Rising above the village of Ludlow, in south-central Vermont, Okemo is a destination that built its reputation for quality and superior guest service as a winter retreat for skiers and snowboarders. Legend has it that “Okemo,” an American Indian word, means “all come home.” And that’s just what people are doing – finding their home in Vermont’s spectacular Green Mountains and creating new traditions with family and friends all year long.
Okemo shines in the summer. Verdant hillsides, wildflowers, lakes, rivers and outdoor fun and adventure await the warm-weather visitor.
Two 18-hole championship golf courses highlight the summer and fall offerings. Designed to honor the traditions of the game and the terrain of the Green Mountain locale, Okemo Valley Golf Club’s par-70, 18-hole championship layout features wide, emerald fairways framed with rolling fields of golden fescue. Moderate elevation changes, undulating greens and strategically placed hazards are the hallmarks of this scenic course. Four sets of tee boxes ensure an enjoyable round for all players while providing a challenge for the accomplished golfer. Although truly punishing features are few at OVGC, risk-reward is one element of play that develops with course knowledge. Located 22 miles to the southwest, Tater Hill Golf Club is a par-71, 18-hole championship course nestled in a pastoral setting of rolling hills with spectacular views, cottage-style perennial gardens and the casual ambience of an old Vermont hill farm.
Families love Okemo’s Adventure Zone. Whether visitors spend an hour or an entire day, The Adventure Zone is sure to garner giggles, shouts and squeals of pure delight. Similar to a roller coaster, the Timber Ripper Mountain Coaster’s sled-like cars carry one or two riders along rails at speeds nearing 30 mph. Equipped with brakes so riders determine their own speed, cars glide smoothly around banking turns, between trees, and along 3100 feet of track that twists through corkscrew turns, along banking loops and over rippling waves. Sawyer’s Sweep Zipline Tour is a guided high-flying excursion with suspension bridges, rappels and seven zipline segments that rise 40 to 50 feet above the ground. High among the trees, Haulback Challenge Course adventurers follow a self-guided layout of suspended obstacles and ziplines while wearing a safety harness that is connected to an overhead cable using a continuous belay system. Participants travel at their own speed and course attendants offer assistance if needed. In addition to these highlights, Okemo’s Adventure Zone offers miniature golf, disc golf, trampoline bungee jumping, a climbing wall, the Amp Energy Big Air Bag, Segway Personal Transport tours, and more.
Okemo also offers lift-served mountain biking with miles of trails from the summit to the base of the mountain. For people who like their adventure on the wet and wild side, there are numerous local swimming holes and lakes for paddling or swimming.
Winter’s ski and snowboard trails transform into flowering alpine meadows in summer and fall and Okemo’s comfortable mountainside condominiums feature convenience and value in a picturesque location. Okemo’s Jackson Gore Inn features classic New England style. At-your-doorstep amenities include fine dining, concierge, a fitness center, spa services, swimming pools and hot tubs, tennis, basketball and Okemo’s Adventure Zone. Outdoor enthusiasts love Jackson Gore’s foot-of-the-mountain location for hiking, exploring and having fun. Okemo Valley Golf Club is just minutes away and the village of Ludlow, at Okemo’s doorstep, offers great dining and shopping. Accommodations range in size from classic hotel-style guestrooms to three-bedroom suites for up to 12 guests. Suites are fully outfitted with kitchen facilities, gas fireplaces, entertainment systems, whirlpool baths, and more. Accommodations are available nightly and weekly.
Okemo’s summer restaurant options include a choice of dining inside or al fresco. Coleman Brook Tavern, located in the Jackson Gore Inn, and Willie Dunn’s Grille, at Okemo Valley Golf Club offer air-conditioned comfort or sunny summer breezes with patio umbrellas. Each venue creates its own unique versions of summer salads, sandwiches and entrees that utilize the freshest ingredients available.
The weeks between The Fourth of July and Columbus Day are chock-full of events and activities at Okemo. Weekend visitors make a point of arriving early enough on Fridays to enjoy the Jackson Gore Summer Music Series, a fun summer evening with different regional musical guests that perform a free concert every Friday evening in the Jackson Gore Inn courtyard. Lawn chairs and picnic blankets speckle the lawn as families enjoy live music, an outdoor barbecue and Adventure Zone fun. Other summertime events that take place in the courtyard include:
The annual Hops in the Hills Beer and Wine Festival and Fall into Winter Celebration with live music, craft vendors, hayrides, pumpkin carving, a pie-eating contest, a beer garden and great food selections.
At the base of Okemo Mountain lies the Black River Valley and the genuine Vermont village of Ludlow. The settlement that began along the banks of the river in 1783 has an economic history similar to that of many small New England towns. Farmers came first with most being self-sufficient. As the country began to industrialize in the early nineteenth century so did Ludlow. By harnessing the water power of the Black River, woolen mills were created and by the mid-1800s rail service greatly aided travel and industry. The prosperity of those times is evident in the local architecture and community pride that remains strong. Today’s visitor can enjoy the fine shops, art galleries and eateries located in the village and beyond. Local historic points of interest include: the Black River Academy Museum, in Ludlow; The President Calvin Coolidge Homestead, in Plymouth; Woodstock’s Billings Farm and more. Visitors love touring Vermont’s numerous covered bridges, farmers’ markets, country stores, cheesemakers and brewers. Plotting a course of back roads can turn any drive into an adventure filled with unexpected vistas and bucolic landscapes.
Situated along the spine of Vermont’s green Mountains, Okemo is the ideal hub from which to launch New England exploration and adventure at any time of the year. Call (802) 228-1600 or visit okemo.com.