Riding the Train for $12… Until December 31!

October 28, 2009 by  
Filed under Blog, Villages and surroundings

If you missed our earlier article called “Take the Train between Vermont for $12 in 2009“, take a look at this video about the Amtrak’s Vermonter, produced by Burlington’s Seven Days Magazine. Until December 31, you can still enjoy a nice ride, and a nice visit somewhere… may be on one of the last days of foliage… or on a snowy day in December! It really sounds like fun, and a pleasant thing to do on a week-end day!

 

Take the train between Vermont towns for $12 in 2009!

April 21, 2009 by  
Filed under Blog, Villages and surroundings

amtrak_vermonter_randolph_575Photo: Downtown Randolph, one of the Amtrak Vermonter’s stops in Vermont.
What a wonderful way to discover the countryside and the towns of Vermont this summer and this fall.
You can ride the train between towns within Vermont on the Amtrak’s Vermonter for only $12 (one-way rail fare). And the landscape is so breathtaking.
This is wonderful news for tourists and Vermonters, after all the talks over the winter that Amtrak might actually cancel its routes to Vermont.
The Vermonter can take you from Washington DC or New York to Vermont, all the way to St. Albans, VT.
You can enjoy the beautiful landscape, and you can also stop and visit some of those towns, recognized for their scenery, their architecture of historical significance, their shopping and dining. Each town visited by the Amtrak Vermonter’s has actually been recognized by the state for its significance as one of the “22 designated downtowns”. And Randolph – one of the stops – is among the quaintest villages in Vermont (our 2008 article Historical Vermont Towns & Commons)
While you are in Vermont, you can also attend one of the summer festivals the state has to offer. The Vermont Mozart Festival  is taking place from July 19 to August 9, and there are several signature events of the 400 years of Lake Champlain on the route as well, such as the St. Albans Franco-American Heritage Festival on June 18-20 and the “Celebrate Champlain Burlington International Waterfront Festival on July 2-14.

So, to plan your trip: simply plan your trip between any other Vermont town on the route for the special rate of $12 per each trip (discount code V189). And if you come from outside the state of Vermont, take the train from Washington DC or New York (discount code V446) to the first Vermont stop in Brattleboro, and from there, plan your stops within Vermont with the discount code V189.  Major holiday blackout dates are Sept 4, Sept 7, Nov 24-25, and Nov 28-30.
The Vermont stops are: Brattleboro, Bellow Falls, Claremont, Windsor-Mt. Ascutney, White River Junction, Randolph, Montpelier-Barre, Waterbury-Stowe, Burlington-Essex Junction and St. Albans. See the towns on the route on this Amtrak map.
Reservations can be done at 1-800-USA-RAIL and you can find more information about Amtrak’s Vermonter on its web page.
Watch a video on the Vermonter train, produced by Burlington’s Seven Days Magazine: Riding the train.

Enjoy! I surely hope I can try it myself sometimes this summer!

Related article: Planning your Summer Vacation to Vermont

Enjoy Vermont Foliage… Differently

Golden mums
We’ll tell you about the scenic drives and the places to go apple picking, but what about doing something different:

  • Canoeing the Missisquoi river: It is part of the 740-mile Northern Forest Canoe Trail, and has some of the best flat-water paddling in Vermont. And it is bordered by a large silver maple forest. Actually, it is so scenic that there is a bill at the Senate right now to have the Missisquoi and the Trout Rivers become “wild and scenic rivers” which will allow their protection and development as a wonderful natural resource.
    More information at: The Northern Forest Canoe Trail
  •  

  • Follow the cheese trail: There is nothing better than having a good excuse to drive all around Vermont. The cheese makers of Vermont are famous (they get world recognition!) and their cheeses are delicious, so why not discover Vermont cheeses and enjoy the scenery – all at the same time. The Vermont Cheese Council offers you a map of all the places you can visit (check the little flags on the map).
    More information at: Map of the Vermont Cheese Trail
  •  

  • Enjoy a train ride: This summer I had the opportunity to visit a few of the Vermont towns which saw their economic development boosted in the mid-1800s because the railroad came through their villages. The tracks are still there and believe me, they are always taking you through scenic valleys surrounded by forested mountains. Amtrak can take you from Washington DC all the way to St. Albans on the Vermonter, from New York City to Rutland on the Ethan Allen Express, and from Boston to Springfield, MA and then to Montpelier. The Green Mountain Railroad also offers some rides. They have a Fall Foliage Dinner Train leaving Burlington from 3pm to 9pm on September 27 – $75.00. We cannot wait to take such a trip ourselves!
    More information at:
    Green Mountain Railroad Fall Foliage Dinner Train 
    Amtrak route guides – The Vermonter and the Ethan Allen Express
  •  

  • Take a cruise on Lake Champlain: Seeing foliage from the lake is a very popular fall activity. Take a 1 ½ hour cruise with Carillon Cruises (his dock is across from Fort Ticonderoga) and the captain will delight you with historic tales of the region. For an overnight mid-week (Lake Discovery Cruise) or a week-end (Vermonter) cruise, choose the Moonlight Lady. I hear food is great and they can accommodate 16 people overnight.
    More information at:
    Vermont Discovery Cruises
    Carillon Cruises
  •  

  • Visit wineries: We’ll have to try this ourselves, and see if the scenery is worth the drive… It may not look as bucolic as the Napa Valley’s hills covered with vineyards. But if you are intrigued to discover if Vermont has nice wines to offer, this is another excuse to drive around. One vineyard, Shelburne Vineyard did win some awards for its organically and sustainably grown wines. For you to discover.
    More information at:
    Map of Vermont wineries
    Shelburne Vineyard
  •  

  • Take the Vermont Brewery Challenge: From wine to beers! We have talked in a past article about this fun way to visit some of the 18 Vermont micro-breweries. You can get the official passport, get a stamp when you visit one of the breweries and win prizes!
    More information at:
    Map of Vermont breweries and pubs
    Vermont Brewery Challenge Passport
  •  

  • Join the 251 Club and visit all 251 towns and villages in the State of Vermont. Record everyone you visit on the map until you have completed it all! I know, it’s a little crazy, but a great excuse to take roads you would not normally take. We have discovered beautiful barns or waterfalls this way!
    More information at: 251 Club

And for the more usual activities

  • Go apple picking and win an iPod: Yes, it’s true. In one of the participating apple orchads in Vermont, you can pick up apples and find a wooden apple in some trees to win an iPod. One good way to have the whole family motivated to come!
    More information at: Vermont apples
  •  

  • Enjoy one of the foliage scenic drives or bike rides: Vermont has so many scenic drives or biking trails. Foliage-Vermont.com and Burlington Free Press are two references we selected for you. You find itineraries and maps there. And if you want to join a group for a biking tour, Bike Vermont offers some fall tours for you.
    More information at:
    Burlington Free Press Foliage Drive
    Foliage-Vermont driving and biking roads  (click on driving tours on the left menu and select one of the tours).
    Bike Vermont
  •  

  • Finally, for mountain biking and hiking, lots of choices again, one choice worth mentioning is the Kingdom Trails in East Burke. It was voted 2006 Editors’ Choice by theYankee Magazine Travel Guide to New England and called the “thrill of a lifetime”!
    More information at:
    Kingdom Trails

Related posts:
Vermont Scenic Drives: Route 17
Brewpubs of Vermont