By Jean Strauber, Travel Editor
Even though Vermont is one of the smallest states in the Union, it is huge in its offering for a family vacation regardless of the season. In the winter it is ideal for the skier or snowboarder. The photographer and artist capture the way Mother Nature decks out the maples and aspens in reds, oranges and gold during the fall. Spring and summer offers families unlimited opportunity to enjoy river rafting, canoeing, fishing or camping.
Last year I had the pleasure of visiting Vermont for a week and was very impressed with what the state offers the vacationer. One eagerly anticipated pleasure was a guided tour of Ben and Jerry’s ice-cream factory in Stowe. I was not disappointed. Our guide gave a detailed explanation of how the delicious dessert is made and how the company decides and prepares the new flavors. The visitor’s final stop on the tour is the tasting room. Yummy!
Other stops for tourists are the Three Shepherds Farm where one learns how New Jersey cow’s milk is turned into delicious tasting cheese, the Cold Hollow Cider Mill where the apple provides Cider, the Maple Grove Farm where an entertaining film demonstrates how the syrup is gathered and where we smacked our lips over the warm maple syrup was spooned over ice. Stowe is also the home of Johannes von Trapp, the youngest son of the legendary Maria and Baron von Trapp of Sound of Music Fame. The guests can meet and chat with him and listen as he relates where the book, the musical and film differed from real life.
Vermont is known as the “granite Season” and for good reason. Throughout the state there aree countless quarries where mammoth blocks of granite and marble are removed. Most contain a visitor center where on can view the film that depicts how granite and marble are formed. Tourists then board a shuttle which takes them to a nearby site to observe how marble is removed. At the area cemeteries one will find the most unusual monuments dedicated to the dear departed. In the capital Montpelier one can take a guided tour of the capitol building. You might even meet a state legislator or two.
The city is also home to the famed new England Culinary Institute which welcomes guests to enjoy delicious medals prepared by future gourmet chefs or stars of the Food Network. The Vermont visitor has a choice of hotels, motels and bed-and-breakfast facilities. My accommodations were at the beautiful Stoweflake Inn. The Stoweflake has facilities for any group which wishes to hold business meetings. Later in my week I had accommodations in the beautiful Yellow Farmhouse Bed and Breakfast Inn, Their breakfast menu offered a variety of choices ranging from pancakes, homemade breads and muffins,, egg dishes, cereals and more were more than satisfactory. Sundays, the local Farmer’s market offers food grown in nearby communities but also many of the crafts one expects to find. Yes, Vermont is a land for all to enjoy.