2009 Best Ski Resorts and Ski Hotels

November 23, 2009 by  
Filed under Blog, Skiing

skiing in Stowe vermont
Photo: Courtesy of Stowe Mountain Resort.
Read in the December 2009 issue of Condé Nast Traveler: the results of the Readers’ Poll about 2009 Best Places to Ski & Stay in North America.

Well, the Rocky Mountains ski resorts win this time… no doubt. Too bad, because there is indeed some very fun places in Vermont to go skiing. In our article last year, The Best Ski Resorts are in Vermont, we highlighted some of the recognition they got, particularly in Ski Magazine, for best after-ski, best family places and more…

And Vermont is still a nice place to enjoy skiing. Some great hotels indeed made the “top 50 ski hotels” list in this recent Condé Nast Traveler survey:
31 – Sugarbush Inn, Warren
39 – Killington Grand Resort Hotel, Killington
42 – Topnotch Resort & Spa, Stowe
44 – Woodstock Inn & Resort, Woodstock (nice hotel indeed!)
48 – Stoweflake Mountain Resort & Spa, Stowe

And what is YOUR best ski hotel in Vermont?

Celebrating Fall Foliage in Vermont

Vermont foliageFall is definitely here in Vermont! A couple of fresh nights this week and the first maple trees turned red and tonight frost will have more leaves turn red, no doubt. A nice premise for a nice week-end.
And to celebrate Vermont foliage season so dear to all of us, there are many things to do here. Of course you can go canoeing and kayaking on lakes and rivers (I will write about it next week) or hike or do a lot of other outdoor activities. But there are also some special events and festivals this week-end:
Apple picking : You are invited to participate to the annual contest « Apples to iPods » which takes place in many orchards again this year. If you find a wooden iPod in a tree at one of the participating orchards, you’ll win a real iPod. More info at: Vermont Apples.
Vermont Life Wine & Harvest Festival – Mount Snow Valley –September 25-27, 2009: It’s the second year of this event, where you can participate to cooking demonstrations by local restaurants, wine and cheese pairing presentations, wine pairing diners at some local restaurants, etc. Specialty food makers, cheesemakers and craft artists will show their products. And of course, there will be music, jazz trio and acoustic roots band… Don’t miss a Vermont style breakfast on Saturday or Sunday morning, with maple syrup (I am sure) and products (bacon and sausages) from local company Vermont Smoke and Cure, or the BBQ and Blue Grass diner on Friday night. The event is listed as one of the top ten Fall events by the Vermont Chamber of Commerce this year. More info at Vermont Life Wine & Harvest Festival.
Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom Annual Fall Foliage Festival – September 27 – October 3, 2009 – Towns and villages of the region offer a variety of activities during this week : food events, visits, music, etc. More info on the site of the Chamber of Commerce.
5th Annual Burlington Book Festival – September 25-27, 2009 – A book fair in Burlington is always a good excuse to come and wander the nice streets of this nice little Vermont town we all like (see our last year’s article on Burlington). Many authors will be there, there will be new and used books, free appraisal of rare books and more. More info at Burlington Book Festival.
6th Annual Vermont Fine Furniture & Woodworking Festival – September 26-27, 2009 – In the Southern part of the state, woodwork and nice furniture lovers won’t miss this event. More than 50 furniture makers and woodworking artists are expected. You can even watch Barre Pinske carve a bear on site. More info at Vermont Fine Furniture & Woodworking Festival.
Lake Champlain Maritime Museum – Archaeology Week-end – September 26-27, 2009 – South of Burlington, near Vergennes, it is the annual archaeology event at the museum. You can do a tour on the lake to see a shipwreck (Saturday 1pm), or enjoy presentations, movies and more. More info on the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum website.
Biking tour – South Hero and Grand Isle – September 26, 2009 – And for cycling amateurs, the Montpelier Section of the Green Mountain Club organizes a 25-mile loop in this beautiful region of Lake Champlain Islands, north of Vermont. For more info, contact: Mary Garcia at (802) 229-0153 or Mary Smith at (802) 505-0603.
– And don’t forget to read the last issue of Vermont Life magazine (we are not paid to promote it), for more info on a lot of outdoor activities you can do this Fall here, or just for the pleasure of looking at the beautiful photos they have throughout the magazine! Vermont Life Magazine Current Issue.

A Week-end of Apple Festivals

October 11, 2008 by  
Filed under Blog, Gastronomy events

applesColumbus Day week-end is a week-end of apple festivals throughout Vermont – a lot to enjoy in these small or large events.

