Re: Any Vermont Waneeans out there?
I'm here! I'm here!
OOOohhh, VT is the greatest in the summer!!!
I second the Ben & Jerry's suggestion. Tours are super cheap and you get ice cream at the end.
Sadly, the Alchemist location in Waterbury was a casualty of TS Irene a few years ago and never re-opened. It's now called Prohibition Pig and I hear it's great, but a bit higher end. The good news is that Heady Topper is sold in select stores (on a very limited basis because they can fresh and it sells out quickly) so you can bring it home.
You can also go to their cannery in Waterbury. I've never been, but I may when I go up in a couple weeks.
Another great beer place is Three Penny Taproom in Montpelier. Great, great variety of local beers. Montpelier is a great town to hang out in (and the only state capitol without a McDonalds).
The drive from Waterbury to Stowe on rt. 100 is beautiful in a very fancy sort of way. But the drive on rt. 100 southbound is great in a "small-town VT" way.
Stop in Waitsfield (hometown of Grace Potter, woot!) and look around. If you're coming from Starksboro, you can take rt 17 over the Appalachian Gap (great drive) and it will bring you right into town to rt 100. If you're there on a Saturday, they have an awesome farmer's market. There's a lot of great shops and restaurants. Mad Taco is great and has a great beer selection (they are co-owned by a couple of the Three Penny guys, I believe). Lareau Farm is the home of American Flatbread Pizza (although there are a few other flatbread restaurants around the state). If you follow rt 100 just past Lareau Farm, there's a great swimming hole on the left.
The next town in Warren, which is a great little artsy town full of old hippies. Go down through Warren Village and stop at the Warren store. Then sit on the deck and relax right above the Mad River. Magical.
If you continue South, you'll pass through the Granville Gulf, a nature preserve where you very well might see a moose. As you drive through the windy roads, picture it covered in snow and ice and picture me driving this way to school....every...single...day. Granville is a tiny little town, with not much of note, except for the fact that it's where I grew up.
Rochester, is a nice little New England town with a great cafe, and a town green. There's a convenience store called Skip Mart. Stop there and get a creemee (soft serve ice cream). You can get creemees everywhere, but you should get one there because they're the best.
The drive down rt 7 (west of Starksboro) is nice too, although it IS straighter and flatter. That will bring you through Charlotte, Middlebury & Brandon, all of which are beautiful towns to wander around in.
And yes, Burlington (Church Street specifically) is fantastic, and one of Owllover's favorite places.
Okay....that's all I have for now.....