The vibrance of Vermont

Three decades ago, one of my brothers returned from a Vermont vacation and said he loved it.

He hasn’t been back.

But since then, yours truly has been there about 10 times in the summer or fall – and every time it’s the same peaceful experience.

Tranquil. Bucolic. Slow-paced. Town greens with well-kept gazebos perfect for afternoon relaxing with an iced tea or lemonade.

Mostly, however, vacationing in Vermont is about doing nothing – and doing nothing has been a lifelong goal of mine.

Yet there is, of course, lots to do in Vermont:

It is teeming with good diners, including the Blue-Benn in Bennington.

It has country stores that seem to capture the attitude of Vermonters: fun, spirited, satirical. For a great one, click here.

Vermont has Simon Pearce Restaurant and its flagship glass-blowing operation in the pretty town of Quechee.

It has the Ben & Jerry’s ice cream factory in Waterbury, which gives tours.

Vermont has the beloved Woodstock Inn and Resort in the most picturesque town of them all, Woodstock. If you can afford this resort, which has a putting green in its courtyard, it is most worthy.

Vermont has history. Exhibit A is the Bennington Battle Monument. Exhibit B is the Calvin Coolidge Homestead, which might have the most panoramic, breathtaking vista in all of New England.

It has hundreds of miles of shoreline, with accompanying water activities, along Lake Champlain and other lakes and streams.

The state’s biggest city, population just 43,000, is Burlington. It is on Lake Champlain and boasts the bustling Church Street Marketplace (pedestrians only).

Vermont has great college towns such as Middlebury (College), near where Robert Frost spent his summers, writing.

Of course, there is the foliage. Brilliant and breathtaking and seemingly never-ending.

Then, there are the people of Vermont. They are independent – ask no quarter, give no quarter. But they also are friendly. If you’re in a jam, they’ll have your back.

But mostly, the best part of going to Vermont is the opportunity to relax, slow down and enjoy nature and the beautiful countryside. Just make sure to turn off your smartphone.

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