Set between the lush Green Mountains and the icy cold Battenkill River in Arlington, Vermont, Norman Rockwell’s idyllic 18th century renovated home is the most magical place for a family get away.
Dubbed “Rockwell’s Retreat” by owners Kevin and Sue Harter, the Inn has the allure of iconic history and all the comforts of home! With 8 charming rooms, including Norman Rockwell’s own art studio and his kids’ playhouse, you will find refuge to rest, recharge and relax.
Whether you enjoy fly fishing in the river, riding bikes around the charming neighborhood, (or the Peloton indoors) early evenings with a glass of wine out by the fire pit, it’s all there for you. Or hey, go take a nap or curl up with a good book.
If you’d like to roam around a bit, 20 minutes away is the lovely town of Manchester, where you will enjoy some delightful outdoor local restaurants, shopping and perhaps a taste of Vermont bourbon!
After a quick flight from Houston to Albany, NY, the 1 hour and 15-minute countryside drive from the airport to Arlington, VT, greatly increased my anticipation and curiosity. There for a family wedding, we wanted a unique place to stay that was not too far driving distance from the festivities.
I booked our stay online, but quickly realized that Kevin was one of the owners and was the main person I would communicate with. This greatly eased my trepidation, while giving me the personal touch, considering I had never been to Vermont and was travelling from Texas!
He and his wife purchased and renovated the property in 2019, which includes 8 beautifully decorated rooms including the studio and the playhouse Rockwell built for his own kids.
Each room has a different theme, and as much comfort as you would expect including 600 thread count sheets, comfortable beds and cozy hang out nooks.
Upon arrival, I felt like I had just embarked on a fairy tale. The red covered bridge at the entrance to the property reminded me that I was not in Houston anymore! Kevin promptly greeted us outside and welcomed us into the main house. We booked the “farm view room” and so we quickly went upstairs to drop off our things, and explore the rest of the home and the gorgeous property.
Downstairs houses the farm house kitchen, living room and the inviting family breakfast area, where Kevin cooked up the most delicious bacon and eggs and lemon ricotta pancakes for us every morning. Expect to enjoy loads of local syrup and fresh coffee as well as oatmeal and delicious fruit as you start your day.
“Make yourself at home,” Kevin said. As we wandered through the living room, he pointed out the ice cream freezer…loaded with local ice creams that he stocked every couple of days. “Help yourself!” Yes please, I think I will.
Towards the back of the property, across the lush green expansive yard, sits Rockwell’s studio, which features some of his most famous work. Upon entering the studio, you get the feeling he just stepped out for a coffee break.
As an American artist and illustrator, he is well known for his Saturday Evening Post cover illustrations as well as his with work Boy Scouts of America. He brought regular people to life in his pictures and it’s amusing to see them displayed around the property. Rockwell often used friends and family as his models and as fellow Vermonters they have been known to stop by the Inn.
Away from the hustle of the city, Rockwell’s Retreat is the perfect setting to relax and catch your breath. Whether it’s just you, or a larger crew, Rockwell’s Retreat is ready to welcome you as one of the family.
Written by: Clancie Thomas Harbers-Simonton, TX
Clancie has a BA in Journalism from Texas A&M University. She is a storyteller and a writer. When she’s not writing or making videos, she’s driving her tractor or coaching her senior’s fitness class (Forever Fierce!) she created for her 80-something parents. As an Army Brat, she has lived all over the world and is now settled in Simonton, Texas with her husband David of 25 years and their 2 boys.