Image source: Flickr - Mt. Hood Territory
Vermont is renowned for its excellent skiing and shushing pursuits. That being said, even those who aren't interested in hitting the slopes can enjoy a winter vacation to the state. From delicious local delicacies to seasonal sports to fun festivals, there's something for everyone to experience in Vermont. To help you plan your trip, here are three suggestions for non-ski winter activities in Vermont.
Vermont is well known for its delicious local specialties, like cheese, maple syrup and chocolate. Visit Grafton Village Cheese, which offers free samples of their jams, dips and handmade raw milk cheeses aged for up to four years. Another great cheese experience is driving the Vermont Cheese Trail featuring 44 different cheese farms and creameries throughout the state (call ahead for tour times at specific locations). Along with cheese, maple syrup is a staple of Vermont. Head to Morse Farm Maple Sugarworks to learn about this sweet staple as well as buy products like maple-cured bacon, maple cotton candy and maple kettle corn. There are also a number of wineries and chocolatiers in Vermont, with some top choices including Boyden Valley Winery, Charlotte Village Winery and Lincoln Peak Vineyard (which all offer tastings), and Birnn Chocolates of Vermont, Lake Champlain Chocolates and Vermont Chocolatiers. No matter where you go in Vermont, you'll be able to experience the states farm-to-fork, go-local philosophy through artisanal shops and mom and pop restaurants.
During the winter, Vermont hosts a number of events worth traveling for. Attend the annual Stowe Winter Carnival in Stowe, a two-week celebration featuring ice carving competitions, snow volleyball, a children's carnival, snow golf, movies, fireworks, dance parties, art shows and more. Moreover, First Night Burlington in Burlington is an annual New Year's Eve festival dedicated to the arts with numerous performances, concerts and creative activities and is definitely worth checking out. At the Burlington Winter Festival, also in Burlington, festival-goers can enjoy a street market with local and handmade products, sports, snow carving competition, performances, ice skating and family activities, to name a few of the many offerings.
If you're not into hitting the slopes there are still an array of other winter sports one can partake in. First there's ice fishing, as Vermont's rivers and lakes are filled with rainbow and brown trout as well as brook fish during the winter. You can call the Outdoor Guide Association at 800-425-8747 to ask about where to ice fish and for up-to-date tips. Another fun winter sport in Vermont is snowshoeing - essentially hiking with special shoes in the snow - which you can do at most of the states ski mountains. And at Smuggler's Notch, one can feel the thrill of flying through zip lining and rappelling year-round with Arbortrek Canopy Tour.
What are some other non-ski activities you enjoy doing in the winter?
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Jessica Festa is a full-time travel writer who is always up for an adventure. She enjoys getting lost in new cities and having experiences you don’t read about in guidebooks. Some of her favorite travel experiences have been teaching English in Thailand, trekking her way through South America, backpacking Europe solo, road tripping through Australia and doing orphanage work in Ghana. You can follow her adventures on her travel websites, Epicure & Culture and Jessie On A Journey. You can also connect with Jessica directly on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus, or follow her epicurean adventures on Facebook and Twitter.
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