Summer Events

End of Summer Bucket List

Have you noticed the nights getting colder already? This is a sure sign that summer is coming to an end. While many of you may be excited for autumn leaves and snowy trees, don’t rush the summer by just yet! There is still a lot of fun to be had and Labor Day weekend is coming up, giving you an extra day to enjoy the great outdoors!

  1. Rent a kayak or paddle board from Tygart Mountain Sports or the Tyson Store and head to one of the great lakes in the Okemo Valley. If you are looking for calm water, check out Lake Pauline, a great spot for a leisurely paddle. However, if you are a bit more experienced and want to take a swim, as well, Lake Rescue or Echo Lake may be the way to go!

  2. Do you love brunch? Let’s be honest, who doesn’t! This Sunday, September 1st, is the last Rose on the Fairway at Willie Dunn’s where you can sip a crisp rose and try some delicious brunch specials.

  3. Head to Trout River Brewing Company in Springfield, VT on Saturday, August 31st for a Labor Day Party. There will be live music by the Blue Grasoles, along with pizza being served by Goodman’s American Pie!

  4. If you are looking to get out of the area this weekend, check out the Southern Vermont Garlic Festival in Bennington. This is one of my favorite festivals of the entire year with delicious food and booze options, along with awesome local craft vendors!

  5. Attend the last Jackson Gore Summer Music Series Concert this Friday, August 30th! The Blind Owl Band will be taking the stage from 6-9pm.

  6. Go to the Okemo Adventure Zone for a fun day of zip lining, mini golf, mountain coaster riding, the challenge course, disc golf, and so much more! 

  7. Check out a show at the Weston Playhouse! “Who’s afraid of Virginia Wolf” is currently playing through August 31st!

  8. Go for a hike up the backside of Okemo on the Healdville Trail to the summit and firetower! My favorite way to do this is to start around 9am, pack a picnic lunch, and head to the top for an awesome view.

  9. Spend a day at Plymouth State Park relaxing on the sandy beach, playing volleyball, and grilling up some hamburgers! 

  10. Spend a day at the Okemo Valley Golf Course for a round of golf!

Summer Adventure in the Okemo Valley

Summertime is the best time for adventure. There are so many different kinds of adventures just waiting to be had, especially in our backyards in the Okemo Valley! Did you know that Okemo offers several summer activities that are fun for the whole family?

One of Okemo’s newest attractions and probably the most extreme adventure is the Evolution Bike Park. The Bike Park is located at the main base area of Okemo, where mountain bikes can be rented, along with helmets and other gear. The trail systems are placed throughout the lower mountain trails around the A and B Quads and extend from the top of the Sunburst Six (bubble chair). The lower trails are great for all kinds of riders, from beginning mountain bikers to serving as just a warm-up run for more experienced riders. There is still a trail from the top of the mountain, Scrambler, that is accessible for moderate riders, however, it is longer and takes more endurance. If you are looking for a more extreme trail ride, check out Shake and Bake! Another option is to hike to the top of Mountain Road and take a nice, long, coasting ride to the bottom! While you are at the top, enjoy the views and breathe in the fresh Vermont air!

Much of the summer adventure happens at Jackson Gore in the Adventure Zone! Here you will find anything from zip lining to miniature golf. One of my favorite activities is the Timber Ripper Mountain Coaster. This is similar to an alpine slide but on rails. Ride alone or with a friend! Another fun activity is the Segway Tour. These tours are available for all levels. Start with an introductory lesson or take the off-road tour. How often do you have the chance to ride a segway, so take advantage when you are in the area!

The most popular activities in the Adventure Zone are the Sawyer’s Sweep Zipline and the Haulback Challenge Course. Glide through Photo by Okemothe trees at 40 to 50 feet above the ground on a zipline tour with 7 different ziplines to complete. When you have finished ziplining, head to the Haulback Challenge Course for a fun adventure in the trees where you get to challenge your mind and body to complete several different obstacles.

If you are looking for a less extreme adventure, check out the Lumberin’ Cal Miniature Golf course or The Maples Disc Golf course. If you are looking to fill up the majority of your day, play some disc golf, which will bring you through the beautiful woods of Jackson Gore, but if you just want a quick activity, play some miniature golf!

There are so many adventures to be had, so don’t wait! Head to Okemo Mountain Resort today to start your first adventure!

