New England lodging >>> Smugglers' Notch Resort, Jeffersonville, Vt.

Top family lodging recommendation

Smugglers' Notch Resort, Jeffersonville, Vt. is a beloved New England family lodging destination

Whether for spring or winter break, summer vacation, fall foliage or a special holiday vacation, Smugglers' Notch Resort has been a traditional New England all-inclusive family resort favorite

by Eric H.

JEFFERSONVILLE, VT. -- I remember the first time staying at Smugglers' Notch Resort nearly 30 years ago. At 12-years-old, the experience made me want to live in New England, forever. How lucky, I thought, that we could experience the colorful fall foliage, the morning dew gracing the grass on a cold New England morning, the crisp air purified by the mountains, falling asleep to the sound of a bubbling brook, and experiencing the nearby attractions of ice cream, apple cider, Vermont cheddar cheese and the imperfect winding scenic roads leading there.

As the old cliche goes, "Some things never change." The very same things that appealed to a 12-year-old are just as important to a working professional, mortgage-paying adult. We still live in New England, and sometimes it seems that it would be nice to narrow it down even more and think of us living in Vermont, forever. The reality is, however, that no matter where one lives in New England, you are just a few hours away from the best destinations. So, living in the suburbs of Boston lend itself as a prime launching pad and a nice place to experience all of New England, with Smugglers' Notch being right at the top of the list.

For the New England or non-New Englander, Smugglers' Notch is the type of place where you can start a New England tradition. In a sense, Smugglers' Notch Resort is merely an extension of the best that Vermont has to offer -- peace, quiet, tranquility, beautiful surrounding mountains, 360 degree scenery, cool, crisp hiking trails, great skiing facilities, and the freshest air quality of all the six New England states. What more could one ask for when vacationing?

Smugglers' Notch Resort is ultimately an all-inclusive, four season Vermont family vacation destination without any of the cookie cutter, assembly line "you must have fun our way" obnoxiousness that pervades other resorts. Smuggler's Notch resort does have plenty to do, including tennis, swimming pool, whirlpool, miniature golf, skiing (60 runs and a vertical drop of 2,610 ft.), cross country skiing, skating, massage, yoga, a driving range, a small grocery store, dining, movies and diverse entertainment. Some rooms have fireplaces, microwaves and balconies. What makes Smugglers Notch so special, however, is the feeling of solitude, being in an idyllic location seemingly a million miles from the hectic pace back home. The relaxing, spacious condos provide a great foundation to do everything, or simply nothing at all. The warm, hands-off staff are there to help you plan activities if that is your cup of tea, or just leave you alone to enjoy this paradise.

One could spend an entire family vacation at Smugglers' Notch and not go anywhere else. There is, however, a grand life beyond Smugglers' Notch. Jeffersonville could very well be the ultimate New England town with beautiful old colonial homes, antique shops, art galleries, Hanley's General Store, and Janna's Cupboard, serving hearty breakfasts in an informal setting to families and truckers with big appetites. Jeffersonville has a great feel to it, something that has to be experienced. Over a rugged, scenic notch where the weather can change in a heartbeat during any season is the popular and appealing village of Stowe. Stowe with great little shops, superb and diverse dining choices, state-of-the art ski facilities and some of the best lodging in New England. What matters most, however, is that despite all the development, Stowe still feels like a small, relaxed village. With that in mind, there's no better time to visit Stowe than in the fall when the leaves in this picturesque village turn brilliant colors. A special fall chill in the air, the beautiful views of Mt. Mansfield (the highest elevation in the state) and long and winding roads featuring farms, cows and beautiful open land make the foliage that much more special. We highly recommend taking a stroll through the village or using the ideally- located bike path, marveling at the postcard-perfect classic Vermont surroundings, and reveling in some of the best foliage in New England.

South of Stowe in Waterbury is the Cold Hollow Cider Mill. They make cider the old-fashioned way with a rack and cloth press built in the 1920s. Cider is not the only attraction at this legendary attraction as a bakery (including delicious homemade donuts), Green Mountain Coffee, Vermont-made wines and cheeses, and a toy store are just a few of the thousands of items found at this delightful roadside building. Close to the Cold Hollow Cider Mill is Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream factory tours., which is delicious and fun-filled. There is no downside to an ice cream tour, especially when it is the high butterfat kind like Ben and Jerry's.

Smugglers' Notch Resort is great in the fall for the aforementioned foliage, perfect in the winter for skiing, and filling to the senses in the spring and summer where one can enjoy the sweet Vermont air, a nearby swim and the opportunity to discover one of the prettiest, most pristine areas of New England without wearing 12 layers of clothes.

Given its four-season appeal, one could start their own New England family tradition at Smugglers' Notch Resort at any time. For the initiated, they know that sooner is better than later to start the tradition at this modern, fun-filled landmark in beautiful northern Vermont.

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