Thinking of visiting Woodstock in May? You already know it’s off-season, but that doesn’t mean you won’t find plenty to keep busy!
As the days get longer, and the first green buds spring from the trees, anticipation of summer is in the air! For many, this is a transitional month – an in-between period that’s not quite the event-packed summer, but without the blustering winds and occasional cold spells of ‘mud season.’ Locals keep busy sprucing up their yards, planting flowers, and dusting off the cobwebs from a long winter hibernation. Our local coffee shops buzz with summer planning, as events and local businesses prepare for prime time season.
For some visitors, May should be carefully considered: if you’re expecting lush rolling hills and the quintessential summer experience we’re famous for, you may want to postpone your trip a few weeks. But if you’re the adventurous type – or simply looking for a peaceful weekend getaway – May can offer some of the most authentic experiences of the year. Take advantage of off-season rates, and skip the summer restaurant lines for a perfect spring escape!
For the adventurous travelers:
● Take a hike up Mt. Tom – A 30’ foot illuminated star sits at the summit overlooking Woodstock village and the surrounding countryside. This easy hike takes just a couple of hours and is perfect for a couple, young family, and your furry friend. With the tree branches still bare from winter, this is one of the best views of the year. You may even be lucky and spot some fresh spring flower buds on the way!
● Explore Luces Lookout hike in Barnard. This local favorite is just 15 minutes from downtown and features a 1.5 hour moderately challenging loop meandering up local trails to the Appalachian Trail. The halfway point is a stunning vista at one of the Appalachian trail sleepover huts. This time of year, you’ll enjoy complete solitude, likely encountering, at most, one other hiker. Be sure to bring waterproof hiking boots, as the trails are still wet from winter! *Authors note: be sure to download the trail map, and save directions before you go! There is limited cell service in surrounding Barnard, and none for the majority of this hike.
For the relaxation ready:
● Refresh your mind and body with unique seasonal treatments that capture the essence of Vermont. The Spa at the Woodstock Inn & Resort is a 10,000 square-foot, LEED-certified facility featuring 10 treatment rooms, a spa boutique, and locally sourced products. Embrace tranquility with natural light and fresh native flora.
For the foodies:
● Your Morning: Enjoy small town living at Mon Vert, a downtown cafe, with a wide selection of light breakfast options, or classics like breakfast burritos and local bacon breakfast sandwiches. If you're up for a short drive, head over to the South Woodstock Country Store for a sumptuous cafe-style breakfast and morning stroll on countless nearby dirt roads.
● Your Afternoon: Tour the Simon Pearce Glassblowing Workshop and Restaurant*. This award-winning dining experience seats you over the water in a beautifully restored brick
mill. Sample a menu featuring local ingredients served on the internationally recognized Simon Pearce tableware. Unlike summer months, where a reservation is typically weeks (sometimes a month) out, May offers increased availability. After your meal, tour the original (and still active) Simon Pearce glass blowing facility and upstairs showroom. On the drive back to town, visit the iconic Taftsville Covered Bridge – the oldest covered bridge in Vermont! Authors note: *For optimal ambiance, we recommend a reservation between 12-2pm, and seating on the veranda room above the river.
● Your Evening: Stroll down to Au Comptoir, a stunning upscale cocktail bar with great wine selection, and a sumptuous selection of light appetizers. This is the brainchild of Zoe Zillian, co-founder of the world-renowned Farmhouse Pottery. After drinks, walk next door to Santé for filling tapas, and another glass of fine wine. If you’re more of a hops person, Worthy Kitchen (the sister restaurant of famous ‘Worthy Burger’) is just a short drive down the road and offers a vast selection of craft Vermont beer in a bustling, high-energy atmosphere.