Best Vermont inn or B&B (retired) (Best Vermont inn or B&B (retired))
- 1611 Harbor Road, Shelburne, VT, 05482
It doesn’t have air-conditioning or HBO. It does have exquisite interiors designed for a Vanderbilt heiress, a library, a formal garden, daily tea with tiny sandwiches and homemade baked goods, and an acclaimed farm-to-table restaurant. Guests who tire of the sprawling brick mansion — if that’s possible — can roam the nearby lakeshore, woodland walking trails and 1400-acre working farm. A stay at the inn may make you feel like a scion of the Gilded Age, but it supports a forward-thinking mission. Shelburne Farms is currently celebrating its 40th year as an educational nonprofit run by the descendants of William Seward and Lila Vanderbilt Webb (who built the estate) and devoted to sustainable land stewardship.
SEVEN DAYS: What do guests say they like most about staying at the inn?
ALEC WEBB, PRESIDENT: People who love it, they love coming to Shelburne Farms. We don’t have a lot of the amenities that most places do, so you have to have people who enjoy something beyond the immediate comforts we’ve gotten used to ... What there is, is a beautiful place to enjoy.
SD: Do you have any ghosts?
AW [laughs]:Of course not. Any kind of experiences from the beyond have been friendly or humorous.
2012 Runner-up: Willard Street Inn