Written by zabelle on 21 Jun, 2007
Originally built as a tavern in about 1830 the Wilder House was the home of Calvin Coolidge’s Mother Victoria Josephine Moor and it was there that she married the future president’s father in 1868. Her sister and her husband lived here while Calvin was growing…Read More
Originally built as a tavern in about 1830 the Wilder House was the home of Calvin Coolidge’s Mother Victoria Josephine Moor and it was there that she married the future president’s father in 1868. Her sister and her husband lived here while Calvin was growing up. It was turned into a coffee shop in 1956 and today it is painted the same color mustard yellow that it was in 1923 when Calvin became the president of the United States.There is no tour of the house and I suppose that is because there is nothing of a family house left to it. We walked in through the front door which takes you by the kitchen and through to the dining area. Were we welcomed and told to pick a table. When we arrived there was only one other table occupied but it wasn’t long before we had more company. This is a simple restaurant and as we walked in we saw a blackboard on the wall with food items listed. Some were breakfast items and others were lunch. We didn’t realize that they had a printed menu, we were never offered one but later after some of the other tables had filled up we saw that they were given menus. I suppose it really didn’t matter too much because we were not here to have a big meal but rather to have a snack.Among the offerings were ham and tuna sandwiches, grilled cheese, hotdogs, peanut butter and jelly and a fresh fruit platter with cottage cheese. On this particular Saturday they were offering corn chowder as the soup. I decided to have a cup of soup and a serving of rhubarb cobbler with vanilla ice cream. Al had bread pudding. The bread that is used here is from Baba Louis bakery in Chester and everybody was raving about it. We asked for water and the only water available is bottled not tap. My soup came with a cup full of very good crackers. The soup was chunky with potatoes and carrots as well as corn. It was very good. The cobbler was chunks of rhubarb covered with a crumbly sweet topping. It was a little sweeter than I like but it was still very good and there is no extra charge for the ice cream. Al’s bread pudding is redolent with cinnamon and also with ice cream. Mine was served warm his was served cold. Our whole little treat stop costed $9.85. All the desserts here are homemade on site and they really taste it. This is the only game in town but it was worth stopping. Close
I have been on a quest during the last couple of years to visit as many presidential sites as possible. When we visited Vermont in April we tried to visit but the site was not open. They are open from late May to mid-October. We…Read More
I have been on a quest during the last couple of years to visit as many presidential sites as possible. When we visited Vermont in April we tried to visit but the site was not open. They are open from late May to mid-October. We visited the weekend of June 9/10 and little did we know that this was the weekend where admission is free. This saved us $15. Admission is $7.50 for adults, children 6-14 $2, and a family pass is $20. There is plenty of free parking.Begin you visit at the visitor center. There is a film to watch, which is on a loop, to introduce you to our thirtieth president as well as a small museum with changing exhibits. What we saw were pictures and stories about his parents and grandparents, his sister, his wife, and sons. It chronicled his life from boyhood through his last years in Northampton Ma. I am embarrassed to say that everything we read was news to me as I knew zero about this very private man. His nickname of “silent Cal” may be a little to blame. There are tours every hour that leave from the General Store. We ended up watching half of the video when we arrived at the visitor center and then going to take the hourly tour and then when we were finished with our visit we returned to the visitor center to see the end of the video and check out the store. Frankly the tour is pretty lame, basically however you need to take it to get into the house where he was born, the barn and the house where he grew up and where his father swore him in as president. Yes, his father who was a notary swore him in right in their parlor after the unexpected death of President Harding. Our tour guide was sweet but had nothing of any interest to tell us and even Al thought she was the worst guide we have ever had. Plan on figuring most of it out on your own. Upstairs at the General store, which his father owned during his lifetime, was the summer white house. There was a silent film that you could watch there about the time he spent here during summer of 1924. The room has remained much the same as it was then.One thing not to miss is the Plymouth Cheese factory. Oh did I forget to mention that this is a whole