Travel on a Budget: Smugglers’ Notch Resort

Remember the family resort in the original Dirty Dancing? Remember the beautiful, scenery, family activities and secret dirty dancing rendezvous nights? Having watched it on repeat in my pre-teen years, to this day, I love that cheesy movie.  Well, you won’t find any secret dirty dancing romps here (that I know of), but Smuggler’s Notch Resort is the closest my family will get to that family resort experience chock full of breathtaking scenery and activities for the whole fam similar to the resort in Dirty Dancing.

Our trip to Smugglers’ Notch Resort in Jeffersonville, Vermont was quite the adventure. For our first family trip to the northeast, I can honestly say we had a fantastic adventure. Smuggler’s Notch Resort packs a ton of punch and definitely did not disappoint.

Smuggs is nestled in the mountains. Waking up every morning to beautiful mountain scenery and crisp mountain air with a cup of coffee in hand is a feeling I will never forget. “Smuggs” is a huge (and I mean huge) ski resort during the snowy months, and an active family resort during the warmer months. There are tons of quaint little activities hidden throughout the resort such as a sandbox, miniature golf, life size foosball, several pools, parks, life size chess, tennis courts, volleyball courts, a teen center, gemstone mining and tons of scenery to enjoy all within this one resort. You can even take a Llama Trek through the mountains or a dip in a beautiful lake. There is so much to do, you will never do it all in one week.

Our family stayed in the Villmark Sauna condos at Smuggs and all our needs were met. With a large, fully stocked kitchen, laundry closet, living room/dining room combo, two large bedrooms, flat screen TVs and two bathrooms we were pretty much set. With two balconies, we had two different views of scenery to enjoy. Check out the tour of our condo here:

Your stay at Smuggs includes unlimited access to the Courtside Pool and two hot tubs.

A SmuggsPass can be purchased for the week for $360 for the entire family. This pass gives your family access to two waterparks and unlimited access to the Fun Zone which is an indoor play park with several bounce houses, indoor putt-putt, a play area for young children including a small market and several other fun little attractions.

If you aren’t on a tight budget, children can attend day camp. With a variety of camp experiences to choose from, children can have a blast and parents can have a little alone time.  My children had a lot of fun, and were pretty worn out by the end of the day.

Though I highly suggest driving the 20 minutes to grocery shop at Hannaford’s Supermarket and Dollar Tree, Smuggs also has several restaurants on site. If you need to feed a large family on a budget, I recommend picking up a pizza or hitting the ReFuel snack shop at the Fun Zone. No matter how you decide to “do” food for your vacation, you MUST get a maple ice cream cone from ReFuel.

If you are looking for a nice evening out, I recommend Hearth & Candle Restaurant. We had a wonderful time trying new dishes and it was our one splurge for the week.

Smuggs offers free shuttle service throughout your stay. A quick call will send either a shuttle bus or a golf cart your way to zip you off to your next destination. Courteous, kind and punctual…we made several buddies in the shuttle service that week.


-I highly recommend you check Ebay first to snatch up a discounted vacation at Smuggs HERE.

-If you can’t find a discounted vacation on Ebay, Smuggs has vacation packages that offer family vacations for a fair price HERE.

-Take time to explore! There is much to see inside and outside of the resort.

-You will not find a Walmart, Target or fast food anywhere in the vicinity of Smuggs. Embrace the slower pace.

-Be sure to stop for gas when you hit ½ tank. You may drive for hours without seeing a gas station.

-Be sure to experience the Country Fair which sets up shop once a week.  The wine tasting alone is worth the visit.  The maple cotton candy is pretty fabulous as well.

-You MUST attend the sing-alongs with Good Time Charlie.  Have a seat on the ground around the fire and sing to great family friendly songs with Good Time Charlie.  Don’t forget marshmallow and roasting sticks for the fire.

-The beautiful beaches of Maine are 3 hours away. Take advantage of the opportunity and go!  They are beautiful!  Wells Beach has a public restroom, concessions, free parking and no entrance fees.

-If you are traveling to Smuggs from the Midwest, be sure to take the ferry across Lake Champlain and try to spot the infamous Champy, the lake monster.

-Check out the resort shop in front of the Mountainside Pool.  They have clearance racks with shirts as low as $5.

-The best tip of all: bring the grandparents to help keep an eye on the kids while you sneak off to adult karaoke, wine tastings and local adventures to unwind and relax.

Smugglers’ Notch Resort offers TONS of family activities that are included with your stay as well as enrichment activities for a fee. Whether you are on a tight budget or are wanting to splurge, Smuggs fits everyone’s lifestyle. Put the electronics away, turn off the TV and get outside and explore with your family. This is the vacation where you restore your soul and connect with what’s most important…your family.


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