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Vermont Beauty

The  Wonders of Vermont

Vermont was originally occupied by the Abenaki and Iroquois Indians, then the French took it over and lost it to the English after the French and Indian War.  In 1609, the French explorer Champlain pronounced the territory as part of New France and built the first non-Indian settlement in the state.  Dutch-English homesteaders started a trading post at Chimney Point, in 1690 and in 1724, Fort Dummer was built to as an outpost for the encampments at Brattleboro and Dummerston.  Near the Canadian border, the French built a fort of their own to protect their interests in 1731-4.  Fort St. Frederic was assaulted four times by the British and it wasn't until 1759 that they were able to destroy it and drive the French from the state.  After the Revolutionary War, people starting coming to the state and homesteading.

New Hampshire and New York both wanted the territory and laid many claims to it.  However, the Green Mountain Boys Militia, led by Ethan Allen and his brothers Ira and Levi, had other ideas and eventually prevailed and created the Vermont Republic.  With the onslaught of the Revolutionary War, they fought with the other colonies throwing off the British rule and in 1791 became the 14th state.  Vermont residents were against slavery and as the mid1850s came became very adamant about it, voting for Abraham Lincoln and it was the only state where Abe won such a majority.  The state sent 34,000 men to the Civil War with about 5200 dead or wounded.
In 1880, women were given the right to vote.

Located in the New England states, it is the only state in that region that doesn't have a coastline.  The Green Mountains name is somewhat a mystery, however, the fact that it does have some green colored shale embedded in it may be the reason.  The mountains run north to south and run through most of the state.  The northwest corner of the state is the rich Champlain Valley, with about three fourths of the state covered in densely covered forests. Montpelier is the capital and Burlington the largest city.   There are two wonderful national parks in Vermont, the Appalachian National Scenic Trail and the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park in Woodstock.

Vermont's economy was mainly lumber milling until about 200 years ago when over-cutting and abuse made the trees less desirable.  Also decreasing over the years were the number of farms, which actually helped regrow the forestations.  Dairy farming is still a major player in the marketplace with shipments going to Boston and New York city.  During the last few decades, organic, novelty and fancy foods have increased with the Vermont brand names. Included in these is; Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream, Fine Paints of Europe, Cabot Cheese, Vermont Butter and Cheese Company, Lake Champlain Chocolates, Vermont Teddy Bear Company, ginseng growers and micro breweries.  It is the number one supplier of maple syrup in the U.S. and has 14 wineries.

The state is home to marble, granite and slate quarries, with Rock of Ages quarry being the biggest granite quarry in the United States.  It is also the biggest slate producer in the U.S.  It is one of the states using only nuclear power for electricity and one of 2 that have no coal powered plants.


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Touring Vermont

Vermont Tours

Vermont has many awesome festivals each year as well as a spectacular symphony orchestra.  Some of the festival include; Vermont Mozart Festival, Enosburg Falls Dairy Festival, Apple Festival, Marlboro Music Festival, Vermont Maple and Festival on the Green.  In Brattleboro the theatre company holds a Shakespeare festival each summer. The city also holds the Strolling of the Heifers parade and Montpelier has the Green Mountain Film Festival each year in the summers.

While Vermont proliferates in the tourism industry, many of the adventures will thrill you and give some excitement that you haven't had in a long time.  You will be able to learn many new and exciting skills in some of these vacation adventures.  One idea to initiate you is the rock climbing adventure that gets you ready to make your first climb, or 20th or 100th.  Also learn to ice rock climb that takes the adrenalin rush up a few notches.  Another exerting sport that pumps your blood is the hike and bike adventure that will take you biking to your campground, then hike all over the mountains and return to bike to another area to hike again or just rest.  While here, you may prefer the hike and kayak tour that of course has you hiking to an area where you will kayak down an awesome river, with or without rapids, then hike back out or to your campground if that is where you are staying.  Most of these fantastic adventures do have lodges or inns available for the ones who don't want to go to nature completely; just enjoy the exercise.  You can choose to include canoeing or rafting instead of kayaking, and just to make it more interesting, at least for some of you, try fishing in those fabulous streams, lakes and rivers.

You can hike along the Long Trail, or trek through the woodlands, and take an easy walk.  One place will even teach you all you need to know as well as let you customize your adventure with canoeing, rafting, or kayaking down one of Vermont's great waterways.  They do have caves in the mountains and you can try going caving, which can also be learned by the owners of this great adventure.  With this bike tour, that generally runs 20 to 40 miles, you will return to be indulged and coddled by an exquisite inn, with excellent cuisine, and the finest rooms around. In the Robert Frost country, this guided tour will take you through the magnificent countryside, hiking and trekking like a kid.  This beautiful country inspired this great poet.  Take a very interesting historical tour with a knowledgeable guide as you travel back to the time and area that helped develop this country to independence.  In the winter, don't forget the Catamount Trail, as this unit will take you trekking across the land with skis, snowboards or snowmobile.

