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Five Facts to Know About the Vermont Blueberry Festival

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Summer in Vermont means different things to different people. Some see it as the perfect time to get outside for hiking, mountain biking, or just seeing the sights. However, to others (especially those in Wilmington), summer in Vermont means just one thing: blueberries. For those folks, the Vermont Blueberry Festival is the biggest event of the year.

Vermont Blueberry Festival

We love the Vermont Blueberry Festival, and we'd love to see you and all your friends there. To convince you to come, we've put together some of the most essential facts you need to know about this once-a-year treat.

1. What Is the Vermont Blueberry Festival?

So, it's a festival about blueberries? Well, yes, but it's also so much more. The Vermont Blueberry Festival combines tons of great activities and summer fun under one banner, making it easy to get a whole summer's worth of activity in just a few days. It was originally started through the efforts of Janet Boyd of Boyd Family Farm in Wilmington, in combination with the Deerfield Valley Chamber of Commerce. Now, it's one of the Top 10 summer events in the whole state, and the neighboring towns and businesses share the blueberry festival spirit - "getting the blues" is a good thing.

2. What Can I Do There?

We hate to sound cliché, but a better question might be, "What can't I do there?" Over its ten-day runtime, the Vermont Blueberry Festival packs tons of activities and events into each day. A glance at the event calendar on the official website will give you an idea of how much is going on. In case all of those events overwhelm you, some of the highlights are:

- Blueberry Jell-O slip-and-slide - The Blueberry Festival parade - A blueberry river tube float - The Wilmington Village blueberry scavenger hunt - Saturday night's blueberry block party

These are only a few of the literally dozens of events planned over the festival's span. Visitors of every age and disposition will find something to enjoy, from hikes and nature walks to local breweries and beer tents to live music to an arts-and-crafts market.

3. Where Do They Get All The Blueberries?

As you can imagine, a ten-day blueberry festival consumes quite a lot of the tiny blue treats. That's where the partnership with the Boyd Family Farm becomes so important. Since the 1970's, the Boyd farm has been growing blueberries for the community. They presently have more than 500 highbush blueberry bushes on their farm, along with an apple orchard, raspberry bushes, a plant nursery, and honeybee colonies. All told, this is the perfect place to visit if you have a hankering for some fresh-picked fruits and veggies. You can also pick your own blueberries on one of their tours!

4. What Do They Do With All Those Berries?

Vermont Blueberry Festival TourIn short, they make more things out of them than you ever thought you could make out of blueberries.Luckily, the sheer variety of blueberry recipes you'll see here will prevent you from getting tired of them. You'll be able to enjoy a blueberry pancake breakfast one day, try a blueberries paired with cheddar and wine the next, then hit up the mid-day BBQ and Polish blueberry buffet to round things out. Then, grab some "berrylicious" treats at one of the market vendors, or make your own blueberry sundae. And we already mentioned the Jell-O: gallons and gallons of blueberry gelatin that makes the biggest, bluest, and most fun slip-and-slide you've ever seen.

5. Where Should I Stay?

Whether you're planning to come for the whole ten days or just for a few, you'll surely want someplace comfortable and convenient. After all, you'll probably be so full of blueberries at the end of the day that people might think you were an extra in Willy Wonka. That's why we suggest you roll on over to Chimney Hill, where you can get a spacious and comfortable short-term Vermont rental home for your stay.

Vermont Mountain Bike Trails for Every Rider

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Vermont's mountains are one of the state's best features. They are tall, imposing, and virtually everywhere. During the winter it's easy to experience the beautiful views and thrilling descents on one of Vermont's many downhill ski slopes, but in the summer the best way to get a thrill on Vermont's fantastic slopes is on its mountain bike trails.

Mountain biking in Vermont is increasingly popular, with many parks and ski slopes offering trails specifically for cyclists. Whether you're new to the sport or you're a seasoned downhill expert, there's a perfect mountain biking trail in Vermont for you.

Beginner and Intermediate Trails

bicycles in fieldIf you don't have much mountain biking experience or you simply want a relaxing, fun trail to enjoy with your family, you could certainly do worse than the Harriman Reservoir rail-to-trail. Built on the bed of a former railroad track, this 15.5-mile trail runs beside the Harriman Reservoir, a dammed section of the Deerfield River just outside Wilmington. The ride is perfect for beginners and families, as the wide, gently-sloping trail has few challenging parts. For more experienced riders, there is also a more difficult single track side trail with some steep climbs and quick descents.

