Leave the drug rug at home, Vermont is crunchy but you can’t deny its natural beauty, history, and foodie pleasures. Go now to catch the leaves at their peak.
Mowgli and Me
What was Nobel Prize-winning author Rudyard Kipling’s is yours when you stay in his landmark home, Naulakha, in Dummerston. The gorgeous circa 1892 building sleeps eight, so pile friends into the four bedrooms and make use of Kipling’s original fireplace-warmed study (where he wrote The Jungle Book), wood-trimmed claw-foot tub, pool table, and tennis courts. There are also a private on-site museum and extensive grounds to explore.
Ingest with the Best
Head to Waterbury for an all-day gustatory tour. Start at Cold Hollow Cider Mill for fresh donuts and watch as apples become cider after a squeeze in the original 1920s rack-and-cloth press. You can’t go wrong with a liquid appetizer at The Alchemist Pub, which brews on-site and offers a full menu with a local slant. But save your appetite for grist mill-turned-locavore’s delight Hen of the Wood.
Beer aficionados should visit Magic Hat to sample from eight taps and try the fall 2010 Green Apple Wit. Bread die-hards can visit America’s oldest flour company, King Arthur Flour, for classes and samples of freshly baked loaves. Cheese heads go on a full-blown curd hunt by driving across the state and visiting creameries on the cheese trail. Seek out Von Trapp Farmstead’s Oma cheese. It’s made by relatives of The Sound of Music family and has earned rave reviews. (It’s also available in the city at Murray’s.)
The farms in Vermont burst with abundance, but the end of October marks the final fall markets, so hurry. Gaylord farm stand is a great place to source meat and produce, and Waitsfield Farmers Market is where we get Gizmos Pickled Plus’s incredible horseradish and jams. The horseradish will bring tears (of joy!) to your eyes and a delightful kick to your Bloody Marys. If you’re too late, Holton Farms trucks CSA shares to NYC starting in May.
About That Foliage
Booze-fueled fireside chats and fried dough weigh a person down, so get outside. The view from the top of Mount Abraham, (the fifth-tallest peak in Vermont) offers a panorama of the Green Mountains, but it’s easy even for novice climbers to complete. Those with thick skins can go for a swim in the impossibly clear Mad River, but we’d suggest waiting for warmer months. Sign up now for a 2011 bike tour through the state led by VBT.
Photos: Courtesy of Naulakha; Courtesy of Hen of the Wood; Courtesy of Gaylord Farm
We’ve got more great road trips, no matter what your destination. Warning: Pack your bags now.