Vermont’s Champlain Valley

burlington  076Okay, it’s official.  We LOVE Vermont.  Granted, she is wearing her beautiful autumn petticoat, but it’s not just the beautiful mountains and quaint towns we love, it’s the people and the vibe.  Huge focus on the environment and a pervasive local food movement.

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We stayed at North Beach State Park in Burlington.  From our campsite, we could walk to the “beach” at Lake Champlain, overlooking the Adirondack Mountains in New York.

burlington  036burlington  035Burlington is a college town and has been called one of the most livable small cities in the U.S.  Downtown has lots of restaurants, bars, art galleries and shops.  There’s also a pedestrian mall with more shops, street vendors and performers.  And of course, there is the waterfront at Lake Champlain.burlington  034

burlington  071burlington  012As we went for one of our leaf peeping drives in the area, we found more of the charming covered bridges that Vermont is famous for.   In fact, Vermont has the largest number of covered bridges in the United States, there are just over 100!  Sadly, during Hurricane Irene two years ago, two covered bridges were destroyed and many sustained some type of damage.burlington  070burlington  013burlington  021burlington  065burlington  066burlington  064

burlington  041burlington  063But back to Burlington.  We toured the town, located the Ben & Jerry’s ice cream shop 🙂 and did a little shopping,burlington  031

The next day we went to the farmers market, a good size market with lots of great food.   Lunch options included Peruvian, African, Indian and others.  And we found more great cheese and many options from local farms that focus on sustainability.  Many of the offerings were organic as well.
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That evening, we went to that most traditional of Vermont activities:  the reggae party cruise ;-).   We noticed announcements about the cruise at the farmers market.  It sounded like a one time deal, as opposed to the typical tourist cruises, and was featuring a singer who was “actually from Jamaica”. We love being on the water and we love reggae, so it was a perfect combination.

We realized that the party was going to take place not on a regular tour boat but on one of the car ferries that goes over to New York – interesting.  It had been raining on and off since we arrived in Vermont, but fortunately, this was a perfect afternoon for a sunset cruise.  Clear and calm. burlington  037

burlington  043And so we set off with lots of college students and a few other older fogies like us. Well, as a genuine island girl I must say the reggae music was just ok, but the setting was fabulous.  We watched the sunset from the party ferry, had a few rum punches and danced.  A great time.burlington  052burlington  050burlington  045burlington  044burlington  055burlington  053burlington  051burlington  048burlington  049

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burlington  081We continued our leaf peeping by driving out to some other areas near Burlington, including Stowe, a very well known ski area.  The back roads of Vermont are stunning.  We often would just turn down a random road to see what we would find and more often than not would be rewarded with a beautiful scene.  burlington  068burlington  019burlington  025burlington  080burlington  003burlington  067

burlington  020burlington  008burlington  001burlington  026burlington  011burlington  079burlington  009burlington  083burlington  002burlington  088burlington  028burlington  085burlington  029burlington  086burlington  005burlington  077burlington  007burlington  084burlington  010burlington  017burlington  018burlington  075burlington  069burlington  073The weather was variable with some sunny days and some cloudy “white sky” days.  But the fall leaves were stunning just the same.

And we found more of those beautiful covered bridges.  Why were these bridges covered anyway?

burlington  014burlington  006There are theories that they were covered so the horses wouldn’t get spooked when they realized they were above flowing water, or to protect the flooring from snow.  But the real reason is that they were covered to protect the structural members – the trusses.  That is why most have lasted so long.

burlington  022burlington  082burlington  015And another thing, the covered bridges were sometimes called “kissing bridges” because couples could kiss in private.  So Hector and I decided to stop the car in the middle of one of the bridges that had a sign saying “kissing bridge” and kiss.

A woman was driving to the bridge from the other side and, rather than getting irritated at having to wait, gave us a big thumbs up.  I love Vermont.

~ Brendaburlington  089

9 thoughts on “Vermont’s Champlain Valley

  1. So beautiful and another wonderful part of the ol’ USA. The people in Vermont are always friendly and open and we also felt very welcome there. Your pictures and descriptions make me feel as though we are back! Thanks.

  2. Brenda, I don’t know which photo I like the best. The fall colors are so pretty and the covered bridges add a nice touch. It’s hard to believe that you didn’t have a lot of sun for the photos. What a fun time in Vermont!

  3. After seeing Vermont, you now understand why only Colorado could satisfy my wonderlust after living in Vermont for a couple of years!! Parts of Vermont are even more beautiful than Colorado, and the deciduous trees only add to its splendor. Glad you got to experience my (former) part of this great country. SOOO looking forward to seeing you back in Colorado soon.

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