little village not just one homestead. Yes, this is still an active cheese factory but on Saturday no one was working. There is a small but well stocked store downstairs and a museum upstairs, all you ever wanted to know about the production of Plymouth Cheese and even more. I bought quite a few items from the store, they have all Vermont made items and some like the cheese and some soap are made right here in Plymouth Notch.Probably the biggest draw is the Church where the Coolidge family worshiped. It was built in 1840 and follows the Congregational tradition. It is built in the Greek Revival style with a beautiful wooden interior with perfect acoustics. It is no longer an active congregation which is very sad since it is a lovely church. There was a docent in the church who was happy to talk about the church which used to be her parish. There is a small restaurant on the site which I will mention in a separate entry. Don't leave the area without stopping by the cemetery to see the multiple generations of Coolidges, including the President who are buried there.Located at Route 100aPlymouth Notch, VT. Close
Robert Lincoln, the only surviving son of Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln built Hildene in Manchester, Vermont in 1905 as a summer home. He had visited the area in the 1860s with his mother and his brother Tad and had found the surroundings very attractive.…Read More
Robert Lincoln, the only surviving son of Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln built Hildene in Manchester, Vermont in 1905 as a summer home. He had visited the area in the 1860s with his mother and his brother Tad and had found the surroundings very attractive. He purchased 500 acres of land and had his house built in the Greek Revival style. At the time it cost $63,000. The house remained in the Lincoln family until 1975 and in 1978 it was purchased by the Friends of Hildene who set about restoring the property. There are no surviving descendants of Abraham Lincoln which I found very sad.Normally a visit would begin at the Visitor Center which is in the old carriage barn. When we visited in June it was closed for renovation but was scheduled to reopen in July. In the carriage barn there is a film that plays on a loop and a gift shop. Hildene is located up a very long driveway, it is a full mile. Entrance to the house was $7.50. There is no brochure or map to guide you around and it is a self tour. There was someone who welcomed us into the house and he was also more than willing to answer any questions we had. He told us a lot about the Aeolian Organ which is in the entrance hall and was a gift to Mary Lincoln by her husband Robert. It is a pipe organ with a player attachment and 242 rolls of music. It has all been digitalized and the organs plays on a regular schedule. We were afraid we would miss it but have no fear, if you are anywhere inside the house you will hear it, it is quite amazing. Robert paid $11,500 for the organ which is about 1/6 of what he spent to build the house. The house was modern from the moment it was built. It had electricity and modern plumbing and was really state of the art when the Lincoln’s moved in. There were 15 servants who kept things running smoothly at Hildene and of the 15, 6 remained here in Vermont and the other nine moved with the family to and from Chicago. It was interesting to walk into the butlers bedroom and see how simply he lived. In the butlers pantry there is a call box with all the rooms marked so he would know where he was being called from. There are plaques in each room giving you some basic knowledge about what you are seeing.On the second floor there is a room dedicated to Abraham Lincoln and it is here that you can see his stovepipe hat and the sculptures of his hands, they are big, you are encouraged to touch them or compare your hands to them.The gardens are quite spectacular and well worth a walk especially in June when the peonies are in bloom. There are also spectacular views into the Vermont countryside.If you enjoy history and in particular Abraham Lincoln and his legacy, this is a very interesting place to visit. Close
Stone House Antiques CenterRoute 103Chester, VT I have always stopped at the Stone House Antiques center in Chester ever since it opened. You never know what you are going to find. It is a multi dealer shop with mostly open displays. This isn’t a high…Read More
