New England’s Best Small Towns: Lyndonville, VT

By Steve Almond | Boston Magazine |


By Steve Almond

What New England town can be called "perfect" when you have a four-months-pregnant wife and a spirited 20-month-old in tow? Lyndonville can.

Cradled in the heart of Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom, it has foliage, hiking, and a sugarhouse that seemingly leapt, fully formed, from a Robert Frost poem. Most important, it has what I am ready to pronounce the greatest family resort on earth: the Wildflower Inn, where innkeepers Jim and Mary O’Reilly just get that it’s impossible to relax when you have to chase a kid around all day. What makes their inn so great? Let me count the ways.

1. On-site daycare by cheerful local college students.

2. A barn with actual farm animals that your daughter can pet—and then talk about for the next eight months.

3. A pool and a playroom full of toys to exhaust said child.

4. Food so sumptuous your wife will forget she was ever nauseated.

5. Nearby activities such as horseback riding and hayrides.

Of course, no New England town can be complete without a few eccentrics. We encountered ours on a hike, where a woman was dragging a large cross on wheels behind her. We assumed she was in community theater, but, as she eagerly explained, her purpose was indeed religious. And we took this for what it was: a sign that Lyndonville is God’s own country.

Arlington resident Steve Almond is the author of Candyfreak and (Not That You Asked).


New England’s Best Small Towns 

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