Another good mountain bike trail for less-experienced riders is the West River Trail, another multi-use track built along the course of a one-time railroad. Running between Brattleboro and Londonderry, Vermont, this trail is a good place for learners to practice their mountain biking skills without risk. The trail is divided into two sections, appropriately called the Upper and Lower sections. The Upper section is 16 miles long and runs from Londonderry to near East Jamaica, while the newer Lower section runs north from Brattleboro. Both parts of the trail are relatively level and make for easy riding appropriate for any skill level.

Advanced Trails

Mountain-bike-jumpFor those of you who already know your way around a mountain bike trail, these more advanced mountain biking trails are sure to thrill and excite. One excellent option is the Ascutney Trail network in West Windsor, VT. These trails run through and alongside what used to be ski trails of the now closed Ascutney Mountain Resort. Now, they make up one of the most varied and exciting mountain bike trail networks in Vermont. All except three of the trails are designed to be climbable, so there are a huge number of possible combinations for both intermediate and more advanced riders. Horses can be found on the wider trails, but the singletrack is reserved for bikers, hikers, and runners.

Seasoned mountain biking enthusiasts will also want to check out the lift-served mountain biking at Mount Snow for downhill excitement. This ski-resort-turned-summertime-biking-paradise offers some of the best riding in the Northeast, including Trail 7, the only introductory-level downhill trail in the eastern United States. New downhill riders can get accustomed to their bikes and their skills here; there is even an education program available to teach the basics of downhill riding including position, braking, and proper gear. Riders of any skill level can also rent equipment at Mount Snow, including helmets, body suits, and (of course) mountain bikes.

When you're done on the trails for the day, you'll need a place to crash and spread out. Take a look at these Vermont summer rental homes. You'll have tons of room for all your gear, you get all the perks and comforts of home, and you'll be better rested for another day on the trails.

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  1. Patty Killion on

    […] different things to different people. Some see it as the perfect time to get outside for hiking, mountain biking, or just seeing the sights. However, to others (especially those in Wilmington), summer in Vermont […]

    Three Vermont Hiking Trails with Perfect Views

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    Hiking is a great way to experience the beauty of nature and get in touch with your surroundings. Many of the hiking trails in Vermont offer exactly that experience - natural beauty, untouched forests, and spectacular views. Between the mountains and the huge expanses of forest, Vermont is a great place to take a hike, and these three Vermont hiking trails offer some of the best views you'll find anywhere in New England.

    1. Hiking to the Stratton Mountain Fire Tower

    Mt. Snow from Stratton Mountain FiretowerFire towers are built to achieve a commanding view of their surroundings, so its no surprise that the Stratton Mountain fire tower offers hikers an impressive vista at the end of their climb. Situated at the top of the tallest mountain in southern Vermont - 3,936 feet - the Stratton Mountain fire tower is impressive both for its high vantage point and for its station on the Long Trail, which experienced hikers will know is also part of the Vermont leg of the Appalachian Trail.

    The portion of the AT/LT that leads to the Stratton fire tower is a 7.6 mile round-trip that climbs almost 2,000 feet, so plan to spend a day at it and keep a watchful eye on the weather. If you aren't interested in going the long way, you can also get to the fire tower hiking trail by either climbing Stratton Mountain's ski slopes, or by taking Stratton's gondola up the mountain and then taking a short hike to the top. Whichever way you choose to get there, the views are definitely worth it. On a clear day you can see into five states from atop the 55-foot tower.

    2. Bald Mountain Hiking Trail

    For intermediate hikers looking for a great view without an extreme challenge, Bald Mountain is a great short day's hike. Hikers can take two different approaches to the peak of Bald Mountain, following hiking trails from either Bennington or Woodford. The Bennington side of the trail is a little longer and steeper, at approximately 7.2 miles round-trip and around 2,160 feet of elevation change. The Woodford side is shorter and less dramatic, at about 4 miles and 1,580 feet of climb.

    In either case, the payoff at the end of this trail is excellent. Views from Bald Mountain stretch far away to a distant horizon. There are also other places to catch additional vistas along the trail - several rock promontories along the way offer panoramic scenes of the Green Mountains and nearby valleys.

