“The New England village of Woodstock feels cozy and communal to me, as if I’m able to step back and live in a simpler, quieter time. I visit as often as I can and stroll the town’s streets, take a hike, or just sit in a café and let the days pass by gracefully.
“Though my family has lived in Connecticut for many years, my daughter Isabel chose Woodstock as the place where she wanted to be married. The area is very resonant for us; her surrogate grandmother, Vida Ginsberg Deming, who was my professor at Juilliard many years ago, lives nearby. It’s a happy, awake, aware green community. There are three bookstores in the one-square-mile village—an indication of how special the place is. I find something embryonic about the town. It’s the definition of quaint.
“Whenever I visit, I stay at the Woodstock Inn & Resort and spend time reading books that are meaningful to me—memoirs and poetry—on a wooden bench surrounded by maple trees, near the Ottauquechee River. That bench seems to beckon me. I go to get rid of the clutter, to seek the elemental. Somehow I’m able to do this more easily in Woodstock. It’s a place that my family and I return to again and again.”
This fall, Christine Baranski is back in her Emmy-nominated role as Diane Lockhart in The Good Wife on CBS.
Top Country Retreat
“I love the farm-to-table restaurant at the Woodstock Inn & Resort (14 The Green; 800/448-7900; woodstockinn.com; doubles from $265; dinner for two $90). There’s a superb sommelier who introduced me to the local wines and spiked cider cocktails.”
Tastes of Vermont
“Allechante (61 Central St.; 802/457-3300; breakfast for two $14) makes excellent coffee and fresh-baked goods. Or try the house-made ice cream at Mountain Creamery (33 Central St.; 802/457-1715; one scoop $4.20).”
A Literary Tour
“Yankee Bookshop (12 Central St.; 802/457-2411) is particularly well stocked. Whenever I travel I’m never without a good book. Recent favorites are Julian Barnes’s Nothing to Be Frightened Of and Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth.”
Woodstock Inn & Resort
The 142-room hotel on the town's historic green features working fireplaces and private ski trails.
Excellent coffee and fresh-baked goods.
Opened by Boris and Sheila Pilsmaker in 1987, this popular Vermont café has become a staple on Woodstock's Main Street. Everything is made from scratch here, with the famous Mile High Apple Pie at the top of visitors' lists. The breakfast menu includes organic eggs and local, farm-raised bacon and sausage, while homemade ice cream and waffle cones are available throughout the day. Fall is typically the busiest season, when tourists flock to Mountain Creamery to enjoy $10 lunches in the small dining room. Only cash and local checks are accepted.
Susan Morgan's Woodstock bookstore speaks volumes about her passion for literature. Yankee Bookshop is the oldest independent bookseller in Vermont, having been in business since 1935. This inviting shop on Canal Street has a bright yellow facade and striped awning. Inside, the diverse inventory covers topics from local lore and cooking to history, fiction, and religion. Morgan and her staff take requests for hard-to-find books and out-of-stock titles. An engaging children's section has puzzles and board books; greeting cards and CDs can also be found here.