quechee once again hosts its annual Quechee Hot Air Balloon, Craft & Music Festival.

Besides being the longest running hot air balloon festival in New England, with up to 20 hot air balloons rising at 6 a.m. each morning and 6 p.m. each afternoon, there will be continuous music, 60 craft artisans displaying their crafts, food vendors, and a beer and wine garden.  And there are activities for children such as Euro Bungee, a ninja warrior obstacle course, bounce house, and more.  Now is your chance to take that balloon ride you’ve been thinking about.

By |2019-10-02T20:32:53-04:00May 17th, 2019|Sightseeing & Local Culture|

Shakespeare meets Calvin Coolidge.

The Labor Day weekend at the October Country Inn signals the end Summer while also signaling that Fall is just around the corner. If you have put off taking a Summer break, or are just looking for an end-of-summer outing, consider visiting us to take in the Labor Day weekend event at the Calvin Coolidge Homestead and State Historic Park in nearby Plymouth Notch. Besides just letting the pure Vermont country surroundings wash over you, amble over local walking trails, peruse the Coolidge homestead, schoolhouse, and the oldest Vermont cheese production facility, recently revived, before the Stand Up Shakespeare Company presents a free public performance of their Bard-Based Variety Show after which the annual Plymouth Folk and Blues Festival fills the air with live music performances for the rest of the afternoon.

Stand Up Shakespeare Company Troupe.

Stand Up Shakespeare is a collective troupe of New York City-based actors who have traveled to Vermont each Labor Day weekend annually for the last 13 years to present a new one-hour show made up of romance, tragedy, history, and comedy, all based in the works of William Shakespeare. The show is held at noon on Saturday, September 1, at the 173 year-old Union Christian Church located on the grounds of the Calvin Coolidge State Historic Site. Starting at 2p.m., and running until 5p.m., Saturday and Sunday, rain or shine, the 14th annual Plymouth Folk and Blues Festival showcases Vermont and internationally know musicians for a two-day festival of folk and blues music performed in the pure Vermont country air.

For a little historical context, the Calvin Coolidge State Historic Site preserves the birthplace and homestead of our nation’s 30th President. Also on the grounds are the Wilder Barn which examine Vermont farm life at the turn of the 20th Century; The Vermont Cheese Company first started in 1890; Coolidge Hall, used as the Summer White House as well as Grange meetings, dances, and other events; the Coolidge Homestead, birthplace, and nearby nature trails. Combine an end-of-summer visit to the Vermont countryside (time spent in Vermont is never wasted) with a dose of history, culture, and a down-home good time. Labor Day weekend at the Calvin Coolidge State Historic Site. You won’t regret it.

By |2019-10-02T20:49:18-04:00August 20th, 2018|Sightseeing & Local Culture|

A nearby library is home to a national art treasure.

Panel of Orozco muralOur guests come to the October Country Inn for many reasons. Sometimes they come to hike, bike, kayak, shop, hunt for antiques, pan for gold, or just kick back and feast on local foods. Sometimes they come just to absorb Vermont. It is a special place. Time spent in Vermont is never wasted. For whatever reason our guests stay with us, there’s always the possibility of an unexpected bonus. The cherry on the cake. For example, who would have thought that a trip to Bridgewater Corners, Vermont puts you in the neighborhood for the option to view one of the finest Mexican wall murals ever produced.

Jose Orozco

Jose Orozco

The Epic of American Civilization,” a nearly 3,200 square feet mural of 24 panels painted by José Orozco between 1932 and 1934 on the walls of the reserve corridor of Dartmouth College’s Baker Library in nearby Hanover, New Hampshire. The mural depicts the history of the Americas from the Aztec migration into Mexico to the industrialization of modern society. Orozco, together with Diego Rivera, and David Siqueiros, was one of the big three muralists of the Mexican Mural Renaissance. Orozco was the most complex of the Mexican muralists, fond of the theme of human suffering, but less realistic and more fascinated by machines than Rivera. While Rivera was a bold, optimistic figure, touting the glory of the Mexican revolution, Orozco was less comfortable with the bloody toll the social movement was taking.

Dartmouth's Baker Library

Dartmouth’s Baker Library.

