Contemporary quarriers are still at work at the Rock of Ages Quarry, where you can observe artisans cutting massive blocks of stone as well as sculpting the memorials. Take a guided tour (May 23 - October 17, 2008) or check out the do-it-yourself Cut-In-Stone Center.
Located in the Pavillion Office building, this museum offers a great primer on the forces that have shaped Vermont. The permanent 5000-square-foot exhibit “tells the story of Vermont’s people from 1600 to the present,” according to the website. “Using Vermont’s motto, ‘Freedom and Unity,’ as its thematic cornerstone, the exhibition shows visitors how Vermonters have always balanced individual freedoms and community.”
Stowe’s hills are definitely alive, and no more so than at the Trapp Family Lodge. The Sound of Music association has worked well for the 2400-acre Austrian-style resort, which is a cross-country ski center in the winter. In summer, it offers hiking, horse-drawn wagon rides, bird-watching tours and Sunday evening “Music in the Meadow” concerts. The “Real Maria” documentary film shows twice a day.
Innovation is definitely in evidence at the Yestermorrow Design-Build School, a center of “hands-on education” that “integrates design and craft.” There are intro courses for beginners, as well as continuing-ed opportunities for seasoned architects, builders, landscapers and engineers. Stop by and tour the campus. You’ll see student-built cabins, solar-powered showers and other shapes of the future.
The Vermont Icelandic Horse Farm in Waitsfield guides treks — for up to five days — on a breed renowned for its smooth ride and stamina. The Vikings reportedly brought the animals to Iceland, where they were isolated to preserve their purity, good temperament and unique bone density. They’re small, but can easily carry an adult employing one of five gaits. A two-hour ride is 70 bucks, and the five-day deal runs around $1500.
Find more than 10 miles of intermediate and advanced single track mountain bike trails, including the "Skywalker," "Yoda" and "Millenium Falcon" loops. You can also connect to the trails in the Hinesburg Town Forest, maintained by the "Fellowship of the Wheel."
On 500 acres in Williston, the nonprofit Catamount Outdoor Family Center maintains more than 20 miles of trails for running, biking and hiking. You can take part in organized races or do your own thing.
The towns surrounding Chittenden County are full of surprising finds — you just have to know where to go. A car comes in handy. At the area’s last-remaining drive-in, certainly, you’ve gotta have wheels. Colchester’s own al fresco movie theater shows double features on four screens every night at sunset. Bring bug spray.
Burlingtonians come here to swim and picnic, out-of-towners also use it as a campground.
Going bareboat? Winds of Ireland at the Burlington Boathouse rents out seven sailing sloops to experienced skippers. If you need someone else to take the tiller, they’ve got captains for hire.
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