Winter weather can make us want to stay inside all day, but why not make it fun? Here are some of my favorite cozy winter escapes that will make hibernation feel luxurious.
1) The Four Columns Inn- Newfane, VT
This inn is a year-round snuggly retreat. Whether you're drinking spiked hot chocolate by the fire, taking a hot bath in a deluxe Jacuzzi, or playing board games while listening to jazz music in the lounge, this cozy inn embodies a true seasonal hidden gem.
The tradition started when I was ten years old, when my family and I would go every Columbus Day weekend to see fall foliage in Vermont. We went for five years straight to the inn, then life got in the way, and since going back last year, the Four Columns is still thriving.
Artisan Tavern - This restaurant is part of The Four Columns Inn (super convenient). Their locally sourced ingredients makes each dish more mouthwatering than the next.
Williamsville Eatery - A hole in the wall on the outside, but a food orgy on the inside. It’s extremely hard to get a reservation on the weekend since there aren’t a lot of tables. Their American, pizza, vegetarian, and vegan friendly options made it difficult to choose what to eat in one sitting.
Take some yoga or meditation - Village Yoga will get you prepared for the day by accessing your chakra.
Horse drawn sleigh rides - Friesians of Majesty has riding lessons, performances, and carriage/sleigh rides for you to enjoy.
2) The Peacock Inn- Princeton, NJ
Footsteps away from Princeton University, this charming boutique hotel makes you feel as smart as Albert Einstein, and as pampered as the Queen of England.
My fiancé and I first visited the inn last year for our six-month anniversary. The history of the campus, juxtaposed with millennial college students, made Princeton a fascinating and unique cultural experience.
Elements - Great for a special occasion, and their variety of tasting menus are fresh and delicious.
Teresa Café - Great and affordable brunch spot. Their breakfast pizzas are a MUST.
Explore Princeton University - If you’re a history buff or Harry Potter enthusiast, exploring the campus is a way to broaden your historical and architectural mind.
Visit the Albert Einstein House - Whether you’ve watched the show Genius on Netflix or not, Einstein’s house tour gives you the backstory of the genius behind the theory of relativity.
See a show - The McCarter Theatre Center for the Performing Arts is one of the country’s leading theaters. Go see what’s playing!
3) The Cornell Inn- Lenox, MA
One summer during my acting years, I performed in the show Oklahoma at The Berkshire Theater Festival. Throughout the run of the show my parents would frequently come visit, and stay at The Cornell Inn. I was privileged enough to sneak away to this inn, and ended up becoming a consistent visitor myself. I fell in love with the hotel’s country breakfast, charming garden, and friendly staff. I wouldn’t go back to performing in Oklahoma, but I would definitely return to The Cornell Inn.
Alta - The sangria here is phenomenal, and compliments the Mediterranean cuisine.
Café Lucia - An intimate farmhouse turned Italian farm-to-table restaurant. Great for a date night.
Skiing and snowboarding - Go to any of these 12 Massachusetts ski areas.
See a show - The Colonial Theater is part of the Berkshire Theater Group (where I performed in Oklahoma). They have fabulous entertainment all year round.
4) Twin Farms- Barnard, VT
This is an all-inclusive luxury resort in the heart of the Vermont mountains. The property is 300 acres, and dog friendly (canines up to 100 pounds are welcome). The history of the property is fascinating, and the service is spectacular. The accommodations are not cheap, but worth the experience.
Since the resort includes meals, I suggest trying the Wine Cellar or the Chef’s Table for a more exclusive and intimate dining experience.
Pamper yourself - Get a treatment at the Bridge House Spa.
Play pool - The iron walking bridge on the property crosses over to the pub where you can play billiards while listening to music from an old school jukebox.
Sledding - Emulate Santa for a day, and ride on a sleigh!
5) The Lodge at Woodloch- The Poconos, PA
Only 95 miles from NYC, this adult only resort is the perfect place for a romantic getaway. I especially enjoyed their heated indoor pool, the outdoor steamy Jacuzzi, and the fire pit, which gave a warm welcome to us wine drinkers.
TREE Restaurant and Bar - This restaurant offers food selected from the lodge’s own organic garden. Their veggies are super tasty.
The Settlers Inn - A 12 minute drive from the lodge, this American fusion restaurant has one of the best Cabernet Sauvignon's I’ve ever tried.
Wine tasting - Learn to differentiate between good and great wines (Fridays 4:00 p.m. - 4:50 p.m.).
Wine and chocolate pairing - Who doesn’t love mixing chocolate AND wine? (Mondays 8:30 p.m. - 9:20 p.m. // Saturdays 3:00 p.m. - 3:50 p.m.).
Cooking demonstrations - Learn new techniques on how to cook and bake by watching the chef dazzle your pallet right in front of your eyes.