A historical farm with pet-friendly cottages, alpacas, and farm-to-table cuisine, this country stay is as Vermont as you can get.
Tucked away in Vermont’s Equinox Valley with an idyllic mountain backdrop, Hill Farm Inn by Sagra is seemingly straight out of a New England postcard. The historic property dates back to 1779 and has all the charm you’d expect from a farm stay in The Green Mountain State.
The inn side of things has been continuously running since the original was built in 1830. Nowadays, the property’s mission is to connect people to pastoral life through experiences and education during their stay.
With an onsite farm-to-table restaurant, sweeping views, and of course, the quartet of alpacas, Hill Farm Inn is the epitome of a relaxing Vermont getaway.
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Choose from the main inn rooms or one of the pet-friendly cottages (29 rooms total) that have been lovingly renovated to offer modern amenities without sacrificing the old farmhouse charm.
We had my energetic puppy Scout with us and stayed in the 3-bedroom cottage. Secluded enough, yet perfectly positioned to reach the inn, restaurant, and alpacas on foot, the cottage offered both privacy and convenience. Fresh, local coffee and breakfast were included in our stay and served in the main building.
When we visited, the inn was operating on their off-season schedule, open Thursday to Tuesday morning after checkout. Starting Memorial Day, they’ll be open for bookings 7 days a week during the summer. Queen and king rooms, suites, and three freestanding, pet-friendly cottages that sleep up to 8 are available to reserve.
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We met Maria as she was walking from the greenhouses to the inn, with freshly-picked spinach in her hand. “I’ll be using this for breakfast tomorrow,” she told us as she greeted a very excited Scout.
She’s the innkeeper and crafter of the morning’s hot breakfasts, which include the star item, her homemade scones. During our two mornings there we were spoiled with a fluffy waffle with fresh blueberries, a breakfast sandwich with local eggs, sausage, and cheese, avocado toast with fresh eggs, and drool-worthy French toast.
Be sure to reserve a table for dinner at the farm’s onsite restaurant, The Grange, which opened this past November — it’ll be a highlight of your stay. Here, sustainable agriculture and Vermont’s tight-knit farm community are at the heart of the cuisine.
The menu is seasonal, using a variety of the farm’s own produce and other ingredients sourced from local farms. Each dish is considered a sharing plate, so you can try a bunch of different dishes and experience all the unique flavors the chefs have created.
We were treated to freshly baked focaccia with black garlic butter, roasted carrots that knocked our socks right off, mushroom risotto, tender scallops, and pasture-raised pork cooked to perfection.
For a unique dining experience, ask for a seat at the chef’s table, where you’ll have a wide-open view into the kitchen as the expert chefs prepare the evening’s meals, most of which are cooked using the wood-fired oven.
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Things to Do
The beauty of visiting Hill Farm is that you can do everything or nothing, and either way, it’ll be a fulfilling stay.
Whether you want to relax with a book in one of the property’s Adirondack chairs, occasionally waving to one of the alpacas, or prefer to walk the Battenkill River Trail which starts right at the property, a stay at Hill Farm is a choose-your-own-adventure.
In the warmer months, lawn games are available, an outdoor pool and hot tub open up, and you should hop on the swings at least once while gazing upon the mountain view.
Fishing on the Battenkill River is a popular option, and if it starts raining, the game room with a pool table and darts or the cozy lounge complete with a fireplace will probably be calling your name.
Hiking can be enjoyed year-round, and we can vouch for the nearby Red Gate Trail to Equinox Pond, which was an easy but beautiful jaunt to a pond with mountain views.
Other restaurants and shopping can be found in downtown Manchester, just seven miles from the property. Grab a sandwich from Zoey’s Deli, a cocktail from The Copper Grouse, or stop into the three-story Northshire Bookstore for some serious perusing.
Join a farm tour where you’ll learn a bit about the history and what they grow, as well as enjoy a chance to feed the alpacas some of their favorite treat — apple slices.
The four alpacas go by Latte, Tina, Noelle, and…Britney Spears. Scout’s favorite activity was saying good morning to the animals each day.
Pop into the farm shop located in The Grange where you can stock up on Vermont-made goodies like maple syrup, pottery, or charcuterie items just begging to go on a picnic.
Whatever you choose to do with your day, make it back to the inn before sunset to watch Mother Nature’s splendor from the gorgeous porch (they also serve sunset cocktails) and say hi to one of the farm cats that like to hang out for the show too.
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Seen in: New England, Northeast, Vermont, Where to Stay, Where to Stay in Vermont