This national historic landmark is considered on the finest examples of mural painint in this country by one of the greatest twentieth-century practitioners of public art. Sections of this mural are named: “Migrations,” “Human Sacrifices,” “The Appearance of Quetzalcoatl,” “Corn Culture,” “Anglo-America,” “ Hispano-America,” “Science,” and “Modern Migration of the Spirit.” In addition to the mural, Dartmouth owns more than 200 preparatory drawings and historical photographs which are not generally on public view. However, Dartmouth invites you to explore this material in conjunction with the finished mural. See Digital Orozoco Project. This interactive journey reveals Orozoco’s creative process, methods, and the evolution of this great work. As a final point of somewhat unrelated interest, Orozoco also illustrated the 1947 book “The Pearl” by John Steinbeck.

 

 

By |2017-08-20T11:09:43-04:00August 20th, 2017|Sightseeing & Local Culture|

The best kept secret in the greater Woodstock area.

A view of Woodstock Village.

We are often puzzled that on some certain weekend all the inns in Woodstock seem to be completely booked, and yet the October Country Inn is not close to capacity. Not that Woodstock isn’t worthy of such attention, it’s a charming small New England village. There are good restaurants, sidewalk cafes, and plenty of shops and galleries all within walking distance from any of several inns that are located within the village. But then what? After you’ve spent a half-day wandering the village, you will want more; and more is available, but it’s outside of Woodstock village. It requires getting in your car and driving to one or another of the many, many points of interest in the greater Woodstock area.

The October Counry Inn–The best kept secret in the greater Woodstock area.

At this point, staying at an inn within the Village has lost its home field advantage. You’ve already exhausted all that’s within walking distance. So why not meet Chuck and Edie, and stay at the October Country Inn in Bridgewater Corners? It’s in the adjoining town of Bridgewater. In fact, the Woodstock town line is in the middle of Bridgewater. The October Country Inn is slightly more than one mile outside of Woodstock’s town line. Truth be told, we know the answer. It’s because you didn’t know about us. You are not in on the best kept secret in the greater Woodstock area. It’s not your fault. The system is set up to key on location, and Woodstock has become a name destination. You would have to be some kind of black-belt, travel master to be able to pierce the search-engine veil of mystery to get a complete view of the area you are interested in visiting.

Bridgewater Corners Country Store.

This is the point of this posting. Although you might argue that because this post appears on the October Country Inn blog, anybody reading it would already be in on that best kept secret. However, the internet is a complex enterprise. Perhaps this post is like the ripples of water from a small pebble that spread across an enormous lake. In any case consider yourselves let in on the best kept secret in the greater Woodstock area. Stay at the October Country Inn. Check our reviews on Trip Advisor, Google, or Yelp. Woodstock is fine, but Bridgewater Corners’ October Country Inn is sublime. It’s still as close to everything outside the Village, closer to all that the Killington area has to offer, and is outside the Route 4 traffic corridor and all that goes along with it. It’s quiet here. We’re in the country, we have a swimming pool set on a tranquil hill overlooking the Green Mountains, the Longtrail Brewery is across the street, and the Bridgewater Corners Country Store, to serve any of a multitude of personal needs that may arise, is within walking distance.

By |2017-08-11T19:53:29-04:00August 11th, 2017|Sightseeing & Local Culture|

Artisans’ Park–a lot of facination within walking distance.

Path of Life gardens overlooks the Connecticut River.

Path of Life gardens overlooks the Connecticut River.

A common breakfast table query from our guests here at the October Country Inn is: “What is there to do around here.”  This question always gives us pause, because there’s so much to do around here we don’t know where to start.  Our typical follow-up discussion would then try to match a local activity or attraction with our guests interests, and if successful, to then provide the necessary logistics including directions.  As is often the case, there may be multiple options from which our guests may choose, each option with its own specific logistics.

pathoflifeArtisans’ Park makes our efforts of being good Vermont ambassadors more efficient by the accidental location of several fascinating attractions within walking distance of one another.  Located between Route 12 and the Connecticut River just north of Windsor, Vermont, the artisans in Artisans’ Park refers to either: Vermont Farmstead Cheese Company, Sustainable Farmer, Harpoon Brewery, Silo Spirits, or Simon Pearce.  The park part of Artisans’ Park refers to either: Path of Life Garden, or Great River Outfitters. That’s a lot of options from a single parking spot.

Longest covered bridge in the U.S.

Longest covered bridge in the U.S.

