Explore cultural heritage topped with a taste of Vermont… Scenic roadways lead to local cuisine from artisan chefs, creative food companies and passionate farmers all thriving alongside artist who are proud to share their arts and crafts. Vermont’s landscape is dotted with farms and points of cultural interest. Discover Vermont’s heritage around every turn, from agriculture and history to a thriving food and arts scene.
Day 1 – Salem, OR to Burlington, VT
We’ll fly into Burlington where our coach will meet us… Welcome to Vermont! It is a state in the northeastern U.S. known for its natural landscape, which is 75% forest. It’s also known for being home to over 100 19th-century covered bridges, and as a major producer of maple syrup. Our home for the next 4 nights is the the Essex Hotel… Nestled at the foot of the Green Mountains in the scenic Lake Champlain Valley, this 18-acre resort is just minutes from Burlington, and is surrounded by all that Vermont is famous for. Essex Hotel (D)
Day 2 – Burlington, VT – Local Touring
After breakfast we’ll head to the University of Vermont’s Morgan Horse Farm… it is dedicated to the preservation and improvement of the Morgan Horse through breeding and selection. Designated as a site on the National Register of Historic Places, the farm is also home to significant Morgan history and a variety of educational programs. For over 60 years, the farm has provided educational experiences. Next… lunch and tour at the Waybury Inn (home of the Bob Newhart Show) For nearly a decade Bob Newhart entertained audiences with his hit TV show, Newhart. In the show, Bob and his wife decide to leave their hectic life in New York City and buy a beautiful inn in Vermont. To their delight, Hollywood came knocking at the Waybury Inn’s door. They thought that the Inn captured the essence of the Vermont experience and wanted to depict them as Bob’s own Stratford Inn! You’ll have some free time in the charming town of Middlebury before we head to Vermont Teddy Bear… the largest maker of hand crafted American made Teddy Bears. We’ll make our way back to Burlington… your evening is free to enjoy the resort or head to town. Essex Hotel (B, L)
Day 3 – Local Touring
We’ll begin our Vermont experience with a visit to Morse Maple Farm where eight generations have produced award winning maple products loved by the world over. Burr Morse will charm you with a presentation about maple syrup production and share the beauty of the Farm where sprinkled throughout, are whimsical carved folk life characters. Next you’ll have some free time for lunch and shopping in the charming town of Montpelier… It offers delightful boutiques and shops, adorable bookshops, antique stores, coffee shops and plenty of places to eat. The town is full of both small town charm as well as big city amenities. Save room for dessert… next stop is Ben & Jerry’s Factory Tour… learn about the ice cream manufacturing process. They know that getting your favorite flavor or trying a new one is priority at the factory, so their full service scoop shop menu includes special items as well as traditional favorites (like waffle cones and hot fudge sundaes!). Can’t decide? Their scoopers are equipped to offer suggestions and sample tastes. Next stop the Cold Hollow Cider Mill… Catch their pressing men in action and watch cider being made the real, old-time way. The warm aromas of fresh baking lure visitors to their bake case, where “What looks good?” usually becomes “I’ll have these, and those, and those …” The bakers are constantly coming up with new, tantalizing creations. You’ll have some time to rest up at the hotel before our wonderful Chef Demo Dinner… enjoy learning the art of cooking before we indulge in a wonderful dinner. Essex Hotel (B, D)
Day 4 – Local Touring
We’ll have another unique Vermont experience today as we visit the Birds of Vermont Museum… The Museum’s displays, the surrounding 100 acre bird sanctuary/nature preserve, and the bird viewing window offer visitors a unique opportunity to see and study birds that will not fly away! The birds are carved by Robert Spear, Jr., a native Vermonter, who is one of Vermont’s foremost naturalists and woodcarvers. Additional birds have been carved by Ingrid Rhind and Dick Allen. There will be a carver on site to answer questions as they carve… Next we’ll head to Lake Champlain for a lunch cruise on the Spirit… Lake Champlain is the largest freshwater lake in the U.S. after the five Great Lakes, and is one of Vermont´s most sought after destinations. Enjoy the scenery and food as we cruise. Relish in the beauty of the countryside as we make our way to Snow Farm Vineyard & Winery… located on an island in the middle of Lake Champlain permits them to grow cooler climate vinifera grapes, Pinot Noir and Riesling, as well as the more cold hardy French Hybrids. Enjoy a tasting and the views before we make our way back to Burlington… your evening is free to head to town or enjoy the resort. Essex Hotel (B, L)