26th Annual Vermont Apple Festival – Springfield – Saturday October 11 and Sunday October 12. A small local event with 50 crafters and an apple pie baking contest on Sunday. It was listed as one of the Top Ten Fall Events by the Vermont Chamber of Commerce in 2007.
More information at: Springfield Apple Festival

The Fameuse Apple – Chimney Point Historic Site – Addison – Saturday October 11, 2PM. A presentation by the botanist Elizabeth Gilbert on the historic Fameuse apple, planted by the French settlers in the 18th century. Chimney Point is charming, with its view on the lake and the foliage… and we’ll be there!
More information on Chimney Point Historic Site

South Hero Applefest and Craft Show – South Hero – Saturday October 11 and Sunday October 12. They say it’s Vermont’s largest apple festival. Don’t they all say that? No website though…

36th Annual Apples and Crafts Fair – Route 4 – Woodstock – Saturday October 11 and Sunday October 12. Over 100 juried vendors. No website.

Heirloom Apple Day at The Apple Packing Barn – The Scott Farm, Dummerston – Sunday October 12 – The Scott Farm is a land trust USA property and they grow more than 70 varieties of the Heirlom apple from around the world. They open their packing barn every Columbus week-end for this event. There is free tasting of heirloom apples baked and squeezed and presentations of the apple history at 10 am, noon and 2 pm.
More information at: Scott Farm – apple tasting days

Dummerston Apple Pie Festival – Dummerston Congregational Church – Dummerston Center – Sunday October 12 – Also in Dummerston, this event has been taking place for more than 40 years… and it is one of the Top Ten Fall Events by the Vermont Chamber of Commerce this year. From 9 am until everything is sold out, you can buy a piece of pie or the whole pie. They make more than1500 apple pies! They also serve Vermont cheddar cheese, homemade ice cream, cider, coffee, donuts. No website.

Well, I hope you love apples!
The weather and foliage is definitely perfect this week-end to drive around. Enjoy!
Related articles:
Sunset on Historic Chimney Point
Vermont Scenic Drives – Route 17

Labor Day Week-end – Things to do in Vermont

Swimming - Lake
Something for everyone, from fishing to outdoors sports, gastronomy, history, music and more!
9th Annual LCI Lake Champlain Bass Open – Sunday August 31 – Competitive bass fishing. You bring in your 6 best Champlain bass and there is $3,000 for the winner. The rumor is that it is one of the top 10 attended events in Vermont (dixit a fisherman).
More information at: Bass Open Tournament
5th Annual Plymouth Folk & Blues – Saturday August 30 and Sunday August 31 – 2 to 5 p.m. at the historic Plymouth Notch (President Calvin Coolidge Homestead). One of the Top 10 Fall Events, selected by the Vermont Chamber of Commerce. Once again, a musical event in this pleasant country place, with local and nationally known musicians. The concerts are free and there is a BBQ at noon on Sunday at the Wilder House restaurant. Too many musician names to mention but there are people like Craig Bickhardt, a hugely successful songwriter who has written songs recorded by Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Ray Charles, B. B. King, Alison Krauss, and many others, Alastair Moock has won top honors at many of the country’s most prestigious contests and Nashville star Mare Wakefield, who has been called the sonic love child of Emmylou Harris and John Denver.
More information at: Plymouth Folk and Historic Vermont Sites
16th Annual Echo Lake Road Race: East Charleston – Saturday August 30 – 9 a.m. – You can choose your race: walk, run or bike, 5 or 10 miles on dirt roads around the lake.
More information at: Echo Lake Race
Presentation on Ethan Allen’s writing: South Woodstock – Saturday August 30 – 2 p.m. – For the history lovers, J. Kevin Graffagnino, Director of the Vermont Historical Society discussed the prolific and passionate writer, Ethan Allen, leader of the Green Mountain Boys and hero of the battle of Ticonderoga. An historic person difficult to miss if you are interested in the American Revolution history of the region.
More information at: Vermont Humanities
13th Annual Southern Vermont Garlic & Herb Festival: Bennington – Saturday August 30 and Sunday August 31 – 10-5 p.m. The Vermont Chamber of Commerce awarded this event as one of the Top 10 Summer Events in Vermont. We don’t always agree with their selection, but it is definitely a unique subject for a festival.
A number of restaurants offer a vast variety of garlic-inspired foods. Live music can also be enjoyed throughout the event.
More information at: www.lovegarlic.com

Hope you enjoy the long week-end! And as usual, we would love to hear from you: suggestions, questions, comments…

