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Vermont Travel / Beer Travel / Factory Tours / Best-Factory-Tours-Map / Food Travel / Burlington Travel / → All Tags
After ice cream, chocolate, and cheese we’re pretty convinced that Vermont is the foodie tour capital of the world. However, that didn’t stop us from checking out one more place. This was especially the case because we needed something sudsy to wash down all the other snacks and samples. That’s why we loaded up our phone with directions to see the secrets and scenes at the Magic Hat Brewery in South Burlington. We waited until the afternoon to visit—like at a couple minutes past noon—because we wanted to appear somewhat responsible.
The Magic Hat Artifactory is made up of a crazy trippy gift shop, a psychedelic bar, and snazzy factory. In total it added up to one of the best breweries we’ve seen, and it was surprising to see such a place just a few minutes off the city’s commercial strip.
Vermont Travel / Food Travel / Ice Cream Travel / Factory Tours / Best-Factory-Tours-Map / Burlington Travel / → All Tags
Most people think that Vermont’s most famous export is maple syrup, but unfortunately those folks are totally wrong—at least if you ask us. While we're fans of maple syrup it just doesn’t satisfy our sweet tooth the same way that ice cream does, so that’s why we consider Ben & Jerry’s to be the most famous—and important—product to come out of the Green Mountain State. We already had plenty of cheese and chocolate on our little foodie tour of Vermont, so it was only natural to see what kind of new flavors were being cooked up at the Ben & Jerry’s factory in Waterbury.
We’re not sure of the numbers, but we’d bet you a pint of Cherry Garcia that the ice cream factory is one of the state’s largest—if not the largest—tourist attraction. There’s state highway signs pointing you in the correct direction, and once you pull into the parking lot it’s pretty darn clear that you’ve arrived at the mecca for ice cream lovers. The grounds and surrounding area is picturesque Vermont to a tee, and there’s even a chance to check out the landscape through snowshoe tours during the chillier months. Although we were slightly distracted by the view—and the babbling brook by the parking lot—we new we needed to head inside.
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For those looking for something a little more sobering than the typical wine trail, we’d like to suggest the cheese trail up in Vermont. The state is pretty well known for their dairy this and that, and you never have to drive too far before stumbling across plenty of fields, farms, and cows. Some of the smaller locations have some truly unique options for cheeseheads, but before getting down with some of the seriously stinky and sharp stuff it might be worth it to check out one of the more famous spots. That’s what we did when we swung through Cabot, VT to check out the Cabot Visitor’s Center.
On the way there you’ll think something like, "hey, this can’t possibly be the right way." Soon enough, however, we were stuck behind a tanker truck filled with farm fresh milk and you know where that's headed.
The Cabot Visitor’s Center offers a sneak peek behind the whole cheese making process, and the $2 we spent on the guided factory tour was well worth it. You even get a little plastic cow bracelet or Cabot button as a souvenir that doubles as your admission ticket. We’re suckers for that kind of stuff.
Vermont Travel / Factory Tours / Best-Factory-Tours-Map. Food Travel / Chocolate Travel / Burlington Travel / → All Tags
Just outside the downtown center of Burlington, Vermont—as in you need to ride your bike or drive your car—sits a factory known to chocolate lovers far and wide. Of course we’d consider ourselves fans of these sort of sweet treats, so it was a natural fit for us to make a little bit of a pilgrimage to the home of Lake Champlain Chocolates.
The factory and visitor’s center is located along right along Pine Street in a somewhat bustling industrial looking area of Burlington. You can definitely trust your GPS to find it, but be on the lookout for the sign and the parking lot as it’s easy to miss. Once inside the scent of some of the world’s best chocolate—at least in our opinion—hits you as soon as you enter the door. At that point you can pretty much hand over your credit card, as you're definitely going to bring something home with you.
Prime-Plane-Spotting-Map / Plane Spotting / Vermont Travel / Fall in Vermont Field Trip / Burlington Travel / BTV / → All Tags
If big 747s or even 737s are not your cup of tea and you instead prefer to see the smaller regional jets, private jets and a few Airbus A320s scattered in there, then plane spotting at Vermont's Burlington International Airport is for you. Aside from the concentration of regional jets that visit BTV, the airport is unique in that the public can come up to the old Control Tower to enjoy the best view for free.
The trick is to go to the second level of the terminaldon't go through securityand there's a hallway with a simple sign pointing to the "observation tower." Up a few flights of cramped stairs and you're in the old control booth. Now all it's got are stools, but a wise plane spotter will bring the binoculars and professional camera lenses to capture shots of the planes taking off with the mountains in the background.
Food Travel / Foreign Grocery Friday / Vermont Travel / Burlington Travel / Fall in Vermont Field Trip / Drinking Travel / Fall Travel / Fall Foliage Travel / → All Tags
When we travel, one of our favorite things to do is to pop into a local grocery store and check out the food products and candies we'd never find anywhere else. So we're trying out this new feature, Foreign Grocery Friday, where each week we'll feature some of our (and your) favorite overseas treats. Got a recommendation? Let us know!
What comes to mind when you think Vermont? Lots of pretty trees in the fall and skiing at the rural resorts in the winter, sure, but what aboult foodie culture? We're talking about the land of maple syrup and chocolate and Ben & Jerry's ice cream, so Vermont often surprises with what can be found on supermarket shelves. One such item is Maple Seltzer by Vermont Sweetwater. You'll find seltzers in almost any flavor and maple goodies in almost any form, so why not combine the two? They did.
Looking at the bottle, you'll notice that it's got the typical liquid consistency of regular seltzer, so no drinking viscous maple syrup here. Turn it over and you'll see the plain ingredients of "100% pure filtered and carbonated Maple Sap...no water added." Sip it and you'll find that it tastes like plain seltzer at first, all bubbles and fizz until a slight maple hint hits your tongue as the bubble settle. It's sweet in only a very small way, and it's actually refreshing enough to enjoy on a regular basis, should you be lucky enough to live in Vermont. Plus, it's only got 52 calories for one whole bottle. We'd like to see Coca Cola try that.
Fall Foliage Travel / Fall Travel / Fall in Vermont Field Trip / Vermont Travel / Burlington Travel / Travel Snapshots / → All Tags
This is downtown Burlington, Vermont, as seen yesterday from the roof of a public parking structure in the Church Street Marketplace area. As you can see, the fall foliage is absolutely out there already, and pretty soon, those green trees leftover will turn fiery shades as well. It's just the beginning of the fun, as the real swathes of color should happen in about one week. Currently, the weather is rain, rain, mist, rain and more mist, with a few minutes of damp calm to capture images like this.
Still, we wish you were here. It feels like everyone else is, as tour buses chock full of Europeans roll past, keeping up with strict leaf-peeping itineraries. Listening to NPR last night, there was an hour discussion on exactly what turns leaves different colors, followed by something like two hours of locals calling in to confirm whether or not the leaves on their streets had begun the fall transformation. It was riveting in the way that only lifelong Vermonters find interesting. However, it did make us crave a warm breakfast of fresh waffles drenched in real maple syrup and a cup of steaming hot apple cider, so that's our weekend goal.
Going leaf-peeping as well this weekend? What does fall make you crave?