Stone House Antiques CenterRoute 103Chester, VT I have always stopped at the Stone House Antiques center in Chester ever since it opened. You never know what you are going to find. It is a multi dealer shop with mostly open displays. This isn’t a high end antiques store, it is more about country collectibles and kitchen chachkees than serious art however it is no less enjoyable to poke around. There are two separate buildings and one of the buildings has seen more incarnations than the other. Beyond just antiques it has crafts, local Vermont products and by the time you go just about anything else is possible. I rarely leave here without having found something that I can’t live without.The Pear Tree177 South Main StNow this is a very interesting shop. Intermingled among a smattering of antiques you will find a variety of interesting products. In the kitchen and bath department you will find a nice selection of Caldrea products, beautiful soaps and farm house products. There are pretty home decor items like glass bells to cover your plans and mercury vases and bowls. There are throw pillows scattered around the pieces of furniture for sale. I tried the most wonderful lemon and verbena hand lotion and I can’t believe that I didn’t buy it because it made my hands so soft. There are robes, candles, scent sticks, and some very pretty stationary. They even have lots of great baby gifts. This is a fun place to poke around they have a unique and eclectic collection of items.Misty Valley Books58 The CommonAn amazingly well stocked local independent book store. They have a whole display of local authors, with some of the books signed. There are also plenty of books about the area. What surprised me was the excellent selection they had of magazines. The walls are lined with novels, biographies, histories, and enough titles to please even the most discriminating reader. I found a book for myself as well as a very sharp pair of readers. If you have ever met me you know that one of my signature looks is my extensive collection of unusual glasses and they had a very nice selection here. They also had a case full of cooks books with I spent quite a while perusing. Hopewells BooksThe CommonsFor a totally different book buying experience try this book store where they sell used books. What an amazingly diverse selection they had. Obviously because of the nature of a used book store it doesn’t make any sense for me to tell you what they have however rest assured that they will have an equally expansive collection when you visit. A really great place to poke around. Close
Written by zabelle on 10 Apr, 2007
Antiques Mall At Quechee Gorge VillageQuechee VtThis is one of my very favorite antiques malls. It is huge. There are over 450 dealer booths located on two floors. This is the type of store that you need to visit regularly because the inventory is constantly…Read More
Antiques Mall At Quechee Gorge VillageQuechee VtThis is one of my very favorite antiques malls. It is huge. There are over 450 dealer booths located on two floors. This is the type of store that you need to visit regularly because the inventory is constantly changing. As you walk by the register go to the right and the first dealer on your right will be a print dealer. This dealer specializes in 19th century botanical prints and maps. Always a fascinating stop. I spent my first money here, this trip at the next booth which was a book dealer. I picked up a Rumford Cookbook and a book about Jane Austin both of which were very well priced.Some of the dealers were offering discounts on all the items in their booths ranging from 15% to 50%. Luckily the book dealer was one of them. Another thing that is always in abundance here are some very nice linens. I didn’t buy any but I saw a very pretty pink damask table cloth and matching napkins for $18, you can’t go wrong if it is your table size. There will be staff walking around and if you find something you like they will take it to the desk for you and give you a number for the cubby where it will be located when it is time to check out. While you are on the second floor you can take a detour to The Vermont Craft Center. This is a juried center where you can be sure to find some very find hand made items. Beyond the knitted, crocheted, and quilted items you will also find homemade soaps, candles, and lotions. I fell in love with some place mats and table runners but I resisted the temptation to buy. There are wooden children’s toys, music boxes, beaded name bracelets, sterling silver jewelry and a whole lot more. This is where I bought my favorite sterling ring, my mother and child, it always gets a lot of attention. As a matter of fact when I lost weight I came back and bought a smaller size, I like it that well, it is my signature ring. New on this trip were photographs. They were offered both framed and matted or only matted. Some done is color but many black and white. Muddy Duck Kids1 Main StQuechee VtHow could I resist a children’s store. This is not your typical store , you won’t find the same brands that you will at your local department store. Well at least in clothes you won’t . I did buy a musical gund to attach to a baby’s crib and of course gund is a name that everyone recognizes. I also bought a very cute coverall in blues and lime green with animals on it that is totally unique but in style reminds me of "hannah". There were also children’s toys for sale. There were sale racks with discounts of 40 and 50%. Northern Ski Works OutletRoute 4Bridgewater, VtAl has been wanting an updated pair of ski boots to go with his new skis. One option was to get a really good pair of used boots. Northern Ski Works Outlet is the place to do that. The pair that he bought have had a previous life as rental boots and now are making Al a very happy man. They cost him $70 and new they would have been over $300. Can’t go wrong. They also sell new ski clothes, new skis and new boots. This is the outlet but they have two other stores one in Ludlow and one at Killington. I think they best buys though will be had in Bridgewater. Close
