Family travel in Vermont

ben-and-jerrys-button-courtesy-dvs-on-flickr-ccEvery Tuesday until we run out of states, I plan to post about family-friendly travel ideas, attractions and events in each one of the US states, taking input mostly from Twitter and Facebook.

Yes, I know how to search for family travel ideas on a destination or attraction Web site, but a tweet or a Facebook Wall recommendation is a much more engaging and public way to spread the word.

Please don’t email suggestions to me;  that’s nice but it is one-to-one communication. Tweet me and/or Facebook me, so that all of our networks can see what’s cool about your state.

We’re going in alphabetical order but started with the end, so our first state for the series was Wyoming, then we investigated Wisconsin , West Virginia , Washington, Virginia and now we’re moving on to….Vermont!

You can find their state tourism organization on Twitter at @VermontTourism and here is the Vermont travel and tourism Facebook page. There is also a Vermont tourism YouTube channel.

When I asked for ideas, here’s what came in….

Twitter Travel Tips for Vermont

***  From the tourism folks via @VermontTourism on Twitter,  a ton of goodies as you’d expect  —  ECHO [Lake, Aquarium and Science Center,] Shelburne Museum, Ben & Jerry’s Factory [in Waterbury,] Fairbanks Museum, Montshire Museum, VT State Parks, Smugglers Notch Resort…

Quechee Gorge, Green Mtn Railroads, LOTs of summer county fairs, farmers’ markets, hikes, swimming holes…Very kid friendly and HUGE year-long event for all of Vermont: Lake Champlain 400 celebration – follow @VTChamplain400 [on Twitter] for more….Great website for kid’s events and attractions in the Champlain Valley:….

VT Statehouse (now with veggie garden!) Rock of Ages granite quarry, UVM Morgan Horse Farm, Lake Champlain Maritime Museum…Also, gotta mention all our ski & snowboard resorts, Cabot Creamery, Church Street Marketplace, VT’s historic downtowns…

And finally, World’s Best Cheddar [cheese,] right? [Follow @CabotCoop on Twitter.] Vermonter’s love their food made locally.

***  From Jinny VanDeusen via @JinnyWJGB on Twitter  — Camping in Winhall Brook [Ball Mountain, Vermont.]

***  From Nancy Kish via @AgapeHillFarm on Twitter  —  Agape Hill Farm offers llama walks, interactive farm visits and birthday parties in Hardwick, Vermont.

***  From Rebecca Lewis via @RebeccaPRChick on Twitter  —  My fave VT resort is Smuggler’s Notch!

***  From Peggy Coonley via @PeggyCoonley on Twitter  — Woodstock, The Billings Farm Museum (We spend time in Vermont on our Autumn in New England Women’s Trip.)

***  From Annemarie Dooling at @TravelingAnna on Twitter  — [In] Waterbury- Ben &Jerry/Cabot Cheese/Teddy Bear Factories.  Stowe – Smugglers Notch. Burlington – Family B&B’s.

***  From An Anonymous Tweeter who works at competing lodging  —  Smugglers Notch (shhh, don’t tell the boss.) 🙂

Facebook Travel Tips for Vermont

***  From Andrea Schulle on Facebook   —   Cabot Creamery. Went 10 yrs ago on my honeymoon. At the time, tour was $1 and was fascinating. Plus you got to sample all cheeses and food products for free. Quite the value. One tip: if going w/kids, call ahead to see what day they are actually in production.

***  From Mara Gorman on Facebook  — The Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National park – state’s only national park – in Woodstock has a great walking trail that two local high-school teachers wrote a scavenger hunt for; it’s perfect for younger school-age kids. The park is right across the street from the Billings Farm Museum which has a fascinating exhibit about farm life in Vermont and also lots of animals to see. Nearby is the Farmer’s Diner in Quechee, which serves only local food. I blogged about it here:

***  From Rachel Kelly on Facebook  —  My name is Rachel and I work at Hawkins International PR representing Topnotch Resort and Spa in Stowe, Vermont. I saw your tweet about kid-friendly VT and thought you might be interested in the property.

They have a lot of kid-friendly packages and events, including junior tennis clinics and a menu of teen treatments at the spa.  I’d be happy to provide any more information, and you can see a full list of family offerings here:

Although contributions by email are not really what I’m looking for because it’s not public on Twitter or Facebook, I did get some super-helpful info via email from Jim Storer —  “My family has deep roots in Vermont, specifically in the region called the Northeast Kingdom, which is absolutely as majestic as it sounds. I’ll focus on what I’d consider a great day for my family.

Morning – Hike the south trail of Mt. Pisgah in Westmore – This is a moderate hike through the woods to several breathtaking west-facing vistas. I’ve done it with my daughters when they were 3 & 5. Total round trip time is ~3 hours. Pack a light lunch or…

…get sandwiches at the Bailey’s & Burke Country Store in E. Burke and drive up the toll road at Burke Mountain to enjoy the view with a picnic lunch.

After lunch check in at the Wildflower Inn, a truly kid-friendly inn on the top of a ridge not far from Burke Mountain. They have animals to pet and beautiful gardens to stroll through. Have dinner at the inn’s restaurant. Order for the kids early and then send them to the play room, where there is a movie playing and plenty of games (and other kids) to keep them entertained while you enjoy a first class dinner with your spouse.” [Sheila sighs at this bizarre concept of dining with spouse.]

Although I have not written any Vermont posts myself, I do have the Family Travel in New England category here on Family Travel Logue, and on the BootsnAll Travel Network you’ll find articles about Vermont.

Thanks so much for the contributions – the next state in the series is Utah.

Send your Utah highlights to @SheilaS on Twitter or my Facebook page (tell me you’re a 50 state-er if you want to friend me.)

My purpose for this series is not only to highlight worthy kid-friendly vacation destinations in all 50 states, but by using Twitter and Facebook I want to also encourage tourism organizations to learn more about connecting with their visitors using social media and online networks.

Please add your own Vermont suggestions in the comments below, if we’ve missed anything. Thanks!