    3. Haystack Mountain Hiking Trail

    Near Wilmington, VT, you'll find our third hike, which summits the imposing Haystack Mountain. For a mountain of its size, the hiking trail to the top of Haystack Mountain is surprisingly gentle and friendly to most intermediate hikers, and is easy accessed from Chimney Hill. Over the 4.8 miles of the trail, you'll encounter elevation change of about 1,020 feet, which isn't a lot considering the mountain itself is more than 3,000 feet tall. There are a few sharp inclines to give your legs a workout, but overall this hike shouldn't take more than a few hours, making it perfect for an afternoon or an adventurous picnic. Haystack Mountain

    At the top, you'll be greeted by views of the surrounding mountains and towns, including Mount Snow and our own Wilmington. You'll also see Haystack Pond very close, but don't be too tempted to cool your feet in it. Since the town of Wilmington uses it as a water reservoir, the pond is unfortunately off-limits. Most likely, though, the view (and the cooler aire at the top) will be refreshing enough, and it will almost certainly make this short-but-sweet hiking trail worth the trip.

    Of course these aren't the only great hiking trails in southern Vermont. However, they do offer some of the best views, and they're also all conveniently close to our own Chimney Hill rental homes. These summer rental houses are the perfect place to kick off your hiking boots and enjoy the Vermont air with all the comforts and amenities of home.

    Comments

    1. Patty Killion on

      […] features. They are tall, imposing, and virtually everywhere. During the winter it’s easy to experience the beautiful views and thrilling descents on one of Vermont’s many downhill ski slopes, but in the summer the […]

      What To Do in Vermont This Summer: Festivals, Fairs, and Fun

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      If you're coming this way on vacation this summer and wondering what to do in Vermont during the warmer months, we recommend that old summer staple: the outdoor festival. Vermont's warm summer days and beautiful scenery are perfect for festivals and fairs, and we can hardly think of a better way to spend an afternoon or weekend than enjoying the weather and people that gather for these celebrations. We've put together a list with some old favorites and some new finds for you to enjoy all summer long.

      Vermont Fiddlehead Festival

      FiddleheadsFrom its name, you might think this is a gathering of bluegrass lovers and violinists, but you'd be wrong (but only partly). A fiddlehead is actually a plant - specifically the stem of the ostrich fern that grows in New England and the Canadian Maritimes. Some even call fiddleheads the state vegetable of Vermont due to their popularity and their delicious taste. And whether you've grown up with them your whole life or just heard about them for the first time right here, you'll enjoy all that is planned at the First Annual Fiddlehead Festival in Dover, Vermont. Merchandise, activities, and even a fiddlehead cookoff are on the roster, and so are some of Vermont's finest fiddlers (the musical kind) so you'll never be at a loss for what to do in Vermont at this fest.

      Wanderlust Festival

      Feeling a little left-of-center? Do you have an itch to go out and experience something completely new and different? Wanderlust might be for you. A multi-day festival at Stratton Mountain, Wanderlust features a combination of yoga, music, spectacular performances, lectures, healthy food and drink, and outdoor activity. It's the perfect combination of activities to enrich both body and soul, and a great place to try some more unusual varieties of yoga (SUP yoga or acro-yoga for adventurous-types). Come with an open mind, and leave with one that's totally satisfied.

      Strolling of the Heifers

      If you think food tastes better when its grown on a farm that you can see from your front door, the annual Strolling of the Heifers might be right up your alley. A celebration of local food and farming, the Strolling of the Heifers takes place every year on the streets of Brattleboro, Vermont. The events include a street festival, a bike race, and the famed parade of cattle and other farm animals for which the festival is named. Whether you're here to see the animals, pick up some local art or products, or simply enjoy the local foods, the Strolling of the Heifers is a weekend of family-friendly Vermont fun.

      Vermont Blueberry Festival

      blueberriesHeld each year in Wilmington, the VT Blueberry Festival is one of the state's most well-loved summer events. Since 2008, lovers of fruit have put this event on their annual list of what to do in Vermont, and never taken it off.  Plenty of blueberry-themed activities and events fill the weekend, including a Blueberry Parade, a family-friendly block party, and the Deja Blue car show, which features "unique, classic, unusual and vintage cars and trucks." Come alone or with the whole family - but we suggest that you don't wear white!

