Summer Escape to a Home Away From Home: Basin Harbor Resort, Vermont
Trade in your heels and slacks for boat shoes and sundresses: Lake Champlain is calling.
We've recently had the opportunity to visit the charming Basin Harbor Resort, located alongside the beautiful Lake Champlain in Vergennes, Vermont. Basin Harbor Club is a 700-acre resort that overlooks the Adirondack Mountains and covers over 600 miles of shoreline alongside Lake Champlain, one of the six largest lakes in the United States. The breathtaking views and lake lifestyle have been drawing visitors for decades.
Basin Harbor Club felt inviting from the moment we arrived. The resort staff were extremely friendly and welcoming, excited for us as first-time guests to experience all that the resort has to offer. We were looking forward to a weekend away from home where we could relax, unwind and have some fun. This was the perfect place to do just that.
Basin Harbor Club first opened in 1886 and has been a popular family vacation destination every year since. The resort has a lot of charm, from the simplistic coastal décor seen throughout the private cottages, to the eye-catching pictures, painting and maps of Lake Champlain along the walls around the resort. Everything about this resort feels like a home away from home. When visiting you are sure to admire the charming rustic furniture or a simple swing on the back deck, while taking in the peaceful harbor view. Whether you are visiting for a romantic weekend, celebrating an anniversary, or celebrating a birthday with family, this resort has something for everyone. Even better, it is a family (and pet) friendly resort.
The activities and amenities are endless. From an 18-hole golf course overlooking beautiful Lake Champlain (bonus points for the husbands who like to golf), to swimming, canoeing, kayaking, rowboats, and yard games such as chess, Connect 4, badminton, tennis and bocce ball. If you are the lounging type, you can relax on a beach chair along the water's edge taking in the sunshine, or watch the sunrise with a cup of morning joe from one of the resort's famous colorful Adirondack chairs overlooking the harbor.
The resort also offers a great boat tour of Lake Champlain called the Narrated Escape Cruise which takes off twice daily down by the water. We took this 1.5 hour tour and had a wonderful time. It's a great activity for the whole family - relaxing for the parents, and entertaining for the little ones who love watching the water splash amongst the waves. Your Captain takes your group to see the New York and Vermont sides of the lake, visit the bald eagle nest, spot Osprey on Otter Creek, and tells stories about the war battles that once took place here.
Basin Harbor Club's busiest season is the summer, and with a perfect weather forecast of clear skies and sunny days most weeks, it's no wonder. For Basin Harbor Club's younger guests, Kid's Camp is a great option, Not only is it free, but frees up your day so you can get that massage you've been dreaming of.
There are several playgrounds as well as toys for the kids to play with. They even offer various activities that allow kids to interact with others their age and be creative, including crafts and projects about Vermont and the surrounding nature. Kids Camp is divided into three groups: ages 3-5 (Champs Camp), ages 6-8 (the Harbormates), and ages 9-12 (the Explorers). Kid's Camp includes morning camp, afternoon activities, and evening dinner events. The daily children’s program is available from late June through Labor Day, and as an extra bonus, they offer private babysitting services on site at all times.
The resort offers a few options for accommodation, but the gorgeous quaint cottages definitely take the cake when it comes to charm. Each of the 74 summer cottages on the resort have their own personal sense of style and history to them. When the cottages were built in the 1920's and 1930's, each cottage was personally designed according to the specifications provided by the original families who were invited to Basin Harbor Club by the Beach family, and came back each summer thereafter. We stayed in a two bedroom cottage called the Cliffside, which was perfect for our family's needs and was close by to everything that the resort had to offer. Many of the cottages have a fireplace and they provide you with wood and matches, if you want to cozy up by the fire before bed.
When we weren't exploring around the resort, we were satisfying our hunger by eating at one of the many restaurants on premises. There are several options to choose from, including the Red Mill Restaurant, The Ranger Room, The North Dock, and Ardelia's in the main lodge, where you can devour the breakfast buffet or enjoy a 5-course dinner while dining with a view. Our personal favorite dining spot was the Red Mill for its casual, family-friendly environment and appetizing menu items to meet everyone's dietary preferences. The Ranger Room keeps you close to the main lobby and overlooks the swimming pool. No need to dress up, just come as you are - comfortable and relaxed. Ardelia's Restaurant and North Dock are more formal spots to dine, perfect for a date night or a celebrating a special occasion.
With entertainment for all ages, Basin Harbor Resort is the perfect getaway for a family, a special event, or a romantic weekend for two. This is a place to make memories for years to come.
Don't miss out on these when staying at Basin Harbor Club:
- Grab a cocktail at the Burgee Bar and watch the sun set over the lake.
- Book at T-time at the Golf Club and admire the amazing view of Vermont as you conquer this breathtaking course.
- Try the Poached Halibut with white wine & mushrooms at Ardelia's - it is delicious!
- Take your kids on a history tour of The Lake Champlain Maritime Museum.
- Book an afternoon round of tennis on the North Harbor with a friend.
- Enjoy a classic Old Fashioned Lobster Dinner on Thursdays during the summer season
- Grab dessert to go from the Red Mill (our favorite is the Old fashioned Bread Pudding!) and enjoy it by the water picnic style.
- Get competitive with a round of jumbo chess on the lawn outside of the main lodge
- Take your kids out to the lake for some fun paddle boating and some jumping on the famous outdoor water trampolines.