Visiting Vermont has been on my to do list for many years, and it did NOT disappoint! It looked just the way I imagined it would in Autumn. There were quaint small towns, rolling hills with picturesque farms, and beautiful orange, yellow, and red treetops in every direction. In planning this east coast trip with my family, I wanted to experience the essence of the state. It ended up being the favorite state of my youngest son, out of the 13 states we visited over a 3 week trip!
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Although I could’ve opted for less driving to check Vermont off my bucket list, I couldn’t pass up an opportunity to visit the Burlington and Stowe area. With a little research, I learned that the family from one of my favorite childhood movies had a connection to Vermont that had completely missed my radar! (How can that be? I spent half my life researching places around the US! ) The hills really ARE alive in Vermont – where the real von Trapps migrated after leaving Europe!
I was so intrigued to discover this Lodge. I’d watched The Sound of Music dozens of times, and likely I’m in good company. I’ve sung and twirled atop many mountaintops during my travels (much to my kids dismay)! My Favorite Things and Do-Re-Mi, were bedtime lullabies I would sing to kids when we were living in an RV. These songs hold a special place in the hearts of my teens to this day. (They may not admit to that in public).
I discovered that the Trapp Family Lodge was still being overseen by the youngest son of Captain and Maria Von Trapp, Johannes and his children! That was ALL I needed to know. I perused the many tour options, and landed on the one that sounded best to me – the von Trapp History Tour.
Although we did not stay at the Lodge, we drove up from Burlington to Stowe for an 11 am tour. In hindsight, I would’ve bit the bullet and booked a night there. The grounds were gorgeous. The Trapp family ultimately settled in Vermont because the area reminded them of their original Austrian home.
Family History Tour
The family history tour was full of information and the hour and a half flew. The variety of talks, movie clips about the “real” Maria, walk around the Lodge grounds, and cemetery visit made for a fun and engaging tour. We had the opportunity to learn about all the differences between the movie version of the von Trapp story and the real story. The tour ended with a visit from the granddaughter of Maria von Trapp – Kristina. The gift shop had several books about the family. I purchased Memories Before and After the Sound of Music: An Autobiography, written by Agathe von Trapp (who we know from the movie as Lesle). I was able to have it autographed by Kristina herself!
All in all, this was a great tour, and worth the visit! The Sound of Music fans should be delighted with this experience, and intrigued by the real story behind the movie. It wasn’t too difficult to fall in love with the spunky personality of Maria von Trapp herself through the stories and videos shown. I’d LOVE to hear from you if you decide to visit during your Vermont travels!