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VT Off the Beaten Path

Old May 5th, 2006, 04:09 PM
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VT Off the Beaten Path

This August, I will be renting a house in Andover, VT (near Londonderry) for one week with my husband, 2.5 yr old and 2 other couples plus their kids. We are looking for suggestions on interesting activites during our stay. We'd love to hear about working farms, wildlife viewing areas, playgrounds, swimming holes etc. For the most part, we'd like to keep the drive under an hour but are contemplating a day trip up north to the Northern Kingdom area. Places that are already on my list: Equinox Resort (to take the falconry class), the Northshire bookstore in Manchester and Pikes Falls.

Also, I'd love a suggestion for dinner for my 30th birthday, located anywhere between Andover and Manchester. It'll probably just be me and my husband. We like American continental and Italian, nothing too exotic.

Thank you!

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Old May 6th, 2006, 03:36 AM
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My husband enjoyed the Billings Farm Museum near Woodstock. If you do get up to the Northern Kingdom, there's the Great Vermont Corn Maze in Danville (next to St Johnsbury). It's a great family activity and there's a little play area for small tykes. Corn mazes are getting pretty popular so you might find one a lot closer to Andover. Look at a schedule for Vermont county fairs to see if there will be one near you. Get a Vermont Atlas and Gazetteer for a map of all the roads, including seasonal, which will also list hiking trails and the location of waterfalls and covered bridges. The real trick to finding things off the beaten path is to read the local newspapers. Check the community news listings. There are small clubs such as antique tractor enthusiasts that have interesting events. If you can attend a county fair, see what the 4-H kids are doing and watch some of their animal shows and the before show work, shearing sheep, etc. I just checked Billings Museum website, they have antique tractor day on Aug 20. It's still a working farm.
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Old May 6th, 2006, 09:22 AM
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Thanks for the advice - The Billings Farm sounds like a lot of fun for the kids.

Any other suggestions? I probably should not have specifically stated that I was looking for "Off the Beaten Path" because I have never been to VT to begin with! I'll expand my request to any interesting activities for small kids...
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Old May 15th, 2006, 02:46 AM
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The nearby Weston Country Store is worth a visit. It's quite large, filled with old-timey gadgets, food and clothing. Let the kids fill up small paper bags with candy and put pennies in the picture-machine. Stroll around the tiny, very scenic little town - a meandering river, cows.. The kids can fish and play ball in the park. The Weston Playhouse is known for first-rate theater.
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Old May 15th, 2006, 04:47 AM
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It's a little farther than you want to go, but we really enjoyed touring the Morgan Horse Farm in Middlebury and think your kids would like it too.

http://www.uvm.edu/morgan/

Also, why don't you sign all the kids up for a private, customized crafts class (they'll do classes for all ages) at the renowned Frog Hollow State Craft Center in Manchester? The kids would be entertained while you and the other couples get some adult time.

http://www.froghollow.org/manchester/
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Old May 15th, 2006, 08:38 AM
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Being in Andover is off the beaten track. You will be right outside Chester, which is a pretty little town with lots of victorian homes and cutesy shops. Further east is Springfield, an old mill town that's seen better days, but still fun to walk around in. Wellwood Orchards is nearby, a beautiful pyo apple and fruit orchard that I believe has farm animals and wagon rides. Further north, Mt Ascutney has a spectacular auto road to the summit where you can get a great view of both NH and Vt. This is a great picnic spot. Just over the river in New Hampshire is Old Fort #4 in Charlestown, which is a nice reproduction of a colonial era fort, complete with people in period costumes. I also recommend Billings farm & museum in Woodstock. Just across the road from it, is the Rockefeller estate, which has some very nice hiking and walking trails. Manchster Vt. is a very scenic little town, but can be plagued with traffic due to the outlet stores. The Northeast Kingdom is a long ride from where you are and is quite rural. You might want to consider going to the Ben and Jerry's factory instead.
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Old May 15th, 2006, 01:12 PM
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These are such great ideas! My friend's daughter rides horses, so I think we'll have to make a special trip to the Morgan Horse Farm. I noticed that one of the foals on the website is named Madeline, same as my daughter, so that sealed the deal!
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Old May 18th, 2006, 03:24 AM
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Interested in how we make maple syrup -- the real stuff?

Drive up Route 7, north of Rutland a few miles to Pittsford and you'll come to the Maple Sugar Museum (on your right). Neat place, with displays showing the history of maple, an actual evaporator running (simulated but active), a slide show, samples, etc. All for a very nominal price.

Enjoy!

Vermonter
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Old May 18th, 2006, 03:26 AM
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kcapuani:

"We like American continental and Italian, nothing too exotic."

You might try "Garlic John's", Rte 30, outside of Manchester. Yummy Italian.

Vermonter
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