Do you remember that scene when Maria runs across the mountain meadow singing “the hills are alive?” We never knew the Sound of Music was based on a true story. When the von Trapps left Austria in 1939, they were assisted by their family priest who helped them organize a singing tour, first in the US, then in Scandinavia. After a second return to the USA in 1940, they settled in the mountains of northern Vermont, which Maria said was “as close to our home in Austria as anywhere we’ve seen.”
Outside of Stowe, one of Vermont’s big ski centers, you’ll begin seeing signs for the Trapp family lodge. Drive out into the country, up (and up and up), and you’ll find it, perched on top of a mountain with stunning views toward the di˚stant peaks. It does look a bit like a mountain chalet. As the story goes, the Trapps made many friends on their musical tours, and entertained many of them here on the mountain. In time, the family expanded the lodge and opened it as a guest house. Since then it’s grown into a hotel and, on the surrounding acreage guest bungalows and timeshare condos. All very tasteful.
Just down the hill is the new Trapp Biergarten and brewery, where they probably brew Trappish ale. The lodge dining room has an amazing view, and serves lunch and dinner. One of the bellmen told us that Georg and Maria’s son, Johannes, still lives here and comes to the lodge every morning for breakfast and to get the daily papers. He also told us we could only park in the front lot during the day, but could use the side lot overnight. We weren’t quick enough on our feet to ask if that meant we could camp there, but that may be so.
Stowe is an upscale, artsy ski and sport town, with lots of little restaurants, galleries, and outdoor stores. Within an hour’s drive are a number of Vermont cheese dairies, including Cabot’s and one we really liked, the Sage Farm Goat Dairy. Ben & Jerry’s headquarters is 20 minutes down the road, and the Cold Hollow Cider Mill is a Harvest Host overnight stop and serves the best maple creamees we’ve had in the state
Aside from Interstate 89, which is one of the most beautiful freeways we’ve driven, the roads in Vermont are small and rural and wind their way through family farm country liberally studded with fruit and vegetable stands, historic markers, and hardworking small towns. Rivers abound, and there are many campgrounds. This is country for taking it easy and seeing what’s around the next bend in the road.
We came across few boondocking sites, but if you belong to Harvest Hosts there are more options.
Harvest Hosts is a membership site that provides truly unique overnight stops at wineries, farms and attractions. If you want to jin, we can save you 15% if you sign up through our affiliate link at http://rvlifestyle.com/harvesthosts