Beer, Music, Food, and FUN!

It’s almost here, one of the biggest weekends of the summer in Ludlow, Vermont; Hops in the Hills! This awesome beer festival will be held this weekend, August 2nd-4th, at the Jackson Gore Courtyard on Okemo. The event runs Friday, 5-9pm, Saturday, 12-8pm, and Sunday, 11-5pm.

The 11th annual Hops in the Hills will have over 100 beers and ciders to taste and several worldly wines! There will be live music all weekend, food trucks, and several other craft and food vendors. The event truly is great for the entire family as the Jackson Gore Adventure Zone has many fun activities to try! Check out the Sawyer Sweep Zipline Tours, Segway PT Tours, Lumberin' Cal's Miniature Golf, Haulback Challenge Course and the Timber Ripper Mountain Coaster. Of course, don’t forget to come see us in the blue William Raveis Vermont Properties tent!

Now for the inside scoop on some of my personal favorite must try beers of the weekend! If you are a fan of IPA’s, Hops in the Hills is certainly the place to be because they have a great variety to choose from. I am a huge fan of pretty much everything from Stone Corral in Richmond, VT and you certainly can’t go wrong with Hipster Salad, which will be on tap at Hops in the Hills. This is a double IPA with a great citrusy aroma and fruity flavor. While it is 8.1%ABV, it is still a very drinkable beer! Another brewery that I am quite fond of, even though it isn’t based in Vermont, is the Maine Beer Company. I have yet to find a beer that I don’t like from them! The best IPA from them, in my opinion, is Another One, so be sure to check that out! This is a great summer IPA, dry and crisp, but with some great hoppy flavor!

If you are looking for something a little bit lighter in the pale ale variety, the Maine Beer Company will also have Mo and a tiny beautiful something, both great options! Another beer that is on the lighter side and the perfect summer beer is Harpoon’s, UFO Big Squeeze Shandy. If summer had a flavor, this would be it! Sticking with the fruit theme, you must also try Rutland Beer Works, Blueberry Blonde. If you try this at home, add a few fresh blueberries to it; I promise your taste buds will thank you!

While all these are great, a new trend is sour beer, and these certainly have my heart. Hops in the Hills is serving up some of the best sour beers you can find, so if you are unsure, make sure to try them out! A personal favorite of mine is the Dogfish Head, SeaQuench Ale. This is a refreshing summer beer that will make you feel like you are sitting on the Atlantic coast with the tartness of limes and a finish of sea salt. Another great Vermont beer is You Can’t Get There From Here by the Burlington Beer Company. This great fruity beer is a mix of dragon and passion fruit, what could be better?!

Each ticket option comes with three tasting tickets, some just samples and others full 16oz pours. However, more tickets can be purchased for additional tasting or for multiple day visits to Hops in the Hills. There are so many great beers, ciders, and wines to try, so be sure to choose wisely!

On another note, if you are looking to burn off some of those extra beverage calories, check out the Okemo Mountain School Penguin Pursuit 5K Walk/Run on August 3rd. You can pre-register for the event here for $25 or pay $30 the day-of. They will also have a registration table setup at Hops in the Hills on Friday evening! This is a fundraiser for the OMS Scholarship Fund, for students who need extra financial assistance to follow their dreams in competitive skiing or snowboarding. The event is taking place at OMS, 53 Main Street, in Ludlow; registration begins at 8:15am and the run starts at 9:15am. There is also a Kids Scavenger Hunt at 9am!

No matter what you choose to do this weekend, be safe and have fun!

Wine & Beer, Oh My!

    Can you believe that summer is already half over? You know the saying, “Time flies when you are having fun?” Well, this couldn’t be more true! However, the fun shouldn’t stop now! This weekend is the perfect opportunity to check out some other parts of Vermont, while enjoying the best wine and/or beer that Vermont has to offer.

    If you are a wine connoisseur, head to the Killington Wine Festival starting on Friday evening, July 19th. Kick off the festival with the Premier Tasting event at the Peak of Killington by taking the gondola to the Killington Peak Lodge for an exclusive wine tasting. This portion of the festival allows you to meet the vintners, ask questions, sample the varieties, and pair them with tasty hors’ d'oeuvres. There is also live music to enjoy! It doesn’t get much better than this; the scenic views of Vermont, wine, food, and music! Get your tickets here!

