Stay at the beautiful and historic Trapp Family Lodge
A holiday gem
There’s a charming resort with sweeping mountain vistas reminiscent of Austria tucked away in the town of Stowe, northern Vermont’s ski capital of the east. The 96-room Trapp Family Lodge, owned and operated by the von Trapp family, has lots to offer and a bigger story to tell.
If the von Trapp name sounds familiar, think The Sound of Music. Yes, that movie (and musical). Based on the family’s true story as shared in Maria von Trapp’s The Story of the Trapp Family Singers, the movie made changes in its adaptation for the big screen. While it isn’t a documentary, what remains true is that Maria never returned to the convent. She married Baron Georg von Trapp in 1927, and the family did indeed flee Austria to escape Nazi persecution.
The von Trapps settled in the United States, where they toured as the Trapp Family Singers from 1938 to January 1956 while managing their rustic 27-room family home/lodge with rooms for rent on an enchanted Stowe farm. This was replaced by the current alpine lodge after a devastating fire in 1980. The four-season resort is located on a vast 2,500-acre (10,117,141 sq m) property with indoor and outdoor resort amenities. Here are eight things to do for a little bit of Austria and a lot of Vermont when you visit.
Take a History Tour
In 1938, just before World War II, the Baron and the Baroness von Trapp left all their possessions and estate near Salzburg. With nine children and one on the way, they fled Austria and were granted asylum in the United States. Find out more about the von Trapp family story during the tour and as long as one is in town, a von Trapp family member will stop by to answer questions at the end of it.
Savour authentic Austrian-German cuisine
The von Trapp family believes in the “farm-to-table” movement and the lodge’s tagline, “A little of Austria … a lot of Vermont” rings true as they grow and raise some of their food. Vegetables are sourced from the garden or local farmers, fresh eggs from their hens, beef from their grass-fed Scottish Highland cattle and their maple syrup is produced on the property. Enjoy Schnitzel with Herb Spaetzle (schnitzel with noodles, get it?) at the Lounge and Dining Room, among many other dishes. The Lounge also has the Johannesburger – named after Georg and Maria’s youngest child, Johannes von Trapp – made with Trapp Family Farm grass-fed beef with cheddar cheese. Elsewhere on the property, The Bierhall has an assortment of dishes, from Bavarian pretzels to sausage platters, while the Kaffeehaus offers freshly baked pastries and cakes such as German Apple Strudel and Sachertorte.
Try the award-winning beers
The von Trapp Brewery has won numerous awards for its beers and guests can enjoy a variety of fresh lager beers at the von Trapp Brewing Bierhall Restaurant. Try the award-winning Dunkel Lager, Golden Helles, Bohemian Pilsner, or Kölsch style ale which you can enjoy. Guests can also sign up for the von Trapp Brewery Tour – open to those aged 21 years and above – to check out the 30,000 sq ft (2,787 sq m) brewery and its Rolec Brew House. Other occasional activities include beer pairing dinners and their annual Oktoberfest celebration, which is said to be one of the best in the US.
Have a taste of wine
If beer isn’t your poison, then grab a glass of wine and more at the Trapp Family Lodge’s Wine Cellar. Filled with varietals from all around the world, including Austria, Germany, and the US, the Wine Cellar also offers private label wines made by Austrian winery, Höpler. Sign up for a wine dinner or speak to them to arrange a private meals or dinner parties.
Say hello to heifers
Curious about the Scottish Highland cattle? Then sign up for the Meet the Cows Tour and take a property hike to visit the herd. There are new cute calves in the Spring months while the rest of the shaggy-looking bunch are around throughout the year, grazing in one of the seven pastures.
Have a sweet time at the sugar shack
Maple sugaring was the von Trapp family’s first agricultural effort. Every March, when the days become longer and warmer, the Trapp Family Lodge begins the maple sugaring process at its sugarhouse. The Maple Sugaring Tour provides a sneak peek on how they sugar using both old and new methods. Take a casual hike through the maple woods and then view the equipment as you learn about the process.
Take in the great outdoors
Take it easy with forest walk or birdwatching, or kick things up a notch with hiking, mountain biking, golf, backcountry and cross-country skiing or snowshoeing. If frisbee-tossing is your thing, try your hand at Disc Golf, where players throw their discs into metal baskets instead of using golf balls and golf clubs. The Trapp Family Lodge 18-hole disc golf course is considered one of the 10 best brewery disc golf courses in North America.
Kick back and relax
Not in the mood to exert yourself? Then sign up for yoga sessions or massage treatments at the Fitness Centre or experience the natural beauty of property and its mountain views on a horse-drawn wagon during the warmer months or a sleigh ride through snowy pastures in the winter months.
For more travel ideas, head here.
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