7 places you should see when visiting Vermont

Lake Champlain

 

Lake Champlain

 

Extending for 120 miles between Vermont and New York, with its northern tip in Canada, Lake Champlain lies mostly in Vermont, and draws visitors for its recreation, wildlife, and historical attractions. Its watershed covers more than 8,000 square miles. Much of its 587 miles of shoreline are undeveloped; a haven for wildlife; and a playground for canoeists, kayakers, and sailors. On the Vermont side, 318 species of birds depend on Lake Champlain, and 81 species of fish swim in its waters. According to Samuel de Champlain, for whom the lake is named, a 20-foot serpent-like creature also swims in the lake. His was the first, but certainly not the last reported sighting of what is now known as "Champy." You might catch sight of it from one of the several lake cruises, or even from one of the three ferries that cross to the New York side from Charlotte, Burlington, and Grand Isle.

 

Stowe

 

Stowe

 

With a covered bridge, white-spired church, weathered barns, and ski trails down the mountainside, Stowe is everybody's image of Vermont. At the foot of Mt. Mansfield and in the heart of the state's snow belt, it's also the town that most personifies the glory days of Vermont's early ski industry, a heritage that's explored here in the Vermont Ski Museum. Although avid skiers had climbed the mountain long before that, and a rope tow was installed in 1937, things really took off in 1940 when the first chairlift was opened.

It's not all about skiing; you'll find shops and boutiques, art galleries, dining, and lodging of all sorts. Exhibits of works by Vermont-based artists are shown in the Helen Day Art Center. You can rent bicycles to ride, or you can walk or skate along the 5.3-mile Stowe Recreation Path, a paved multi-use route through meadows and woods alongside the river, with beautiful views of Mt. Mansfield. Stowe Mountain Resort is still one of New England's premier ski destinations, and the gondola that carries skiers in the winter takes sightseers to the summit for more views in the summer and fall.

 

Ben & Jerry's

 

Ben & Jerry's

 

Unquestionably Vermont's most popular tourist attraction for children, Ben & Jerry's factory tour is a favorite experience for adults, too. On the 30-minute guided tour of the factory, you'll watch workers as they make and package ice cream, while a guide explains the process. On days when the factory is not operating, you'll still see inside it, but a movie will show it in action. Of course a sample of the day's flavor is included, and you can sample more flavors before choosing your favorite at their scoop shop. The gift shop sells B&J goods, and you can take ice cream with you in insulated carriers. Be sure to visit the Flavor Graveyard to mourn the loss of their "dearly de-pinted" flavors and to smile at the past tongue-in-cheek names.

Lake Champlain Maritime Museum

Overlooking Basin Harbor in Vergennes, Lake Champlain Maritime Museum explores all things nautical on the lake throughout its history. Its 15,000 artifacts range from archaeological finds and photographs to antique boats and full-scale replicas of historic vessels. Displays illustrate explorations of shipwrecks and include articles recovered from the lake. The boathouse features a collection of small boats from the past 150 years, many of which were recovered from Champlain's waters, including a 16-foot rowboat from the mid-1800s and a 1929 wooden speedboat. A replica 18th-century blacksmith shop illustrates maritime ironwork. During special events, the museum hosts re-enactments of the lives of French, English, and Native Americans who traded and lived around the lake. You can rent sailboats, row boats, canoes, and kayaks here to explore the lake on your own.

  •  
  •  

Hildene

 

Hildene

 

Robert Todd Lincoln, son of the president, visited Manchester with his mother shortly before his father's assassination. After he had become president of Pullman Company, in the early 20th century, he returned to build the Georgian Revival Hildene as his country estate. Hildene represents a fine example of homes built as retreats for the families of wealthy magnates and is furnished with a number of pieces from Mrs. Lincoln's family. Personal belongings of President Lincoln include his famous stovepipe hat. Other highlights are the thousand-pipe 1908 Aeolian organ, in working condition, and the elegant dining room furnished in Queen Anne style. The home remained in the Lincoln family until 1975, thus preserving the original furnishings and memorabilia. The formal gardens on the terrace overlooking the broad valley have been restored from records of original plantings.

 

Bennington Battle Monument and Museum

 

Bennington Battle Monument and Museum

 

The 306-foot-high obelisk visible for miles around commemorates the 1777 battle fought about five miles west of Bennington, which turned the tide against the British by splitting British General John Burgoyne's forces in half, making the final American victory possible. You can bypass the monument's 412 steps by taking an elevator to the top for views.

The nearby Bennington Museum is best known for its extensive collection of works by primitive folk artist Grandma Moses, along with her schoolhouse painting studio. The museum is also especially strong in its collections of Bennington pottery, furniture, toys, American glassware, and Victorian quilts. You'll also find fine art and artifacts from the colonial and Civil War periods.

 

Brattleboro Farmers Market

 

Brattleboro Farmers Market

 

In a region known for its small farms and agriculture, Brattleboro's is the poster child of farmers markets. More than a place to buy fresh-picked vegetables and fruit from small independent local farmers, it is a social event, a meeting place, a Saturday lunch stop, and part of the weekend routine for southern Vermonters. You'll find old favorite vegetables and all the trendy new varieties, along with flowers, artisanal breads, farm cheeses, handmade soap, local honey, maple syrup, pottery, jewelry, smart scarves, and French pastries. Plan to be there around lunch time when there will nearly always be live music, and maybe Morris dancers on the shaded lawn. Some vendors sell prepared foods to eat at picnic tables under the trees. You may find savory stews from Mali, Thai noodles, Lebanese dolmas, even Breton crepes. In the winter, the market moves indoors to a Main Street location.


 

Comments

Nothing posted yet.
true
  • AdChoices