The SpaceIt's one of the most recognizable houses in town. The views are absolutely stunning, at every time of the day. In the winter there's a huge sledding hill out front. On summer days, it's sunny mountains, no humidity, and green, green, green. From 5:00-8:00PM every summer night, a progressively heightening golden glow settles over the property as the sun sets.
The living rooms have 20 foot cathedral ceilings and fireplaces. The floor plan rambles. Around every corner there's another niche. Venetian tile mosaics adorn the kitchen, bathrooms, stairwell and greenhouse. An there's plenty of room to live. Stretch out and enjoy the view from every window.
The screened porch is pretty much the center of the universe each night. We bar-b-que on the deck and eat outside regularly. A few times a week, we have campfires in the stone fire pit. It's built into the hill, so there's plenty of places to sit and enjoy the awesome smell of wood smoke with friends around the fire. Stacks of wood are always available to fuel the flame, and of course, there's music.
Many nights we'll get marshmallows and Cornish hens and just cook right on the open flames. The sun sets over the mountain peaks across the valley and we always "cheer" to the last light of day. Then you've got a good hour to watch nightfall settle. The frogs start a chorus, lightning bugs occasionally light up the fields, and the stars come out. The air is so dry and clear that you can enjoy endless stars, the milky way, shooting stars, and (if we believe the locals) occasional UFO sightings. We think they are crazy, but who knows! Most mornings, the mountain tops are buried in mysterious clouds, and then by 10:00AM the clouds burn off. We can get incredible thunder storms that pass through mid-day, and then the sun comes right back out. In the fall, the entire region turns to gold, orange, and red. Our British business partner said it best:
"I've traveled all over the world and I don't think I've ever seen a more beautiful piece of property." Guest AccessYou'll have the entire house to yourself. The owners live next door in an attached house and can provide either privacy or support: you decide. We share the bonfire pit, which can be really fun in the evenings because someone will inevitably get out a guitar and start playing. There's an electric dog fence around the property - so if you want to bring your pup, we can lend you a spare dog collar. There's a weight bench, elliptical trainer and greenhouse with a fish pond that you'll have all to yourself. The bar-b-que grill has 2 propane tanks, so you won't run out. Interaction with GuestsJust let us know what you prefer - if you want privacy then you won't see us during your stay; if you are looking for a community atmosphere, then we'll plan bonfires, bar-b-ques, and guide you to the local hotspots, river floats, and fishing holes. The NeighborhoodSunderland is on the south side of Manchester, and the house sits just a few short miles from town. Drive through endless stone walls and mansions to get there. Manchester, Vermont is a beautiful tourist area with loads of shopping and activities for tourists. Seated at the foot of the green mountains, it's a hub for Horse show participants, skiers, shoppers, and outdoor enthusiasts. The Appalachian hiking trail (we call it Long Trail) is just a short ride up the mountain and you can hike all the way to Georgia, if you have the time!
There's a 5-mile jogging loop around the local roads - most of them dirt. Just leave the driveway, start jogging and just keep turning right until you get back to the house. Or walk 4 miles across the valley and up the other side to the incredibly scenic, high-elevation sheep farm. Grab a raft and float the Battenkill River. There are 2 bridges - one a mile north, and the other, a mile south. Park a car at the south bridge and hitch a ride to the north bridge where you can "put in" for a really relaxing 2 hour float.
The location of this property is awesome. We're 5 miles from Manchester, so we're close enough to get groceries, but far enough away that we don't have to worry about Manchester's crazy town restrictions. So nobody bothered us that day we decided to burn the Christmas tree and a 20 foot flame shot up into the sky! It takes us 13 minutes to drive to Bromley ski resort and 21 minutes to Stratton resort. Also, Riley Ice Rink is only 10 minutes away, so even in the summertime, we can ice skate. It's just a quick hour to Saratoga Raceway for the horse races. We do overnight trips every summer to Saratoga to bet on the horses, and go to Six Flags Amusement park in Lake George.
The kids have been playing hockey since they were 5. In some winters we will turn the back driveway into a 90 foot ice rink. We get a huge plastic liner, staple it to the walls, and flood the back parking area until it freezes over. Then get out your skates and shoot some pucks.
On Green Peak mountain, just a few miles north of Manchester, you can hike to the bat caves and rock quarries. The easy 1-2 mile hike up the mountain will lead to mysterious underground caverns and a wide chimney face that many rock climbers enjoy. There are multiple marble rock quarries, and even a swimming quarry in nearby Dorset.
Sunderland is home to the cemetery where Ira Allen is buried, of the famed Green Mountain Boys. Just hike up the street to see his burial place and explore all the interesting gravestones across from a historical church. After that go fly fishing on the Battenkill or hike the mowed river trail which is just down the hill. Battenkill Canoe is 1 mile away and you can rent canoes for the day. Visit Bennington to see the grave of Robert Frost, then walk through the museum. Afterwards, you can take a short drive to the Bennington museum or travel just over the border to Massachusetts for the fascinating Clark museum where some of the most famous pieces of artwork in the world are housed.
Walk a quarter mile to the Hill Farm Inn every Thursday night for the little-known, but highly attended locals night. Strangers are soon friends and you'll enjoy the restaurant in the newly renovated Hill Farm Inn. Then walk home without the worry of a drive. Getting AroundYou should have a car. We're 5 miles south of Manchester - where there's ample shopping, and outlet center, grocery stores and plenty of restaurants and bars. Other Things to NoteThis is not your average white-walled rental house. Every room is themed with murals, hardwoods and mosaics. There's a Jungle room, Safari room, and the Nemo room is painted like an underwater coral reef. We're 5 miles south of Manchester, Vermont, and close to some of the best fishing holes around. There are many spas and golf courses around - if you are looking for a high-class getaway with friends - it's ideal. We totally stock the cupboards with spices, so you don't spend a fortune if you are just trying to cook a meal. All the sheets, towels and linens are brand new - you don't have to bring any, and there's even a mountain of blankets in case you get cold. The kitchen has probably every appliance known to man, so if you are a cook you will have fun here. There's a castle-themed treehouse out back. Kids are welcome use the camping gear to sleep-out. The basement is a foam-padded indoor knee-hockey arena and the kids will gravitate down there because it's cool in the summer and there's endless fun to be had wresting around. Cupboards are stocked with loads of games, cards, hats, gloves, candles, girl-stuff, and sports equipment. Guests are welcome to use whatever they find - it's fine, make yourself at home. Let us know if you need help catering an event. We can cater meals for your party for an extra fee.