Shiretown Book Store 9 Central StWoodstock VtShiretownbooksI can never pass up a local independent bookstore and this was no exception. As we were passing through Woodstock I spied what was just about the only store open at 9am on a Saturday and we found a…Read More
Shiretown Book Store 9 Central StWoodstock VtShiretownbooksI can never pass up a local independent bookstore and this was no exception. As we were passing through Woodstock I spied what was just about the only store open at 9am on a Saturday and we found a parking spot right in front. This is a small but very well stock store with a resident black cat named Sirius Black or Mister B who will be happy to make you welcome. When we arrived he was in the process of tearing up the window display but he soon joined me in the travel section to get his pet. The owner is very friendly and also very knowledgeable and was able to steer me in the direction of the lasted Tracey Chevalier novel which Al nicely offered to buy for me. I had already picked up a couple of interesting history books and was considering myself well satisfied. I want to point out that both the history and the travel section offered some wonderful choices and the owner even asked me to suggest some titles that they should be stocking. I suggested that the insider guides are among my favorites and she is going to give it consideration.Fat Hat 1 Main StQuechee VTThis is a very interesting store especially if you are in the market for a hat. I discovered it three or four years ago when I purchased a wonderful winter hat made of purple chenille which I wore all over Germany in my trip there in 2005. I wish I had thought to come up here to get my hat for the cruise. I tried on a couple there today and they have one straw one with a stretchy band inside that makes it fit tight to your head, that would have helped as I did my morning walk on the ship and had to hold my hat on with one hand.It isn’t all about woman either, they have a nice selection of men’s hats too. There are more than just hats here, they sell cloths both men and woman’s and also some candles and scents. A really fun stop.Antiques Collaborative4 Waterman PlaceQuechee, VtThis is three floors of very upscale antiques. I wasn’t going to find any of my aluminum ware here however I enjoy looking at things that I can’t necessarily have. They have a wide variety of offerings including Roseville, Rookwood and Weller pottery, lots of gold jewelry, some wonderful English and Scottish sterling silver. I was quite fascinated by an almost $3,000 tea set without tray. Not all the things are as pricey, there are some beautiful butter pats that run from $30 up and some small sterling butter knives and tea straining spoons. The walls are adorned with prints and paintings from a few hundred dollars to many thousands. On the third floor I loved a French early 20th century farm table for a cool $1,800 and also a magnificent 19th century trunk the likes of which I have never seen before for $5,000.This is a multi dealer shop and there are several book dealers and did I buy anything, well yes. I spent $4 on a passport book for my grandson Alex on learning French. Did I lust after lots of other things, you bet and I thoroughly enjoyed pretending that I could afford to buy them.There is an elevator that can take you to all three floors if stairs are an issue. Close
Cabot Cheese StoreRoute 4Quechee, VtThere is a whole lot more to this store than Cabot Cheese. Not that just Cabot Cheese would be a bad thing but man or woman cannot live by cheese alone. But before you decide be sure to try all the…Read More
Cabot Cheese StoreRoute 4Quechee, VtThere is a whole lot more to this store than Cabot Cheese. Not that just Cabot Cheese would be a bad thing but man or woman cannot live by cheese alone. But before you decide be sure to try all the cheese they offer. Oh yes, you get to taste, there are little bowls filled with cubes of all the different cheeses. What got us the door however was popcorn topped with Cabot Cheese powder, oh my it makes the popcorn taste as good as that famous brand of cheese popcorn.I began on one side of the store and worked my way to the other picking up made in Vermont products. Jam from Farms for my mother, pancake and scone mix from King Arthur Flour for my girl friends, a pound of Green Mountain Coffee beans for me. Since I was spending all of Al’s money I didn’t get any maple syrup, any dip mix, any of