Updated July 21, 2020.
My husband recently made a life-long dream of mine come true. We stayed at the Trapp Family Lodge during peak foliage season! You know how sometimes your dreams seem out of reach, or that you simply don’t deserve them, even if that’s not true? I guess I always figured they were booked up years in advance, and there was no hope of getting a room during the fall. But we got in! We got to stay at the lodge on the property where the Von Trapp Family from The Sound of Music settled after escaping the Nazis. It was wonderful!
While The Sound of Music is certainly a lasting legacy for the von Trapp family, it’s important to note that it’s a movie, not a documentary! There are many more interesting details that could not fit into the four-hour musical, and the timeline is hopelessly skewed! Here are a few things to know before you go so you can more fully enjoy the experience:
- Captain von Trapp did have a wife and seven children before Maria came into the picture, but she didn’t come to be a governess for all, only a tutor for Maria von Trapp, the third eldest von Trapp child.
- Wait! Maria? There wasn’t a child named Maria in the family! Oh yes there was. The children’s names were changed for the film. I don’t know why! The original seven children’s names, in birth order, were: Rupert, Agathe, Maria, Werner, Hedwig, Johanna, and Martina.
- Captain von Trapp and his famous second wife Maria were married in 1927, not moments before the Nazi invasion of Austria in 1938!
- Maria bore three more von Trapp children: Rosmarie, Eleonore, and Johannes. Johannes was the only von Trapp child born in the United States!
- They actually took a train to Italy; they did not hike over the Alps into Switzerland!
- Why Italy? Because of a border issue, they already had Italian citizenship.
- Because of Mussolini, however, they had to skidaddle out of Italy post-haste. They made their way to America and toured the country as the Trapp Family Singers!
- Where does Vermont play into the story? The climate and terrain reminded the family of Austria. So they settled on the property that is now the Trapp Family Lodge. And decendants still run the property, including they youngest son, Johannes!
One thing that is true? The children were the ones to bring together Maria and Georg! You’ll have to visit and take the history tour to hear all about their engagement!
Keep reading: What to Know Before You Visit Vermont
The Lodge has recently undergone some significant renovations! The rooms are beautiful and welcoming (is there anything more welcoming than a heater in the bathroom?), the decor is what I would call classic lodge (taxidermy, antlers, wood accents), there are photos of the family on the walls, and they have designed the whole lodge to take advantage of the stunning views from every window!
Our room was spacious, the bathroom was beautiful, and we had a view of the sunrise from our comfy bed each morning! The renovation was completed in April of this year, so everything is still pristine. I loved the decorative tile in the shower, and the slate on the entry floor and in the bathroom. It was so nice to come into a warm and beautiful place after a chilly fall day exploring the grounds!
What’s the big deal about the view? When the family found the property, Georg said it was a bad idea because the homestead would surely fall down in the next snow storm. But Maria told him that a building can be rebuilt, but you can’t build a view! Turns out they were both right: part of the original house did fall in with the first snow storm, and you can’t just build a view like this one anywhere!
Keep reading: Romantic Things to Do in Stowe
Since this is the Year of Active Travel for the blog, I was thrilled to find out just how many fun ways there are to be active at the Lodge! A large part of that is their fantastic fitness center. You can go rock climbing, swim in a heated lap pool, relax in the sauna, take in stunning mountain views from the hot tub, enjoy yoga every morning, get a massage, buff up with some weight training, or get your cardio in with the most epic treadmill views imaginable:
You’ll have multiple dining options at the Lodge, from Austrian fare to an All-American burger to the best pastries you’ve ever had! Head to the Bierhall for Austrian-American fare like a burger or bratwurst and sauerkraut sandwich; try the Kaffeehaus for breakfast sadwiches, fresh-baked pretzels, and pastries made fresh daily; bring something nice to wear for an authentic Austrian dinner in the Main Dining Room; and enjoy a more casual meal in the Lounge. Special bonus: you can order from the Main Dining Room menu in the lounge if you’re like us and didn’t pack anything you think is nice enough!
Guests can also enjoy coffee each morning in the Lounge and cookies and tea in the afternoons!
Keep eating: What to Eat in Stowe
Everything about the Trapp Family Lodge is incredible, but the one thing that makes it truly unique is the property itself. With miles of trails to explore on foot, by snowshoe, on skis, on a mountain bike, or in the back of a horse-drawn carriage! Check out some of the incredible views and things we got into around the property!
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Fall in New England for Men
Fall in New England for Women
Events and Things to Do
I have never been anywhere with so many activities! There is something for everyone, no matter your interests or physical abilities. Their activities change day by day and include guided walks, meeting the livestock, history tours, nightly movies, and more! A list of the day’s activities will be slipped under your door each night, and the schedule will also be posted throughout the Lodge each day. Can’t wait to start planning? You can see their activities calendar on their website!
Need more? Check out my United States Page for more about Stowe, Vermont, and New England!
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