If you’re like me, the first place you can think of for amazing views, food, and fun would not be Vermont. Be honest, other than the syrup, what else comes to your mind? Mrs. CurryOnTravel and I were pleasantly surprised when we visited Stowe and Burlington to experience one of the best trips on the East Coast.
The plan was simple, visit Stowe to enjoy the mountains and the views, followed by a drive to Burlington to get a taste of the college town. Instead of booking the spots in advance, we followed the laid-back style of our fellow Vermontians (the “t” is silent).
What to do there
We started the Vermont adventure with Stowe, a small town in the mountain region that’s very popular during the winter. We visited Stowe in the fall, and lucky for us, we were early for the snow. You’ll pass many log cabins as you drive into town, a beautiful getaway from the city to surround yourself with nature and its charms.
After getting ready early, and packing our bags with supplies, we made our way to Mt. Mansfield, part of the Green Mountain range. (Side Note: If you’ve ever wondered where Green Mountain Coffee® is located, and why it is ubiquitous in Vermont, I’ll give you one hint). At it’s peak, Mt. Mansfield is 4395 feet high, and provides 40 miles of trek for skiing and snowboarding. In the off season, tourists can enjoy about 116 trails around the mountain. With our bags we came prepared to take the trail to the top of the mountain. For those that want to enjoy the views without the climb, there is an option to take the Gondola SkyRide.
There is nothing like climbing a mountain to humble you. The steep inclines, jagged rocks, and rising heat test you as get higher only to realize there is more to go. The views from the top are spectacular, and the lodge provides a good rest area before you make your way down.
On top of Mt. Mansfield
After a long hike on the mountain, we had to satisfy our sweet tooth, and what better way than a factory tour of Ben & Jerry’s®? The entry for the factory tour is complimentry, as long as your like them on a social media page. Tours take place every 30 minutes and it’s fun to learn about the history of the company. Complimentary ice cream scoops are given at the end of the tour (as if you needed another reason to tour an ice cream factory).
We were surprised with the level of cuisine available in Stowe. Mrs. CurryonTravel and I had one of the best pizzas with locally crafted beer to end the day. The people in town are friendly and are welcoming to tourists and their vegetarian needs. I recommend having dinner at The Bench, a gourmet pizza restaurant with a great selection of local beers.
The next day we left for Burlington, a college town that seems to have it all. Along with the young atmosphere, the city has a harbor for water activities and a hippy vibe that encourage cycling on a special path. Where Stowe can feel cozy and mountaneous, Burlington has a young and free atmosphere.
Harbor of Lake Champlain
After checking into our hotel, we went straight to downtown to rent bicycles. Burlington has a famous bike path that is beautiful, especially in the fall. The bike path is next to Lake Champlain. You can see the water sparkling when sun hits it during the day and lunch cruises leaving the shore every few hours circling the water while serving entrees. We rented our bikes from Local Motion, a non-profit organization that carries single and tandem bikes. Even though they have a great selection of bikes, they get busy during the spring and fall time, so get there early.
After riding our bikes for a few hours, we rented a kayak to spend the time in the lake. It was a beautiful day to enjoy the water with other enthusiasts. The Lake Champlain Community Sailing Center makes it easy to rent kayaks and boats. They have low rates and carry plenty of boats and kayaks to make your weekend.
The pink Kayak on the beach
We finished our Vermont trip with a visit to the Bennington Battle Monument, conveniently located in Bennington, Vermont. About two and half hours from Burlington, the monument commemorates the battle of Bennington that took place in 1777. At 306 feet, the monument offers views from different corners to neighbors Massachusetts and New York. At $4 per person, it is quite reasonble to take the elevator to the top and enjoy the sights.
306 Feet of History
How to get there
Burlington has a centrally placed airport that is seldom busy, and possibly the best option for frequent fliers. If driving is not an inconvenience, then visitors can rent a car and drive from neighboring New York, New Hampshire or Massachusetts.
Where to stay
I truly recommend the Homewood Suites® in Burlington. Recently opened, the hotel is beautiful and the staff is friendly. The hotel is conveniently located with close distance to downtown without the prices. The breakfast buffet is delicious, and definitely handy when you plan a full day of travel.
Let me know if I can provide more information about Vermont, and I’d love to hear how your stay was. Did you enjoy Stowe as much as we did? Drop me a note.
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