Here are my top 5 things about Grafton, Vermont in the winter in no particular order:
1. Snowshoeing at Grafton Ponds, tubing with my kids at Grafton Ponds, the homes in Grafton Village decorated for the holidays, the Holiday gathering the Grafton Inn does for the Grafton school kids (very special), the view of snowmaking guns at work at Grafton Ponds as I drive in each morning.
2. What should every first time visitor to Grafton know?
Know that being in Grafton is a gift — a gift to kick back and refuel yourself. That might sound a bit cliché but when you’re in Vermont, being outdoors is part of the experience. Grafton has so many opportunities to refresh, whether you’re strolling the village poking into shops, snowshoeing or eating locally grown foods at The Old Tavern restaurant. When you’re in Grafton, you are NOT being bombarded by billboards, honking horns, traffic. People are friendly, the pace is mellow and it’s incredibly beautiful. Look around and appreciate the simple beauty of it all.
3. Favorite after work food and drink – what and where?
Phelps Barn Pub, Friday night, flatbread pizza night.
4. For those who want to take a break and head out of Grafton for the day – what would you recommend?
I’d suggest heading to the Mountains to snowboard. I would take the Chester Road and take 103 into Ludlow and spend some time at Okemo Mountain Resort on the hill, which is just 30 minutes from Grafton. Stop at Java Baba’s before you take the left to Okemo’s base lodge and get some solid caffeine . Ski/ride at the mountain – they do an amazing job with snowmaking and grooming and you’re sure to have fun. Get your runs in early. Book a massage or facial at The Castle’s Aveda Spa. As you’re going back through Chester, stop in for a cider (or an ale) at MacLaomainn’s Scottish Bar. Then head back to Grafton, stop by Grafton Village Cheese’s retail shop (open until 6) for some Vermont cheddar and a bottle of wine, so you can relax in your suite at the Inn before you head down to dinner at The Old Tavern Restaurant. That sounds like an epic day to me.
5. Best part about living/working in VT?
The outdoors lifestyle is incredibly important. And it’s a key component as I raise my children. Vermont is a great place to raise your kids….I know I didn’t have a winter sports program growing up – where it’s mandatory to get out and play outside every week! Amazing.
I’m from the Boston area and grew up coming to Vermont with my family. I always thought I’d be a city girl but when I moved here, I was instantly hooked. But where I am in Vermont is just two hours from Boston and I can easily access city life if necessary.
6. Most challenging part about living/working in VT?
I won’t lie, great jobs are very hard to come by; I’m grateful for what I do and for whom I work. Also, authentic Italian food and ample locations for good shoe shopping…not so stellar.
7. Anything new for Grafton/Windham Foundation this winter?
At the Grafton Inn, one of the businesses of the Foundation, we’re building a new sit-up bar area at Phelps Barn pub, which is very exciting for locals and visitors. Should be ready in April.
At Grafton Village Cheese, we are winning awards left and right with our new Cave Aged line of specialty cheeses and are incredibly proud of the quality Vermont product we produce every day, by hand, using milk from Vermont family farms.
8. Anything you would like to add?
I hope that readers consider visiting us in Grafton, which is on the national register of historic places and was named one of the prettiest towns in America by USA Weekend Magazine. The Grafton Inn offers great lodging packages, including Ski & Stay packages in the winter with Nordic skiing at Grafton Ponds.
A big THANKS to Melissa Gullotti, Director of Communications at Windham Foundation, for answering our questions. Melissa has been with Windham Foundation since May, 2006.