      Mount Snow Brewer's Festival

      This year marks the 20th year that New England's best craft breweries and its biggest beer fans converge on Mount Snow. Food, drink, music, and camaraderie prevail at this weekend-long event. This year over 30 breweries from across the Northeast will be present, tapping almost 90 different kinds of beer. The Mount Snow Summer Brewer's Festival is one of the biggest and most popular events of its kind in the region, and you won't want to miss it.

      Of course, just because you're going to a summer festival doesn't mean you can stay there. Give yourself some extra room to spread out and enjoy the fun by staying in a Vermont summer rental home from Chimney Hill. You'll get more space and more amenities than a regular hotel, plus access to the Chimney Hill clubhouse and pool!

      Comments

      1. Patty Killion on

        […] greenery and mountain air make it an ideal host for summer festivals where like-minded folks can gather to learn from each other and share their talents. Musicians are […]

        Planning a Family Vacation in Vermont

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        Organizing a Vermont vacation that pleases the whole family is never an easy task. First: find a location that offers comfortable lodging. Second: make sure it has plenty of different nearby activities that keep the whole family happy. Last: it needs to be someplace that isn't difficult to get to. Thankfully, there's southern Vermont, which is less than 2 hours from Boston and less than 3.5 hours from New York's metropolitan area. Sound good? Great... time to start planning your spring or summer getaway that the whole family can enjoy.

        Grout Pond, Stratton, Vermont

        To begin organizing your family vacation in southern Vermont, you'll need a place to stay. And if you have a big family or you're planning a reunion or other get-together, you know that hotels are simply too expensive to consider for more than a night or two. In contrast, rental homes such as those available from Chimney Hill in Wilmington, Vermont provide a great option for a comfortable stay that won't break the bank.

        When you stay in a Chimney Hill rental, you get access to a full suite of amenities that you won't find anywhere but in the expensive hotels. Your rental home includes a full kitchen and lots of bedrooms for all of your guests or family members. And the Chimney Hill Clubhouse area includes a swimming pool, fitness room, pool table, and much more. You can also fish in the private duck pond and enjoy the tennis facilities if you're in the mood for a workout.

        Now that you have a place to stay, you'll need to find some fun things to do. Southern Vermont is brimming with activities during every season of the year. From skiing in winter to, well, just about any outdoor activity in summer, you'll find no shortage of attractions to warm your heart, and get it pumping.

        A variety of exciting adventure activities can be found within just a short drive of the Wilmington area, including a number of renowned ropes courses and zipline trails. You'll also find hiking and biking in the local state parks, water sports such as rafting and kayaking, and plenty of activities at the local four-season resort, Mount Snow. You'll have no trouble finding activities to please even the pickiest of fun-havers in your family or group.Mountain biking at Mount Snow

        And you gotta eat, of course. Thankfully there are several 5-stars-on-Yelp-worthy southern Vermont restaurants that you won't have to break out the reserve credit card to afford. When you factor in the many local wineries, museums, historical sites, and other educational and cultural attractions, you might find that your agenda is suddenly too full. You'll need more than a weekend to see everything that this area has to offer.

        It's time to get packing. Remember to bring clothes that you can easily layer, like sweatshirts and jackets - Vermont springs and summers are known for their warm days and cool nights. You'll also want bug spray, sunblock, and sheets and towels for your rental home. Don't worry about bringing groceries or other perishables, though, as those items are easy to get locally.

        The last step in planning your family vacation? Load up the car with your stuff and get here! Just be prepared to find a whole lot of fun, relaxation, and family togetherness at the end of the road. In fact, maybe you should book a few extra nights, just to be safe.

        Vermont Attractions for Adventurous Families

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        What do you do for fun in Vermont if you and your family are a bit more thrill-seeking than most? If you're the kind of person who thinks roller coasters are the perfect place for a nap and who would like zoos a lot more if they'd just let the animals run around with the people, you're just the kind of person who would get a kick out of the adventurous activities around southern Vermont. After all, who said family fun has to be boring?

