The Perfect Summer or Columbus Day Upper Valley Staycation

windsor vt camping

Lodging, shopping, activities, and dining all right outside your door.  Well in this case, tent.  How about Deluxe Camping?  Just bring yourself, clothes, and food.  Great River Outfitters  in Windsor, VT provides  a wonderful experience for individuals, small groups, and families.



You can pack light.  I promise.  Great River Outfitters provides the tent, sleeping bag, cooking kit, and firewood.  Even better: the tent is on a platform and carpeted!  I didn’t even know they made carpeted tents.  The tents sleep 6 on cots and 10 with just sleeping bags.  The tents are huge and even have three rooms for privacy.

The campsite also had picnic table and campfire area for cooking.  Bathrooms are close by too.

You can also bring your own tent and paddle down river to camp on an island for the ultimate camping experience of solace and solitude.



Even if you’ve lived in the area all your life, it’s still fun to be a tourist and revisit childhood memories or explore new sites.  You might be surprised at how much there is to do right nearby.

Great River Outfitters is also the site of the Path to Life Sculpture Garden.  Kids and adults alike will enjoy exploring the creative sculptures and finding their way through the maze of tall shrubbery.  I really enjoyed the huge sculpture of a band playing…really attention grabbing! Also on site you can sign up to paddling down the river or morning yoga for a fee.

If you’re interested in how things are made take a Harpoon Brewery tour for $5 or visit Silo Distillery where the staff is happy to tell you about their product.

About a ten minute walk from the campsite is Simon Pearce where you can see demonstrations of glass blowing and pottery.  The best part is that the workers are super friendly and answer all your questions about the process.  You can take pictures too.

Not to be missed is Friday evening outdoor family films with pizza and ice cream sponsored by The Cheese Board.    They also have Pasture Tennis which looks like a lot of fun to play.

A short drive away is the center of Windsor where you can find Paradise Park, the Precision Museum, Cider Hill Gardens, the Old Constitution House, and the longest covered bridge in the US.

Shopping and Dining

Who says you can’t have souvenirs if you’re a local.  Just call it Upper Valley Pride.  Artisan Park has multiple wonderful companies besides Great River Outfitters for you to find goodies.

After an afternoon of fun in and around Artisan Park you may either be hungry, thirsty, or just want to wander.

Silo Distillery makes their own vodka from start to finish with wonderful flavors like chocolate or cucumber.  The grain is from a local farm and ingredients for flavorings are sourced locally whenever possible.  I bought the chocolate and loved the flavor with a nice bite to it.  I can’t wait to try it with kahlua.  They also have music on Sunday afternoons from 12-2.  Relax, listen, and enjoy a bloody mary.

The Cheese Board has of course cheese to sample, but also local wines.  You can buy t-shirts, serene smelling candles, books, honey, sample gift baskets and more.  I enjoyed the Aged Windsordale cheese and I highly recommend their maple soft serve.

If you’re hankering for a snack get some yummy Castleton graham crackers and head over across the street to the new location of Blake Hill Preserves.   They have wonderful unique flavors like Wild Blueberry and Lemon, Summer Peach and Ginger, and Meyer Lemon.  Their flavors are so good they sell out!  I tried the Meyer Lemon with the Castleton Graham Cracker and thoroughly enjoyed the sweet and tart combination.

You don’t even need to get in the car to have a meal!  Harpoon Brewery offers lunch and dinner as well as brewery tours.

So if you’re looking for some local fun for a staycation this year try Great River Outfitters.

Other Staycation ideas around the state and New England

NH Staycations 

New England Staycations 

Staycations with pictures to inspire you. 

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