Up until a few weeks ago, the idea of getting away for a secluded weekend far from everyone and everything was the most enticing idea. Work was piling up and never seemed to go away, and nature was calling. So Dyl and I booked a stay at the Vermont ReTreet, a treehouse Airbnb in Hancock, VT. Little did we know that this would be the start of our quarantine experience.
Scroll through the photos above for a tour!
Nestled in the Green Mountain National Forest, the property currently includes two treehouses that are available by reservation. The Beaver Pond Treehouse - your minimalistic kind of stay - and the Sugar Maple Treehouse (where we stayed) will both give you the most amazing home-away-from-home experience. The difference between the two lies in just how "roughin' it" you want to get. We opted with the Sugar Maple for obvious reasons - electricity + wifi - but still no running water! Our Airbnb also had a firepit and grill (although we spent most of our times indoors, the weekend we were there it didn't rise much above 20 degrees), and there was talk of a potential hot tub installation from our host once they get running water. Soooo yeah, we'll be back once that happens.
We arrived on the property in the dark, but you could see our house twinkling even from the road. All lit up, it glowed through the still-bare trees, welcoming us in the warmest way despite the frigid cold weather. Our host, Derek, and his wife were incredible our entire stay, giving us a lift up the hill on the gator when we arrived, answering all of our questions and offering plenty of food and drink recommendations in the area. And while most of our time was spent cozied up in the treehouse (I found a reading nook straight out of my dreams), we did get out and explore the neighboring town of Middlebury, putting his recommendations to good use. Just note that it is at least a 30 minute drive to any of the neighboring towns - so plan accordingly!
Our first stop of our day trip was Woodchuck Cider House. Not sure what to expect, we rolled up around 11am and found the place empty - could have been because it was a Sunday morning, could have been because COVID had started making its way through the northeast - whatever the reason, along with another couple also from NY, we had the place essentially to ourself for most of the day. Because of this we had the awesome opportunity to take a private behind-the-scenes tour of the cidery and learn some cider trivia along the way.
Main things I learned:
1. Woodchuck is one of the largest cideries in North America
2. Canned cider can explode if left in your fridge too long. I'll pause here while you go check your labels for their expiration date.
3. Magners is meant to be served over ice in a glass. AND, by Irish standard if a pub doesn't offer Magners on their menu, they're not a true Irish pub.
After our long, hard day of cider drinking, we headed back to home base, stopping only along the way to grab a pizza, poptarts, candy... you know, the necessities for a night in. When we got back, the sun was just starting to set, and we got to enjoy the last bit of golden hour in our golden treehouse. Though the space is small, there's a ton of natural light that makes its way inside, and it's really beautiful the way the sunlight moves throughout the small space as the day moves on, illuminating different corners at different times.
Although the reading nook was again, literally a dream come true and getting to explore Vermont/cider tasting was a blast, my favorite part of the entire trip were the two nights we spent curled up on the couch watching old movies, snacking on popcorn and (carefully) drinking red wine next to the heater while the wind howled outside. I can't name a cozier place I've ever been.
- Electric heater. I wondered if we would be cold staying in a treehouse in Vermont in March. Not the case. This baby kept the space nice and toasty, and I would even say at night, sleeping in the loft, it got a little too warm. No matter what time of year you visit you will be comfortable
- Keurig + assortment of coffee, tea, hot ciders
- Gallon of drinking water (we brought some of our own, too)
- Compostable toilet + toilet paper. The running joke during our stay was that despite the pandemic, we were safe in the treehouse because it still had TP. And the bathroom, though not glamorous by any means, was one of the cleanest outdoor bathrooms I have ever used - complete with a floor length window on the side for all the views while you do your business
- TV, Netflix + Wifi (Sugar Maple Treehouse, only)
- Hand crafted kitchen table that folds up into the wall to optimize space.
We had such a great time experience at the Vermont ReTreet that I want you guys all to, too! Give them a follow on Instagram + I highly recommend booking with them as soon as this corona craziness is over. Until then, stay safe + healthy! xx