Take Your Pick
Bellow Falls, VT
Alien Petroglyphs?
Petroglyphs - Along the slippery slopes of the Connecticut River and carved into a large granite boulder are several oval alien-looking faces. These faces are said to be up to 2,000 years old and possibly celebrating a successful fish catch. This is all speculation of course. To see the little aliens you can stand on the Vilas Bridge and look roughly 50 feet south (in the direction of the current) along the right hand side of the river. Or you can take your life into your own hands, climb down, and get right next to them. Being a sock monkey I chose the later and fell tail over tea-kettle to the bottom. Please be careful.
Bennington, VT
A Great Collection of Grandma Moses' Works
Grandma Moses Gallery - Anna Mary Robertson Moses (1860-1961) at the age of 76 put down her embroidery needle because of arthritis and picked up a paintbrush. She went on to become one of the best know folk artists in the world. Grandma Moses, as we know her today, created over 1,000 works of art primarily depicting 19th century rural life. The Bennington Museum exhibits the world's largest publically displayed collection of these works. The Bennington Museum also houses turn-of-the-century furniture, portraits and decorative art - and when you're done here you can head to town to see all of the colorful moose on display.
Bennington, VT
American Revolution Battle Monument
Bennington Battle Monument - The 306 foot tall Bennington Battle Monument commemorates the American Revolution battle that began near here on Aug 16, 1777. The monument stands where an arsenal depot was located onto which two British units of roughly 700 men were sent to over-take. On the American side were 2,000 men led by Gen Stark who fought at Bunker Hill. The battle only lasted a few hours before the Red Coats were on the run, but it was significant in the eventual defeat of the British. At the monument are several exhibits and you ride the elevator to the top of the structure.
Burlington, VT
Totem Pole of Battery Park
Battery Park - Battery Park is located on the waterfront of beautiful Lake Champlain in Vermont's largest city of Burlington. Historically it is significant because it is the site of a former military camp which on August 3, 1813 American forces successfully repelled an attack by the British Royal Navy during the War of 1812. Today it is much more peaceful. During the summer months the park is a gathering place for concerts, picnics, and watching the sunsets, and during the winter months for ice skating. To commemorate the influence of the American Indians a sculpture is set up in their honor. Oh, Burlington is also the birthplace of Ben and Jerry's ice cream.
Cambridge, VT
Vermont Wineries
Boyden Valley Winery - Although Vermont is best known for its maple syrup, wineries throughout the state produce some fine tasting wines. The Boyden Valley Winery is a 4th generation farm located in a restored 1875 carriage barn and boasts nearly 8,000 hand-tended grape vines. Tours are available of the winery including the vineyard and the tank and barrel room. To pick the best wine, wine tastings are available. My favorite is the Vermont Ice Wine, albeit a little strong, it has a nice flavor.
Danby, VT
Green Mountain National Forest
Green Mountain National Forest - It's tough to visit Vermont without visiting the Green Mountain National Forest. The forest runs from the state's southern border with Massachusetts, northward roughly 2/3 of the way up the state. The forest is over 400,000 acres and contains 1,000 miles of hiking trails, several ski area, waterfalls, wildlife, and endless vistas of gorgeous Vermont countryside. It's a great destination for "leaf peepers" in Fall as the mountains become awash in autumn colors.
East Fairfield, VT
Our Canadian President?
Chester A Arthur Birthplace - Just a scant 15 miles from the border of Canada is the birthplace of our 21st President, Chester A Arthur (1829-1886). Or is it? Some people allege President Arthur was actually born in Canada and appropriated the birth records of his brother who died as an infant. The President even claimed he was born in 1830 instead of his true birth year of 1829. Hmmm sounds suspicious. Anyway, Vice President Arthur became President after the assassination of President Garfield and was at the helm from 1881 to 1885. At the "birthplace" site is a granite marker located on site of original log cabin and a two room replica of a house that once stood here.
Grand Isle, VT
One of the Nation's Oldest Log Cabins
Hyde Log Cabin - Located on beautiful Lake Champlain are the three islands that make up most of Grand Isle County, North Hero, South Hero, and Isle La Motte. South Hero, often called the Grand Isle, is the largest of the group at 14 miles long and 3 miles. On the island is the oldest log cabin in Vermont and one of the oldest in the USA. The one room, 20 foot by 25 foot hand-made home was built by frontier settler Jedediah Hyde, Jr. in 1783. It was used for several generations by the Hyde family (the original location was about 2 miles from its current location) and is now operated as a museum by the Vermont Division of Historic Preservation.
Graniteville, VT
Where Granite Comes From
Rock of Ages Granite Quarry - From US capitol buildings to headstones, granite from central Vermont is used everywhere. To see how it is cut from the earth, lifted from the quarry, and sculpted by artisans you just need to visit the Rock of Ages Granite Quarry. Start out at the visitor center and watch a short film on the granite industry, then take a self-guided tour of the factory. After that visit the impressive 600 foot deep-hole quarry, enjoy a game of bowling at the outdoor bowling lane and pick up a souvenir at the gift shop.
Montpelier, VT
Nation's Smallest Capital City
State Capitol Building - Completed in 1859, Vermont's present State Capitol Building is the state's third official state house. The architecture is Greek Revival and is adorned with a 57 foot high, 24 karat gold leaf dome that reflects the bright Vermont sunshine. The interior contains maple floors, portraits of Vermont's two Presidents (Coolidge and Arthur) and the Hall of Flags containing the state's Civil War regiment flags. The grounds are a popular gathering place for locals and visitors to hang out (in summer). Montpelier has the unique distinction of being the smallest capital city in the USA.
