By Heather Barrett
The Vermont Department of Marketing and Tourism has been
experimentally trying out progressive tactics to boost tourism and ensure that
visitors have a unique, memorable time in the Green
This summer the Twitter handle @THISISVT was handed over to the public. Each
week a new Vermonter is selected to take over the account and share their Vermont
experiences. @THISISVT acts as a peer
review / inside scoop on what to do and where to go while in Vermont.
It also gives visitors a glimpse into the everyday lives of Vermonters.
Additionally, The Vermont Department of Marketing and
Tourism, the Department of Buildings and General Services, the Vermont
Librarian’s Association and AMPress Publishing have developed a new program
that encourages visitors to experience the state’s literary resources. Seven
Visitor Centers are participating in The Vermont Authors Project’s Lending
Library. The Alburgh, Fair Haven, Guilford,
Montpelier, White River Junction
and Williston north and south Visitor Centers will have free books to lend to
the public. The books are written by Vermont
authors Archer Mayor and Castle Freeman, with the intention to expand genres
and authors in the future. Travelers can sign out a free paperback or audio
book to enjoy during their Vermont
trip. The program uses a classic Vermont
honor system in that borrowers are simply asked to return the book to any Welcome
Center in Vermont
or by mail (envelope provided) within one month.
To learn more about the program and Vermont
authors, please read the press release from Vermont Tourism & Marketing.
Heather Barrett is a Marketing Assistant at Vermont Woods Studios,
an online furniture gallery which showcases Vermont’s finest wood
furniture. Follow our blog to learn about Vermont fine furniture,
Vermont happenings, our mission, and our team.
Guest Blogger: Dennis Shanoff
Vermont Woods Studios Fine Furniture
Love Vermont Maple Syrup? Check out Vermont’s Maple Producers Open House Weekend!
Vermont sure has a whole lot of trees and it is estimated that over 75% of the state is forested. And the biggest percentage of these trees just happens to be of the maple variety.
Well year round these abundant maple trees provide wood and lumber for a variety of products such as wood bowls, cutting boards, wood toys, and of course maple wood furniture.
But come February and March these maple trees are known to produce a very special treat, real Vermont maple syrup! And no wonder with so many sugar maple trees that Vermont is the largest producer of pure organic maple syrup (not a single ingredient added) in the United States. And Vermont’s perfect climate and soil conditions also play a part in our quantity and quality of maple syrup.
So with the maple sugar season in full swing, now is the time to plan to visit Vermont and see first hand what this sugaring is all about! And you can’t beat the upcoming Vermont Maple Open House Weekend (held March 24th and 25th) to experience maple syrup production up close. This is a public celebration of the maple syrup season in Vermont and a great opportunity to visit one or more sugarhouses and see just how the clear sap of the maple tree is transformed into a delicious golden syrup.
See you at the Sugar House!
More Tales Of A Flatlander by Shannon Albritton
I spoke with my Dad in Pennsylvania yesterday to give him my regular update on what’s been happening here in Vermont. My parents have plans to visit us at the end of the month for “Leaf Peeping Season” and Dad is concerned about the roads and the general condition of area. “Will there even be anything to see and do when we get there?” (Silent pause)… hmmm… “Do you mean other than visiting with your favorite daughter and son-in-law?” Joking! Not really.
This question, of course, is common among Vermont-loving Americans outside of our state as our trees prime themselves for their Fall Foliage Spectacular. The media has done an excellent job of communicating our devastation and I mean that sincerely. Yes, many roads and quaint towns have been ‘rearranged’ by Mother Nature? Perhaps she’d become a bit bored with our landscape and wanted to redecorate? Yet even as I take in the disruption and damage around me I can’t stop thinking about its stunning beauty, rearrangement and all.
You see, I’ve lived in Vermont less than 6 months, which still qualifies me as a tourist and a flatlander. My husband and I are always on the hunt for something interesting to investigate around our new home in Windham County. When our out-of-state friends visit we spring into tour-guide mode. Here in Southern Vermont there are endless options undisturbed by the effects of Irene. Outdoor activities such as hiking, kayaking, and mountain biking are plentiful. Despite the flooding you’ve seen on the news most everything is still accessible.
A casual stroll through downtown Brattleboro’s charming shops, galleries and restaurants can pleasantly fill your day. It’s an eclectic and interesting town that some have referred to as the ‘San Francisco of the Northeast’. You may even spot a Brattleboro resident walking his pig on a leash down Main Street! I can’t make these things up.
If you’re lucky to be here for the first Friday of the month don’t miss Gallery Walk, a year-round, festive FIRST FRIDAY stroll, 5:30 to 8:30, in downtown Brattleboro, Vt. and nearby locations. The Brattleboro Farmers Market is one of the best I’ve ever visited and they have the most delicious prepared foods for breakfast and lunch. Take home some Vermont Maple Syrup, savory cheese and locally grown organic apples, veggies and many other Vermont-made treats.
The Southern Vermont Natural History Museum located atop Hogback Mountain in Marlboro is sure to please nature enthusiasts and the 100-mile view from their location is a show-stopper every time. If you’re an earlier riser there is no better location than this to watch the sunrise over the vast mountain range.
Adjacent to the Visitors Center Grounds and Hogback Mountain Conservation area you can access an entry-level hiking trail leading to the steel fire tower at the summit of Mt. Olga, Molly Start State Park. Those without a fear of heights (not me) can climb to the top for, what I am told, an incredible sight. Using the Molly Stark State Park Trail Guide you can branch off into a trail system with varying difficulty. Campers at Molly Start Campground can connect Hogback Mountain and the museum via this trail system. Travel just a few miles west toward Wilmington and take 100 north to the Mount Snow base lodge and hop on the Scenic Chairlift Ride. This had been a favorite outing for our guests and I can hardly wait to do ride the lift this fall!
When you’re hungry for a great outdoor meal head straight to Wahoo’s Eatery in Wilmington where you can upgrade your burger, wrap, sandwich or salad with grass-fed beef or free-range organic chicken. Their Bacon Blue grass-fed Burger is the best in the area. Wahoo’s was almost destroyed but with the help of it’s community is back on it’s feet again and donating 50% of ALL sales to directly to helping the hundreds of people displaced by the historic flooding. Now that’s community!
The Official State of Vermont Tourism Site hosts an extensive amount of well-organized information and writes, “The vast majority of the state is accessible and most lodging and dining properties are fully operational and ready to welcome you”. Visit their site to learn more about available lodging and activities here in Southern Vermont and points north. All we Vermonters (and Flatlanders) ask is that you have a little patience on our roads, obey the detours and have consideration for our construction, and relief vehicles. Here’s a bright side to consider; if you have to drive a little slower and if it takes a little longer that’s just more time you’ll have to absorb the scenery of the great state of Vermont in all it’s splendor and beauty!
Oh wait, before you go… Did I mention we’re on tap for the best Fall Foliage Season we’ve had in years. The leaves on the trees have survived and remain strong, in true Vermont fashion, and this year's Fall Foliage Season looks promising. Many thanks to Irene and Mother Nature… Perhaps too much rain does make some things better.