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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
VERMONT HISTORICAL SOCIETY MUSEUM, Montpelier
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; vermonthistory.org

Best Art Museum
SHELBURNE MUSEUM, Shelburne
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; shelburnemuseum.org

Best Hands-On Farm for Kids
THE RETREAT FARM, Brattleboro
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; theretreatfarm.com

Best Remote Campground
GREEN RIVER RESERVOIR, Morrisville
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; vtstateparks.com/htm/grriver.cfm

Best Aquarium
ECHO LAKE AQUARIUM, Burlington
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; echovermont.org

Best Eclectic Museum
PORTER MUSIC BOX MUSEUM, Randolph
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; portermusicboxmuseum.com

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; shackletonthomas.com

Best North Pole Shopping
MICHAEL’S TOYS, Rutland
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; michaelstoys.com

Best Unpretentious Art Gallery
LAZY PEAR GALLERY, Montpelier
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; lazypear.com

Please Note: This article 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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