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Vermont Best Attractions 2010

Vermont Best Attractions 2010
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by in May 2010

Best Place to Time-Travel
Not just another history museum, this revamped Vermont-focused institution is modern in its immersive approach. Riffing off the state’s anthem “Freedom and Unity,” it re-creates pivotal environments from the state’s past, including an Abenaki village, the Green Mountain Boys’ Catamount Tavern, and Calvin Coolidge’s summer White House. 109 State St. 802-828-2291;

Best Art Museum
Past this eclectic institution’s paddleboat and carousel is a first-rate art collection, including outstanding works by Monet, Manet, Degas, and Cassat. It’s because of this permanent collection that the museum is able to score such excellent traveling exhibits, including recent shows of Georgia O’Keefe and Louis Comfort Tiffany. 5555 Shelburne Road (Route 7). 802-985-3346;

Best Hands-On Farm for Kids
It’s like a spa for livestock, with your kids as the therapists. This 475-acre working farm not only offers a buffet of veggies and snacks for the young’uns to dole out to the big-barn denizens; it also provides brushes and scratchers with which to pamper them. For little ones, the walk-in rabbit pen is a revelation. 350 Linden St. 802-257-4050;

Best Remote Campground
The 28 campsites scattered amid the hardwoods around Green River Reservoir are accessible only by canoe. Some require a paddle of a mile or more and are so remote that the only sound at night is the cackle of the loons. 1393 Green River Reservoir Dam Road. 802-888-1349;

Best Aquarium
Frogs and whale skeletons, shipwrecks and sea monsters–there’s something to stir any imagination at this exceedingly well-done exploration of the ecology and culture of Lake Champlain. 1 College St. 877-324-6386, 802-864-1848;

Best Eclectic Museum
No matter how nifty your iPod, it’ll never look as lovely as the music boxes made by Porter Music Box Company. In addition to its own models, the factory headquarters showcases an extensive collection of rare antique music boxes, which wow with the polish of their inlaid-wood outsides and the rich melodies that boom from their insides. Route 66. 800-811-7087;

Best Couple of Artisans
SHACKLETON THOMAS, Bridgewater Four Corners
Charles Shackleton and Miranda Thomas create their pieces the old-fashioned way: one at a time, mostly without machines. The personal touch shows in the creativity and craftsmanship of their hand-hewn furniture and hand-etched pottery. The Mill, Route 4. 802-672-5175;

Best North Pole Shopping
Blink twice to make sure it’s real. Woodworker Michael Duval handcrafts exquisitely detailed trucks, trains, and rocking horses that seem straight out of Santa’s workshop. Would you believe us if we said Duval tends toward the portly and favors red suspenders and a bushy white beard? 64 Merchants Row. 802-773-3765;

Best Unpretentious Art Gallery
No black berets here, only the arresting and original artwork of Robert Hitzig and Mary Jo Krolewski in a rambling yellow Victorian home. Open by appointment or chance. 154 Main St. 802-223-7680;

Best One-Stop Shopping
The modern country store as you might construct it from scratch: organic deli sandwiches, house-made pastries, creaking floorboards, and a potbellied woodstove. Wine, women’s clothing, and kids’ toys, plus the rushing Mad River out back. 284 Main St. (Route 100). 802-496-3864;

Best Craft Gallery
The colorful forms of Kathleen Young’s hand-blown glasswork leap into shapes inspired by crescents, calla lilies, and women’s chemises, all displayed in a sun-filled gallery inside a restored former church. 10 South Main St. 866-625-6422;

Please Note: This information was accurate at the time of publication. When planning a trip, please confirm details by directly contacting any company or establishment you intend to visit.

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One Response to Vermont Best Attractions 2010

  1. frank moser August 5, 2010 at 12:08 pm #

    DAN&WITTS/NORWICH VT. Then best place anywhere to find what you want and enjoy a great hamburger on a sat afternoon.

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