Montpelier, VT
Containing the History of Vermont
Vermont History Museum - Just down the street from the state capitol building is the Vermont History Museum. It serves as a public library and museum which displays both permanent and temporary exhibits. The largest permanent exhibit is the Freedom and Unity: One Ideal, Many Stories, which displays artifacts and information about Vermont from 1600 AD to present day. Step back in time to when American Revolutionary War patriot Ethan Allen joined his Green Mountain Boys at the Catamount Tavern.
Pittsford, VT
Maple Syrup Capital of the World
Maple Syrup Museum - Vermont is famous for its maple syrup and to understand the history and art of syrup making, a visit to the Maple Syrup Museum is in order. Here you will learn how Native Americans first discovered that boiling down the sap of maple trees resulted in a sticky and great tasting treat. Then see how the process evolved through the years with personal accounts, murals, and authentic syrup making equipment. The best part is sampling the different syrups and candies at the end of the tour. A large gift shop is also available where you can purchase your favorite maple product.
Proctor, VT
That's Not My Weight
Vermont Marble Museum - The Vermont Marble Museum which is operated by the Vermont Marble Company contains the world's largest marble exhibit. Take a self-guided tour of the facility to learn about the company and the marble making process. The most often asked question is, "what's the difference between granite and marble"? Here you will learn that granite is made from magma or molten rock and marble is made from compressed seashells. After touring, head on over to the Wilson Castle, an interesting 19th century structure that is best toured after dark. Scary.
Shelburne, VT
Vermont's Best Museums
Shelburne Museum - It is hard to describe the Shelburne Museum exactly, but it was one of this monkey's favorite Vermont attractions. Here you will find a fantastic mix of historic architecture, Americana, and impressionist art all located on 50 acres of beautifully manicured grounds. There are over 150,000 works of art including Manet, Monet, Degas and Homer. But there is nothing pretentious about this museum, there is an equal showing of toys, circus figures and horse drawn carriages. Expect to spend an entire day viewing the fine works of art and walking the grounds. The next day head a few miles down the road to the impressive 1,400 acre Shelburne Farms.
Shelburne, VT
Home of the Teddy Bear
Vermont Teddy Bears - The popular and cute Vermont Teddy Bears are truly created right here in Vermont. There are two factories, one in Shelburne and one in Newport which produce nearly 450,000 fuzzy bears a year, making them one the largest producer of teddy bears in the world. Factory tours are available which take you through the cutting, sewing, and stuffing of the little critters. The company was founded in 1981, but teddy bears have been around since the early 1900s. They are named after Teddy Roosevelt, who while hunting in Mississippi spared the life of a bear cub.
South Royalton, VT
Birhtplace of Joseph Smith
Joseph Smith Monument - Joseph Smith, Jr. (1805-1844), was born in Sharon Vermont to parents Joseph Sr. and Lucy Smith. In his 20s he translated the Book of Mormon from golden plates shown to him by an angel that were written in an ancient language. Smith attracted a large following and a large number of detractors. The detractors ended Smith's life at the age of 38 in Carthage, Illinois. The Joseph Smith Monument was dedicated on the 100th anniversary Smith's birthday and is made of a 38 1/2 foot shaft of granite, one foot for each year of his life.
Stowe, VT
Home of the Von Trapps
Trapp Family Lodge - The Von Trapp family that inspired the 1965 film, "The Sound of Music" owns and operates the luxurious Trapp Family Lodge. The family was a popular musical act in their home country of Austria until the invasion of the Nazis during WWII. After they made their daring escape, they toured North America and settled in the town of Stowe in 1940. Here they built a European influenced lodge which is located on 2,400 acres of beautiful Vermont countryside in the middle of New England's ski country. After a hard day of skiing, it is a fantastic place to come home to.
Waterbury, VT
One Chunky Monkey
Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream Factory - To visit Vermont and not see the Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream Factory is like going to the North Pole and not seeing Santa. You just have to. The ice cream giant was created by Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield after taking an ice cream making correspondence course in 1977. The following year they opened their first ice cream parlor in Burlington VT. At the factory today, tours show an introductory film, the production room and the Flavoroom (to sample the flavor of the day). Outside are the world famous bus and the Flavor Graveyard. The graveyard contains all the flavors that aren't produced anymore such as, Rainforest Crunch and Oh Pear, but you won't find Chunky Monkey here.
Weston, VT
Out Front of the Country Store
Vermont Country Store - The Vermont Country Store is fashioned after an old-timey general store and is the place to find anything you need or want. From floor to ceiling are candies, candles, clothes, ceramics, and crafts (and that's only the things starting with the letter "c"). There are books, games, toys and yes even sock monkeys. And whatever a "Yankee Bargains" are, they have lots of those too. Two Vermont Country Stores grace the state, one in Weston and one in Rockingham. The store was first opened in 1946 by Vrest and Ellen Orton, and continues to be operated by the 3rd and 4th generations of the Orton family.
Windsor, VT
Longest Wooden Bridge in the USA
Covered Bridges of Vermont - Vermont has well over 100 covered bridges in the state, and because of its small size, it gives the state the largest concentration of covered bridges in the USA. The Cornish - Windsor Bridge, at 460 feet, gives the state a couple of other titles, the longest wooden bridge in the USA and the longest two-span covered bridge in the world. This bridge which spans the Connecticut River was built in 1866 as a toll bridge and is still in operation today (but you don't have to pay a toll any more).