Travel: Springtime in Vermont, Unique Places
Daffodils in Bloom
For those of you who love to vacation in Vermont, I’m betting that most likely you visit this state in the Fall (to see the magnificent foliage) or during the Winter (for winter sports like skiing.) I’ve traveled to Vermont many times, particularly when I lived in Connecticut years ago, long before my law school days: Manchester, Mt. Snow, and other small towns along the way up. In those days, I was being a mother to my children and it was great to take them to Vermont for relaxation and simple, good, old-fashioned fun.
Vermont is still an excellent place to visit in the Spring (late April through June) with lots of outdoor activities to enjoy like back-country biking, visiting a maple tree farm and watching (and listen) to the sap dripping from the trees into a bucket, or checking out a local farmers market where farmers and craftsmen display their wares at town centers around the state.
When is your favorite time to visit Vermont?
It had been quite some time since I visited Vermont (17 years) when I received an invitation from Allison, a long-time family friend, to go back to a state I loved for its simplicity of life. I pounced on the opportunity. The difference for me in this visit was that the trip was during the Spring (April to be exact). The bonus was it was an area in Vermont I had not seen: Castleton Corners, which is about thirty minutes west of Rutland. Allison's family has a comfortable country home in this tiny town backed by a lovely bird sanctuary. A peaceful lake glistened across the street, a second home for die-hard fishermen. The daffodils were in their full golden glory along with the lavender azaleas.
Me and the Moose
New England Maple Museum
After looking through several brochures, we decided to go through Rutland via Route 4, which is a beautiful drive through the mountains with a view every now and then of cows grazing. The weather cooperated at 69 degrees, though it was a little overcast.We then drove north on Route 7, a little ways, to the New England Maple Museum. Well, why not? The state tree is the Sugar Maple; and I love pure maple syrup!
The quaint museum is located on Route 7 in Pittsford, Vermont and is a perfect spot to take children. Soft stuffed animals flank various areas of the museum (the moose was my favorite) making me feel cozy and simultaneously adventurous wanting to catch a glimpse of a real moose. The sweet smell of the maple tree sap filled the air.
The museum tells the 200-year "maple sugaring history starting with the Native American discovery that maple sap cooked over an open fire produces a sweet syrup." In case you didn't know, springtime, after the snow has melted and the sun warms up, is when the sap in the maple trees begins to flow! At the end of the self-guided tour there is a wonderful and quaint tasting room where one can find cookies, crackers, cracker spreads, and different grades of syrup to taste.
The storefront boasts thousands of trinkets and beautiful gifts; and I certainly spent my fair share of money including a purchase of my favorite grade of maple syrup in a glass jug.
Long Trail Brewery
Long Trail Brewing Company
Happy with all the little trinkets I bought at the New England Maple Museum, we decided to take our hungry selves to the Long Trail Brewing Company, which also hosts a pub and restaurant. So we took Route 7 south back to Route 4 east to Bridgewater Corners where the brewery is located.
Alongside the road, the Ottauquechee River, which is more than 40 miles long, guides you into the town. Long Trail Brewing Company has a great variety of beer and their meals are reasonably priced. My Angus steak sandwich with Cabot cheddar and mushrooms was simply divine! We took a self-guided tour through the brewery, although all was quiet since there was no work going on during the weekend. The brewery also maintains a gift shop complete with Long Trail merchandise; and I made sure I picked up a brewmaster glass for a friend of mine who is a sort of beer connoisseur.
By end of our visit, the rain was pouring down. Still, the rain could not put a damper on the charm of the area nor could it deter me from running into Friendly’s for a banana split to take on the road back “home.”
Plan Your Vermont Vacation
The official information guide to visiting Vermont from the State Department of Tourism, whether traveling for pleasure or business, your trip to Vermont starts here.
It seems that no matter the season, I have been charmed by Vermont: its graceful mountains, sparkling rivers, quaint villages, and its oddities. I love the peace and tranquility of the state and can appreciate it all too well being a New York City girl.
If you visited this area of Vermont, rate your experience!
By Liza Lugo, J.D.
(c) 2012, Revised 2014. All Rights Reserved.
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