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Vermont Maturity Cover Story – Basin Harbor Resort

One of Vermont’s hidden treasures is a beautiful 700-acre resort and boat club on the shores of Lake Champlain. Tucked away in a little bay just outside the city of Vergennes, Basin Harbor Resort has over 135 years of experience in the hospitality industry. The family-owned business is now overseen by the fourth and fifth generation of innkeepers.

Basin Harbor is a three-season resort which describes itself as “a tranquil haven for mature travelers who appreciate the finer aspects of outdoor leisure, exemplary service, and gourmet dining that highlights seasonal flavors.” The facility is used for a variety of events including family gatherings, destination weddings, golf retreats, and corporate functions.

A myriad of recreation options is available at Basin Harbor including tennis and pickleball courts, hiking trails, an 18-hole golf course with practice facilities, human and engine-powered boat rentals, and over 40 boat slips for overnight docking. For those more interested in a relaxing vacation, the leisurely pace of the resort allows for some extended downtime. Additionally, since Basin Harbor is a multi-generational facility which includes baby-sitting services and a Kids Camp for younger guests, there is a chance to just sit by the lake and recharge while the younger generation is entertained.

Pickleball courts are one of the many amenities at Basin Harbor Resort.

There are themed buffet dinners at the North Dock three days a week. The location offers guests a perfect vantage point for watching the sun set over the Adirondacks. The Burgee Bar offers cool beverages, and the Basin Harbor Flagship Food Truck provides lighter options for lunch and dinner. Indoors, guests can sample the fare of the Red Mill or enjoy fine dining at Ardelia’s.

Basin Harbor’s facilities include an art studio and an oversized outdoor chess set. Host Bob Beach Jr. provides weekly history talks which include discussions about early Native American life in Vermont and stories of battles which took place on Lake Champlain. The resort also offers its own Shipwreck Tours with experts from the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum who use a remotely operated camera to provide images of one of the wooden boats resting on the bottom of the lake. The concierge at Basin Harbor can also provide information about other cruises on Lake Champlain, and for visitors with an interest in adult beverages there are local brewery tours.

Those looking to explore Lake Champlain have a variety of options for boat rentals including paddleboats, kayaks, two-person sailboats and six-person daysailers. Guests with experience can head out on their own while others can hire an instructor to help them learn the ropes. The lake is a wonderful place to explore and swim, but the resort also has a solar-heated outdoor pool. Guides at Basin Harbor can lead guests on a variety of group activities including bike rides and hikes.

Tennis players can choose between the two Har-Tru and three all-weather Plexipave courts. There are clinics for those interested in improving their game, as well as the opportunity for private lessons. Pickleball is a new option at the resort with racket rentals and lessons for folks wanting to try the game. Bike rentals are also available, and cyclists can choose between road or mountain bikes. Destinations for road cyclists include the stunning (and cyclist-friendly) Champlain Bridge which leads to the Crown Point Historic Site in New York State or a shorter pedal to the delicious Vergennes Laundry bakery. Local trails are ideal for easy mountain biking.

Overnight facilities at Basin Harbor include 74 cottages and guest rooms in the resort’s four lodges. The cottages each have a distinct character. Some are tucked into the woodland area while others are closer to the lake. “Basin Harbor offers a refreshing departure from the typical hotel experience,” Director of Marketing and Guest Experiences Sadie Jones said. “The facilities present a tranquil and enchanting alternative for discerning travelers.” Many of the cottages have a rich history, having originally been created to suit the personal preferences of individual guests. The result is a diverse array of architectural styles and layouts. “Like members of a close-knit community,” Jones said, “each cottage possesses its own charming quirks and characteristics, imbuing the resort with a rich tapestry of personality.”

Bob Beach Jr., part of the fourth generation to run Basin Harbor, touts the resort’s location. “There are so many beautiful places in the world, and this is one of them,” he said. “We have a stellar view. Just sit down by the point or go out on the lake. There are some things that make it really untouchable.”

Guests rave about the facilities and how they cater to all ages. “My father loved bringing us away together,” said one second-generation guest who has been visiting since 1987.  “For his 85th birthday three years ago, I had all the grandchildren write him letters, which I assembled in a book for him. Every one of them mentioned their time at Basin Harbor.” A third-generation guest who has been coming since 1955 agrees. “So much of the experience is the history,” the guest said. “For me, it’s so cool that I’m sitting in the same dining room that my great-grandparents were in.”

Beach notes that Vermont is one of the safest places to visit. “We’re out at the end of a road,” he said. “Guests can come and let their kids go free. We take it for granted that this is a place where we can leave our keys in our cars.”

The majority of the resort’s multi-generational family reunions guests live regionally within driving range but there are also a number of Vermonters enjoying staycations. Many local and regional companies hold retreats on the premises and the resort hosts weddings which are almost always couples from outside the state. The spacious accommodations allow for large families and groups to have access to both private and communal areas.

“Basin Harbor offers a serene retreat for those seeking quality time with loved ones and the opportunity to reconnect with friends in a setting that holds deep significance,” Jones said. “People can enjoy a tranquil Vermont vacation, where the relaxed atmosphere allows guests to fully unwind and appreciate the beauty around them. Visiting Basin Harbor feels less like checking into a traditional hotel and more akin to discovering a quaint lakeside village in the heart of Vermont, where every corner is infused with a sense of authentic charm and hospitality.” 

Basin Harbor is located at 4800 Basin Harbor Road Vergennes, VT 05491. For more information visit, call 800-622-4000 or email

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