When winter comes and the temperature drops, nothing is more appealing than a weekend getaway in a cozy cabin. And what better weekend to spend away than Galentine’s Day with a couple of your closest girlfriends? A few weeks ago, my roommate and I decided to have ourselves an unplugged girls weekend in Vermont and it was absolutely perfect. I don’t think people give Vermont enough credit. Sure the Green Mountain State might seem a little desolate, but Vermont is also home to incredible ski mountains, beautiful country roads and charming little villages which are completely picture-perfect when it snows. Whether it’s for a Galentine’s Day celebration or just a normal weekend away, consider visiting Manchester, Vermont. Here’s why:
Where to Stay:
If you’re ever looking for a place to stay close to Stratton, Bromley or Manchester, find Lisa and Bill (owners of Grassroots Solar) on AirBnB – they have the MOST adorable place. The stylish, solar-powered private apartment is located in the upper part of their renovated barn. The space was well-decorated, clean, and cozy. Lisa and Bill have great attention to detail; they left us with books, decks of cards, a binder of local suggestions and a small bowl of cute travel quotes. And, if you’re a tea lover like me, you’ll especially enjoy their nook of tea accouterments.
Where to Eat:
Zoey’s Deli and Bakery
Zoey’s is a whimsical little deli with delicious soups and sandwiches. Everything here was so fresh. They have a wide and varied selection of fresh-made bread and homemade chips. The soup was perfect for a cold winter’s day. I found out later that the deli is named after the owners’ golden retriever, which made me love it even more.
On the way up to Manchester, there is an incredible burger joint located on Route 100 called Honeypie. If you’re ever in the area, I highly suggest you eat here. The restaurant is a renovated gas station turned burger joint with the most delicious burgers. If burgers are not your thing, they also have handmade sausages, pork chorizo, hotdogs, veggie burgers and lobster rolls. Oh, and make sure to take a milkshake to go!
After an afternoon of snowshoeing, all we wanted was a glass of wine and a warm place to sit. Johnny Seesaw was just the place we needed. The atmosphere is top-notch for a rustic Vermont setting and the dining room has a huge circular fireplace in the center. If you ever find yourself skiing at Bromley Mountain, Johnny Seesaw is the perfect après-ski destination as it’s right down the road.
What to Do:
There is something magical about the entirety of this store – I could have easily spent all day here. They have every type of book available, not to mention a kid’s section that could be a store all on its own. My roommate and I stopped here before heading back to Boston and we spent close to an hour wandering around. There was an entire shelf of Canterbury Classics with flexible, faux leather bindings in fun colors so I picked up a copy of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass. I hope to visit Northshire again someday and pick up another book for my collection.
The Next Chapter Cafe
Attached to Northshire Bookstore is The Next Chapter Cafe. This is the perfect place to break for breakfast (they have amazing avocado toast), lunch or coffee in between browsing the shelves of the bookstore. They have scrumptious homemade pies, soups and sandwiches to recharge you before going back through the maze of bookshelves.
Hildene Family Home
My roommate and I decided to visit the Hildene House on a whim to kill time while it snowed. If you’re not familiar with the Hildene House, it’s the former estate of President Lincoln’s son, Robert. When it snows, the grounds turn into cross-country skiing and snowshoeing trails. I swear, it was as if the universe knew we were visiting because the moment we stepped on the grounds, the sun came out and it stopped snowing – just long enough for us to get in an hour of snowshoeing. It was incredible.