summer in Vermont

Dining in Ludlow - Part 2!

    As promised, here is part two of our favorite dining experiences in Ludlow! September 22nd is officially the first day of fall, which means all of our local favorites will be working with the best ingredients a Vermont autumn has to offer!

In the midst of this small Vermont town, you can still find food to meet your every need, including Mojo Cafe, a modern Tex-Mex dining experience! Mojo always offers the freshest local ingredients and is a partner of the Vermont Fresh Network. A big hit at Mojo’s are their Po Boys, and let me tell you, the Shrimp Creole is to die for, and make sure you get a side of Poblano Rings! Not to mention, Mojo is all about good local craft beer on tap, which is always rotating, even with the seasons because who doesn’t love a good fall beer, right? The owners, John and Jodi, are fun and quirky and will make you feel right at home!

If you have been to Ludlow, you have probably been to DJ’s Restaurant in the center of town. DJ’s has been a local favorite for over 37 years and continues to be a constant staple in the community. Their menu offers a wide variety of steak, seafood, and pasta. However, they always have great specials, as well! Whether you are looking for just the bar menu with an amazing chicken sandwich, or a nice family dinner with a Filet Mignon, you can’t go wrong!

Another staple in Ludlow has been Sam’s Steakhouse, however, it was recently bought by Mr. Darcy’s owner, Mark Williams. Mark has ran and done an impeccable job with many local restaurants, so you can bet, that Sam’s will continue to be a local favorite! The menu has changed, but still boasts a great variety of steak and seafood, along with some local selections, such as Homestyle Meatloaf. They also still have their amazing salad bar, which can be a meal all in itself! If you are looking for a great mid-week option, head to Sam’s for “Early Bear” specials on Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays!

If you are staying on Okemo, a wonderful option after a long day of skiing is always the Coleman Brook Tavern at The Jackson Gore Inn. The tavern has a wonderful menu that changes with the seasons to ensure the freshest ingredients. A personal favorite of mine is the Maple Pepper Roast Chicken. However, nothing says Vermont like eating s’mores for dessert, which you literally cook over a tabletop campfire. The icing on the cake is always the hospitable and knowledgeable waitstaff that makes you feel right at home.

    

We hope you have the chance to try some of our local restaurants and make sure you let us know your favorite!

 

Dining in Ludlow- Part One!

    Ludlow has some of the best dining in all of Vermont and now is the perfect time to try out the various restaurant options! Most of our restaurants feature local ingredients and as the season is changing from summer to fall, the menus will also be changing to offer some delicious seasonal items. Read on to learn about some of our favorite spots!

    One of the most sought after restaurants in Ludlow is The Downtown Grocery, or as locals refer to it, TDG. The restaurant is owned by Vermont native, Chef Rogan Lechthaler, and his Southern wife, Abby Lechthaler. Together they have created a casual fine dining experience where the servers wear plaid, but the menu depicts food that makes you feel like you are eating the best that any big city has to offer, while using local ingredients. The menu has great staples, but the best items come from a specials board that is constantly changing. Whether you are looking for a Pimento Cheese Burger, House Made Gnocchi, or a frequent special of Shrimp and Grits, you will not be disappointed. Tip- MAKE RESERVATIONS!

Right across the street from TDG, is Stemwinder, an apres ski favorite. Stemwinder began with a vision from two local women, Wendy Neal and Leslie Stuart, both of which are major supporters of our Ludlow community. The idea behind the restaurant is to have good wine and craft beer with a diverse selection of small plates. They always use local ingredients and you can bet that their menu is constantly changing with the seasons. If you are new to the area, you need to try the Cheese & Meat Board that has some of the BEST local offerings you can find in Ludlow.

    A Vermont Properties favorite that we frequent quite often is Homestyle Hostel. This cute and quaint hostel, located in the heart of Ludlow is now well-known all over Vermont thanks to the creative Chef, Alyssa Prouty. Just like Stemwinder, they have a wide variety of small plates that are perfect to share with your family and friends. We highly recommend ordering many options and trying as much as possible because it is all delicious! The menu is always new and always has the best ingredients that you can find in Vermont. If you are looking for a place to stay, Homestyle Hostel is also a great option, or head across the street to their sister property, Main + Mountain, for a more traditional stay and the best cocktails in all of Ludlow.

