When your anniversary falls just two weeks shy of the holidays, planning a romantic getaway can become a costly venture. Typically, Ryan and I will wait until the new year, when prices come back down to a normal rate, to take a celebratory trip. This year, however, was our five year anniversary, and we simply didn’t want to wait. We went through our options and ultimately landed on a road trip to Vermont. We would enjoy New England’s rustic charm, sip drinks beside a cozy fireplace, and ski at Stratton Mountain Resort.
Only 3.5 hours from New York City, we made it to Manchester, Vermont in no time at all. After settling into our hotel, we visited The Equinox for drinks, followed by dinner in town. We decided to retire by 11pm so we could hit the slopes bright and early the next day.
Still early in the season, we were surprised Stratton had almost every trail open. The amount of options that were available to us were bountiful. We excitedly took the chairlift to the top of the mountain, where we stood for a moment to enjoy the breathtakingly beautiful view.
Our first run down the mountain was nothing but fun, despite my burning thighs. To be fair, my first run is usually a little challenging as it takes a few minutes for my body to warm up. After that, however, it was smooth sailing or shall I say smooth skiing? We continued flying down different trails and found ourselves surprised by the soft snow (we were expecting more ice). I continued to stop along each trail to marvel at the picturesque views. You don’t find vistas like this just anywhere.
Once my legs officially felt like rubber, I called it a day. Ryan, however, took a couple more runs. While he did, I wandered around Stratton Village. This slopeside village reminded me of the ones found out west or in Canada. Most of the neighboring mountains don’t offer such charming shops, cafes and even a spa.
After my Stratton Village walkabout, it was time for some après ski action. We settled into Grizzly’s, hailed by Architectural Digest as one of the most beautifully designed bars in the country. The magazine wrote, “Vermont is known for its barns, which is why local barnlike woods were woven into Grizzly’s design for a rustic vibe, perfect for après ski. Live music takes advantage of the timber framing and vaulted ceilings.” Grizzly’s certainly did not disappoint. The food, drinks and lively atmosphere made for the perfect après ski experience.
We finished our quick weekend away back in Manchester, meandering around town and bopping in and out of local shops. Though we didn’t celebrate our anniversary on a tropical island, we felt our new twist to the yearly celebration was a great success. Afterall, it didn’t really matter where we spent our anniversary, as long as we spent it together.