August 31, 2010

Tuesday’s Travel Tips – Burlington, Vermont

Image courtesy of paraflyer on Flickr

Happy Birkenstocks! This week’s edition of Tuesday’s Travel Tips takes us to Burlington, Vermont! The land of maple syrup and teddy bears, dairy farms and rugged individualists. And lots of Subarus. Burlington was one of our first BlueCities, inaugurated right around this time back in 2000, in the first year that we took to the skies. The Burlington International Airport is cute (and a whole lot smaller than most) and just celebrated its 90th birthday.

Airport Operations Cremember Denis points out that Vermont is known as the 14th star in the Union of the United States, the 1st Republic State in the making of the United States. The city of Burlington has lots of charm, with no lack of spots to get a good sandwich on homemade bread and wash it down with some milk fresh from the cow. If milk is too G-rated for you, the Magic Hat Brewing Company is in town (and they host an annual parade which we’re a part of). American Flatbread is one great restaurant located in the downtown area, relays A320 Captain Michael.

Image courtesy of Julia Manzerova on Flickr

For many Burlington natives, says Corporate Communications Crewmember Morgan, the world is cleanly divided into two wildly different camps, those who prefer Al’s French Frys, or those that prefer Nectar’s Gravy Fries. Morgan however, is from that special camp that believe both need to be experienced at least once…. a trip to Vermont. After feasting on fries (and some of Burlington’s great micro-brews The Vermont Pub & Brewery, you may want to take a stroll along the Burlington Bike Path or hike around the nearby wooded areas at Oakledge Park or Red Rocks State Park overlooking Lake Champlain. (Bonus points if you spot the Lake Champlain Monster “Champ!“)

This week launches the Champlain Valley Fair in Essex Junction with some great concerts, fun rides, and great shows (Weezer to Bieber!) – and be sure to try some maple sugar cotton candy or sugar on snow! As fall approaches, there’s also no better time to start planning a Burlington trip to explore the mountain towns for fall foliage, incredible dining at the New England Culinary Institute in Montpelier, simple picturesque craft fairs in Stowe, or maybe just a leisurely stroll apple picking with some warm cider and hot Vermont cider donuts!

Image courtesy of Tracy Kahn

Michael suggests that folks drive to Waterbury, which is about a half hour drive south on Interstate 89 to Exit 10 to take a tour at the Ben & Jerry’s Factory to see how the famous ice cream is made! Or you can go and see the making of delicious apple cider at the Cold Hollow Cider Mill in nearby Waterbury Center. While you’re in the area, just up the road from the original Ben & Jerry’s is the Von Trapp Family Lodge. That’s right, that dynamic singing family settled in Stowe, Vermont after fleeing the Nazis in Austria. You can hit the restaurant for some of their delectable European-influenced cuisine, grab a massage at their spa, or partake in one of the outdoor activities that they offer, including snow-shoeing and cross-country skiing in the Winter and hiking and biking in the warmer months.

The last two weeks of September to the first two weeks of October is the best time to come up to Vermont to see the bright vivid colors of the fall foliage on the trees.

Drive about 45 minutes south on Interstate 89 to Exit 8 to the capital city of Montpelier and take a tour of the capitol building, the Vermont State House.

There are many great ski resorts that surround the Burlington area, all within a couple hours drive.  The closest one is Bolton Valley Ski Resort.

You are also only about an hour and a half from the great city of Montreal, Quebec. Some people joke that we DO actually fly to Canada since we fly to Burlington. It’s true!

Michael also points out that the airport has some excellent clam chowder served in bread bowls that puts Boston’s to shame.  There is also a stunning bike path along the Lake Champlain shore. On a clear day, you can see New York State from across the lake, Denis relays.

Do you have some good Burlington travel tips? Leave them in the comments below, or Tweet them using the hashtag #TTBTV.

http://www.neci.edu/

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