Day trip ideas??? from Middlebury, VT

Old Aug 23rd, 2005, 09:21 AM
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Day trip ideas??? from Middlebury, VT

My bf and I will be spending the week of Labor Day in Salisbury, VT--just outside of Middlebury. We're trying to think of some place different to go for a day. We spend a lot of time there but I just can't think where to go that we haven't already been, for a day. I'm looking for something other than Burlington, Rutland, & Queechee. Woodstock is a consideration but we've been there too and are looking for a place we've never been, just a cute little town to walk around and maybe have a late lunch or picnic, maybe even a drink. I suppose Mass, NH and ME are all options if that's possible to do for a day trip...Any ideas? Thought I'd start here before I bust out the map.
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Old Aug 23rd, 2005, 09:23 AM
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I should add that we're from Lake Placid, NY so we've probably got the New York side covered.
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Old Aug 23rd, 2005, 09:44 AM
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The Monadnock Region of New Hampshire; hiking, wonderful restaurants, galleries, Equity theatre, music...
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Old Aug 23rd, 2005, 09:49 AM
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Fort Ticonderoga

or

Montreal, Canada
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Old Aug 23rd, 2005, 10:11 AM
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It's a short ride from Middlebury but I always liked Mt. Independence (the VT side of Ft. Ticon). I would like other Fodorite opinions but it seems like the most understated example of American history that is so easy to visualize.
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Old Aug 23rd, 2005, 11:13 AM
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There are lots of small towns in Vt you could explore - Chester, Grafton, Stowe, Waitsfield(fabulous area to bike!). For more 'city' check out Brattleboro or Montpelier. Further afield, Keene NH and Hanover NH are nice walk around towns. Of course you could always go up to Montreal for a night if you want a real cosmopolitan experience.
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Old Aug 23rd, 2005, 11:30 AM
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Hi ethel -- I'm so jealous you get to spend so much time in Vermont, I think we chatted last year about brunch in Burlington! Are you all staying near Lake Dunmore for the week? I have fabulous memories of swimming and canoeing at Branbury State Park and hiking up to the swimming holes at Falls of Lana (sp?).

One place you could check out for a little trip is Hanover, NH, home of Dartmouth College (www.hanovernh.org). It is a pretty tiny town but very pretty. You could walk around the college grounds, have breakfast at the famous Lou's diner, stroll down Main Street, have a beer at Murphy's, some coffee at the Dirt Cowboy Cafe (both of these are right near the corner of Main & Wheelock, right in the middle of everything). There might be something going on at the Hopkins Art Center (http://hop.dartmouth.edu/) or if you are up for something more active, walk down to the river at the bottom of the hill and rent a canoe or enjoy swimming (I would call first to make sure they are open during that weekend, http://www.dartmouth.edu/~lcc/about/rentals.php).
There is also a very lovely small garden in a residential neighborhood near the river, Nathan's Garden (directions here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nathan%27s_Garden).

You can also walk across the big bridge to Vermont and go over to the famous Dan and Whit's General Store, where you can find just about everything you'd ever want (http://www.vaics.org/vaics-norwich.html). Norwich is pretty cute, also very small, but they have some nice upscale restaurants in the inns on that side of the river.

Could be a nice, low-key excursion for you! It takes over an hour to get from Midd. to Hanover since it is all smaller roads, but I think you would enjoy it.

Have fun!


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nathan%27s_Garden
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Old Aug 23rd, 2005, 11:44 AM
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It certainly won't take a whole day, but go check out Brandon, about 15 minutes south. This summer "Brandon Rocks" - local artists have painted rocking chairs and they are scattered about town. Have lunch at Cafe Provence.
If you like history, you can always go to Fort Ticonderoga and Mount Defiance on the NY side. Mount Independence on the VT side.
Another idea would be to go down to Saratoga, NY. Are the races still going on Labor Day Weekend?
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Old Aug 23rd, 2005, 12:10 PM
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These are great ideas everyone.

Goodheart--yes we did talk in Feb. about Burlington. As a matter of fact, we will practically be on Lake Dunmore. We're going to be at the RV resort called Kampersville. My parents have a camper on a permanent lot there which is great for us a home base plus, it's great for doing nothing. Lake Dunmore is beautiful so it's wonderful to have it right at our fingertips..My birthday will be on the 8th and we had talked about going to Branbury state park for a nice picnic lunch that day. We have hiked up to Silver Lake but haven't made it to the Falls of Lana yet. Perhaps this trip...You're idea for Hanover is a great one. That's the kind of idea I'm looking for.

Basically, what we're looking for is some "quaint" little town that we wouldn't normally think to visit. As I mentioned we're coming from Lake Placid and we've pretty much done everything on the New York side as I've lived there my whole life (although I haven't been to the races yet so I'll put that on my list. Not sure if they're still going then, though). I'm looking more for a New England town, like Brattleboro or Hanover, as some of you have previously mentioned. Something probably not more than 2hrs. away. I am just having a tough time thinking of all the options...While we've driven through Brandon a million times we never really have taken the time to explore so that's certainly an idea.

I guess I'll have to break out the map. There's just so many places to choose from.
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Old Aug 23rd, 2005, 12:19 PM
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Here is another idea - Montpelier. Take a tour of the state house, and walk through town. Lots of great restaurants as the New England Culinary Institute is in town.
Have a great time!
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Old Aug 23rd, 2005, 01:20 PM
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Montpelier is cute, lots of food options too.
You know, the NYTimes recently did a story on the granite quarries in Barre (pronounced "berry") which I would never think to visit, but it actually sounded like alot of fun, although maybe not quite charming/cute ;-)
http://travel2.nytimes.com/mem/trave...5BC0A9639C8B63

I am of course very biased toward Hanover since I went to college there, and think it is a beautiful campus - and lots to do for a day trip!

And definitely check out the Fall of Lana, we had a blast climbing up and swimming, although the water was FREEZING. Another amazing memory from that excursion was that we got to borrow a friend's convertible, a new (at the time) BMW Z3. After making fools of ourselves driving it all around Burlington with the music pumping, we drove down Route 7 to Lake Dunmore (we had a house on the opposite side of the lake from the RV resort) and it was just a dream! I never really been in a convertible before, and I felt like I'd been on vacation for a year.

Here is another idea - a little random but it was a fun trip - the Post Mills Airport, near Fairlee (I think). A guy named Brian Boland builds hot air balloons there and has a hot air balloon museum in a huge, cool barn. I remember going there for a pancake breakfast, but I'm not sure if they do that anymore - but it was a cool location and a rather unique building & collection. Check it out: www.myairship.com/database/boland.html

And speaking of pancake breakfasts... Check with the Dakin Farms store on Route 7 to see if they are having one around your visit - it was SOOO yummy (I can't remember if they have them year round or just in maple season).

Have fun and let me know if you end up visiting Hanover!
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