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Best Vermont Experience

Old May 23rd, 2005, 06:03 AM
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Best Vermont Experience

Hello, New England travelers!

I'm traveling to Vermont in July---my first time---and am looking for a quintessential experience. So tell me what you love about Vermont.

Thanks,

William Travis
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Old May 23rd, 2005, 07:48 AM
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Where in Vermont will you be travelling to? North? South? Central? I'm biased toward Northern VT, but can definately give you suggestions for other parts as well. Let us know!
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Old May 23rd, 2005, 08:39 AM
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I'm traveling around the entire state.

wm
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Old May 23rd, 2005, 08:43 AM
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If you are an outdoorsy or nature loving person, you will love Vermont. My favorite things to do in Vermont (& NH where I live), are things like bike rides, hikes, and just driving around the back roads. There are some very beautiful vistas, farms, old homes, small villages, etc, tucked away on back roads all over the state. I would think the ultimate Vermont experience for a visitor would be to stay at a farm b&b kind of a place, where you could walk the gravel roads, see lots of cows, ride horses, bike down into the town, hike to a waterfall and swimming hole, etc, etc. We stayed at a place like this called Harvey's Mountain View many years ago - loved it so much we moved up here!
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Old May 23rd, 2005, 09:30 AM
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First thing I would do is buy a Vermont road atlas. Northern Cartographic and Jimapco make them. If you can't buy them near you or online, once you get to VT pop into a local supermarket or bookstore. Once you have this atlas, pick lots and lots of backroads to explore. It is there that you will see the "real Vermont". Many tourists don't get off the main roads and to me thats a shame.
Things to do:
If you are a dog lover, go to St. Johnsbury and check out artist Steven Huneck's Dog Mountain. He's got a dog chapel, art gallery, and last time I was up there he was building a doggie waterslide. Also in St. Johnsbury, check out the AThenaeum and the Fairbanks Museum.
Go to the Cabot Creamery in Cabot.
Visit the State House in Montpelier.
Ride the gondola on Mount Mansfield @ Stowe Mountain Resort.
Go see the floating bridge in Brookfield.
In Barre, visit the Rock of Ages and the Hope Cememtery.
Drive on one of our many "gap" roads - Hazen's Notch, Appalacian Gap, Smuggler's Notch, Lincoln Gap, Middlebury Gap, and Brandon Gap to name a few.
Visit Burlington and have a picnic lunch on the waterfront.
Rent some bikes and go to Colchester's Causeway-a bike trail that runs out onto Lake Champlain via an old rail bed.
Have dinner at the Bobcat Cafe in Bristol. Also in Bristol, hike up to Deer Leap.
Go to Goodie's in Addison for a creemee.
Visit Middlebury and the Middlebury College campus. Also visit the Robert Frost Nature Trail in Ripton, right off of Route 125.
I could go on and on...

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Old May 23rd, 2005, 01:54 PM
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in Barre - Rock of Ages Quarry , Hope Cemetary (I know it sounds strange, but take a ride thru and see the unusual tombstones), Bragg Farm (Maple syrup)

On the way to Stowe - Ben & Jerrys, COld Hollow cider Mill

on NY bjorder - ferry to Ft. TIconderoga
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Old May 23rd, 2005, 02:57 PM
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Not in any particular order:

Drive thru Smuggler's Notch to Stowe. Visit the Von Trapp Lodge (Von Trapp as in the "Sound of Music" fame. The family settled there. It's quite lovely). Rent bikes and ride the bike trail that meanders thru Stowe.

Visit the Shelburne Museum (Rt. 7 south of Burlington).

Middlebury - a quaint, lovely New England college town.

Eat at the Dog Team Tavern (I don't remember exactly where it is - maybe an hour or so from Burlington). I'm sure another fodor poster can help.

Get off the main road and find a twisting dirt road that goes past farms. If you see an old cemetary, stop the car and check it out.

Keep your eyes open for covered bridges.

Have a great time!!!


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Old May 23rd, 2005, 03:33 PM
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My very favorite place in Vermont in the summer is the quintessential little town of Dorset,VT ... Absolutely lovely quaint little town .. summer theatre .. wonderful restaurants .. very lovely B&B's ... I would high recommend and will be happy to provide names of restaurants, B&B's etc ... Not far from Manchester,VT ... near the Equinox Hotel which is a wonderful service hotel w/golf course and lovely restaurants .. and close to downtown Manchester ... which is a shopper's paradise for real .. but very well done .. and not far from The Vermont Country Store which is always a treat for everyone .. and in this area there are lots of summer theatres .. fine restaurants .. beautiful scenery.. mountain galore .. the perfect area to see and enjoy ! My kind of Vermont ... !
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Old May 23rd, 2005, 10:45 PM
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Oh, Vermont in the summer - heavenly! I'm most familiar with the Burlington area, and would definitely recommend you spend some time on the waterfront soaking in the lake. There are often festivals on the waterfront in the summer (for example, July 15-16 is the Vermont Brewers' Festival, always alot of fun), check out more events at http://www.vermont.org/events/. The bike path is really fabulous - right along the lake - and the Colchester causeway that BM mentioned is such a neat experience, riding with the water literally all around you!