Day 5 – Burlington, VT to Ludlow, VT
We’ll say goodbye to lovely Burlington today… and head south. You’re sure to enjoy our first stop today… the Stone Revival… M. Julian Isaacson, is a self-trained sculptor, and has been designing and creating unique sculptures in stone and hardwoods for over 35 years. As a sculptor, his unique background influences his works of art. It takes a great deal of patience, vision and commitment to become a sculptor, and a master of technique. M. Julian Isaacson’s sculptural masterpieces are as deeply connected to Vermont’s people and land as is his picturesque art gallery. We’ll continue south to another unique Vermont attraction… the Calvin Coolidge State Historic Site… Plymouth Notch, Vermont is the birthplace and boyhood home of Calvin Coolidge, the 30th President of the United States. The Village is virtually unchanged since the early 20th century. The homes of Calvin Coolidge’s family and neighbors, the community church, cheese factory, one room schoolhouse, and general store have been carefully preserved, and many of the buildings have their original furnishings. We’ll make a stop at the Vermont Country Store in Weston before we make it to our home for the next two nights the Jackson Gore Inn at Okemo Resort… located at the base of Vermont’s premier ski mountain… You’ll have time to get cozy in your room before we head to dinner at Echo Lake Inn… The restaurant, recently featured in both Gourmet and Bon Appetit magazines, is well known for the excellent food and service. It is a “Positively Enchanting” – restaurant! “Dinner here is something of an event” Jackson Gore Inn at Okemo Resort (B, L, D)
Day 6 – Ludlow, VT – Local Touring
This morning we’ll tour Billings Farm & Museum… it’s one of the finest operating dairy farms in America and a museum of Vermont’s rural past. Get to know their Jerseys, sheep, horses, and oxen through interactive programs and activities. Explore the barns and calf nursery and watch the afternoon milking of the herd. We will experience a first-hand sampling of actual farm work, animals, and agricultural processes. The authentically restored 1890 Farm House has been the center of the farm and forestry operation since over a century ago. Enjoy some free time to explore Woodstock… Its charming colonial character is enhanced by the local artists, craftsmen, farmers, and purveyors who harness the spirit of Woodstock’s village. A wonderful collection of country stores, boutiques, bookstores, and art galleries line the village stroll, enticing you to wander its charming streets. We’ll take a driving tour of Vermont’s “Little Grand Canyon” this afternoon… some 13,000 years ago, during the Ice Age, Quechee, like the majority of our continent, was covered by a glacier. As the glacier receded from the ocean waters, the melting waters slowly and steadily cut away the bedrock ridge that has become Vermont’s most spectacular natural wonder, Quechee Gorge. Afterward we’ll take in the Quechee Gore Village and Toy Train Museum… This wonderful collection of more than 100,000 toys is the result of one man’s dream and 30 years of dedication to share the preservation of our toy heritage and the importance that toys play in our lives. The decades melt away in the presence of displays from metal to wind-ups, TV toys, lunch boxes, cap guns, Star Wars, and Barbies. We’ll head back to our hotel where a delicious dinner awaits. Jackson Gore Inn at Okemo Resort (B, D)
Day 7 – Burlington, VT – Portland OR
After breakfast we’ll head home with great memories of this fantastic tour filled with beautiful scenery, fantastic food and a wonderful heritage. (B)
“Custom Tours” were designed for groups of 24 or more… If you have a group that wants to book one of these trips… or wants us to design a tour for your groups specific needs… please don’t hesitate to call us. Our tours are designed with a “love of discovery”. Our creative itineraries can be custom-designed to your request including some “must see” attractions as well as “off-the-beaten-path” experiences.