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16 Apr 2006
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Chewing Through Vermont
Here's a fun way to see some of the most popular parts of Vermont and get fed at the same time: just drive the "food trail" from Ben & Jerry’s to Stowe

Ben & Jerry’s ice cream factory ( www.benjerry.com ), Vermont’s number one tourist attraction, is located in Waterbury, in the north central part of the state, a few minutes northwest of the capital of Montpelier, and about halfway between the year-around resorts of Stowe and Sugarbush (both a little over 12 miles away). Burlington and Lake Champlain are about 25 miles northwest.

To get there, take exit 10 from Interstate 89 and go north on Route 100 toward Stowe. Ben & Jerry's will be less than a mile up the road, on the left. This factory was Ben & Jerry’s first big operation. It’s open 363 days a year and features a humorous half hour factory tour which concludes with free samples. There is also a scoop shop with all their flavors, plus a souvenir shop if are looking for something for the folks back home. Don’t forget to ask where the Flavor Graveyard is. It’s the final resting place of flavors that did not sell well enough to survive. There are clever epitaphs on the gravestones.

From Ben & Jerry’s, turn left onto Route 100 and go a few miles to the Cabot Cheese outlet store ( Cabot Creamery ). More free samples here too! When you walk into the store you can’t miss it – just look for a crowd of people around a table munching on the cheese samples. Also in the same facility is Lake Champlain Chocolates, “some of the best chocolate in the country” according to the NY Times ( Lake Champlain Chocolates ).

If you can break away from the food for a few minutes, the world famous Vermont Teddy Bear Company ( Vermont Teddy Bear ) has its Waterbury Bear Shop here with the company’s full line of bears, clothing, and gifts.

Next stop: a cider mill. Turn left from the Cabot Cheese store and follow Route 100 north a few minutes to Cold Hollow Cider Mill ( Cold Hollow ). It’s a working mill where you can watch apples being squeezed. A local favorite are the fresh cider doughnuts. There is also a large store with tons of Vermont food products such as jams, jellies, mustards, and maple butter you can sample.

By now, you’re only a few minutes from the village of Stowe so keep heading north on Route 100. This area made its reputation on skiing but it is now a year around resort with plenty of summer activities such as golf, tennis, hiking, swimming, horseback riding, and more. We're mentioning it in this food article because Stowe has 58 good quality restaurants - second only to Boston in the New England area for the number of two and three star restaurants. However, you probably don't need to know that if you really ate your way here.

(c) 2005, 2006 Jeff Connor www.grunberghaus.com
 
Attractions
posted by  Jeff Connor at  14:12