    Moving into its second year of being open is Mama’s, also owned by the Lechthaler’s. Mama’s features all hand made Italian food that makes you feel like you are sitting in a piazza in Italy. Mama’s is open for lunch and dinner, both of which we highly recommend. For an afternoon pick me up, try the Arancini or a classic Italian Sandwich. For dinner, start with the Caprese Not Really. I have had a lot of caprese, but nothing compared to this delicious dish. You can’t leave Mama’s without a glass (or two) of wine. Abby Lechthaler is passionate about serving only the best wine and is always willing to help you find your new favorite. So, as autumn moves in, try out Mama’s for some incredible comfort food.

    We could go on and on for days about all of the restaurant options in Ludlow, but we will stop here...for now! Stay tuned next week for PART TWO of our favorite dining experiences! Let us know your favorite local hot spot!

 

Summer Bucket List- Don't Wait!

Top 10 Things to do Before Summer Ends

Some of you may be counting down the days until the slopes are filled with snow and others are never wanting summer to end. Either way, take advantage of these summer days and knock some things off of the summer bucket list before it ends!

  1. 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.

  2. After you go hiking, you must go to Buttermilk Falls for a swim. Within a 10 minute walk you can see three beautiful waterfalls, but don’t miss the big rock to jump off into the water at the middle falls!

  3. Hit up the Evolution Park at Okemo for an epic day of mountain biking!

  4. Go to the Green Mountain Sugar House for a maple creeme (or 3)! In my opinion, they are the best in the state and there is awesome water-side seating to enjoy them on.

  5. Take a drive to the local breweries with outdoor seating! Let’s be honest, the breweries are great all year, however, the outdoor seating makes them even better. You don’t want to miss out on Long Trail, Harpoon, and Trout River!

  6. Rent a kayak or paddleboard from Tygart Mountain Sports in Ludlow and head to Lake Rescue for a day on the water. Don’t forget to hop in for a swim at Red Bridge!

  7. 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!

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

  9. Attend a summer concert at the Jackson Gore Summer Concert Series! There are only two left; August 24th and 31st!

  10. Check out a Million Dollar Quartet playing at the Weston Playhouse through September 2nd!  

Hops in the Hills!

We are proud to once again be sponsoring the Hops in the Hills Beer and Wine Festival at Okemo Mountain Resort! This year’s festival marks the 10th anniversary and will take place August 3rd-5th in the Jackson Gore Courtyard. They are anticipating having over 100 regional beers on tap, along with a selection of wine, food trucks, and craft vendors!

Festival Hours:
Friday, August 3- 5 to 9pm
Saturday, August 4- 12 to 8pm
Sunday, August 5- 11am to 5pm

Some of the breweries that will be represented are Frost Beer Works, Lost Nation Brewing, Sea Dog Brewing, and Fiddlehead Brewing. Of course, if you read our blog last week, you know we love some of the local favorites that will be represented, as well; Long Trail Brewery, Harpoon, Trout River Brewing Company, and Rutland Beer Works.

Don’t miss out on the selection of food trucks! If you are familiar with American Pie, a local favorite pizza joint, you will have to check out their pizza truck with a built in wood fired pizza oven. Another favorite is Squeels on Wheels with delicious barbeque. On Saturday, August 4th, Okemo will also hold their annual chicken wing championship during the festival. The Killarney will be returning to defend their Peoples’ Choice Championship and Willie Dunn’s Grille will be returning to defend their Best Wing Title.

On top of Hops in the Hills, the Adventure Zone will also be open with fun for the whole family! Take your pick of riding the Timber Ripper Mountain Coaster, playing Lumberin' Cal's Miniature Golf, swinging through the trees on a Sawyer Sweep Zipline Tours, competing with friends on the Haulback Challenge Course, or taking a Segway PT Tour.

The festival wouldn’t be complete without music! See below for the full lineup:
Friday, August 3rd:
5-9pm  East Coast Soul

Saturday, August 4th:
12-2pm North and South Dakota’s
2:30-5pm Rek’Lis
5:30-8pm Nine Deeez Nite

Sunday, August 5th
11:30am-1:30pm Los Elk
2-5pm Josh Panda
 

Click here to purchase your tickets!

Click here to purchase a lodging packing for the Jackson Gore Inn that includes festival tickets!

Vermont Beer is the BEST Beer!

Vermont has a delicious little secret; we LOVE beer! Did you know that Vermont is home of some of the best beer in the nation? Better yet, did you know that Ludlow is surrounded by several breweries within a 30 mile radius?

