The Wildflower Inn, located in Lyndonville in the Northeast Kingdom region of Vermont, is charming, cozy and family-friendly in every way.
Anticipating the Needs of the Littlest Travelers
There are many hotels, inns and resorts in New England that claim "kid friendly" status, and while they may offer amenities and programs for families, few are as truly welcoming and accommodating to travelers with children--especially younger tots--as the Wildflower Inn.
There's a good reason for this. Innkeepers Jim and Mary O'Reilly have eight children of their own, and it is obvious that they've applied decades of acquired parental wisdom to anticipating the needs of little travelers.
The two Massachusetts natives met in college and spent their early married years moving frequently due to Jim's engineering job. In 1984, after the arrival of their third son, the O'Reillys decided to take a chance on a very different lifestyle by purchasing a four-room B&B in Vermont's most unspoiled region.
We visited the Wildflower Inn in October of 2004. The inn operates in all four seasons but closes for portions of April and November. Fall is a particularly beautiful time of year in the serene and mountainous Northeast Kingdom, and we delighted in hiking along the network of Kingdom Trails accessible directly from the inn with our daughter in her backpack, in driving to the summit of Burke Mountain for foliage views and in visiting artist Stephen Huneck's Dog Chapel at Dog Mountain, where my little one took a wet, sloppy licking from a very friendly Golden Retriever while loudly protesting: "I'm shy!"
Back at the inn, the animals in the petting barn and fields provided her with continual amusement.
Four Seasons of Family Fun
In the summer, offerings for kids are expanded. From mid-June through Labor Day weekend, a free, supervised Children's Program is available mornings for kids ages 4 to 11, and Daisy's Diner gives parents a 3-1/2-hour evening break while children enjoy a themed dinner, games, crafts and a movie. During the warm weather months, the Vermont Children's Theater also takes up residence at the Wildflower Inn.
There are a variety of accommodations available including rooms, a private cottage and one-, two- and three-room suites. The spacious and comfortable Darling Suite in the Coach House offered us two floors--a lower level with a living room and kitchenette and a second floor with two bedrooms and bath. Our only complaint: no tub in the bathroom, which left us in the awkward predicament of having to bathe our toddler in the pedestal sink. (The inn has since equipped rooms with toddler tubs.)
You Don't HAVE to be a Kid to Love The Wildflower Inn
You don't need to rule out the Wildflower Inn if you don't have kids, of course. There are fewer little ones around midweek, except during the summer months, and with free WiFi wireless Internet access, a dog-friendly policy and a seasonally inspired line-up of recreational activities from snowshoe treks to horse-drawn wagon rides, there are plenty of enticements for grown-ups, as well.
Rates, which range from $104 to $439 per night for two depending on the season and accommodations selected (as of early 2012), include a full country breakfast.
I didn't ask (because the scrambled eggs with chives and cream cheese were delicious), but I'll bet adults can order the teddy bear pancakes, too.
For information on current special packages and to make reservations at The Wildflower Inn, call 802-626-8310 or toll free, 800-627-8310, or visit the inn's Web site at www.wildflowerinn.com.