A 400-passenger cruise ship may not be your speed. How about a sail on the FRIENDSHIP SLOOP? The gaff-rigged boat accommodates up to 17 people and makes three trips a day. A two-hour tour costs $275 for up to six people, and $35 for each additional passenger. If you want a longer sail, you can customize the cruise to fit your fantasy: half day, full day, early morning, sunset. Bring your own wine and cheese — and IDs if anyone in the group on the boat is under 21. They provide the cooler.
There is no better setting in Vermont to see a summer show, according to Seven Days theater critic Elisabeth Crean. Barn owner, producer and actor Peter Boynton “blends Broadway talent with Vermont vets and greener gems into a smashing cast,” Crean effuses. “The result? The best musical theater in Vermont.” Catch Boynton’s “Broadway Cabaret” on Sunday nights in July; Always... Patsy Cline runs for two weeks in August.
Dirt Rag magazine calls it “the best mountain biking in the United States.” A Boston Globe reporter “felt like shouting ‘Wahoo’ like a kid.” The media raves are coming in about Kingdom Trails in East Burke — a huge, mapped, marked mountain-biking network in the Northeast Kingdom. About 90 percent of the pedaling paradise is on private land. Bikers come from as far as Maine and Ontario to ride the singletrack on trails called Poundcake, Todry’s Tour, Jaw, Beat Bog and — get this — Coronary Bypass.
There’s no rest for the wannabe Olympian here. Once the snow melts, the cross-country skis are replaced with skulls. Boaters come from all over to ply the waters of Big and Little Hosmer lakes at the first-ever rowing camp in North America. They work with world-class coaches, eat good food and take classes in related disciplines such as yoga. Runners, too, flock to Craftsbury to improve their technique and hang with other hoofers. The vast network of trails, groomed for marathon cross-country skiing, are just as inspiring in the summer.
Vermont boasts plenty of pretty panoramas. But the state’s most dramatic landscape is the view of Lake Willoughby from atop Mt. Pisgah. When a glacier came through the area 12,000 year ago, it cut through the granite like a knife, leaving sheer cliffs on each side of the deepest lake in Vermont — Willoughby is 312 feet deep in some places. From above, it looks like shimmering blue stone — more like a Norwegian fjord than a Vermont watering hole. To catch the South Trail up Pisgah, follow Route 5A to the south end of the lake — near the nudie beach.
The Fairbanks Museum is Vermont’s Smithsonian. Founded in 1889 by St. Johnsbury industrialist and amateur naturalist Franklin Fairbanks, it was an outgrowth of his own personal “cabinet of curiosities”: 175,000 items, as it turned out, that included more than 2500 dolls, 55,000 archival photographs and North America’s largest collection of stuffed hummingbirds. Don’t leave without seeing John Hampson’s patriotic bug art. Once apprenticed to inventor Thomas Edison, Hampson created nine works of art composed entirely of colorful beetles and moths.
The days of the annual “Domestic Resurrection Circus” are over, but Bread and Puppet is still using its political puppet pageantry to fight the power. The current president has certainly given them plenty of material. B&P perform stage shows in a barn with bleacher seats. See the website for a schedule. Leave time to tour the museum of papier-mâché masks and puppets. PHOTO: JORDAN SILVERMAN
Stop at this local apple orchard for curly fries and real maple creemees.
A seasonal snack bar that serves up classic summer fare.
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