        Deerfield Valley Zipline Canopy Tours

        Zip LineOK, so technically our first Vermont attraction isn't actually in Vermont - but it's so close it doesn't really matter, and it's so much fun you won't care. The zipline canopy tours and ropes course at Zoar Outdoor's Deerfield Valley Zipline in Charlemont, Massachusetts, are a perfect family activity for those families who thrive on adventure. Over 1.5 miles and 3 hours, you will complete 11 different zips, walk 3 sky bridges, and do 2 rappels from high in the tree canopy. And since the location is only a short drive south of Wilmington and southern Vermont, you'll be there and back in no time at all.

        Bromley Mountain Adventure Park

        What do you do with a ski resort in the summer? If you're Bromley Mountain, you turn it into one of New England's biggest outdoor adventure parks, complete with ziplines, rock walls, waterslides, and one of the longest alpine slides in the world. Bromley simply has too many activities and too much heart-pumping fun to list, so you'll have to check it out for yourself. Fortunately, at only an hour away from Chimney Hill, you'll easily be able to do just that. Just don't call it an amusement park; with lush green trails and beautiful views, this Vermont attraction is so much more.

        TimberQuest Ropes Course

        Tree houses and rope swings aren't just for kids, and TimberQuest is the proof. This huge Vermont ropes course in the tree canopies above Magic Mountain in south central Vermont is the best excuse you'll ever get to climb, zip, and swing from tree to tree like all kids -- young or old -- should do. And at up to 40 feet high, these ropes will certainly give you more of a thrill than your backyard tire swing did. And with courses rated from beginner all the way up to advanced, the whole family can have fun while finding just the right challenge.

        White Water Rafting

        White Water RaftingOne of the classic adventure sports, white water rafting is definitely not an attraction for the faint of heart. However, if you were faint of heart you probably wouldn't be reading this anyway, so white water rafting is probably right up your alley. In that case, we recommend the Deerfield River for a perfect balance of challenge and family-friendliness. Most of the river is rated at Class II, but it ranges from Class I all the way to IV for those families desiring additional challenge (or should we say additional fun?). Zoar Outdoor runs several types of rafting trips, both in Vermont on the West River and in Massachusetts on the Deerfield -- the same river that runs right through Wilmington.

        Of course, no adventure vacation is complete without a place to crash at the end of the day. At Chimney Hill, you can get a Vermont rental home big enough for your whole family, plus all the gear you need for a properly adventurous vacation. Take a look at all our short-term vacation rental listings and find the perfect base camp for your trip.

        Comments

        1. Patty Killion on

          […] are plenty of exciting adventure activities within just a short drive of the Wilmington area, including a number of renowned ropes courses and […]
          • Patty Killion on

            […] enjoy the fresh Vermont air. Many Vermont visitors enjoy spending time out in nature, on hikes, or doing adventurous activities. However, some just like to enjoy the twisting mountain roads and beautiful views to be seen on one […]

            5 Things to Do After Tough Mudder New England at Mount Snow

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            Aggression. Strength. Endurance. Speed. And maybe a touch of madness. These are the qualities of a Tough Mudder. If you count yourself among that elite group of athletes, there's no better place to prove your skills than at Tough Mudder New England on the slopes of Mount Snow. But the fun doesn't have to stop once you've washed the mud out of your shoes (and hair, and clothes...). We've put together some of our favorite post-race activities for you to enjoy after you earn your headband at the finish line.Tough Mudder New England

            Grab a Beer

            We know, everyone who finishes gets a glass of ice-cold beer once they cross the line. But if you'd like to enjoy a cold brew without mud in your shorts, you'll have to find one yourself. There are plenty of places nearby to enjoy a great glass of beer, but our favorite has to be Whetstone Station in nearby Brattleboro. With excellent, house-brewed craft beer and a down-to-earth atmosphere, you and your fellow racers will definitely enjoy your night.

            Get a Tattoo

            If you're a Tough Mudder racer, pain obviously doesn't bother you much. So why not endure just a little more to commemorate your achievement permanently? Some Tough Mudder events have a tattoo artist right at the finish line, who will ink you with the Tough Mudder logo, and there are several tattoo parlors close to Mount Snow, including Body Blend Studio. The studio's four experienced artists will create any image you wish, and you can even purchase custom-made tattoo machines, if you're into that kind of thing.

