Planning your Summer Vacation to Vermont

justin_morrill_homestead_575Photo: Justin Smith Morrill Homestead – Vermont State Historic Site – Strafford.
You’re starting to think about your summer vacation. I know it, because many of you read our article “Fun things to do in the summer in Vermont” this month…
So here are some tips and links to help you plan your summer vacation in Vermont, and some ideas on things to do here this summer:
1- Vermont Life Magazine – monthly e-newsletter – You can subscribe for free to Vermont Life Magazine’s monthly e-newsletter. They usually have a list of events for the month and more…
2- Vermont Public Radio – e-newsletter – Another e-newsletter you can subscribe to. They cover interesting topics and take you to the web pages where you can download a special program. Last month for instance, they talked about the documentary “Maple Sugar Time”.
3- Vermont Life Magazine – web extras – Free on their website. Lots of great information. In the Spring 2009 web extra, you can see maps of the 5 riverside bike rides discussed in the printed issue (zoom close to see details).  In the Summer 2008 web extra, they presented restaurant hopping suggestions for Northern, Central and Southern Vermont, recipes by awarded-chef Michael Kloeti and even a nice little documentary filmed in the kitchen of his restaurant on a Friday night “Behind the scene”…
4- Vermont Life Magazine – I don’t get anything for promoting Vermont Life Magazine but it’s a nice publication to plan your vacation to Vermont. You can start with a free issue! See their website.
5- Vermont Summer Vacation Guide – Vermont Department of Tourism has a vacation guide for each season. You can order it on line.
6- Outdoors associations websites – Here are 3 official websites for information and events on outdoors activities (Vermont Outdoor Guide Association), hunting and fishing (Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department), and golfing (Golf Vermont)
7- Vermont State Historic Sites – There are a number of events all summer long at Vermont Historic Sites, and an open house week-end in June at all sites. For the calendar of events, you can consult their official website.
8- Vermont Mozart Festival – July 19th to August 9 – The Vermont Mozart Festival is in our opinion one of the nicest series of events of the summer in Vermont. It is a series of classical music (and some jazz) concerts in wonderful outdoor settings, including some historic sites. Let’s hope for better weather than last year, when they needed to use their indoor “rain site” too often. For the complete calendar of events, see Vermont Mozart Festival.
9- The Quadricentennial of Lake Champlain – You may know that this year is a very special year in Vermont. It is the 400th anniversary of Lake Champlain and there are tons of events organized by public and private organizations. The major event is “Celebrate Champlain Burlington International Waterfront Festival” from July 2 to July 14. You can see the complete calendar of events on their Events page. They also printed a magazine you can find on local news stands or buy on line.
10- Our Amazon bookstore: right here we have compiled for you a list of travel guides, maps, outdoors books, gastronomy and more. This online bookstore takes you to the Amazon website to complete your purchase. Hope you’ll find it helpful. See our Bookstore page.
11- Last by not least, you can check our Summer 2008 articles on outdoors, Vermont historic sites, things to do, summer concerts, bike rides, etc. on our List of Articles page.
On that note, we hope you come to Vermont to enjoy a great summer, and we’d love to hear from you on ideas, suggestions, things and places you loved…

Celebrating Champlain

Samuel de Champlain - battle against Iroquois - Ticonderoga 1609
At 7pm tonight, October 24th, at the Vergennes Opera House, is the film premiere of “Champlain – the Lake Between” by filmmaker Caro Thompson. Samuel de Champlain seems to be quite a celebrity these days here in Vermont but also in Quebec and in New York State. 400 years ago, when he traveled these regions, he probably did not imagine he would be so popular centuries later… As Quebec celebrates the 400th anniversary of the founding of Quebec city by Samuel de Champlain and as New York and Vermont prepare to celebrate the anniversary of the discovery of Lake Champlain by the French explorer next year, a lot is being written and discussed on this subject: conferences, movies and documentaries, books…
Tonight, Caro Thompson explores Samuel de Champlain’s legacy, the relationships between Natives and Europeans (the fur trade was essential to both the French and the Natives) and the history of the military forts (Lake Champlain was indeed a very strategic region at the time of New France). “The lake between” is the name native Americans had given to the lake… There will be a discussion with the filmmaker and reception. The documentary will also be broadcasted on Vermont Public Television, with a broadcast premiere on December 3, 2008, at 8pm.
More information at: Vergennes Opera House – Film premiere of “Champlain – The Lake Between”

In the past few weeks, there have been other events of interests, a recent conference in Vergennes on first contacts between Europeans and Natives, a presentation at Champlain College by the historian Willard Sterne Randall, TV programs on Quebec television, articles in Quebec newspapers and the New York Times… but if you missed them, you still have a chance to be part of this discovery experience.

Here are a few events to watch for:
– October 30 in Albany, Pulitzer prize winner David Hackett Fischer is presenting his new book: “Champlain’s Dream”. A superb book!
Details at: “Champlain’s Dream” – Book presentation
– July 2-5, 2009: Champlain College is organizing an international symposium called: “When the French were here”.
Details at: Champlain College – “When the French were here” – Conference
– And right here at Travel-Vermont.net, we are organizing a summer 2009 historic tour “When this land was called New France…” … 6 days of historic exploration of this beautiful region (Quebec, Vermont and New York State)… Samuel de Champlain’s explorations, the way French settlers lived here, the forts and military actions… in English or in French… In partnership with Ipswich Tours and History Traveler, the official travel organization of the History Channel, and one of the events of the Quadricentennial of Lake Champlain.
More details at:When this land was called New France“.

Related articles:
– Middlebury College’s professor Christopher Shaw has canoed the path taken by Samuel de Champlain this summer.
Read his September 26 article in the New York Times: Champlain’s Shores
– In the Boston Globe, March 9, 2008: “Champlain was here” … on the exploration of the coast of New England, all the way down to Cape Cod
– In the Times Argus, March 16, 2008: “A bold arrival, an obscure end for French in Vermont”
“Champlain names his lake”, a presentation by historian Willard Sterne Randall, from the Champlain College will air soon on Channel17 TownMeeting in streaming video. Check: Town Meeting Digital Television Conversion
– You can already see a presentation he did on Jacques Cartier and French explorers at: “Jacques Cartier and fool’s gold”
– The documentary “Facing Champlain, A Work in 3 Dimensions” by award-winning Quebec filmmaker Jean-François Pouliot can be seen at the Centre d’interprétation de Place-Royale in Quebec city
Details at: Centre d’interprétation de Place-Royale
– Map of Samuel de Champlain’s voyages
Lake Champlain… New France