At the Vermont Farmstead Cheese Company you can learn all about cheese making while sampling from a wide variety of their artisanal and speciality cheeses.  Sustainable Farmer serves wood-fired pizza, as well as offering maple syrup, honey, and other local Vermont products.  Kick back at the Harpoon Brewery and sip one of their cold craft brews.  Step up the kick and sample vodka distilled from local corn at Silo Distillery.  Amble over to Simon Pearce and watch local glassblowers ply their trade.  On you way over to Great River Outfitters check out the longest covered bridge in the U.S. spanning the Connecticut River.  Season permitting, you can kayak the Connecticut River, or wander around the Path of Life gardens.  In other words, a full and fascinating day awaits those who venture to Artisans’ Park.

By |2019-10-02T20:57:42-04:00June 22nd, 2017|Sightseeing & Local Culture|

Folk & blues festival at Plymouth Notch wakes up “Silent-Cal.”

Plymouth FolkAlthough you wouldn’t know it by the warm temperatures, the last days of Summer at the October Country Inn are close at hand.  Here and there a few trees are starting to display Fall colors.  It won’t be long now.  Labor Day weekend traditionally signals the close of Summer.  This may be your last chance for a quick getaway.  Let us make a suggestion, check out the 11th annual 2015 Plymouth Notch Folk and Blues Festival.  Music will fill the air on Labor Day weekend, September 5 and 6, in this idyllic rural community which was the birthplace of Calvin Coolidge, also known as “Silent-Cal,” the 30th president of the United States.

Plymouth MapAn article in a local newspaper puts it this way: “It’s hard to get more Vermont-ish than Plymouth Notch. Forget about the modern-day Vermont attention-getters like Ben & Jerry’s or Phish; we’re talking Calvin Coolidge and prize-winning cheese here. And this Labor Day weekend, Plymouth continues what’s become a new tradition in town – the annual folk and blues festival.”  The reference to “prize-winning cheese” is about the Vermont Cheese factory located across the street from the Coolidge homestead.  But apart from sampling their delicious smoked cheddar, taking a wagon ride, or painting your face, bring a blanket to spread on the lawn and be entertained by down-home folk and blues performers.  And it won’t cost a dime.  It’s all free.

Jay Ottaway with his band.

Jay Ottaway with his band.

The event’s organizer, Jay Ottaway, a traveling blues musician himself, notes: “The festival is special for performers and audience alike because, even though it draws a big crowd, it retains the intimate, personal feel of an acoustic folk coffeehouse.” Ottaway said that he chose this venue for the festival because: With all the traveling I do as a musician Plymouth Notch has been my one steady home since childhood.  Also, if you’re more of a hands-on folk and blues enthusiast, there’s a Saturday night jam session at Ramunto’s Brick and Brew Pizza Pub.  All in all, not a bad choice for a Labor Day outing in peaceful Plymouth Notch.  If it rains, no worries, the whole thing just moves indoors to the historic 1840 Union Christian Church right in Plymouth Notch.  Of course, if you need lodging, you can’t go wrong with the October Country Inn.

 

By |2019-10-03T11:37:18-04:00August 30th, 2015|Sightseeing & Local Culture|

Killington hosts another Downhill Throwdown.

throwdownIf you were staying at the October Country Inn next weekend, you would be in for a rare spectacle.  Daredevil skateboarders from around the world descend on Killington June 6, 7 & 8 for the second annual Throwdown freeride event.  Presented by Restless Longboards, this speed competition is a favorite for downhill skateboard and street luge competitors.  This steep downhill course covers the twists, and turns of the lower two miles of East Mountain Road.  Racers can reach speeds of 75 miles per hour.

Click on this YouTube video link to follow Sam Blais and Sam Davignon down the course.

This is the fastest course east of the Mississippi.  East Mountain Road is notoriously steep and very challenging to ride.  Over a standuphundred competitors from the U.S., Canada, Australia, Germany, Brazil, Spain, and New Zealand are expected to compete in this event.    The Killington Downhill Throwdown is the first stop in this year’s Vermont International Downhill Federation Skate Week.  Part two is hosted by Burke Mountain on June 11 to 13.

streetlugeDon’t miss the action.  Racing on East Mountain Road starts daily at 9:00am and ends at 5:30pm.  Of course, the road will be closed for the racing during this event from 8:00am to 6:00pm.  Get there early and get a good spot.  Passage up East Mountain Road between events will be allowed (approximately every 20 minutes) and the Killington Police Department will be directing traffic.  This is really exciting stuff to watch.  These skateboarders are very skillful and go very fast.  Don’t miss it.

