The Woodstock Inn is one of the most spectacular venues Vermont has to offer, and provides us with locations with perfect light like the light in this black and white image of a bride and groom.
The Woodstock Inn claims it has Vermont’s most beautiful address, and they can back up their claim. The town of Woodstock was Ladies Home Journal magazine’s 2011 choice for prettiest small town in America, and the inn’s address is right on the town’s green. A small town of fewer than 4,000 residents, Woodstock feels slightly different from the surrounding towns, due in part to the locations of the buildings. The facades are directly on the sidewalk that lines Main Street, and the buildings are not exclusive to businesses. As the town began to grow after being settled in the 1760’s homes were built right next to shops and taverns, a tradition that still exists today and the town functions sans zoning laws. Driving into the town is often slow going as it is commonly packed with tourists, and the slow speed allows you to take in the town, the homes, and the shops in all their splendor.
The Woodstock Inn dates back to 1793 when it was merely a tavern, built not for travelers but for the locals working at the sawmill and gristmill, the two main employers in the area. The Inn portion of the property started 37 years later with a remodeling and a renaming, being rechristened "The Eagle Hotel". The name of the Woodstock Inn would not come about until 1892 when the original version was constructed and it quickly earned the reputation as party central for socialites from Boston, Montreal, and other booming cities of the time. Staying open for the entire year jump started the winter sports scene in Central Vermont and the inn was the site of many inebriated apres skis. The 1950’s brought with it an association with the Rockefeller family under the Rock Resorts umbrella, which aimed to have hotels that were in line with nature. This forward thinking, eco-friendly approach permeates all of Vermont today. About a decade later, Laurance Rockefeller purchased the Woodstock Inn and moved forward with an extreme modernization project, as they tore down the hotel and built a brand new one in its place. The current building was opened in 1969 and has been improved and expanded four times, providing multiple options for guests looking to get away and relax in this refined setting.
Woodstock today is still a quaint escape that is a great jumping off point for must-do Vermont experiences nearby. Sugarbush Farms is one of our favorite places to take people visiting us during our season up north. There are horses, farm animals, and a small nature walk to keep the kids interested but plenty for the grown-ups as well. Each time we go there we touch base with a few friends and former clients to see if they want any of the homemade cheeses, jellies, or a gallon of the maple syrup that was collected and sugared onsite. The pastoral views and authentic aromas of the maple forest and nearby sugaring house and quintessential Vermont.
There are a few bigger names in the area as well, including Simon Pearce in neighboring Quechee. We had our fifth anniversary dinner here with a table over looking the gorge. The dam at the base of the building gathers the water to turn an old waterwheel which powers the glass blowing facility downstairs. Before or after a great meal at their restaurant cantilevered over the Ottauquechee River, walking down stairs allows viewing of live glass blowers creating some of the famous works of art that are conveniently also available for purchase upstairs. Recent renovations have expanded the dining room and created a new bar by the entrance, in case you would like to pre-drink before enjoying a great meal. (You should ask Em about the Burrata with peaches sometime.)