During a recent visit the family of my husband, Bobby, in Massachusetts, we decided to take a quick trip to Vermont. As those of you who have been following my posts know, quick trips are the reason I started this blog to begin with. So taking a three and a half hour ride to Stowe, Vermont, was a no brainer. There is so much to do, but with only 35 hours, many of those were spent in travel or sleep, I have what I would consider the top things to do if you only have a short amount of time to stay.
- Tour Ben and Jerry’s — Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream is known around the world, but if you are anywhere near Waterbury, Vermont, you should take a tour of the factory. The tours last around 30 minutes and end with a sample of ice cream. By taking the tour you not only get to see how the ice cream is made, but you learn how two guys were able to take a $5 correspondence course from Penn State University on how to make ice cream and grow a multi-million dollar company.
- Try Some Cheddar Cheese — Just down the road from Ben and Jerry’s is a little shopping plaza that includes the Cabot Cheese Annex. This is a little shop that not only can you buy cheddar cheese, you can sample them, too. I honestly had no idea how many different styles of cheddar cheese there are. Bobby made an astute observation, it you had them one at a time you might not notice the difference. However, trying them one after the other, you can get a real sense of the nuances. We weren’t able to purchase any of the cheese, because it was too warm and we didn’t have a cooler. If you go, you might want to keep that in mind.
- Be Tempted by Chocolate — In the same plaza as Cabot Cheese is a Lake Champlain Chocolate store. Being a chocoholic, I obviously had to visit and would recommend you go, too. They obviously sell chocolates of all kinds, but also ice cream and coffee. The staff are very friendly and helpful. They will guide you to the best chocolate for your taste. (After telling them what I liked, they suggested truffles for me. Which was an excellent choice.) You can also buy “seconds” from the factory. I bought a handful of their Evergreen Mint seconds (dark chocolate with mint chips).
- Travel the Stowe Recreational Path — Bobby and I are training for a 5k, which means we have to find places to train even while we are on vacation. However, even if we weren’t, a walk on the Recreational Path would be a good place to take in the sites of Vermont. The trail is paved and quite pleasant to traverse. There are woods and creeks and beautiful scenery everywhere. It seems like quintessential Vermont.
- Take in the View from the Trapp Family Lodge — There is no where you can travel in Vermont without seeing the mountains. (Bobby explained to me that the word Vermont means Green Mountain. That is something I did not know.) I will say, though that taking in the view from a mountain is awesome. We went to the Trapp Family Lodge and took the Family History Tour, which I highly recommend. But even if you don’t do the tour you should still go just to get an amazing view of the Vermont mountains. You can get a day pass to walk the grounds and trails. If you are brave, take a hike up to the Chapel built by Werner von Trapp. It isn’t exactly difficult, but it is quite a steep trail, especially towards the end.
Like I said, we only had a brief time in Stowe. Had we had longer, we would have liked to visit the shops and many restaurants in the downtown area. Unfortunately, even though we tried, we couldn’t get any ice cream from Stowe Ice Cream because they were closed for the season. Who would have expected it to be 80 degrees in October!
So whether you go to Vermont in the fall or not, there will be plenty to do. If you’ve been there, please share the things you did to help others who might now be planning a trip. As always, thanks for reading!