“I love this place” she says to me as we cheers our plastic cups full to the top with wine. “I haven’t put on mascara in a week and my kids haven’t asked to watch TV in 5 days.” I have just run into my friend from a tiny town in Upstate NY at Smugglers’ Notch; a major family vacation destination in Upstate Vermont. We are standing in a 26,000 square foot entertainment building watching our kids devour the fun dripping around them. Driving through the notch was an exciting activity all on it’s own. Our (mis)adventure began on Vermont’s most dramatic road covered in trees, massive rock outcroppings, and signs like “falling rock” “no center line” “one lane” and the twisty-est arrows you ever did see. Paigely counted 60 boulders. Hubby wondered how anyone could drive this in the Winter. We found out later from the staff they don’t; the road is so cray it closes down in the Winter and cars have to find a different route. Speaking of the staff, when you check into Smuggler’s Notch you can’t help but get the feeling you’re on the set of a modern day Dirty Dancing movie. Everything in the resort is accessible, easy, and focuses on family fun. The staff is lovely and helpful and even in the short amount of time we spent there, we immediately felt assimilated into the Smugg’s culture. “I carried a watermelon.”
There are 8 saltwater pools and 4 waterslides within the resort that kept our kids busy all day on Saturday. Everywhere you turn there is something new to discover. Mountainside Playground was the kid’s favorite (I think they did this waterslide 1,000 times and I think I took 1,000 pictures until I got this epic one:)
…but I got a huge kick out of watching them frolic at Notchville Park. It was a little bit of a hike to get there but that was just part of the charm as it is surrounded by forests, a beautiful brook, and a meandering trail perfect for making new discoveries in nature.
I think maybe that’s what I loved most about being at Smugglers’ Notch – even though it’s a resort, you never feel like you’re in a stifled environment (much like Baby did?), you are outside playing in the middle of the spectacular Green Mountain range with the splendor of the hills as your backdrop. Hubby and I even got to sneak off on our own thanks to Smugglers’ award winning Children’s Camps. We took off on an Arbortrek right down the road and got to explore the treetops while using (a lot) of physical activity. It felt good and I even conquered my fear of heights for an hour thanks to the support of our truly amazing guides while Hubby conquered “The Eliminator” – the hardest obstacle on the course. In true fashion I stole his thunder and no one saw it because the guides were busy coaxing me off the ledge. (No literally, it was a ledge.) Sidetone: I’m still feeling my arms in places I never have before, a week later.
Don’t I look like a TOTAL expert here?? Note the distance from ground.
There’s just something about being on vacation that helps you break out of your comfort zone. Whether it was me with the heights (I swear I got much higher than this) or the kid’s with being able to go off on their own in camps, or the baby learning to deal with a less structured routine. Wait, THE BABY? Where was he?! Don’t you worry, Treasure’s got your back at Smugglers’ Notch. Despite the look he’s giving me here, Rigg’s did great at his daycare.
The provider is describing to me an amazing system where she’ll send me up-to-the-minute reports on anything I wanted to know. When I was high in the trees I got a notice that he was sleeping soundly in one of the cribs. I even got to see the picture! Treasures is total peace of mind for traveling families that want to spend a little adult time together. The rooms are huge, clean, and extremely child-friendly. Riggs was the youngest one there and the staff was attentive and sweet. The director said her kids were all grown up (and work at the resort!) so she loved holding and rocking him, reiminising about the baby days. “Thanks for taking care of him” I said. “We loved having him” she replied.
We had two delicious dinners right on the resort (I highly recommend Hearth & Candle for you foodies) followed by mouths full of Vermont’s own Ben & Jerry’s ice cream by the fire pits.
We slept like babies (even the baby!) in a sprawling 3 bedroom 2 bath home that actually felt like home. The amenities and activities seem endless at Smugglers’ Notch. We did as much as we could in the mere 48 hours we were there, and will definitely be back to conquer the rest….
TIPS FOR YOUR STAY AT SMUGGLER’S NOTCH
- Summer at Smugg’s runs from June 12th – September 4th (although it is a 4 season resort and we can’t wait to check out the skiing here this Winter!)
- Everything is within the resort complex at Smugg’s but it’s very expansive; you can drive to activities or take the complimentary shuttle
- Towels are not available at the pools! We learned this the hard way after hiking up to Notchville Park but a friendly staff ran down to get us extras ones. You are welcome to bring the towels from your Village Home.
- Use caution when driving through the Notch. It’s open from Mid-May to Mid-October. Honk!
- You will get pretty decent service in the mountains but make sure to allow some time to disconnect, it’s part of the experience!
- Adult beverages are served in the FunZone (although not allowed outside) and at most of the pools except Courtside.
- Don’t miss the little fun activities outside the FunZone area like Mining for Gems, Mini-Golf, Life-size Chess, and river exploring (we made that last one up, shhh.)
- Our ArborTrek was not on the resort but it does get booked through Smugglers’ Notch and is a mere 2 minute drive down the road.
- There is a great Country Store where you can buy almost anything you can think of (or forgot to think of before your trip.)
- OMG the llamas. Don’t miss the llamas!
Smugglers’ Notch Resort
4323 Vermont Route 108 South
Smugglers’ Notch, VT 05464-9537
This is a sponsored post.