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Vermont Best Bargains 2010

by in May 2010
Vermont Best Bargains 2010
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Real Bistro Prices
TIP TOP CAFE, White River Junction
The word “bistro” has been so abused it might as well be dropped from the English language–except that every once in a while, a place comes along that epitomizes the concept, with simple but creative food (such as orange-infused salmon and ginger-and-pork meatloaf), candlelit table service, and reasonable weeknight date prices. Entrees: under $20, most under $15. 85 North Main St. 802-295-3312;

Country Living
OLD RED MILL INN, Wilmington
No frills at this former sawmill 10 minutes from Mount Snow; just clean, homey rooms, a spacious lobby with wraparound woodstove, and a cheery, attentive staff. Rates: from $70; continental breakfast included on weekends. Jct. Routes 9 & 100. 877-733-6455, 802-464-3700;

Low-Cost Comfort
The room names spell out this Mad River establishment’s philosophy: “Peace,” “Patience,” “Kindness,” “Joy.” They should all be named “Bargain,” for the comfy, quilt-covered beds, WiFi, and kids’ playroom. Rates: $85-$135, including full breakfast and afternoon treats. 48 Lareau Road. 802-496-4949;

At the Hop
A&W DRIVE-IN, Middlebury
You know it’s springtime in Middlebury when the cars line up along Route 7 in front of one of the last drive-in burger joints in the country. Carhops on roller skates and college kids flirting between cars make the scene as enjoyable as the meal. Entrees: from $3. 1557 Route 7. 802-388-2876;

$10 menu
The name may be pretentious, but nothing else here is. For just $10 a day, you get access to Vermont’s longest-running county fair and its down-home pleasures, including oxen pulls and “biggest pumpkin” contest, plus unique treats such as Civil War re-enactments and legendary apple crisp. Runs September 16-19 this year. 1 Fairground Lane (off Route 110). 802-889-5555,

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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Updated Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

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