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11 Aug 2009
Fly Fishing Festival in Manchester VT

American Museum of Fly fishing, Manchester VT

I enjoy fly fishing even though I'm not good at it. And I'll probably never get good because I go so infrequently. Over the years though, it has been the motivation to put me in some beautiful places and that's what I enjoy most about fishing for trout. The fly rod is just so I don't look like some idiot standing alone in a river. Now I look like a harmless old fool flogging the water with a stick. That's much better don't you think?

Early last fall, instead of going fishing as I should have, I visited the American Museum of Fly Fishing. It is a very impressive facility located next to the Orvis headquarters in Manchester VT. The building itself is a beautifully restored home on Route 7A a few minutes south of the town. If you enjoy fly fishing and all its traditions, you'll enjoy spending some time there. When I visited, admission was free to the main part of the museum but the art gallery had a small charge.

I was able to visit the library, reading room, museum store, and other rooms - there is enough there to hold your interest for an hour or more. And if you bring your fishing gear, you can fish the nearby Battenkill, one of the most famous trout streams in the world.

This Saturday, August 15, the museum is holding a fly fishing festival with displays and vendors of antique tackle, rod builders, artwork, fly tyers, fish carvers, and more. New to the festival this year is a great opportunity to "Cast with the Legends" where you can test famous antique rods to see how they feel. It's a rare opportunity to not only hold but also cast rods that would cost a lot of money to buy.

While you are in the area, I also suggest a visit to Hildene , the estate of Robert Todd Lincoln, some of President Abraham. It's a beautiful home with impressive gardens and grounds.

Manchester is known for its outlet stores, many of them very upscale brands. If you are a shopper, brace yourself to see many compelling bargains. Also, as mentioned above, the Orvis flagship store is located next to the museum and is a must stop too. Be sure to see the huge trout swimming in the pond that is half outdoors and half in the store. Just up Route 7A going north toward town, the Orvis outlet store has some incredibly low prices.

Orvis Flagship Store

(c) 2009 Jeff Connor (except the American Fly Fishing Museum and Orvis photos which are owned by those respective organizations )
Attractions , Events , Shopping
posted by  grunhaus at  22:49 | permalink

3 May 2009
Mother's Day Ideas

Nobody loves you as much as mom. You can give her a Mother's Day she will cherish with the gift of Vermont. Take her to a Vermont inn, restaurant, attraction, or simply a drive in the country.

If that's not possible this year, you can send Vermont to her with a Vermont Teddy Bear. They are very good at online orders and ship quickly. If you are going to travel to Vermont next weekend (Mother's Day is May 10), a tour of the Vermont Teddy Bear factory in Shelburne VT would be fun.

Vermont Teddy Bear has several pages of Mother's Day bears on its website, plus a grandmother bear too.

Make reservations soon and enjoy your day with mom.

(c) 2009 Jeff Connor Grunberg Haus
Advice , Attractions , Shopping , VT Products
posted by  grunhaus at  14:40 | permalink

12 Mar 2008
St. Johnsbury VT Athenaeum Included in NY Times

The New York Times Travel section last week published an article about athenaeums around the eastern US, mainly New England. "Where Greek Ideals Meet New England Charm" includes a mention of the St. Johnsbury Athenaeum, a combined library and art gallery located in downtown St. Johnsbury. It's an outstanding facility where you can easily lose track of time.

The town of St. Johnsbury is a wonderful place to visit and great entrance to Vermont's Northeast Kingdom. Other attractions in the area include the
Fairbanks Museum, Old Stone House Museum, and Stephen Huneck Dog Mountain.

More information about these attractions and others are listed on the Northeast Kingdom Chamber of Commerce website.

(c) 2008 Jeff Connor (except the photo above) Grunberg Haus
posted by  grunhaus at  20:38 | permalink

27 Feb 2008
CNN Article On Stephen Huneck Dog Chapel

I've written Vermont Travel Notes entries about Stephen Huneck's unique dog chapel in St. Johnsbury VT as well as his artwork and galleries around the state (the newest is in Stowe). His whimsical and sometimes touching artwork is very popular with dog owners all over the world. As a result, he has received publicity in a large number of places, the most recent being CNN and its website. The article is entitled "Doggy Disneyland draws animals, owners by the pack" and it's a good description of Stephen, his artwork, and his 175 acre farm with widely known dog chapel. It's quite a structure, requiring an expenditure of several hundred thousand dollars, and well worth a visit if you are a dog lover. From our inn, it is a little over a 45 minute drive to Dog Mountain..

Another great place to visit in the St. Johnsbury area is the Fairbanks Museum. I also recommend a drive north to Lake Willoughby and then over to the area around the town of Island Pond to do some moose spotting.

(c) 2008 Jeff Connor Grunberg Haus Inn
Attractions , General , Shopping , Unusual , VT Products
posted by  grunhaus at  15:15 | permalink

25 Dec 2007
Waterbury's Alchemist Brew Pub Starts Blogging

The Alchemist brew pub and restaurant in Waterbury has been hugely popular right from day one four years ago. They have about seven excellent brews available including some standards and some specials from time to time. Moreover, they actually have a chef preparing food so the fare there is much better than the average hamburger and fries that most bars have. As a result, it is crowded most nights. If you like craft brewed beers, the Alchemist should definitely be on your list of places to visit in Vermont.

John Kimmick, the brew master, just started a blog and has one entry posted so far. It's a pretty good one as a matter of fact and gives the reader a good insight into what kinds of beers he is offering and some of the thought and work that goes into creating them.

The blog is called Notes from the Brewery and is subtitled "or What's Going on Down Here and Why." (The Brewing equipment is in the basement under the pub.)

I've seen quite a number of Vermont blogs get started only to dwindle quickly. That is why I usually wait until I'm sure the blog will really keep going before I recommend it or add it to my list of links in the left column of this blog. But I'm making an exception this time and we'll see how it works out. John even mentions being busy with work and family so I won't be surprised if the Alchemist blog has only occasional entries but that is OK as long as they are as good as the first one and John keeps writing them once in a while.

In addition to the blog, take a look at The Alchemist website for more information about the brews, the menu, news, operating hours, map, etc.

(c) 2007 Jeff Connor Grunberg Haus Inn
Attractions , Food , General , VT Products
posted by  grunhaus at  19:52 | permalink

10 Aug 2007
Highest Altitude Restaurant in Vermont

Stowe gondola near the top of Mount Mansfield

Here is a different idea for lunch: eat at Stowe's Cliff House restaurant on Mount Mansfield, the highest mountain in Vermont. The restaurant is nearly at the top of the mountain. It is open from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm everyday the gondola is running. Reservations are not taken for lunch.

The food is a little pricey but very good. And you get a million dollar view free through floor-to-ceiling windows. You will see the Worcester Range in Vermont and on most days, the White Mountains of New Hampshire.

Cliff House underwent a renovation last year and it looks great. There is a new exhibition kitchen where chef Jeff Egan serves an American cuisine menu with rustic Vermont recipes based on locally grown ingredients.

The Cliff House will be open for dinner August 18 and 25; Sept 1, 15, and 29; and Oct 6 for special Summit Series dinners. These are five course dinners that start with a champagne reception. Reservations are required - you can reserve online or by calling 800-253-4754. Space is limited. You can see a schedule and menus for the Summit Series dinners here..

(c) 2007 Jeff Connor Grunberg Haus
Attractions , Unusual
posted by  grunhaus at  13:12 | permalink

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