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23 Jun 2006
Stowe Summer Attractions Open June 24 - 26, 2006

This week brings the opening of the Alpine Slide (shown above), Bungee Trampolines, and new Inflatable Obstacle Course at the Spruce Peak section of the Stowe ski area.

The Alpine Slide is a lot of fun for children and adults. You ride a ski chair lift to the top of a large hill and then ride plastic carts on wheels down a fiberglass track. You can control the speed with a hand lever. I think the minimum age might be seven years old. Younger children can ride with adults.

The Bungee Trampoline was popular when it debuted last summer and it will reopen June 26. The inflatable obstacle course is new this year.

Also open for the summer is the Auto Toll Road. It is about a 20 minute drive to the top of Mount Mansfield, Vermont’s highest peak. You can hike along the mountain ridge on the Long Trail. The views from the ridges atop Mansfield across to Smuggler’s Notch are wonderful. At one point on the trail ("Frenchman's Pile" - literally a pile of rocks) there is a 360 degree view including the Adirondacks in New York, the White Mountains of New Hampshire, Burlington and Lake Champlain. If my memory is correct, it's just a 10 or 15 minute hike from the Toll Road upper parking lot to Frenchman's Pile. No, I don't know why it is called that but you can ask the Park Ranger at the station. If you get the answer, please post it in the Comments section below.

The ski gondola which goes nearly to the top of Mt. Mansfield will open June 30. There is a restaurant at the top of the gondola run and it offers great views.

The Stowe ski area is about 15 miles from our inn.

If you are planning a family vacation, you might be interested in the Family Package we put together which includes a ride on the Alpine Slide along with other fun activities.

(c) Jeff Connor 2006 Grunberg Haus LLC
posted by  grunhaus at  13:42 | permalink

16 Apr 2006
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
posted by  Jeff Connor at  14:12 | permalink

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