Mondays are for dreaming: A family-friendly stay at the Hill Farm Inn

Hill Farm Inn sign

I don’t know about where you are, but May around these parts is all kinds of crazy. Both my boys are playing Little League baseball and between the practices, games, to say nothing of end-of-year concerts, galas, field trips, and family days, there’s been a certain amount of mayhem. It’s enough to get a girl thinking about the lazy days of summer. You know – lemonade, long afternoons, and lightning bugs. I’m lucky to get a three-week dose of all these things every summer when we go to Vermont.

Today I’m dreaming of last summer, when on our drive from Delaware to Waitsfield, we spent one night at the Hill Farm Inn.

Hill Farm Inn Manchester Vermont

Located just outside Manchester, Vermont the inn is tucked down a country lane that looks like it hasn’t changed since travelers stopped to fill up at this gas pump out in front.

Old gas pump Hill Farm Inn

This is the kind of place where you can play Candy Land on the front porch while you eat the fresh, homemade cookies that are prepared for you every afternoon.

Or maybe you’d rather take a ride on the seesaw

Seesaw at the Hill Farm Inn

Or check out the zucchini flowers in the garden

Or visit Specks the horse (as well as chickens, pigs, goats, and sheep) in the barn.

Specks the horse at Hill Farm Inn

You can also go for a walk to admire the wildflowers along the nearby Battenkill River.

Battenkill Hill River near Hill Farm Inn

Guests stay either in the main inn or in one of several small and charming cottages on the property.

Hill Farm Inn cottageWe spent the night in the main building in the Mettie Hill Suite, two adjoining bedrooms with a small but immaculate bathroom. The public areas of the inn are full of comfortable overstuffed furniture, books, information about local attractions, and board games. A full breakfast complete with pancakes and the obligatory genuine maple syrup rounded out our stay.

The inn is moments from Manchester proper, although you’d never know it because it’s so quiet. Manchester can be a bit of a zoo in the summer (it’s a mecca for those seeking high-end outlet shopping and on occasional visits I’ve wondered if anyone is left in New Jersey because it seemed like every citizen of that state was driving down Main Street). But around the inn there are tons of more low-key and outdoorsy things to do like fly fishing, hiking, horseback riding, cycling, swimming, or canoeing, to say nothing of parking it on the wicker sofa on the porch with a book. If it rains, you can hit the stores or head for Hildene, the large house owned by Abraham Lincoln’s son.

The inn doesn’t serve dinner but you’ll find a number of great restaurants within a fifteen-minute drive. We had a fabulous meal in the cozy tavern at the wittily named The Perfect Wife. Any place that will serve my child a plate with three dainty sliders (one beef, one crab, one chicken) while offering me Thai green curry noodles and a great choice of draft beers has a chef I want to marry.

Hill Farm Inn is utterly without pretense. It is small, comfortable, clean, and welcoming to families. It smells like baking bread and the beds wear aged matalassé.

I’m thinking that we may have to make a stay there a new annual tradition to launch our Vermont sojourn each summer. Maybe we’ll even have to stay two nights this time – because I have to say, when I look at our schedule for this week a couple of afternoons spent sipping lemonade on that porch sound pretty dreamy!

What are your Monday dreams? Please feel free to share a link to your own inspiration below, making sure you link directly to your post, not your site’s homepage and that you link back to this post. Questions? See About Monday Dreaming.

Reader Responses

1 fellow traveler had this to say

  1. I’m with ya on looking foward to not having so many things planned out. Now that my little one doesn’t need a nap right at noon, our summers days will be more plannable.
    .-= Lora (Tripping with Kids)´s last blog ..Exclusive Offer from Tripping with Kids =-.

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