            Fill 'er Up

            Completing Tough Mudder New England isn't an easy task. After you're finished, you'll probably be sore, tired, and most of all, hungry. Lucky for you, there are lots of great restaurants just a short drive from the finish line. Take a look at our own guide to Wilmington restaurants without spending a lot of money - we're sure you'll find something to satisfy your stomach and your budget. Tough Mudder New England

            Take a Load Off

            Sore muscles got you down? Relax at the NatureSpa at Mount Snow for a few hours, and you'll be ready to run the whole course again (er... maybe). Full-body massages, skin wraps, yoga therapy and more will have your body back in perfect condition in no time. No matter how tough you are on the course, you're sure to enjoy a trip to the NatureSpa.

            Get some Rest

            Of course, the number one thing you'll really want to do after finishing Tough Mudder New England is get some sleep. The best place to do just that? Your own Vermont Tough Mudder rental house in Chimney Hill. You'll be able to relax in comfort, wake up to a fresh-cooked breakfast from your own kitchen, and even take a refreshing dip in the Clubhouse Pool. Is there a better way to restore yourself after laying it all out on the course? Yeah, we couldn't think of one either.

            Ski Into Spring to the Sounds of Reggaefest at Mount Snow!

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            Spring might seem like the time of budding flowers and cute little animals, but if you're like us you'll gladly trade those for some exciting spring snow sports, cold brews, and kickin' jams. And that's exactly what to expect at Mount Snow this spring. Mount Snow's Reggaefest, a music fest with a healthy dose of spring skiing, will soon return for another weekend of good tunes and good times.Spring skiing in Vermont

            For fans of live music, spring, sunsine and snowsports, Reggaefest is a winning combination.The annual Mount Snow reggae festival includes some excellent acts this year, including Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds, Midnite, and Passafire. If you go, you can also test your mettle at the Bud Light Sink or Swim, a pond-skimming competition across a 100-foot frozen pond, and the annual Duct Tape Derby - think soapbox derby, but with duct tape, cardboard sleds, and lots of snow.

            There are plenty of other things to entertain you at Mount Snow, including some of the best spring skiing and snowboarding in the region. Spring also means shorter lines and less crowded slopes - if you ask Mount Snow regulars, it might just be the best time of the year to ski.

            What if reggae isn't your scene? That's OK! The Mount Snow reggae festival isn't the only spring attraction on the slopes. If you're less about the music and more about the cool libations that often accompany it, you might enjoy the Winter Brewers Festival instead. Following the weekend after Reggaefest, the Mount Snow Brewers Fest features twenty breweries pouring more than 40 different beers alongside live music and that same great skiing. Attendees can order online ahead of time for a discount, or buy their tickets with a lift ticket at the window.Mount Snow Brew Fest

            After you've had your fill of festivals, you'll find plenty else to do in the Mount Snow area. Look for tasty, yet inexpensive restaurants in Wilmington, or do some shopping, snowshoeing or hiking -- Mount Snow's central location means that nothing is too far away.

            For a place to recharge your batteries and get your groove back before another day of reggae and craft brews, take a look at these spring rental homes. Featuring tons of space and far more amenities than a standard hotel, we guarantee you'll be ready to jam by morning.

            Comments

            1. Eugene on

              I have an art maker. We go through so much paper, I have to buy it by the box at Costco and it only lasts a few mhonts. There is paper everywhere, full of drawings, in my daughter's room, in our playroom and all about the house. When she paints a picture, she paints 20 pictures. I am constantly amazed by her skill and attention to detail, as you are with Alex. I am fairly certain this is what an artist's childhood looks like.

              How to Make Vermont Maple Syrup

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              Of all the things that Vermont is famous for, maple syrup is close to the top of the list. Vermont maple syrup has a long, rich history dating back to before the founding of the United States -- indeed, before the British even settled the continent.  As interesting as its history is, making Vermont maple syrup is even more so (and tastier, too).Making Vermont Maple Syrup

              Legend has it that the first maple syrup in Vermont was made by Native Americans who thought the clear liquid flowing from maple trees was water. However, when they tried to cook with it they found that it left a sticky, sweet glaze on their food. They quickly refined their process -- according to early British explorers, some Vermont natives existed almost entirely on maple syrup through the long northern winters.

              The process of making maple syrup today isn't much different than what those Native Americans did hundreds of years ago. To make Vermont maple syrup, you really only need three things: maple sap, heat, and plenty of time.

