Monday, January 3, 2011
36(ish) hours in Burlington-Waterbury-Stowe
A last minute change in plans led us to Vermont for our little winter vacation!
5:00 PM: Waterbury is a tiny but darling town (home to these famous guys!). Take a walk down South Main in the historic part of town, wind around to Winooski Street and onto the community recreation path along the Winooski River. Is it too soon to start thinking about the old farmhouse you want to buy in Vermont?
6:00 PM: Saddle up to the window box at Hen of the Wood. The menu changes daily, and everything we tried was just fabulous. Fresh, toasty bread, rabbit pate with pistachios and pickled onions, lamb-two-ways, a firm Vermont gouda and walnut cake: perfection from start to finish. If you are lucky enough to sit in the window box, you'll have such a pretty view of the woods and stream out back.
9:00 PM: The Alchemist is a great brewery with an impressive seasonal selection. Also: a pool table, funky lighting, and lots of people watching to do ("So many crazy hats!"). I have it on good authority that the sweet potato fries are to die.
9:00 AM: There are half a dozen ski resorts within a few hours of Burlington, including Stowe, Sugarbush, Jay Peak and Smuggler's Notch, which is where we ended up. If you want to feel like a local, call it "Smuggs." Favorite trails included Chilcoot and Rumrunner - long and windy and not too difficult if you are a solid intermediate skier like myself. Many of the ski shops in Burlington sell discount tickets to select resorts, so be sure to check in if you're looking for a deal.
5:00 PM: Take a stroll down Church Street. Pick up a gift for your mom at April Cornell, and a gift for yourself at Lake Chaplain Chocolates. Highly recommended candy includes peanut butter salted caramel dark chocolate, homemade peanut butter cups and dark chocolate covered apricots.
7:00 PM: The Farmhouse Tap and Grill is a recently opened gastropub with a bar in the basement. Great burgers, yummy beer, and board games! Also good: the kale-arugula salad with buttermilk-herb vinaigrette, pork country pate and nitty gritty corn cakes (omgosh, we ate a lot in Vermont).
9:00 AM: A walk around Lake Champlain is the perfect pre-long drive activity. So sparkly in the bright winter sunshine!
11:30 AM: Grab an early lunch at American Flatbread. Take leftovers with you. Nothing like a slice with Vermont sausage, caramelized onions and mushrooms to make that six hour trip home a little more bearable. But only a little.