Escape pick of the week

A Vermont home for fans of music and natural beauty, with a price lower than most NYC one-bedrooms

Four Seasons Sotheby`s International Realty

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If you have your eyes set on a Vermont country house, we don't blame you. For ski and natural beauty enthusiasts in search of some serenity, the home state of Bernie Sanders is hard to beat. This custom-built, three-bedroom, two-and-a-half bath house in Halifax—a town just over the state line from Massachusetts—comes with a heated in-ground pool, and landscaped grounds complete with walking trails and lush gardens±the better for relaxing. And the price: $549,000 sounds somewhat unbelievable to those of us used to New York City or Hamptons prices. (Full disclosure: The current owner is a friend of the author's.)

Sure, the house is just under four hours from the city, but it's only a few miles from the Marlboro Music Festival, which takes place every July and August (if you want a peek at the house to coincide with a stop at the festival, note that this year's concerts run through August 14), so rental opportunities abound, if you're so inclined. (Or, if you're a classical music enthusiast, even better.)

The house has a large, double-level deck that overlooks the property, a mudroom entry, and a country eat-in kitchen that opens onto a screened-in porch. The kitchen and living room share a brick double-sided fireplace, and the living room has built-in library shelves and French doorss that open to an outdoor stone terrace.

The second floor features a master en-suite, two other bedrooms (one with fireplace), and a home office, if you can stand to stop staring at the beautiful grounds for long enough to get some work done.