Hotel at a Glance: Hartness House
Hartness House sits in the shade of pine and maple trees on a picturesque hillside in Vermont’s countryside. But it’s what’s beneath the Victorian-style mansion that really gets your attention. The elegant estate conceals an underground tunnel that former owner James Hartness used to access his personal workshop and astronomical observatory. Guests can now explore the tunnels to see early telescopes in the Hartness-Porter Astronomy Museum and then rest up in guest rooms that once hosted aviation legend Charles Lindbergh.
- The Governor’s Room Restaurant: Start the day with a sumptuous breakfast of maple-cured ham and thick-cut french toast drizzled with Vermont maple syrup. The Governer’s Room and Telescope Tavern serve dinner Thursday–Sunday evenings.
- Step back in time: Most of the guest rooms are decorated with antique furnishings, such as carved wooden beds draped with delicate lace canopies. Some have fireplaces. Modern amenities include free WiFi and TVs with DVD players.
- Get pampered with couples massages at the inn’s private spa.
- See the stars: The hotel’s underground museum houses vintage telescopes and other astronomy-based memorabilia. The Hartness Equatorial Turret Telescope is open for stargazing during select hours.
- Year-round adventure: Go golfing or skiing at nearby Okemo Mountain Resort or hike to snap scenic photos of Black River Falls, which is a short walk from Hartness House.
Springfield, Vermont: Historical Landmarks in the Simpsons’ Hometown
Everyone knew the Simpsons family lived in a town called Springfield, but until 2007, nobody knew exactly which Springfield it was. For the release of The Simpsons Movie, Springfield, Vermont, won a nationwide contest and was featured in the movie as the official hometown of the animated family.
The real-life Springfield is a storybook small town. Scenic hiking trails follow the Black River past waterfalls, pine forest, and the one-room log-framed Eureka Schoolhouse, which dates back to the 18th century. Venture further outside of town to find more outdoor adventure.
After the first snowfall, you can ski the trails at Okemo Mountain Resort, which lies on the outskirts of Green Mountain National Forest. Green Mountain National Forest is a scenic hour-long drive from Springfield by car. Named for the layers of stately evergreens that carpet their slopes, the Green Mountains are a branch of the ancient Appalachians, which stretch north to south through the center of Vermont. It’s a relatively even swath of rolling forests capped by a few summits that rise above the tree line, including Mount Mansfield, which tops out at 4,393 feet.