Also in July are the Annual Stoweflake Hot Air Balloon Festival and the Mozart Festival, both alot of fun.

Other great things to do in that area -- go for a beautiful drive on Route 7 from Burlington to Middlebury and stop at Mt. Philo for beatiful views of the lake (http://www.vtstateparks.com/htm/philo.cfm), stop for blueberry picking at the Charlotte Berry Farm, take a dip in the lake at Kingsland Bay State park (http://www.vtstateparks.com/htm/kingsland.cfm), or on the other side of Middlebury at Lake Dunmore where you can also hike up to the swimming holes at the Falls of Lana. If you happen to be there between July 10-16, cap off your day with a free concert at the Middlebury Festival on-the-Green (www.festivalonthegreen.org). I'm jealous just thinking about it!

There also lots and lots of great restaurants in Vermont - we've had a couple of threads on that this year since I've been reading these boards.

Finally, one last tip - check out the local alternative newspaper for info on events in the Burlington area and beyond - http://www.sevendaysvt.com.

Have fun!
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Old May 24th, 2005, 03:28 AM
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T.J. Buckley's on Elliot Street in Brattleboro; a former diner turned into an exquisite tiny restaurant; reservations way in advance are a must.
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Old May 24th, 2005, 03:49 AM
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William Travis, where were you and your colleagues for our 21 May NJ/NY GTG? You certainly missed a great public relations opportunity. I understand this would be cutting into your weekend R&R, but I'll talk to your boss to give you a little comp time for the next event.

Our next GTG is on 22 October. Do you think it possible to conjure up some Fodor Pins for this GTG, given a 6-month lead time to manufacture a few???
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Old May 24th, 2005, 12:48 PM
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It is not really a quintessential Vermont experience, and if price is a consideration forget it, but if possible a stay at Twin Farms in Barnard (not far from Woodstock) is a heavenly experience.
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Old May 24th, 2005, 01:32 PM
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Vermont always reminds me of a haven for old hippies that didn't get to go to CA -- and I mean that as nicely as possible. Probably why the state is the most progressive environmentally and retains so much quality of life. Vermont is truly a special place.

May I recommend Bread and Puppet in that vein? The theatre is located in Glover, right off 91 in the north Kingdom. I believe they have performances during July: Friday nights and Sunday afternoons. Nothing better than a blanket, a bottle of wine, cheese and noshes and that Vermont summer night sky. Note: May be a bit politically avant-garde so gauge your tolerance accordingly.

B/

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Old May 24th, 2005, 02:40 PM
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Driving south along VT100, starting at I80 (between Montpelier and Burlington) all the way to VT9 (between Brattleboro and Bennington) during the height of the fall colors last autumn, the most pleasant suprise I received was in the little village of Weston.

It was on a Saturday and the village was hosting a fall festival. There is The Vermont Country Store (which had one of the Von Trapp siblings signing books), which is worth a stop in and of itself. Across the street is another store that specializes in Vermont products like maple syrup, jams and jellies, and cider. The village cemetery on a very steep hill was picture perfect and the mill on the small river running through the town was vintage Vermont. There is a great town park with gazebo and the obligatory momument to fallen citizens during war.

This town matched my model small New England village that I had always envisioned.
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Old May 24th, 2005, 07:29 PM
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Maple Leaf Inn (Barnard)

Simon Pearce for dinner (Quechee)
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Old May 25th, 2005, 04:48 PM
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My Mom & I took a driving trip through New England last October. The highlight of the trip was our stay in Arlington, Vermont. We stayed in a B&B which was the former home of Norman Rockwell (The Inn On Covered Bridge Green). If you have an interest in Norman Rockwell, this is definately a place to stay. The owners Clint & Julia Dickens are absolutely wonderful. In the town of Arlington, there is a converted church which as been turned into a Norman Rockwell museum. The best part was meeting former Rockwell models from the surrounding area that were used in his illustrations. The town of Manchester is nearby and has quite a few "outlet" stores. Vermont is a beautiful state and well worth visiting.
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