BY CHRISTOPHER MICHAEL
“The hills are alive with the sound of music.”
That one simple line from a song invokes memories of children singing on a beautiful green hillside in the Austrian Alps. The 1965 movie, “The Sound of Music”, was based on an autobiography written by Maria von Trapp, but the story of the von Trapp family, who fled Austria during WWII, is an interesting one that leads them to northern Vermont. The family was granted asylum in the United States and arrived in Philadelphia with just $4. The 10 children (one was born in the US) turned their family hobby of singing into the Trapp Family Singers. In the early 1940s, they bought a farm in Stowe, VT, as it reminded them of Austria, and continued to travel the world sharing their songs and story. The Trapp Family Lodge is now owned and operated by Johannes, the youngest of the children, and his family.
Upon arrival at the Lodge, which sits on 2,500 acres, you might feel like you have been transported to an Austrian village, with its European architecture, stunning views, and a Bierhall. This four-season resort offers many lodging options for couples and families alike, including private rooms, guest houses, or villas. A simple room or spacious suite will serve you well with their rustic, yet modern feel. Private guesthouses sleep up to six people and have a working fireplace. The 2,500 sq. ft. villas accommodate up to eight and have massive stone fireplaces and a dining area with fully-equipped kitchens. No matter where you rest your head at night you will wake up to a beautiful view of the Green Mountains in the morning.
Upon waking, you can enjoy a full-country breakfast in the main dining room, or head to the Kaffeehaus Bakery and Deli. Run under the guidance of Bavarian Baker Maurizio Odermatt, offerings include freshly baked pastries, breakfast sandwiches, Quiche, granola, authentic Austrian coffee, and more. Additionally, you can order sandwiches to go for your daily activities or you can bring a delicious cheese board back to your villa. Be sure to try the Linzertorte, a favorite of Ben Gilbert, marketing manager, of Trapp Family Lodge.
There are many activities to enjoy during every season. During the winter months, guests can enjoy horse-drawn sleigh and carriage rides, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing on over 62 miles of trails. Be sure to make a pit stop at the Slayton Pasture Cabin and grab a hot chocolate by the roaring fire before you ski back to the Lodge. Maple sugaring tours and baking/crafting/art classes are also available.
During the warmer months, you can enjoy water sports, hiking, and mountain biking. You can partake in a guided forest hike or tour the farm and meet the cows. Nearby golfing awaits or try your hand at disc golf. Indoor and outdoor swimming pools give you a chance to take a dip year-round. Other activities include von Trapp Family History Tours, weekly wine tastings, morning yoga, live music, and a weekly feature film of, you guessed it, “The Sound of Music.”
Don’t forget about the kids! Whether it’s singalongs, kite flying, fishing, nature scavenger hunts, hikes, arts and crafts, the kids will be glad to put down their electronics and partake in many of these activities.
The town of Stowe also offers many activities. With Stowe Mountain Resort nearby, downhill skiing and snowboarding are available when Mother Nature cooperates.
Are you a beer lover? In 2010, after two decades of dreaming about opening an Austrian-style brewery, Johannes finally recognized his dream, when the von Trapp Brewing Bierhall Restaurant opened. Situated on the cross-country ski and mountain bike trails, the brewery lives up to its’ tagline as a gathering place for friends to enjoy “a little of Austria, a lot of Vermont”. Here, you can enjoy American versions of the tasty lagers produced in the Austrian Alps. Over 200 years ago lagers were first crafted by storing large casks in cool caves in the Alps. Lagers are a smoother, crisper, and more balanced beer. This award-winning beer is available in many different flavors and seasonal offerings. The Pilsner, Helles, Vienna Lager, and Dunkel are available year-round and can be found at your local beverage center. They are clean and light made with Vermont water. Yes, you can taste the difference! Be sure to try the Trosten, a smoky, dark winter seasonal lager. These brews do not disappoint. Grab a beer and bratwurst at the Bierhall and once again, enjoy the beautiful views of Vermont.
With many acres of land to enjoy, one of the wonderful things about the Trapp Family Lodge is that it is pet friendly. Be sure to bring your four-legged friends along for the amazing journey. Join visitors from all over the world and explore the numerous opportunities to enjoy the beautiful, natural grounds. Hike out to a green pasture overlooking Stowe and break into your song. Let the hills be alive with your voice as you twirl with amazement and joy.
For more information visit www.trappfamily.com