Graduation Day in Vermont – Where To Keep the Relatives

Graduation Day will be here soon.

It’s almost graduation day. In Vermont this means many things: excitement, anticipation, hope, dread, pride, prom, and the first mosquitoes of the season. For the purposes of this post, graduation day means company from out of state, and lots of it.

Like many Vermonters, you may take stock in the universal truth that fish and house guests smell after three days.This creates a problem of etiquette. Of course the grandparents and aunts and uncles should attend Little Johnny Junior’s high school graduation in beautiful and verdant Vermont. And of course the family should be put up in the grandest style…in someone else’s house.

Enter the Vermont B&B. Vermont is famous for picturesque Bed and Breakfasts in the countryside (the bucolic middle-of-nowhere may be just the place for your loved ones to enjoy themselves and relax far away from the hustle and bustle). Vermont also has some great B&B’s in the middle of town. My two favorite in-town B&B’s are The Heart of the Village Inn in Shelburne and the Swift House in Middlebury.

The Porch at the Heart of the Village Inn B and B

The Porch at Shelburne's Heart of the Village B&B

The Heart of the Village is situated, just as the name implies, right in the heart of historic Shelburne Village. Surrounded by several great restaurants and art galleries, along with a quintessential Vermont country store and a local wine & coffee shop, your family will not want for much. The Inn is right across the road from the Shelburne Museum, and a short drive to Burlington. The Inn is under new ownership and has had a bit of a facelift.

Some of these restorations were a bit tricky, as the B&B is on the National Register of Historic places, but the Heart of the Village has a stronger beat today. The rooms are brighter, old carpets have been removed to expose beautiful wood floors. Each bed has a new box spring, mattress with posturepedic foam, so your family will sleep more comfortably.

The Bulrush Room at Middlebury's Swift House

The Bulrush Room at Middlebury's Swift House

Middlebury’s great in-town B&B is the Swift House Inn, right in the middle of town. This 20-room former governor’s mansion is Middlebury’s only classic Vermont country inn. The period rooms are all appointed with modern amenities.

Like the Heart of the Village, the Swift House has a terrific breakfast (excellent home-made granola). Unlike the Shelburne B&B, The Swift House has Jessica’s Restaurant. A culinary dream come true, Jessica’s is the centerpiece of the Swift House. The chef embraces fresh and local ingredients, the scope of the menu pleases all dietary styles and tastes. The Wine Bar at Jessica’s has won the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence. Your family will be happy here.

The Whitford House B and B

The Whitford House B & B in Addison : remote and serene, but not too far away...

My out-of-town B&B recommendation is the Whitford House in Addison. Run by Barbara Carson, a marvelous cook, the Whitford House is in a terrific location halfway between Middlebury College and Lake Champlain. The location is beautiful indeed: views of meadows, fields, farmland, and mountains from every room. In season, you can take breakfast on the porch. The Whitford is serene without being too remote – it’s only 20 minutes to Middlebury.

This graduation season, build familial closeness…at an appropriate distance. Check out Vermont’s great B&B’s.

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