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Vermont Attractions 2009

Vermont Attractions 2009
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by in May 2009

ATTRACTIONS

Best Recreation Path:
LAMOILLE VALLEY RAIL TRAIL
Stretching 92 miles from St. Johnsbury to Swanton along an old railbed, this gentle trail traverses a wide variety of landscapes, often following the scenic river. Surfaces vary; cyclists should use mountain bikes. 802-644-5750; lvrt.org

Best Jam Session:
VERMONT JAZZ CENTER, Brattleboro
Jazz improv in Vermont? This joint is jammin’ every Wednesday night from 8 to 10, when amateurs and pros show up from miles around. Workshops, instruction, and concerts. 72 Cotton Mill Hill. 802-254-9088; vtjazz.org

Best Three-Season Live Theater:
OLDCASTLE THEATRE COMPANY, Bennington
These professional Equity actors stage Broadway-quality productions–from Dickens to our own David Budbill–from March through late November at Bennington Center for the Arts. 44 Gypsy Lane. 802-447-1267, box office 802-447-0564; oldcastletheatreco.org

Best Alternative Bookstore:
SEASONED BOOKS AND BAKERY, Rochester
The shelves are stocked with volumes on sustainable living, homesteading, and wilderness adventure, but you’ll probably want to curl up in one of the shop’s cozy nooks with a book and an espresso before trekking out. 30 North Main St. 802-767-4258; seasonedbooks.com

Best Family Hike:
HAYSTACK MOUNTAIN, Wilmington
This four-mile round-trip, half-day hike in the southern Green Mountains offers spectacular four-state vistas and tops out at a lookout over lovely Haystack Pond. Upper Dam Road (off Route 9); wilmingtonvermont.us

Best Specialty Museum: BIRDS OF VERMONT MUSEUM, Huntington
Naturalist and master carver Bob Spear’s lifetime opus of 469 intricately detailed birds fill the museum he founded in 1987. Adjacent is the 250-acre Audubon Center. 900 Sherman Hollow Road. 802-434-2167; birdsofvermont.org

Best Chamber Music:
CRAFTSBURY CHAMBER PLAYERS, Burlington/Hardwick
A six-week series begins in mid-July, with superb string, wind, keyboard, and vocal artists performing at the University of Vermont’s Recital Hall in Burlington and Hardwick’s Town House. 800-639-3443; craftsburychamberplayers.org

Best Beach:
CRYSTAL LAKE STATE PARK, Barton
Tucked at the northern end of one of the Northeast Kingdom’s loveliest glacier-carved lakes, this never-crowded park offers clear water and magnificent views. Route 16. 888-409-7579, 802-525-6205; vtstateparks.com/htm/crystal.cfm

Best Auction House:
ELY COMMISSION SALES, Bradford
Ernie Stevens presides over Vermont’s only biweekly year-round auction house. Show up Monday nights at 6 for “cleanouts” of lower-priced items such as flatware and books; on Fridays at 6:30, it’s better antiques and collectibles. 799 Lower Plain Road. 802-222-5113; elysales.com

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