Born and raised in Vermont, I have experienced the splendor of the Green Mountain’s five seasons: spring, summer, fall, winter and mud. Whether the trees are covered in piercing green leaves teasing summer to come or lightly covered with the most recent shimmery, white snow fall, there is always a shocking experience for flatlanders1 to discover this small and often overlooked state.
Quarter Finalist 2013 FTF Teen Travel Writing Scholarship
Many travel to Vermont to join in on leaf peeping, hitting the slopes in and eating (and drinking) Vermont’s Liquid Gold2. These are all must do activities while here, but there is much more gold to see that will leave you saying “Vermont’s wicked3 cool”, so play some Phish songs and ride the winding roads of Vermont. And don’t be surprised when you hear, “You can’t get there from here”.
The Stowe area has many attractions to offer, including the Cold Hollow Cider Mill where you can watch them make cider and taste it for yourself, along with their addicting cider donuts. Ski season is sometimes cut short but in the summer you can still ride down Spruce Peak at Stowe Mountain Resort on a 2,300 foot Alpine Slide. Then when you get hungry take a ride up the famous Stowe gondola and eat lunch at the Cliff House Restaurant high up Mount Mansfield. Of course, while in Stowe you can’t miss Ben & Jerry’s Factory for a tour and ice cream. If you decide to tackle the Vermonster at Ben & Jerry’s, good luck!
Burlington is the largest city in Vermont, with a population of only a little over 42,000, with scenic views of Lake Champlain. What better way to explore the waterfront in Burlington than a cruise on Lake Champlain? While out on the water see if you can spot the friendly but shy sea monster, Champ. The Lake doesn’t stop at the shore; you can tour Lake Champlain Chocolates Factory or go to a Lake Monsters baseball game. A perfect activity for younger kids near Burlington is touring the Vermont Teddy Bear Company Factory, and making your own teddy bear.
Barre prides itself on its granite; considering it’s the granite capital of the world. Make sure to stop by Rock of Ages to tour a 600 foot granite quarry featured in Star Trek and Batman movies, observe artisans carve granite and sandblast your own granite souvenir. Since you are in Barre, travel a few miles north and visit the capital of Vermont: Montpelier. Visit the state capital building with a gold dome, shop at local stores and notice that there are no McDonalds in Montpelier: the only state capital without one. Then, head to East Montpelier to check out Bragg Farm to discover how maple syrup is made, and taste a maple creemee4.
Cabot Creamery in Cabot is the place to go to view cheese making and buy cheese not available anywhere else. If you spot a Farmers Market on the way to Cabot, pick up some fresh produce, maple lemonade and switchel5 to boost your energy the Vermont way.
While in Vermont remember that you don’t always need to follow a schedule; do things the Vermont way and go with the flow. You never know, you may find yourself waiting for a cow to cross the road, spot a family of deer in a meadow or a moose on the side of the road. Those little things make Vermont different and add to the experience.
1Vermonters use this to describe someone from out of state
3“really” in Vermont lingo
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