Although many people don’t think of it, January and February can be ideal months to travel locally. You can get great deals on hotel rates, and the prices at restaurants and attractions tend to be lower than at other times of the year. There’s also the added bonus of having very few other visitors around, so no matter where you go, you’re likely to have the place almost to yourself.
Windham Hill Inn, West Townshend, Vt. (shown above)
Located just north of Brattleboro, this Relais & Chateau property was once a working farm, with some of its buildings dating back to the early 19th century. Divided among three buildings, the inn’s 22 large and comfortable rooms are decorated in an upscale rustic style. The 160-acre property is home to hiking, snowshoeing and cross-country ski trails. There’s even a handy shed on-site where guests can store their outdoor gear. Windham Hill’s restaurant features a seasonal farm-to-table menu, with much of its produce grown behind the Main House. Perhaps the best thing about this inn: None of the guest rooms have televisions.
The Red Lion Inn, Stockbridge, Mass.
One of the few inns in the country that has been in continuous operation since before 1800, The Red Lion is a great spot to spend a winter weekend reading by the fire or sipping hot toddies on its wide front porch. Loaded with New England charm, the inn is chock full of antiques and original artwork. It’s also close to cross-country and alpine skiing, and cultural attractions such as the Norman Rockwell Museum; The Mount, author Edith Wharton’s historic estate; and Chesterwood, the summer home of Lincoln Memorial sculptor Daniel Chester French.
Wentworth by the Sea, New Castle, N.H.
First opened in 1874, this Victorian grand hotel offers fantastic views of the New Hampshire seacoast and the Isles of Shoals. After falling into disrepair in the early 1980s, the hotel was saved from demolition and renovated with help from the nonprofit organization Friends of the Wentworth, reopening in 2003. The hotel is known for its excellent dining and is just a short drive from historic Portsmouth, N.H., home to numerous boutiques, restaurants and attractions. The Wentworth’s on-site spa is a great place to spend a winter afternoon alone or with friends.
Portland Harbor Hotel, Portland, Maine
Set in the heart of Portland’s pedestrian-friendly Old Port district, the Portland Harbor Hotel makes a cozy home base for a winter weekend of shopping, dining and visiting local attractions such as the nearby Portland Museum of Art. Blue Fin, the hotel’s on-site restaurant, features a great selection of local seafood. The hotel is also within walking distance of many of the city’s hottest bistros and cafes. The hotel’s 95 guest rooms were all renovated recently, and amenities like on-site valet parking and complimentary local car service can help make your weekend extra relaxing, even if it snows.