IT TOOK ME A WHILE to get this blog post up, mainly because I’ve been annoyed at myself for all the images I did not capture on a recent two-day trip to Vermont.
Where are the über-charming farmhouses with their gaudy cottage gardens, the spectacular barn architecture, all the square-ish Italianate Victorians? In my head, but not in my camera.
It’s hard to keep stopping on a road trip, especially when you’re not the driver. You’d never get anywhere, and we had just two days for this pilgrimage from the small state’s southwestern-most corner, up through Bennington to Burlington, on the shore of Lake Champlain, then back down through national forest and dairy lands dotted with cows.
But enough with the apologia. Here is some of what I did see of midsummer Vermont.
Top: Hummingbird wall in surprisingly urban Burlington, Vermont’s largest city
A 19th century commercial building in Bennington, housing the South Street Cafe & Bakery (“Coffee – Community – Culture”), a perfectly timed lunch stop.
Vermont’s college towns, of which there are many, are good places to find hip (but not too hip) cafés, with house-made bread and desserts, and really good local cheese.
Storefronts on Bennington’s Main Street retain their vintage character.
Ye olde covered bridge, one of several 19th c. lattice-truss bridges over the Waloomsac River in Bennington, where there was once a paper mill.
The first gun shop I saw, above, was shocking. Then you get used to them.
Vermont’s roads are in tiptop shape. They’re constantly working on them. We were stopped four times in two days for periods of up to 15 minutes to accommodate road work.
Though I’m no longer interested in stopping at every antique shop or barn sale, there are some that look intriguing.
A fine, faded Greek Revival outside Bennington.
No interstates for us.
The 19th c. brick commercial architecture of Burlington rivals that of Boston and New York, on a smaller scale.
Sparkling Lake Champlain at close of day, seen from Burlington’s waterfront. Credit longtime mayor Bernie Sanders for the exquisite mile-long recreational development of the waterfront, including parks, bike lanes, marinas.
We found a terrific dinner at a farm-to-table restaurant called Hen of the Wood.
A detour in search of scenery took us through the minuscule town of Wallingford, where we stumbled on Handmade in Vermont, a shop worth a half hour’s browsing, in a two-century-old stone building that once housed a pitchfork factory.