Long Trail Brewing Company is located in Bridgewater, VT, about 20 miles from Ludlow. Take the scenic drive on Route 100 North, where you can stop along the way to take in the beauty of many Vermont lakes. You also don’t want to miss a visit to the Green Mountain Sugar House for a Maple Creeme or even take a short detour to the Calvin Coolidge Homestead where our 30th president grew up. Once arriving to Long Trail Brewery you can choose to sit in the the German inspired pub inside or along the banks of the Ottauquechee River in their lovely outdoor seating area. Long Trail always offers a great variety of seasonal beers, including a personal favorite, Blackberry Wheat. Don’t forget to try the Loaded Nachos and the Jonas Wings; you won’t be disappointed!

Harpoon Brewery is located in Windsor, VT, about 30 miles from Ludlow. Once again, take a scenic drive along Route 131 that follows the Black River. In the river, you will find a variety of native Vermont trout, perfect for fly fishing. So, if you have the time, breath in the fresh air and catch some fish. After spending some time in the sun, you might be thirsty, so continue on your way to Harpoon. Harpoon has a wonderful outdoor Beer Garden, along with a lively Tap Room. Choose from several Harpoon beers on tap and purchase a growler to take home with you. The kitchen is always serving several great specials, however, The Vermonter sandwich is always a great go-to! Don’t forget to also visit Blake Hill Preserves, Vermont Farmstead Cheese Co. Market, SILO Distillery, and Great River Outfitters!

Trout River Brewing Company is located a short 15 miles from Ludlow in Springfield, VT. This hidden gem was purchased by three local boys who had been dreaming up this idea since being in high school together. From the outside, the brewery looks like a factory, but the inside is a Vermont haven, filled with fishing paraphernalia and homemade tables made from Vermont trees. On the tables you will find games to play with friends, along with music playing or a sporting event being projected for all to see. On the weekends you will often find a band playing outside and a food truck serving some delicious grub in the outdoor seating area. You can try several selections of beer by the pint or a sampler tray made out of old tap handles. If they are serving Trout of Solace, be sure to give it a try!

Last but not least, the Rutland Beer Works was a great new addition to Vermont in 2017. The owners of Hop ‘N Moose in downtown Rutland began this new venture to expand their love of beer and we couldn’t be more excited. Rutland Beer Works is currently a brewery and canning facility, but their beer can be tasted at Hop ‘N Moose, among other locations in the surrounding areas. There are also many places to buy cans, including Brewfest Beverage right here in Ludlow! However, if you are heading to Rutland, we highly recommend checking out Hop ‘N Moose, both for their food and beer. They are known for their pizzas, including a personal favorite of mine, the Hawaiian. Hop ‘N Moose is usually serving Rutland Beer Works’ Rutland Red on tap, but if you are feeling adventurous, try the Hide and Seek, an Extra Pale Ale.

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Take a Hike!

Ludlow Vermont has a well earned reputation as a popular winter destination, but when the snow melts and the temperatures begin to climb, summer takes hold of the Okemo Valley. We begin to look at other activities this area has to offer. People come to fish, boat, cycle and play golf, but a favorite past time for all is exploring the various hiking trails in the area. There is something for everyone.

We are called the Green Mountain State for a reason. Don't limit your time with us to the winter season alone.

Okemo Mountain Hiking

Okemo specifically has its own hiking trail network. With easy access from both the base of Okemo and Jackson Gore you will find a couple of ways to get to the top. For the more adventurous, take one of the trails. If a more relaxed pace is what you are looking for there is a 4.5 mile road directly to the summit. Many people find themselves taking the "ski" trails to the top; trading in skis for hiking shoes. Just make sure you are ready for some work!

Another popular hiking location is the Healdville Trail which winds to the top of Okemo's 3,340 foot summit. Almost 6 miles round trip, you will use the better part of your day.  Features along the trail include a fire tower and several lookouts, which offer a bird's eye view of the local ski area.

There are a couple of vista points along the way. The first will give you a sweeping view of Mount Holly and the Green Mountain chain. Just past the next clearing where the trail merges with a work road you will find the reconditioned fire tower which is open to hikers. This hike is considered to be one of the best and most rewarding. Your reward is finding yourself above Okemo Mountain's 3,340 foot summit for a panoramic view of Vermont's Green Mountains, west to New York's Adirondacks and east to New Hampshire's White Mountains.

Before we realize it, the idyllic skyline found at the top of Okemo will welcome skiers and snowboarders as they come to make their snowy descents. But for now, come explore our area on any of our beautiful trails.

After a long day on the trails, do what the locals do, find a swimming hole and take a dip. Pitch your tent and enjoy a night under the stars.

Who knows, after a good night's rest out in the fresh Vermont air, you may even decide to stay! If so, stop by William Raveis Vermont Properties located across from the Okemo Golf Club. We will show you the best homes in the Lake's RegionOkemo Valley and Okemo Mountain.