Winter fun in DINE country, Part 2 – romantic New England mountain getaways

Last week we covered romantic winter getaways at coastal New England inns and B&Bs – all members of the Distinctive Inns of New England (DINE). That story offered the ideal New England coastal inn-to-inn itinerary, traveling from Cape Cod to Maine, and ending North of Boston.  This week, our romantic winter getaway itinerary will take you to inns in Vermont, New Hampshire and the Berkshires, offering up great mountain and lakes region getaway ideas.  Come along for an armchair tour of winter adventure at inns in Northern New England.  From outdoor fun to culinary vacations, you’ll find delicious and relaxing winter escapes.  And like it or not, there still plenty of winter ahead of us.  You might as well embrace the adventure of winter in New England.

Our tour starts in Vermont at the Grafton Inn in Grafton, VT.  Here outdoor exploration starts at the inn’s outdoor center called Grafton Trails & Outdoor Center.  Guests will enjoy active adventure on snowshoeing trails and tubing hills.

Tubing at Grafton Ponds, Grafton, VTGrafton Ponds outdoor Center snowshoeingReturn to the inn and enjoy fine dining fireside in the inn’s Old Tavern Restaurant, or something more casual at Phelps Barn Pub, where you may find special events or music on the weekends, Trivia Tuesdays and great pub fare.

Phelps Barn Trivia Night

Phelps Barn. Photography by Jennifer Langille / @jennifer.langille

Cheese plate at Grafton Inn, Grafton, VT

A lovely cheese plate served fireside at the Grafton Inn. Photography by Jennifer Langille / @jennifer.langille

Next on your Northern New England Inns winter getaway itinerary is the Rabbit Hill Inn, located in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont near the border of New Hampshire and Vermont in Lower Waterford.  This is one inn where guests enjoy plenty of outdoor activity from alpine and Nordic skiing to snowshoeing, winter ziplining, sledding, snowmobiling and walks int the woods.In addition, the sport of snow angel creation has been perfected at the Rabbit Hill Inn too.

Guests create snow angles in the snow at Rabbit Hill InnSpeaking of sport, did  you know that the completion of one of the inn’s famous Stave Puzzles (created nearby in Vermont) is also considered sport (always accompanied by afternoon tea and pastries, of course), not to mention the board games that are played at the Snooty Fox Pub in the inn!

Rabbit Hill Inn honeymoon includes completing puzzles ersGuests play board games in the Snooty Fox Pub at Rabbit Hill InnAnd no visit to the Rabbit Hill Inn is complete without dinner in the dining room, a toast by the fire and a soak in the tub after a wonderful day of exploring the Vermont countryside.

Romantic getaway at Rabbit Hill InnThe Bath at Taverns Secret at Rabbit Hill Inn.Not more than an hour south, in the Lakes region of New Hampshire, your winter Mountains and Lakes inn to inn itinerary brings you to the Manor on Golden Pond in Holderness, NH. While there’s plenty of skiing and snowshoe trails nearby at places like Loon Mountain or Gunstock Ski Resort, guests find themselves with so many options to simply relax here, that indoor fun is more often the winter activity of choice. Start with the popular Manor Cooking School where guests learn tips from Chef Jeff, and then enjoy fireside dining afterward in the Van Horn Dining Room.

Guests learn from Chef Jeff in the Manor on Golden Pond Cooking School.

Manor On Golden Pond Cooking School

Dining room at Manor on Golden PondAfter skiing or instead of skiing, guests opt for one of the signature treatments or a romantic couples massage at the Seasons Spa at the Manor.  Couples massage at Manor On Golden PondOr a game of chess on the Manor’s very unusual salt-and-pepper chess table.

Chess table at Manor on Golden PondAnd then, like at many of the other DINE inns, it’s off to bed to fall asleep to a flickering fire after a great day of playing in New Hampshire’s Lakes Region.Guest suite at Manor on Golden PondHeading west, the next stop on the winter mountains and lakes DINE inn itinerary is the Chesterfield Inn.  Located just five miles from the border of Vermont and New Hampshire, the Chesterfield Inn offers the best of both a New Hampshire and a Vermont (so close) getaway.

Chesterfield Inn near Keene NHFrom the inn’s welcoming restaurant to a comfy parlor, romantic winter getaways filled with all the extras are popular here.

candlelight and fireside chats at Chesterfield InnOne winter activity that guests enjoy watching is the ski jumping at nearby Harris Hill Ski Jump.

Ski Jumper at Harris Hill Ski JumpAnd one pastime for all guests is posing or simply watching the fabulous inn cat, Yoda, who’s expressions always give away his feeling about what’s happening at the inn!Yoda the cat with a guest at Chesterfield InnHead south into Western Massachusetts and the Berkshire Mountains and your next stop on this New England inn to inn itinerary is the Deerfield Inn.  Located within Historic Deerfield, a living museum, this inn with roots back to the Stage Coach days of New England tourism offers up fine food and all the four-season fun of Western Mass.Deerfield Inn, holiday decorThe inn’s restaurant, Champney’s Restaurant and Tavern, offers fabulous locally-sourced fare, creative cocktails, wonderful local craft beers and a friendly gathering spot for guests and the community.

A fine selection of craft beers at Deerfield InnAnd Historic Deerfield, the museum that surrounds and includes the inn, delivers plenty of learning adventures for those who love to explore colonial history.

Historic old photo of Deerfield Inn

Historic photo of Deerfield Inn.

We end our winter inn to inn tour in the heart of the Berkshire Mountains at Gateways Inn & Restaurant in Lenox, MA.  As this recent drone shot shows, the Gateways Inn is within an easy stroll of the town of Lenox and all the restaurants and shops there. Drone photo of the Gateways Inn and Lenox, MA behind itSpend time at the Gateways Inn in the winter, and be sure to check the schedule for when the bar and restaurant will be open.  If you happen to be there on a weekend the Piano Bar is open, be sure to try one of the many single malt liquors from the restaurant’s collection – known to be among the best selection of Single Malts in New England!Gateways Inn offers single malt whiskiesThe comfortable guest rooms and all the winter fun, nearby museums and shops of Lenox offer a wonderful and romantic winter getaway.Gateways Inn exterior winter shotThat completes the Distinctive Inns of New England’s winter inn to inn tour.  Book direct with any of the DINE properties next time you seek the ideal winter romantic getaway.

In Connecticut: Inn at Harbor Hill Marina in Niantic

In Vermont:  Rabbit Hill Inn in Lower Waterford & Grafton Inn in Grafton

In Massachusetts:  Harbor Light Inn in Marblehead, Gateways Inn & Restaurant in Lenox, Deerfield Inn in Historic Deerfield and Captain’s House Inn in Chatham on Cape Cod.

In Connecticut: Inn at Harbor Hill Marina in Niantic

Maine:  Captain Jefferds Inn in Kennebunkport & Camden Maine Stay Inn in Camden.

In New Hampshire:  Manor on Golden Pond in Holderness & Chesterfield Inn in West Chesterfield