A getaway with the family is not a common occurrence – especially one where golf is involved. But if you live in the Northeastern U.S., the Woodstock Inn & Resort can accommodate.
Last week, my wife, kids and I spent 2 days and 2 nights in Woodstock, Vermont – a place that defines the New England countryside with farmland, historic sites and…well, golf.
A few hours from Boston, New York and Connecticut, the drive up alone will relax you – especially during a weekday when traffic is light. And once you arrive in Woodstock, you will be charmed by a picturesque little town with 18th- and 19th-century architecture, quaint shops and great food.
A stone’s throw from the shops and restaurants sits the Woodstock Inn & Resort – a 142 guest room luxury hotel that also offers a full spa, racquet and fitness club (including indoor pool) and two restaurants. From the time we arrived, we were impressed – the inn is simply beautiful and the room and accommodations were wonderful.
But what really drew me to the resort was the Robert Trent Jones Sr.-designed golf course – which is ranked on Golf Magazine’s top 100 golf resorts list. I played the par-70 course with W. Courtney Lowe, the Inn’s director of marketing. Mr. Lowe gave me a quick history lesson on the place: The course was originally built into the hillside forest in the 1890’s and redesigned by Robert Trent Jones Sr. in the 1960’s. He even pointed out an old tee-box set into the woods just adjacent to one of the modern holes – pretty neat.
As we walked the course on a cool, overcast morning, Mr. Lowe and I chatted about golf (the original course was created after a couple of men were visiting in the late 19th-century and decided the area needed golf); the inn (which is part of The Woodstock Foundation created by Laurance S. and Mary F. Rockefeller); and the local food scene (much of which is sourced from area farms). When our round was over, I rejoined my family to try some of that great food – and I wasn’t disappointed.
For lunch we stopped at Mountain Creamery – a diner of sorts that specializes in homemade baked goods and ice cream (the mile high apple pie a la mode was unreal). For dinner we enjoyed craft beer (well, not the kiddies) and great locally-sourced food at the Worthy Kitchen. Both places are a must-stop when in Woodstock. And as I mentioned above, the Inn itself features two places to eat – the Tavern, which features a bar and casual dining, and also the upscale, farm-sourced Red Rooster, where we enjoyed a meal on our first night in town.
On our final day in Woodstock, my wife indulged in a 50-minute back massage at the inn’s spa, after which we headed about a mile up the road to visit the Billings Farm and Museum (which is owned and operated by the same foundation that runs the Woodstock Inn). The place was teaming with baby animals – the kids enjoyed seeing the lambs and petting the calfs while the wife and I learned the farm is among the milk suppliers to Cabot Creamery (you may have seen their cheese in your grocery store).
All-in-all, it was a great couple of days – The Woodstock Inn & Resort is a wonderful hotel with plenty of amenities to indulge in. And the town of Woodstock is a picturesque little village that will charm you throughout your stay. If you live anywhere near the northeastern part of the country, a drive to this nook in the New England countryside is well-worth it. And if you golf, you’ll find it won’t disappoint – the course is literally a few minutes walk (or 2 minute shuttle ride) away from the inn and is both well-designed and aesthetically pleasing.
While we visited in the spring, Mr. Lowe tells me the inn’s peak time is during the summer and in the fall (when this part of Vermont will be ablaze with colorful foliage). Don’t miss an opportunity to getaway for a few days, stay and play, and truly enjoy what New England has to offer.