Visiting Vibrant Vermont

The northeastern state of Vermont is nicely nestled between the states of New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New York and the Canadian province of Quebec and provides the ultimate New England location if you are looking for that perfect winter vacation.

Referred to as The Green Mountain State – Vermont originates from the French ‘Verd Mont’ meaning green mountain – Vermont is full of lush mountains and farmland that are beautiful during any season but especially during the winter, when the vistas are covered in snow, making Vermont the perfect skiing getaway.

Vermont has ten designated byways differing in length – between 14 and more than 400 miles – and each one leads you to a different aspect of Vermont that you will not want to miss.

There are different types of accommodation in the state meaning if you are looking for a classic getaway, bed and breakfast, sporting break or even a romantic weekend away there is something for everyone, including the stunning Barrow’s House in Dorset which when covered in snow looks like something out of a movie.

Vermont is one of those states that has something for you to see in every one of its towns, and with over 200 there is plenty to choose from. Towns such as Burlington and Montpelier have some amazing tree lighting events while those wanting the perfect horse-drawn sleigh ride should head to Billings Farm and Museum in Woodstock.

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Woodstock also hosts their popular Wassail Weekend each year and this pretty town is transformed into “the holiday wonderland of your dreams” to celebrate the run up to Christmas. Usually held at the beginning of December this event is definitely worth putting into your 2021 calendar.

If you do decide to visit Woodstock they have some quaint shopping areas including Shackleton Thomas in Bridgewater and Norwich’s King Arthur Flour.

A winter trip to a ‘real life snow globe’ is not complete without some snow-based activity. As well as skiing many head to the area to partake in snowmobiling, ice fishing and snowshoeing and Vermont is full of some of America’s most breathtaking ski resorts.

The aptly named Mount Snow not only has some great skiing activity but also dining and shopping facilities. The childcare service can be used not only while you are hurtling down the slopes but also if you want to take advantage of their spa.

Just off Route 100, the area has some beautiful scenery and the byway is often called the ‘Ski Highway’ by locals.

Depending on your budget, party, preferred destination and activity, there are many ski resorts that will suit your needs, many of which can be found on Ski Vermont.

As well as snow sports and amazing scenery, Vermont is also well known for its craft breweries. The Vermont Brewers Association – founded in 1995 – is a fierce advocate of craft brewing in the area and likes to promote from within the state.

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And it is easy to see why. With an abundance of breweries offering social events and tastings – all adhering to current social distancing guidelines – it can be difficult to decide where to go first.

If you prefer lager you could head to Stowe and visit the Von Trapp Brewery, or if you would like to try spirits, cider or wine with your craft beer then Addison County’s Middlebury Tasting Trail and Tour is perfect for you.

All tours are subject to conditions – those under 21 cannot taste the produce – so it is worth doing your research before you decide which brewery to visit.

Like the Vermont Brewers Association the Vermont Fresh Network likes to ‘promote local’ and provides a great variety of restaurants that offer locally produced food and drinks.

Many of the restaurants in the state, such as the Artisan Restaurant Tavern, Kitchen and Garden in Newfane, provides farm to table dining, working with more than 20 different farms to ensure you have a wide choice of food to choose from.

Many of these locations are open during the holiday season – with some remaining open on Christmas Day – with many providing private parties or curbside takeaways, such as the Starry Night Café in Ferrisburgh.

If you like the idea of a tour but do not want to visit a brewery why not head to the Ben & Jerry’s factory tour. The Waterbury factory was built in 1985 and produces a staggering 350,000 pints of ice cream every day. Currently closed due to the on-going pandemic, the factory is due to reopen in 2021 however curbside pickup is currently available.

Whatever you decide to do this winter it is worth remembering that many locations have regulations in place due to the Covid-19 pandemic with many enforcing social distancing and the wearing of a face covering.

While many are still open and are in need of your custom, contact the companies first to see if there are any restrictions on their opening times to avoid disappointment.

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