Upon graduation, the misses and I decided to take a road trip to Vermont. We'd previously spent a vacation in The Green Mountain State a couple years back in search of some serenity away from the hustle and bustle of Boston. During that first trip I found peace in the fast flowing turns on the mountain roads. My girlfriend discovered calmness in the lush rolling hills. It was time to find that relaxed pace again.
The drive is a pretty straightforward affair. From Boston, it's an hour on I-93 followed by about 2-2 1/2 hours on I-89 to Burlington, VT. These are the kinds of drives with which I have a love/hate relationship. In a hurry, the lack of having to remember a huge number of exits makes the miles fly by. On the other hand, it can become long and tedious simply because the interstate is so monotonous. Luckily, I-89 is much different than the straight ahead nature of I-93. It sweeps through the hills and mountains and is a very fun interstate. The picture above was actually taken at a rest stop on I-89.
Arriving in Burlington is, literally, a breath of fresh air for two city kids. There is just so much of a culture revolving around the outdoors. Anybody can find an activity that's right for them whether it be cycling, hiking, boating, gardening or just laying out by the lake. To us, the city felt more like a big town built into the landscape which makes for some great driving. There is a huge amount of coastline for scenic drives as well as those previously mentioned mountain roads for the more demanding driver.
That great landscape also contributes to Burlington's vibrant food culture. There are very few chain restaurants here. The city and its surrounding areas are filled with farms, vineyards, small "mom and pop" stores, and amazing locally owned restaurants. I highly recommend trying a few of these restaurants with the "Vermont Fresh Network" sticker on the door. The Vermont Fresh Network is a partnership between local restaurants and farms to bring the freshest ingredients to the customer and it helps local businesses thrive.
If all of my ramblings can't convince you that Vermont has something for everyone, just sit back and enjoy the view.