For our 1 year anniversary, we spent a weekend away in the Green Mountain State, home to Bernie Sanders, Ben & Jerry’s and the Spurbury Police. While we spend nearly every weekend in New Hampshire, neither of us had spent considerable time visiting our other neighbors to the north prior to that weekend.
After about two and a half hours on the road we stopped for lunch in the booming metropolis of Montpelier (population: 7,855). We weren’t expecting much from Vermont’s capital city, and it certainly wasn’t much of a city, but we were blown away by its charm. It was the quintessential quaint New England town, with old colonial architecture and cafes and shops lining the main streets. Not only were we surprised by how much we liked Montpelier, but we were also caught off guard by how international it felt. Being only a couple hours south of Quebec, it made sense that there was French being spoken everywhere we turned, but we weren’t expecting such a heavy French influence. Feeling like we were back in Martinique, we ate some crepes and were on our merry way to Stowe.
Stowe Mountain Lodge
Our accommodation for the weekend was the Stowe Mountain Lodge. The lodge is located at the base of Mt. Mansfield (tallest mountain in Vermont) and is not surprisingly more popular as a winter destination given it’s prime location in the “ski capital of the east”. However, with the temperature in the mid-80’s and a poolside ice cream bar at our disposal, this ski resort proved itself to be a more than sufficient summer destination. We stayed in mountain-view studio, with a kitchenette and a balcony overlooking Spruce Peak. The lodge’s restaurant, Soltice, is supposed to be incredible as well, but we opted to go to dinner in the town to see what else Stowe had to offer. We ate at The Whip Bar and Grill at the Green Mountain Inn and were not disappointed.
As far as us ignorant Massachusetts folks are concerned, there are only three towns in the entire state of Vermont, so we would be remiss not to take the time to visit all three on our trip. On Sunday, we drove to Burlington where we spent the day walking around the Church Street Marketplace and visiting breweries. Citizen Cider and Magic Hat were both worth the visit. Unlike, Montpelier and Stowe, Burlington actually felt like a city and had a college town vibe…possibly because it’s a college town. The city, particularly the marketplace, felt a lot like Boulder, except it is situated on a massive lake.
Vermont impressed us more than we had anticipated. The towns, the mountains, and the food were all outstanding. Someone recently mentioned that Vermont and Colorado are the only states where “what man made” and “what God made” are both beautiful. This statement was spot on. The mountainous landscape was never adulterated by strip malls or Wal Marts and the small towns fit seamlessly with their surroundings. The same can certainly not be said for most other states.