Things to do in Vermont – July 25-27

Marlboro Music FestivalThis posting is becoming a weekly tradition, I guess…
I hope you like it.
There seems to be a lot of music played these days in Vermont. Hey, it’s summer and concerts are mainly outdoors, it’s wonderful… except when we get pouring rain like last week-end… oups!
It reminds me that we want to give you some ideas of “summer concerts on the green” – stay tuned for this upcoming posting!
But for now, this week-end, what caught our attention:
Vermont Mozart Festival is still happening (the full schedule is on our Event Calendar page). There are more concerts to attend this week-end in one of the beautiful places the Festival chooses to play at: Friday night July 25, at the Barre Opera House (in-door) and outdoors on Saturday July 26 and Sunday July 27, concerts at Shelburne and at Stowe. We are planning to attend 2 of them… and praying for sunny weather;
Vermont Summer Festival Horseshow – 3nd week-end of competition at East Dorset; Photographers: remember you can participate to a digital photography contest (see last week’s posting);
11th Annual Green Mountain Antiques Show & Sale in Woodstock – We have not been there, but I am guessing that the event could be reasonably big, it’s in Woodstock afterall and it’s the 11th year they have it! For information, call 802-484-5942;
– The Green Mountain Chamber Festival is having concerts for the whole month of July. Friday night July 25 is a faculty concert “Immortal Beethoven” in Burlington. Should be nice!
– And more chamber music at Marlboro Music, Marlboro College – We are intrigued by this series of concerts, which seems to get great reviews. The Time says it’s “the most exciting chamber music in the U.S.”, the NY Times says “extraordinary rising stars and musical legends play side-by-side” – this week-end, Saturday night July 26 and Sunday afternoon July 27… we’ll try to go!
Harp concert, Heidi Soons, the principal harpist of the Vermont Symphony Orchestra – Salisbury Congregational Church, Salisbury, this Friday July 25; For information, call 802-352-6671;
– The Vermont Arts Council has noted this special exhibit in Dorset, “It’s all about Marble: Dorset marble heritage” on the history of Dorset Quarries and its marble industry. Only Sunday afternoon July 27;
– and for something less serious, of course the Harpoon Brewery BBQ competition is Saturday July 26 and Sunday July 27 in Windsor. Well, we like the arts, but we also like fun, so we’ll be there Sunday evening!
– And last but not least, this Saturday July 26, for the sportive crowd (very fit crowd!), it’s the 5th Annual Onion River Century Ride – 100 kms or 110 miles biking ride.

We’ll be posting more details in the next couple of days. Make sure to come back and visit us.
Also, don’t hesitate to leave us a comment on one of these events if you got a chance to attend!

Things to do in Vermont – July 18-20

Tiger LiliesSummer is definitely here and Vermont is still booming with activities and festivals. Anywhere you stay, you can enjoy music or historic narrations or military reenactments or food festivals!
So, as you plan the upcoming week-end, here are a few events we noticed:
Vermont Mozart Festival is in full swing with both adults and kids concerts this week-end;
25th anniversary week-end of Billings Farms, Woodstock – July 20 – with lots of activities planned. The Vermont Fiddle Orchestra will perform at 1 pm, and Robert Resnik & Friends at 3 pm. There will be free ice cream and cookies throughout the day. And Governor Jim Douglas will be there (2 pm)!
Mount Independence reenactment and encampment “Soldiers Atop the Mount” – it’s the major activity of the summer for the site;
7th Annual Killington Wine Festival – July 17-20
Vermont Brewers Festival – July 18-19 – Rumor is that the Brewers Festival in Quebec is better but…
30th Annual Middlebury Summer Festival on-the-green – July 13-19 – Vermont Public Radio (VPR) gave a nice preview last Saturday of some interesting musicians participating to the event, such as some celtic and some Quebec traditional music groups;
Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, near Vergennes, has a fun small boat race on Sunday (3 miles rowing or paddling) attracting around 50 participants and a small crowd of roughly 200;
Vermont Summer Festival Horseshow – 2nd week-end of competition. Interestingly, the Northshire Digital Arts Center holds a digital photography contest for all attendees and participants of the horseshows. Check rules and prizes here.
David Maxwell – Bennington Center for the Arts – The concert will be recorded for a future album. The organizers say that critics and fans think David Maxwell is one of the finest blues pianists alive.
Marlboro Music – Marlboro College, Malboro – We don’t know the event, but the organizers are quoting the Time to have said that it is “the most exciting chamber music in the U.S.”
We’ll be posting more details in the next couple of days. Make sure to come back and visit us.
Also, don’t hesitate to leave us a comment on one of these events if you got a chance to attend!