Waitsfield, Vermont is my go-to destination in Vermont for a night away. It’s a hop, skip and an Appalachian Gap from Middlebury and is home to some of my favorite restaurants and watering holes in the state (have you tried Mad Taco or Peasant yet?). The Mad River Valley is quaint and welcoming, with lots to do and experience. There’s a covered bridge, two ski resorts within a few miles of each other and plenty of hiking trails and artisan galleries to explore. There are also many bed-and-breakfasts and inns that embody the spirit and homeyness of Vermont. It’s on my bucket list to stay at each and everyone of them…
Whenever I travel outside of Vermont, I scour Trip Advisor and most often book the top-rated bed-and-breakfast in the town. In Waitsfield, the Yellow Farmhouse Inn, which is located on the loop road just a mile outside of downtown Waitsfield, has held the esteemed first position on TripAdvisor in Waitsfield for as long as I can remember. The innkeepers, Mike and Sandra, have been running the Vermont inn for over 10 years. Both have a background in hospitality in Boston and traded the rat-race of city life for literally a yellow farmhouse, paired with a Vermonty red barn, and 10 acres of rolling meadows and fields surrounding the house. They run the inn entirely themselves; they have no help with housekeeping, maintenance or cooking. If you see just how clean the inn is—likely the most immaculate place I’ve ever stayed in Vermont—you, like me, will be amazed that they do it all themselves. It’s impressive to say the least.
Staying at The Yellow Farmhouse Inn, Waitsfield
Perhaps one of the best features of the house are the mountain views it boasts of the Northfield Range and the Sugarbush Mountains, to be enjoyed from one of their three porches. The inn is also one of the quietest in Waitsfield, as it’s setback from any of the main roads; literally I didn’t hear a peep at night from the outside. Mike and Sandra live on the property in a carriage house that’s separate from the inn. Their mixed-breed pup Dolly is the official greeter at the Waitsfield inn.
Offering eight rooms with king- and queen-sized beds, the Yellow Farmhouse Inn offers some of the most spacious accommodations in the Mad River Valley. It’s also reserved for adults only, which depending on what you’re looking for, is a plus for couples or solo travelers who want to relax and unwind in peace and quiet.
I slept in the Catherine Room, a large bedroom at the top of the stairs, with five windows looking out over a red barn and the Northfield Mountain Range. Although the bedroom was on the road, it was quiet as can be and had a Vermont castings electric wood stove, like most of the rooms, to take off the chill. After a huge meal at Peasant, I ventured the mile back to the Yellow Farmhouse Inn and fell easily to sleep in the clean and cozy king-sized room.
Breakfast at the Yellow Farmhouse
I had planned on sleeping in with little to do in the morning, yet I was awoken by the smell of strong coffee and bacon. (It turned out there wasn’t any bacon at breakfast, so who knows what it was, but it was the best alarm clock I’ve ever experienced.) I made my way down to breakfast where Sandra was cooking for many skiers staying at the inn, while Mike served their guests, asked how they slept and what they had planned for the day.
At breakfast, it was apparent that the Yellow Farmhouse attracts a diverse crowd. There was a young couple from New York City that came to the Mad River for a last-minute ski trip. Another couple in their mid ’50s or so has been coming back to the Yellow Farmhouse for years and years for Vermont getaways. In fact, Mike and Sandra see a high-return rate at the inn with roughly a third of their guests being repeat visitors.
For the two-course breakfast, I enjoyed a just-sweet-enough apple tart as I guzzled coffee. Still full from Peasant the night before, I couldn’t finish Sandra’s breakfast consisting of scrambled eggs with mushrooms and fresh herbs, an out-of-this-world sweet potato gratin and rustic multi-grain toast.
The inn with its super clean accommodations, helpful innkeepers who know the balance of personalized service and privacy, and quality food make the Yellow Farmhouse one of the best bed-and-breakfasts in Waitsfield and the Mad River Valley.
Tips for Visiting The Yellow Farmhouse Inn Like a Local:
- Use Mike as a local resource. He is well connected in the Waitsfield area and will give you plenty of insider tips for making the most of your Waitsfield vacation. He gave me recommendations for what dishes to enjoy at Peasant, and they were spot on. (You must get the Pasta Bolognese… the very best I’ve ever had.)
- There are two roads that lead to the Yellow Farmhouse Inn. If you’re coming from downtown Waitsfield, you’ll make a left onto Old Country Road (also called Loop Road) just after the Valley Players, about a mile outside of town. If you happen to miss it in the dark (like I did), you can pick Old Country Road up again a bit down the road.
- When you check in, make sure you taste Sandra’s sweet treats in the dining room area. During my visit, she had made lemon-poppyseed mini cookie sandwiches, which I ate more than my share of.
- Bring slippers! Mike and Sandra insist that you go shoeless in the house to cut down on snow/mud/sand brought inside.
- If steep stairs aren’t an option for you, opt for the Abigail Room, which is located on the first floor off of the common spaces. If you’re a light sleeper, I would vote against this room and choose one of the inn’s rooms located near the back of the inn and away from the main staircase, such as Olivia, Stephanie or Caroline.
- Traveling with a friend? The Caroline room has a king-sized bed that can be split into twins.
- The Yellow Farmhouse Inn doesn’t have a liquor license, so you’re welcome to bring in beer, wine and spirits. There’s a closet in the main entry full of glasses and openers, for you to enjoy a beverage in the common area or your room.
- Looking to soak in a jacuzzi after a day on the mountain? The Caroline room, the Olivia room, the Jacqueline room and the Nicole room are all good options.
- For guests opting for a longer stay at the Yellow Farmhouse Inn, they have the Morgan Ashlee suite, which has its own seating area, refrigerator, kitchenette and dining area.
- Interested in getting the best deal with visiting the Yellow Farmhouse Inn? Be sure to check their specials and promotions, which range from foliage rates to packages with discounts for attractions in the Mad River Valley to reduced rates for longer stays.
The Yellow Farmhouse Inn
550 Old County Road, Waitsfield, VT 05673
*Disclaimer: I received a complimentary night’s stay at the Yellow Farmhouse Inn in order to write about my experience.