Once again we’re delving into the five best things to do in the winter at the Distinctive Inns of New England (DINE). One by one we’re doing a deep dive into each of the nine DINE inns to offer wonderful reasons to plan your romantic getaway to DINE country. From skiing to sleighrides and snowshoes to warm spirits by a flickering fire, each week we’ll bring you five great reasons to choose a DINE inn this winter. To date we’ve covered ideas from Inn at English Meadows, the Chesterfield Inn, Harbor Light Inn and the Rabbit Hill Inn. Today, we head to Grafton, VT to learn about winter adventure in the heart of New England.
The Grafton Inn offers 42 individually decorated rooms and sumptuous local cuisine for the perfect culinary getaway. The hand-hewn beams of their buildings and rooms’ antique furnishings recall the 200-year history of this time-honored Vermont inn, one of the original New England stagecoach inns.
Top five ideas for outdoor fun and indoor culinary adventure at the Grafton Inn in Grafton, VT
Access to the Grafton Trails and Outdoor Center
The Windham Foundation is the steward of 1200 acres of protected land in Grafton and opens much of this land to public use as part of the Grafton Trails and Outdoor Center*. Grafton Trails offers skiing, snowshoeing, tubing, fat biking, and sleigh rides in the winter – all available to guests at the Grafton Inn as a wonderful amenity, including rentals. For those who love spending time outdoors in the winter, these trails are a great reason to stay at the Grafton Inn. The Grafton Outdoor Center is also open in the summer offering mountain biking, swimming, boating and hiking in this beautiful section of southern Vermont.
(*Note: In addition the Windham Foundation’s affiliated for-profit businesses in Grafton, include The Grafton Inn, and the Grafton Village Cheese Company)
Wine and Cheese Snowshoe Tours
Take a snowshoe tour through the forest at the Grafton Trails, followed by Grafton Village Cheese and a glass of wine in the Outdoor Center cabin. This one-hour snowshoe tour through the forest offers the chance to enjoy the beautiful, peaceful and scenic Vermont landscape on the trails within the Outdoor Center. Afterward, relax in the Outdoor Center cabin with two glasses of wine and a lovely assorted cheese board from the award-winning Grafton Village Cheese shop. Complimentary snowshoes are available for use. Tours start at 1:30 pm with a 1:15 pm check-in requested. Advance reservations are required, and upcoming tours are February 25th and March 4th. Tours are $45 per person (limited to 8 people per tour). Please call (802) 843-2400 to reserve your spot.
Learn to XC Ski
Guests of the Grafton Inn are invited to embrace the joy of winter learning to XC ski on the pristine trails at the Grafton Trails & Outdoor Center. Private and group cross country skiing lessons for all experience levels can still be scheduled this winter. Warm up with laps in front of the Outdoor Center before taking to the trails as you explore Vermont’s snowy landscape. Lessons are by appointment only Wednesdays through Fridays and also available on Saturdays from 10:00am – 12:00noon. Lessons must be booked 48 hours in advance by calling (802) 843-2350 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org with a preferred time. Private Lessons are $75 per person, Semi-Private Lessons are $150 per couple and Group Lessons (6 person limit)are $50 per person. Tax is added to all lessons.
Visit the Grafton Village Cheese Co retail store
Grafton Village Cheese Company located in right in Grafton Village, works tirelessly to preserve the cheese-making traditions that began there over 100 years ago, in 1892. Grafton Village Cheese’s traditions have stayed the same over the years; they make their cheese by hand using premium raw milk from small, local family farms. Upon check-in every guest of the Grafton Inn is treated to a Grafton Village Cheese welcome cheese gift with crackers. No visit to the inn is complete without a visit to the Grafton Village Cheese Co retail shop for tastings of their wonderful cheeses. It’s located right next to the inn, and for those who love distinctive décor, linens, gift items, specialty foods and more, this is a place you could spend hours.
Enjoy the food and music
Dining at the Grafton Inn is always part of the adventure and memories. As a supporter of Vermont’s farm-to-table culture, the Grafton Inn and restaurant offers on-site casual dining year-round at the Phelps Barn Pub, and seasonal fine dining service in the 1801 Tavern & Pine Room Bar. All of the inn’s dining spaces feature locally-sourced ingredients prepared by food-loving professionals to create timeless, hearty dishes that will please any palate. Click here to view seasonal dinner menus. In addition, every guest is treated to a sumptuous and filling breakfast each morning.
The Grafton Inn offers musical entertainment from local and regional artists throughout the winter. Whether it’s a solo artist or a lively band, you’ll find live entertainment on Tavern Tuesdays in the 1801 Tavern and Pine Room Bar and fun groups performing in the Phelps Barn from 6:00-8:30pm with no cover (unless stipulated on the events calendar) on Fridays and Saturdays. Be sure to check the Grafton Inn’s event calendar for a full line-up of musical talent scheduled to play.
Take advantage of specials, packages and enhancements offered at the Grafton Inn. These change with the seasons, so click here for the most up-to-date offers.
Winter is a wonderful time to enjoy a romantic getaway at any of the DINE inns. Flickering fires, bubbly whirlpool tubs and wonderful food and hospitality are all included. Be sure to book directly with your favorite DINE inn for the best availability and pricing.
In Connecticut: Inn at Harbor Hill Marina in Niantic
In Massachusetts: Harbor Light Inn in Marblehead, Deerfield Inn in Historic Deerfield and Captain’s House Inn in Chatham on Cape Cod
In Maine: Inn at English Meadows in Kennebunkport.
In Vermont: Rabbit Hill Inn in Lower Waterford & Grafton Inn in Grafton
In New Hampshire: Manor on Golden Pond in Holderness & Chesterfield Inn in West Chesterfield
Top Photo: Credit: Janet Campbell.
Additional photos: Credit: Grafton Inn, Marti Mayne