A really spectacular tour, that is only the second company in the world to offer it, is the shipwreck tour in Burlington, which goes out on Lake Champlain and cruises over ship wrecks. The guides will explain the story about the wreck and then send down a ROV, which is a remotely operated vehicle that gives the various screens located throughout the vessel you are on, the scenes it is seeing underwater. A totally unique way of viewing the life under water. 

Do you like chocolate?  Then the tour at the Lake Champlain Chocolates factory is going to be one of you favorite tours in Vermont.  You will see how it is all done, all the while smelling the delicious aroma of chocolate being mixed, made and cooked; knowing full well that you are going to be able to sample some of those sumptuous goodies and invariably taking a bag out of there.  In Brattleboro, for the chocolate lovers, visit Tom and Sally's Handmade Chocolates. There is a charge for the factory's tour, but the gourmet chocolates, without preservatives or additives is worth it, of course the tour includes samples. Again, this is a tour that will tantalize your smeller, eyes and make your mouth water so bad...enjoy!


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Fantastic things to do in Vermont

Vermont things to do

Vermont is fortunate to be a great area for tourism, with many well known ski resorts throughout the state including; Mount Snow, Stowe, Suicide Six, Sugarbush, Bromley, Mad River Glen, Stowe, Killington, Stratton, Jay Peak and Smuggler's Notch. Cross country, nordic, downhill and backcountry skiers flock to the state and many traverse the Catamount Trail.  With 35,000 avid snowmobilers maintaining 6000 miles of trails the state is a winter wonderland. They have fantastic horse shows, golf courses, museums, state parks, historical spots and now, boutique hotels equipped with spas and the works, all helping to bring in the tourist trade.  Stowe, Woodstock, Manchester, Quechee and Wilmington are some wonderful areas to visit in the summer. 

A different way to experience a unique vacation or holiday is to try your hand at a culinary school learning to prepare food the proper way and then surprise all those that know you when you return. The New England Culinary Institute in Vermont will help you to do all this during the months of January and December. Or you could just travel along experiencing some fantastic country inns with the finest in gourmet cooking anywhere.  If you didn't get enough of the canoeing, kayaking or rafting, the we do have one that will take you over some of the wildest whitewater areas in New England. They will help you to become an expert while enjoying or trying to enjoy the best scenery Vermont has to offer.  Want to try catching some of the best trout you will ever land and eat? Vermont has a tour that will teach you to learn the spectacular art of fly fishing for brook, rainbow and brown trout. If you want a different kind of thrill come back in the season to hunt spring turkey or waterfowl.   For women only, the Green Mountain at Fox Run is an alternative to the fads and crazes of dieting.  These experts have helped women for over 30 years to not only lose weight, but learn a lifestyle that will remind you how much value you have and that you can look your best without diets, pills, dumbbells (we aren't referring to the males in your life; although), other weight machines, killing yourself on all kinds of gadgets that take a terrible toll on your psyche.  You will feel great again and you will be eating the best proper nutritional foods for your body.  Try it, you'll like it.

Have you ever drove your car onto a ferry and rode to another area, just to have the thrill of the ride and to enjoy awesome scenery you could never see or enjoy from your car? Or maybe you were one of the lucky ones whose car is parked in just the right place on the ferry so you can, your car isn't moving though. Well, either way, the Burlington Lake Champlain ferries are just the thing for you. They have 3 different ferry rides, each a different route, running from 12 minutes on the shortest to an hour for the longest and they go from Vermont into New York state. A very memorable excursion and don't forget the camera. The ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center is a marvelously fantastic place to visit and thoroughly enjoy. A great art and natural history museum in Burlington is the Robert Hull Fleming Museum, in which the building was done in 1932 and has a "mammoth" collection of art.

In Stowe, you will find Smugglers Notch State Park, where the small path winds through cliffs 1000 feet above. And yes, the reason it is named Smugglers Notch is that it was a smuggling route into and out of Canada for some years. It is now a park and it is an awesome area to bike, hike, rockclimb or just relax and picnic.  The Appalachian Trail runs through Stowe and it's a great spot to jump on or just jog, walk or bike for a while.  In Killington, the McLaughlin Falls are a majestic sight, but first you need to get the 5 miles to it done. You can walk, hike, jog, or bike to these beautiful falls, that are really spectacular in the fall season with the foliage in its height.

There are over 100 different locales that hold marvelous and exciting attractions for the visiting tourist, with 36 special features in the city of Burlington alone. It would take about 2 days to list them all and tell what they do, so the best advice is to check on it all before you go and make some sort of plan.