              Vermont maple syrup makers start by tapping the trees in late winter or early spring, before the sap starts to flow. To tap a tree, a maple syrup maker (or sugarmaker, in the parlance of the industry) bores a small hole in the wood and inserts either a metal spout with a hook or a long piece of tube. As the weather warms, sap will begin to flow through the hole and either collect in buckets hung from the spouts or run through the tubing.

              Once the sap is collected, the sugarmaker needs to reduce it into syrup, by boiling away the water in the sap to leave behind the maple sugars. The process takes many long hours over a hot flame: sap is only about 2% sugar, so it takes a tremendous amount of boiling to get it to the proper concentration. About 40 gallons of sap will boil down to one gallon of maple syrup.

              Over the years, Vermont's sugarhouses have perfected this process. Technology has certainly made it easier - many sugarmakers use modern equipment such as evaporators, reverse osmosis machines, and strong vacuum pumps to speed up the process.

              If you want to learn more about sugaring, you can always sign up for a tour of one of the sugarhouses while its in operation. Many sugarhouses throughout the state allow visitors to come and watch the process of how to make Vermont maple syrup. You can visit the Vermont Maple Sugar Makers Association to find sugarmakers in your area and information on visiting them.Visit Vermont sugarhouse

              Or, if you want a simpler way to experience the glory of Vermont's maple syrup culture, you can attend the Whitingham Maple Festival in Whitingham, Vermont. This weekend-long celebration of everything maple includes sugarhouse tours, pancake breakfasts, sleigh rides, and a competition for the best syrup.

              Are you craving pancakes and waffles yet? A Vermont rental home is a perfect place to make them for yourself. Now that's a sweet way to start a Vermont vacation.

              Why Vermont is One of the Best Spring Break Destinations

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              What do Cabo San Lucas, Daytona Beach, and southern Vermont have in common? They're some of the best spring break destinations you can visit this year. And if you think one of those things isn't like the others, well, this list of amazing spring break activities in Vermont should change your mind.

              Spring Break skiing vermont

              While everyone else is sunning on the beach, you can catch some rays on the slopes while carving turns at Vermont ski resorts. Spring skiing and snowboarding is a favorite part of the changing seasons in Vermont. The chairlift ride is warm, the snow is soft and, of course, you can work on that goggle tan to wear with pride. Plus, you can find tons of special deals that aren't available during the rest of the year. Just in southern Vermont alone there are four great mountains to choose from. Mount Snow is our local mountain of choice, but Stratton, Bromley Mountain, and Magic Mountain are all under an hour away.

              If you do get tired of the slopes (can that really happen?) you can also enjoy some of Vermont's less traditional snowsports, including snowshoeing, nordic and cross country skiing, and tubing. There are plenty of activities for you to try out, without the lift lines and crowds of peak winter.

              Want to get out of the weather? Nearby Manchester has great outlet shopping, so you can get a jump  on your summer wardrobe. The Manchester Designer Outlets are a perfect place to feed your inner fashionista - with shops and restaurants dotted around a picturesque Vermont town including J. Crew, Polo Ralph Lauren, Orvis and more.

              After all this activity, you'll probably want to get off your feet for a while. The Mount Snow Nature Spa is the perfect place to take a load off your shoulders, soak your muscles, and rejuvenate your mind after a long day on the slopes or in the shops. Massage therapy, special clinics, and even couples sessions make this one of the best spring break destinations you could hope for.

              Once you're rested, you can hit up one of southern Vermont's many great local eateries. There are tons of restaurants in the area that feature cuisine to meet any taste. We've even compiled a list of where to eat on a budget for some suggestions - we promise you'll leave satisfied.

              Live music at the Snow Barn in Dover, VTWhen the sun goes down, southern Vermont has some great nightlife - something no spring break destination would be complete without. We recommend checking out the Snow Barn for some electric live shows, or The Silo to catch the best local DJs and a long night on the dancefloor.

              Even seasoned Spring Breakers have to rest sometime. Keep in the southern Vermont vibe by bunking in your own spring rental home with roomy accommodations, cozy amenities like a hot tub, and a true country feel you won't find in any other spring break destination.

              • P.O. BOX 415, 9 Haystack Road, Wilmington VT 05363