Stowe is all about altitude and catching air — both essential ingredients of a glider ride. Stowe Soaring and its FAA-certified pilots run flights out of the Stowe-Morrisville Airport when the weather’s nice. The “intro ride” is $89 for 10 minutes; the “Mile High Mt. Mansfield Special,” which is $189 for 40 minutes, promises to be “life-changing.”
Vintage posters of pink-cheeked skiiers. Prehistoric bindings. Old accounts of ski adventures along Route 100. The Vermont Ski Museum chronicles the history of going downhill fast with a large collection of skiing artifacts and memorabilia. Vermont’s famous Cochran family figures prominently. Special exhibits this summer include, “From Schussing to Shredding: The Evolution of Ski Technique.” The museum is open every day but Tuesday.
In winter, the road to Stowe sees a lot of slope-seeking Saabs and Subarus. The summer crowd tends to be driven by ice cream: The Ben & Jerry's Factory in Waterbury is one of the top tourist destinations in Vermont. If your visitors have heard of one thing in the Green Mountain State, sadly, this is probably it. The guided tour doesn’t dwell on the company’s founding entrepreneurs — you have to search high and low for signs of Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield — but it maintains their “If it’s not fun, why do it?” philosophy.
The Saturday market is among the top 10 in the country, according to EatingWell magazine. The 2008 market season lasts from May 3 until October 25. Opens at 9 a.m. Closes at 1 p.m.
Quarry country has its own unique beauty. Explore it the “hard” way at Millstone Hill, a bed-and breakfast located in East Barre. The proprietors have developed a 50-plus-mile network of bike trails — both challenging singletrack and more moderate ones — that brings you alongside dozens of old quarries and “grout” pile lookouts. One hundred years ago, it was the site of a small, independent quarry operation, one of more than 75 in the area. Millstone offers camping, too, and indoor accommodations start at $95. The whole lodge rents for $490. PHOTO: JEB WALLACE-BRODEUR
Nothing says summer in Vermont like high-brow theater performed in a barn. The 2008 season at Unadilla includes an opera series.
This professional theater company stages its shows at Montpelier City Hall. Click on the website above for information about education and outreach programs, and for their current schedule.
The four-hour hike is considered “advanced” by the Green Mountain Club. The reward — on a clear day — is stunning views of the Green and White mountains. The most popular approach is from the Waterbury side, but you can also get there from Middlesex. Looking for trail mix? You’re in luck. Central Vermont is the granola capital of the world.
How do the people of modern-day Barre blow off steam? If it’s summer, they go to the Thunder Road Speed Bowl, atop Quarry Hill. Every Thursday night and Sunday afternoon, thousands make the trek to “the nation’s site of excitement” to watch mostly local drivers compete in street-stock and late-model races. There’s even a state senator — Phil Scott — tearing around the track.
If there were railroad tracks between Barre and Montpelier, Barre would be “on the other side” of them. It’s a working-class city that sprang up around the region’s remarkable granite quarries, which are still producing world-class stone. The original laborers were immigrants from Italy and Scotland. This museum documents the history, geology and technology of the dangerous trade that cut many Vermont lives short.
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