Perkins Pier’s Waterfront Boat Rentals lets out rowboats, kayaks, canoes, double kayaks, aluminum skiffs and Boston Whalers by the hour — or eight. With more than 130 square miles of lake before you, the only limitation is how long you’ve got. And, of course, your vessel’s horsepower. An easy paddle north will take you to the Rock Point promontory via North Beach, where Burlingtonians go to swim and out-of-towners camp out. Go south to survey Red Rocks — a popular swimming and sunset spot — and Oakledge Park. Got a few hours?
Button Bay is one of the best beaches on Lake Champlain: The water’s clean, and you can rent canoes and kayaks right there. If neither swimming nor boating appeals, there’s always the area’s unique geology: flat round “button-like” rocks along the shoreline are great for skipping. Seventy-three campsites and 13 lean-tos beckon if you feel like staying over. Samuel de Champlain, Ethan Allen, Benedict Arnold and Ben Franklin all did. PHOTO: CAROL DINGLEY
It’s less than two miles to the top of this popular hiking destination. Perfect for kids — and you get a big-mountain view.
Midway through August, authors arrive at Middlebury College's Bread Loaf campus in Ripton for the annual, two-week Writers Conference. The “instructors” — published poets, novelists and memoirists — give nightly readings. It’s intimate, cultured and camp-like. And free, to listen.
People have been fighting over Lake Champlain as long as there have been personal flotation devices. The waterway’s strategic value is evidenced by the dozens of shipwrecks on the bottom. The Lake Champlain Maritime Museum has been discovering, researching and protecting those rusty relics, and the result is the Lake Champlain Underwater Historic Preserve, a gallery of sunken ships accessible to divers. But there’s plenty to look at on land, too. The dry museum chronicles the maritime history of the area through exhibits, boat-building demonstrations, lectures and festivals.
The sturdy, studly Morgan horse is unique to Vermont. That’s because Justin Morgan — originally of Springfield, Massachusetts — was living in Randolph when he bred the animal to perfection back in the 1700s. Strong and versatile, the animals worked on farms, pulled stagecoaches, competed in early harness racing and carried the First Vermont Cavalry to the Civil War. The National Museum of the Morgan Horse recounts this uniquely American equine story.
The crack of the bat, the call of the hot-dog vendor — it wouldn’t be summer without minor-league baseball. In Burlington, the Vermont Lake Monsters — formerly the “Reds,” then the “Expos” — play through Labor Day at UVM Centennial Field. The 103-year-old ballpark is a jewel in the middle of a city neighborhood that once hosted the likes of Barry Larkin, Ken Griffey, Jr., Orlando Cabrera and Jason Bay.
Nonprofit Preservation Burlington leads guided tours — upon request — with an eye toward architecture of historic and stylistic interest. Learn about how the Queen City was developed, and find out who built it. Look for contact information on the Preservation Burlington website.
Don't wait until you're dead to enjoy the Queen City's scenic garden cemetery. Wander the winding paths toward the waterfront, and you'll pass headstones that read like a Who's Who of local history. A former governor, the second U.S. Ambassador to the U.N., the namesake of Howard University in Washington D.C. and Civil War hero General George Stannard are among the notable residents.
Walk through the vineyards or visit the new tasting room to try some of their award-winning wines. The latest release? Cote de Champlain, celebrating Samuel de Champlain's voyage of discovery in 1609.
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