Autumn in New England (Vermont)

The second of seven articles

Nature’s colorful pallet of “Fall Foliage” begins in Vermont during mid-September when the gold, reds, bronze, patterns sweep down the mountain ranges to nestle along the valley’s floor. Predictions about the best times to view fall colors can be found on the web site of the “Old Farmers Almanac”, http://www.farmersalmanac.com/home_garden/a/fall_foliage_dates

Vermont’s mountain ranges are a part of the Appalachian Mountains that run from the southern United States all the way to the Gaspe’ Peninsula in the Province of Quebec. Included in the mountains of Vermont are Smugglers Notch in Stowe, the Taconic Mountains and the highest peak, Mt. Equinox in Manchester.

Vermont has countless ways to recreate and enjoy nature and the Fall Foliage”- Hiking or walking on densely wooded paths, biking on shady, dirt lanes and old abandoned roads, canoeing on pristine lake waters and if you chose to drive along Route 9 look for signs warning drivers to watch out for Moose. Vermont’s 52 state parks range from remote islands to vast wilderness.  September activities include a “County Fair” in Barton, “Apple Picking” in Shelburne, “Art exhibits” in Grafton, the “Sheep and Wool” Festival and much, much more.

There are many lodging sites to chose from; Bed & Breakfast, Cabins, cottages, hostels, and hotels.  As a Travel Agent I work very closely with the highly regarded international firm, Virtuoso. Members of this organization are able to offer clients exclusive amenities that generally would not be offered.

Twin Farms in Barnard Vermont is a special hideaway with only 20 accommodations.  . “Twin Farms”, an estate resting on 300 acres of field, forests, gardens and a lake, is about 10 miles north of picturesque Woodstock. The original 1795 farmhouse has been transformed into gracious living and dining rooms, plus four elegant guest suites. Surrounding this are finely detailed guest cottages, a handsome pub, a fitness center and a separate building housing a Japanese “furo”.

From a customized breakfast to a sumptuous lunch of choice and onwards into the evening, eating at “Twin Farms” brings out the joie de vivre only a select few may have the chance to indulge. Dinner is served at eight o’clock in the dining room of the main house. Dinner attire is Country Casual; Gentlemen should bring a jacket, but ties are not necessary.

Topnotch Resort and Spa in Stowe Vermont is a 120acre resort and spa nestled into a Vermont mountainside that magically balances a setting of natural beauty with spectacular landscapes. Some of the high points of the Spa experience include beauty salon, saunas, steam rooms, whirlpools, 60-foot lap pool, hydro massage waterfall, aerobics classes, cardiovascular/weight training studios, face and body treatments and nutritional consultation. The Executive Chef and Spa Chef superbly demonstrate the art of cooking and the resort has received numerous culinary awards. The finest gourmet cuisine is served in the distinctive Maxwell’s restaurant, the place for steak, seafood, and salads, Informal dining is available in the Buttertub Bistro and Lounge, where live music can be enjoyed and drinks by the fire. Whether it’s fine dining, tennis, spa or equestrian, you should indulge yourself in the “Topnotch” experience.

Equinox Hotel Resort Hotel in Manchester Village Vermont, not a part of Virtuoso, has 200 well appointed rooms. A glittering historical establishment, it is steeped in American History dating back to 1769. The “Equinox” just completed a multi-million dollar renovation, and remains a comfortable, delightful place to enjoy and explore the Manchester area of Vermont.

I love to eat and the “Equinox” has 5 dinning rooms from which to choose. The Chop House, one of the finest steak houses in the northeast, has the feel of a refined hunter’s lodge. The historic Marsh Tavern was the first building erected on the site of what today is the expansive “Equinox” resort; its history predates the Revolutionary War. Renowned for its hearty New England fare, patrons can enjoy a delicious lunch and the finest regional dinner cuisine. Enjoy grand country dinning at The Colonnade.  Here you will find an elegant setting, with an extensive menu of delicious offerings, such as the hearty “Mountain Man” breakfast, classic Eggs Benedict, or a delicious Belgian Waffle. Situated on the deck of “The Equinox” Golf Clubhouse, The Dormy Grill overlooks the gorgeous Green Mountains. Here you can partake of a delicious lunch while enjoying one of the finest views on the property. The Falcon Bar is the perfect sanctuary to end your day. Dark wood paneling, plush leather stools and comfortable armchairs, in an informal atmosphere, encourage long afternoons with a book, and are equally inviting for an evening cocktail. A menu of locally sourced cheeses and international chocolates are here to tempt you.

The British School of Falconry is the nation’s first school of its kind to offer hands-on-lessons with trained birds of prey. Guests at “The Equinox” are invited to try one of the world’s oldest sports. During a session, guests will learn to handle and fly Harris hawks.  Introductory lessons, “hawk walks” and hunts are offered to give guests the opportunity to appreciate these amazing Animals.  Please note: Handling of the hawks is for ages 12 years and older.

Again I stress, as in any kind of travel, each place and location has it’s own uniqueness. Should you choose the State of Vermont to explore, I am sure you will enjoy a wonderful adventure.

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