Some days, it seems harder to find an inn or bed-and-breakfast in Shelburne  that is not historic. Fortunately, that proliferation tends to keep prices moderate and standards high.
It may have just three rooms, but Crystal Palace Victorian Bed & Breakfast (48 North St., Bristol, 802/453-7609, www.crystalpalacebb.com , $90–135) welcomes guests with the fanfare of a major resort. Rooms are replete with stained-glass windows, poster beds, fireplaces, and whirlpool or claw-foot tubs. Meanwhile, the Victorian home’s common spaces are refinished with white and red cherry, butternut, ash, and quarter oak. At breakfast, don’t pass up the graham-cracker French toast.
Simple and romantic, the Inn at Baldwin Creek (1868 North Rte. 116, 888/424-2432, www.innatbaldwincreek.com , $95–215) appoints its spacious rooms with four-poster queen beds, gas-fired wood stoves, and TV/VCRs. Most overlook the property’s gardens, and all come with free wireless Internet access, CD players, fluffy bathrobes—not to mention a three-course breakfast and afternoon snacks (think chocolate chip cookies, blackberry scones, or apple and cheddar cheese fondue.) One suite has trundle beds, ideal for families, and there’s an outdoor heated swimming pool. The on-site restaurant, Mary’s, is renowned for its dinners of local farm specialties.
An old-fashioned family resort set on a 700-acre wooded cove of Lake Champlain, Basin Harbor Club (4800 Basin Harbor Rd., Vergennes, 802/475-2311, www.basinharbor.com , May–Oct., $150–550) has been owned and hosted by the same family for four generations. From May through October, it swarms with families (who can stay in either individual rooms or cabins) who thrill to the property’s long roster of activities—from water skiing and tennis to hiking, Pilates, bonfires, and fishing. Children’s programs are available with a similar richness of offerings, including capture-the-flag games, digital scrapbooking, a ropes course and more (the teen program even has its own Facebook page). There are also a number of restaurants—the tavern-style Red Mill, the more formal Main Dining Room (with a classic menu and deep wine list), and al fresco buffets on the North Dock. Pets are welcome for a $10 surcharge.
Shelburne Farms Inn (1611 Harbor Rd., Shelburne, 802/985-8498, www.shelburnefarms.org , $150–450) sits on a 1,400-acre working farm dedicated to conservation. (Regular classes and tours are offered, and you can buy any of the products made here—all humanely—at the retail store.) The inn, meanwhile, offers 24 tidy and sunny rooms (some with shared bath, some with private) and cottages decked out with country decor—soft handmade quilts, antique beds (many original to the home), and lake or garden views.