A September 2006 trip
to Bennington by lharri
Quote: A significant town in a New England state with a small-town atmosphere, Bennington is a nice place to stay.
We stayed in Bennington on our way up to and back from Niagara Falls. The weather was not really bad considering it was cloudy and showers were all around. We stayed at the newest hotel in town, the Hampton Inn at the Hannaford Plaza and we stayed at one of the local oldies, the Knotty Pine and we were pleasantly surprised. We ate at the Hunters American Grill, which has changed hands several times and had a great dinner with wonderful service.
One of the most enjoyable experiences was the display of local art at every turn. Bennington has been following a tradition in later years of celebrating art in a way that can be enjoyed by the entire community. Art from last 2 years, Moosefest 2005 and Palettefest 2006 was still on display all over town and made our drive through and stay in Bennington all the more enjoyable. Another local event at this time of year is the Hemmings Car Show which we saw advertised but our travel plans could not accommodate. The Long Trail Wireless project is also making contributions to the tourist trade by attempting a totally wireless town. The theory behind it is that wireless networking, or Wi-Fi, should make Internet available free to everyone in the community. Local individuals or businesses can host a node and donate some of their bandwidth to the project. The Bennington Museum took part. You can now enjoy free Internet on site at the museum.
The roads in and out of Bennington, route 9 and route 7 are very scenic and considered major passage ways to New Hampshire, Massachusetts and New York. We took route 9 in from New Hampshire and out to New York on our trip to Niagara Falls.
The Hampton in Bennington is a new hotel. It is located in North Bennington near the Bennington College area. It is situated in a fairly new Hannaford plaza. There is a new Chili's restaurant across the adjacent parking lot. We did sample this Chili's and there is a review in this journal for that as well. We were on our way through Bennington to Niagara Falls Ontario by way of Albany and so wanted to stay close to the new bypass leading to New York and there is nothing closer than this hotel. We were not looking to settle down for a few days but wanted a comfortable nights rest. We stayed in a double queen bed room. The room was large and nicely furnished. The beds were extremely comfortable. I used my Hampton Inn points so the night was essentially a freebee, so we can not complain. The only disappointment, I guess for free I should have expected this, we had the worst view in the place. Our view was of the tar-papered roof of the pool and fitness area.
The next morning however, another bright spot was breakfast. Breakfast at Hampton Inn has been great of late, with a good variety of hot and cold items, and we enjoyed one before we left on our drive to Niagara Falls that next morning. The staff was professional and polite. I really hope this hotel does better in Bennington than some other big chains over the last 20 years. Bennington is more of a motor lodge town and some of them are great, see my review in this journal about such marvel, it is nice to have the option.
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on September 22, 2006
51 Hannaford Square
Bennington, Vermont 05201
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 22, 2006
Knotty Pine Motel
130 Northside Drive
Bennington, Vermont 05201
We ate at Hunter's- An American Grille during our stay in Bennington on our way back from Niagara Falls in Canada. It is located on historic route 7A. The atmosphere is cozy and the view of the Bennington Monument is spectacular. It is at the site of the old Publyk House restaurant. With both the Tavern and the formal dining room to choose from, the setting was intimate but the seating was varied.
We hadn't had a decent meal all the time we were in Canada, where two burgers at Fridays had cost us $45. We were starved and hoping for something that was worth the money. We found it. Hunter's has a wonderful soup and salad bar which is not as common as it used to be in nice restaurants. Their menu offers a wonderful variety of steaks, all the regulars like pork, chicken, veal and swordfish along with some less common fare such as venison, duck, and lamb. I had the prime rib and it was wonderful. We did not give in to the temptation of dessert but the presentation looked scrumptious. We drive out to Bennington on long weekends quite often, multiple times a year, as this is where my husband grew up. We will definitely return to Hunter's on our next trip.
Hunter's An American Grille
782 Harwood Road
Bennington, Vermont 05201
It was dark and not inviting at all. The bathrooms are near the eatery but you actually walk into a stockroom entry area to have access to them. They are dirty and not stocked properly. This was neither my first visit nor my first time with this impression. We ate at Wendy's for a quick bite and were very disappointed with the kids running it and their lack of training and the food that they served us. We were still sure that this was a better choice than the Subway inside Wal-Mart.
The KMART on the other hand (which is also in an older plaza) is clean and the aisles are spacious, uncluttered and the layout is as good as any I have seen if not better. It is in a plaza with a JC Penny as well as some small specialty stores and a Burger King. We have eaten there several times and it is fine for a Burger King. Next time I am sure I will be going to KMART when in Bennington, not Wal-Mart.
Member Rating 1 out of 5 on September 22, 2006
KMART is the right choice over Wal-Mart
19 Kocher Dr.
Bennington, Vermont 5201