    The Killington Wine Festival continues through the weekend with the Grand Tasting kicking off at noon at the Killington Grand Hotel and Resort Ballroom. There will be a wonderful and large selection of a variety of wines produced domestically and internationally including France, Italy, Spain, Austria, Germany, New Zealand, Japan, Chile, Argentina, and South Africa. Not to mention, a great selection of Vermont wine and spirits, as well. There will also be delicious local cheeses, chocolates, and more to enjoy while tasting. Make the event even more fun by showing up in your best formal wear. Get your tickets here!

    The event continues into Sunday with the Wine & Nine Golf Outing at the Green Mountain National Golf Course. The afternoon starts off with champagne and snacks at registration with a shotgun start at 3pm. You will play 9 holes of golf each with a tasting of a different specialty wine. After golfing, enjoy dinner and prizes in the club house! Click here for more information!

    If beer is more your style and you are looking to get away to another part of Vermont, head to the Vermont Brewers Festival at the Burlington Waterfront Park! Throughout the weekend, there are four different sessions; Friday, 12-4pm or 5:30-9:30pm, and Saturday, 12-4pm or 5:30-9:30pm. There are over 250 beers to test and trust me, you will not leave thirsty! Some of my favorite breweries in attendance are Stone Corral Brewery, Trout River Brewing, Good Measure Brewing, and Otter Creek Brewing. For a full list of participating breweries and the beer list, click here!

    The Vermont Brewers Festival also has great music throughout the weekend. Each session features a different band; Session One- Funk Shui, Session Two- Nico Suave, Session Three- Chicago Afrobeat Project, and Session Four- Big Ol Dirty Bucket. If you want to take the festival to the next level, check out “The Experience Tent” where you can sample beer paired with a variety of cheeses or chocolates. Don’t worry, there will also be lots of other food vendors in attendance throughout the weekend!

    No matter what you choose to do this weekend, just make sure you enjoy it because summer will be over before we know it! If you are sticking around Ludlow on Friday night, head to Jackson Gore for the Summer Music Series and be sure to visit us under the blue tent!

Fireworks & More!

One of my favorite days of the year is coming up; the 4th of July! First and foremost, Independence Day is a time to remember the history of America and what those that came before us went through to give us this beautiful country. It commemorates the signing of the Declaration of Independence when the thirteen colonies became free from British rule.

While the 4th of July is about remembering the history of America, it is also celebrated by spending time with your family and friends. The 4th is typically the first real kick off to summer, which is so exciting! Even better, the hope is that you have an extra long weekend to keep the celebration going!

What is the best part of Independence Day? FIREWORKS! Start the holiday weekend off right on July 3rd with fireworks at Plymouth Notch! Join in the fun beginning at 9pm to sing patriotic songs prior to the fireworks show, which will begin at dusk! This has always been one of favorite firework displays and should not be missed! 

Another great option on July 3rd is to head to the Grafton Ponds Outdoor Center in Grafton, VT. Here they have a spectacular show put on by the Vermont Symphony Orchestra. After the show, is a beautiful fireworks display! Bring a picnic dinner and enjoy a great summer evening! This is a ticketed event; or purchase them at MKT: Grafton, Village Square Booksellers, and Vermont Artisan Designs.

This year, Ludlow will be hosting their fireworks on Thursday, July 4th, at the West Hill Recreation Area. The Chris Kleeman Band will be playing from 7-9pm and food will be served by Goodman’s American Pie, Squeels on Wheels, and the Simply Asian Food Truck! Make it a full evening with the family with music, a picnic and fireworks kicking off at dusk!

If enjoying the history of America is something you are interested, you came to the right place because in the heart of the Okemo Valley is the Calvin Coolidge Foundation, the birthplace of the thirtieth President of the United States. Did you know that President Coolidge was born on Independence Day? This day is commemorated at the Foundation with public readings, a ceremony, the Coolidge Cup National High School Debate Tournament, and a screening of "Recollections of 1919 and the Boston Police strike with President Coolidge”. This is a great event to commemorate the United States and President Coolidge. 

There are so many fun events to attend and things to do for the 4th of July, but as you are celebrating next week, please remember why we have this holiday, but also enjoy the time with your friends and family!