Manchester is shopping, Dorset is pretty, Bennington is historic...
and then you must get to the other side. You'd think at the narrowest
point in the state you could get there from here... but getting
over the mountains is still a trip. Try going on one of the smaller
roads, it makes for more of an adventure.
Vermont's Crown Jewels: by area: North, Central, South
Lincoln's Hildene: Manchester. We may as well make a big
arc, so working our way 'round... Hildene housed Abraham Lincoln's
descendants until 1975. As tours go, this one is very well done,
and we picked up some great period tips going through. Lovely views
to lunch by if you pack a little basket.
From the Past: Bennington. Not really an "attraction"
per se, this is actually a publishing house with an astonishing
collection of images from old Vermont. Publisher Tordis Llg Isselhardt
also provides interpretive services for groups, spinning stories
from Vermont's past, lavishly illustrated with images. A neat way
to "see" the past.
Bennington Museum: Once one of those large
attractions you expect to see in this list... the Bennington Museum has matured into a fine and interesting collection, well displayed. Stars in their crown include a collection
of Grandma Moses, and their extensive display of pottery. I do still
stop to see the Bennington Flag, one of the oldest stars and stripes
known to still exist, and marvel that one of my ancestors probably
touched that flag.
The Bennington Battle Monument and Old North Church: Are
just up the road from the museum... and they are worth the trip.
Robert Frost lies in the church cemetery, and while this is interesting,
park at the monument then walk down to the church to see it. You'll
pass colonial homes beautifully maintained, a monument to the Catamount
Tavern, and get a feeling you can't possibly duplicate from the
interior of your car. For over 200 years, Vermonters have walked
where you walk now, to get to this very church... now that's kind
Bennington Pottery: Celebrating over 60 years as America's oldest
and largest Art Pottery, not only can you browse through the seconds
for a bargain, but there are tours too. There is something about
a Bennington Pottery trigger mug that's never been duplicated.
The Town of Putney: Now, I could spend a lifetime in Putney,
so I'm slightly biased. Squeezed between The River and the hills,
Putney is more community than tourist attraction, with the best
food coop in the state just as you exit the highway. In Putney you'll
find the Green
Mountain Spinnery, where the spin small lots of premium fleece
and mohair into exquisite wools, and a thriving fiber arts community. Basketville has its home here, as does a pick your own orchard operation
(Harlows) I stop at every time I pass through so I can load up on
the berry of the season.
of Chester: There used to be a little train (the Green Mountain
Flyer) which stopped in Chester. Now, there probably isn't any reason
to go there at all, except it is a nice little town, with lovely
examples of Revival and Victorian buildings.
Simon Pierce Glass Blowing Factory: Windsor. A gallery overlooks
the blowing floor... and hot doesn't begin to describe, but it is
fascinating. Glass blowing artists have taken up residence around
the state of Vermont (most noticeably in Stowe) but Simon Pierce
remains the largest, and the most industrial of the producers, complete
with an apprentice program.
continue on to Northern Vermont, home of Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream <Northern Vermont Travel Guide>
continue on to history rich Central Vermont, home of Plymouth and
Billings Farm. <Central Vermont Visitor's Guide>