Get Out There

Get Outside and Visit Vermont

We’re pulling into the green mountain state. On a map from 1647, the French explorer Samuel de Champlain labeled the area’s Green Mountains as “Verd Mont” and the name stuck, giving us the Vermont we know today. We’re so pleased to be tourists here while the weather is still warm and we can see the last of the fall leaves. It’s a state filled with history and fantastic attraction. But we want to have a more relaxed weekend and spend as much time outside as possible.

Known for maple syrup, apple cider, chocolate and Ben & Jerry’s, the state can be a lot of temptation for those of us with blood sugar concerns. And we are going to swing by the Ben & Jerry’s factory for a tour. They only give you a small sample, which shouldn’t derail your goals. Their factory doesn’t produce ice cream on the weekend, but the tours still operate. You can still see the factory floor — just without activity. We will be bypassing the Scoop Shop and instead head over to the flavor graveyard to pay our respects to amazing flavors no longer gracing the supermarket! The flavor graveyard is next to a playground where any kids on your road trip can let off some energy.

Traveling around the state allows you to see great sights. But when we get tired of driving, we’ll be taking a trip on the Green Mountain Railroad. The train has a lounge, parlor, dining car and more. We’ll be looking out the window to see any of Vermont’s famous witch windows. We’ll stretch our legs by visiting the Robert Frost Interpretive Trail, a beautiful walking trail through the woods that features poetry throughout. It’s a 1.2-mile walk with no hills that is suitable for wheelchairs, making it an excellent spot for a walk with the family.

From there, we’ll head to Five Elm Arches, an outdoor art installation. An artist grew trees and plants around forms, creating grown boxes, arches and sculptures. It’s a nice stop to see crazy plants outdoors while the weather is still nice. If we lose track of time, we’ll head over to the Burlington Earth Clock. This sundial needs participation from the viewer. By standing in the center, your shadow can tell you the time of day! People gather there for the solstices and notches in the stone perfectly line up to where the sun will set on those days.

When we’re tired, we’ll spend the evening at the Marble Mansion, a 22-room mansion built from marble in the style of the French Second Empire in 1867. Now it is a hotel where rooms are surprisingly affordable this time of year! We’ll spend the last day of our trip cruising around and taking pictures with absurd roadside attractions. We’ll hit Shelburne’s fire station to take a picture with a giant jack made from fire hydrants. Then we’ll visit the delightfully named Vermontasaurus, a dinosaur sculpture made from bits of cars and bits of hot air balloons. After it collapsed in 2011, volunteers rebuilt it and built a baby Vermontasaurus to keep it company.

Finally, we are really enjoying our road trip, but we also like our jobs. So, when we start missing the office, we’ll go and check out the Tallest Filing Cabinet on Earth. We’ll snap a photo and get back on the road, having thoroughly enjoyed our visit to Vermont!

Banner image: Sue Cummings & Bruce Howard,

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