 

 

By |2019-10-03T11:41:12-04:00June 3rd, 2015|Sightseeing & Local Culture|

All of a sudden it’s Spring time in Vermont.

The Ottauquechee River runs full.

The Ottauquechee River runs full.

Around the October Country Inn, it seems like it happened in a matter of a week or so.  The trees were bare, the ground was covered in snow, and you’d want to have a jacket and hat on when outside.  Then the sun came out for a couple of days.  Snow on south-facing slopes began to recede.  The Ottauquechee River level began to rise, and start to run in a serious white-water kind of way.  Smoke began to pour from local sugar houses around the clock.  Then the robins show up.  All the signs are here.  Spring has come to our little corner of Vermont.

Bears are awake and hungry.

Bears are awake and hungry.

This is a quiet time of year.  Many call it “mud season,” as if to warn away downcountry visitors.  We, however, understand that we are about to witness one of mother nature’s truly remarkable transformations.  There will be a rebirth.  Look closely.  Bare limbs of trees and bushes push out new shoots and buds that will burst into flower and leaf.  Weird  looking mushrooms, and tiny green sprouts push aside the cover of last fall’s mulch of leaves.  Overhead, honking geese fly north.  You have to take the bird feeders down for a month or so because bears are awake and they are hungry.

A typical Vermont sugar house busily boiling down maple sap (notice sap bucket hanging in the foreground) to produce maple syrup.

A typical Vermont sugar house busily boiling down maple sap (notice sap bucket hanging in the foreground) to produce maple syrup.

It’s not like we have been shut-ins all winter long.  We enjoy winter, and look forward to the special kinds of activities having to do with snow.  But, when spring comes, it feels like we’ve been shut in all winter.  All of a sudden we just can’t wait to get outside.  Go for a walk without putting on the snowshoes.  It also kickstarts a new round of chores.  We have to get and stack a couple of cords of firewood so that it will be dry for next winter.  Change out the storm windows for screens.  Put up the rain gutters.  Before you know it the grass will need to be cut, the cover will have to come off the pool, and patio furniture and shade umbrellas will need to be set out.  We better get busy, but there’s really no hurry.

By |2019-10-03T11:42:37-04:00April 18th, 2015|Sightseeing & Local Culture|

Stick season — discover Vermont’s quiet side.

Stick season in Vermont.

Stick season in Vermont.

It’s no surprise that Vermont’s tourist season at the October Country Inn peaks with the pursuit of that elusive goal of being here during “peak” foliage; that brief moment when every tree is ablaze with color.  Admittedly, the sheer volume and overwhelming mix of blazing reds, oranges, and golden yellows carpeting the Green Mountains is a sight that is never forgotten once experienced.  However, this experience comes with a price.  This is the time of year when we avoid Woodstock if possible.  There is no such thing as a quick trip to the market during foliage season.  Forget about finding a parking spot.  Forget getting a table at a local restaurant unless you’ve reserved it weeks in advance.  And if you made the mistake of finding a room when you get here, you’ll probably end up sleeping in your car.

The color is on the ground.

The color is on the ground.

Then, about two-thirds of the way through October, a bit of wind comes up, and maybe a healthy bit of rain, and all the leaves fall off.   It’s still pretty, but all the color is now on the ground.  This is stick season in Vermont.  We like stick season.  We like Vermont’s quiet side.  There’s no problem finding parking in Woodstock.  There’s no problem finding a table at a local restaurant on the spur of the moment.  The snow has not yet fallen.  The weather is still pleasant, and the crowds have gone back to their respective worlds.  A walk in the woods on Mt. Tom during stick season is going to be a quiet walk.

A quiet walk in the woods.

A quiet walk in the woods.

This is the time of year to visit Vermont is you really want to get away from your daily routine, and accompanying stress.   Stick season in Vermont is undervalued if relaxation and rejuvenation is the goal.  Give it a try.  October Country Inn is having a stick season special.  If you appreciate peace and quiet, this offer is for you.  Come visit us.  Take a quiet walk in the woods.  Shuffle your feet through a carpet of leaves.  Discover Vermont’s quiet side.  You’ll be calmer for it.

 

By |2019-10-03T11:48:21-04:00October 29th, 2014|Sightseeing & Local Culture|