the really cute tea shirts, the bottles of local wine or the nice selection of Vermont cookbooks.You can not only have a snack out here but so some serious shopping. I even got some Vermont made dog biscuits for Brie and Beau in the shape of a heart, very cute.Mesa Factory StoreRoute 4Quechee, VtThis is another one of the stores that I just love to browse though. Mesa offers some beautiful pottery, wrought iron wear, glasses and garden items made around the world and in a variety of styles and colors. They were having a buy one get one at half price sale but this is one place where I just looked and resisted the temptation to buy. All of Mesas pieces are individually designed and handcrafted. It’s a great place to get a special mug and not one that everyone else has. These have that hand thrown look so don’t expect to see Vermont, or special teacher or something like that. Do expect to find a wide selection in unique colors and combinations.Laro’s New England SpecialtiesRoute 4Quechee, VTNow having loaded up on Vermont products at Cabot Cheese you would have thought that I would not be in the market for anything else made in New England but you would be wrong. I was still not only looking, I was buying. Now the difference is that here all of New England is represented and since I am a big lover of Maine’s Stonewall Kitchen, I was in heaven. Again there were lots of choices including New England honey, spices, and mustard that include maple in their ingredient list, homemade fudge and lots more. You can also get yourself a cup of Green Mountain Coffee in one of their many flavors in a pod machine. They sell bags of the ground coffee and the whole beans as well. They have a nice selection of scone, pancake, and waffle and muffin mixes to go along with your coffee. Close
Written by unorthodox traveler on 19 Jan, 2001
The Blue Benn Diner is an institution...mentioned in such prestigious publications as the "Christian Science Monitor", "Yankee Magazine" and "Classic Diners of the Northeast".
This place is a family run business since 1974. Owner Sonny and wife Marylou, and daughter Lisa, take great pride in serving…Read More
The Blue Benn Diner is an institution...mentioned in such prestigious publications as the "Christian Science Monitor", "Yankee Magazine" and "Classic Diners of the Northeast".
This place is a family run business since 1974. Owner Sonny and wife Marylou, and daughter Lisa, take great pride in serving delicious food at a price anybody can afford. The unusual thing about the food here is that wholesome,veggie meals are on the menu such as veggie chili,veggie lasagna,Blue Benn Veggie Burger,Marinated Portabello Mushrooms,Shiitake Mushroom and Broccoli,veggie meat loaf,Syrian Roll-Ups,Veggie Burrito,Veggie Enchilada,and Eggplant Almond Enchilada...to name only a few of the items on the menu. The morning we were here, I had a delicious Multigrain with blueberries pancakes and my friend had the Garden Scrambled with broccoli,spinach,tomatoes,onions,mushrooms,peppers, and topped with cheddar. The Blue Benn also serves more traditional foods such as Pot Roast,Roast Turkey, Fried Scallops,Chicken Picatta,and many other selections.
The portions are very generous and the price very reasonable. The place was very crowded the morning we were there...we chose to sit on stools rather than wait for a booth. This is an extremely popular place.
Along with the food, the building itself has an interesting history. The Blue Benn Diner was manufactured by the Paterson Vehicle Co. of Patterson, NJ in the 1940's. This company was also known as the Silk City Design. In 1949 it was shipped and assembled on its present site in Bennington.
Some information on the DINER INSTITUTION. The DINER is strictly an American creation...I have been told that you won't find a diner in Europe. The old diner is a stand-alone structure. One story tall and usually longer than wider, they often look like an abandoned railroad car or trolly...which some are. The traditional diner is constructed primarily of stainless steel, chrome,pressed tin, and a lot of lavendering. During the 1920s and 30s,manufacturers designed them to look like sleek cool trains. They are called diners because it is a short version for dining car.
A DINER is simply an eatery where you can enjoy a delicious homecooked meal at a fair price and served in a hurry without fanfare or garnish. There isn't a lot of room in a diner such as Blue Benn and that's the way it was meant to be. A diner like Blue Benn is a place for people to gather...for a community to come together, to have a good meal and enjoy themselves. Friendliness takes up a lot of space in the Blue Benn Diner...people are talking to each other...it can be noisy...it is certainly not a place to put on airs.
One additional feature that warmed my heart at the Blue Benn was the jukebox...full of oldie but goodies from the 50's and 60's.
If you decide to visit Bennington, don't miss out on this special place to eat. Close
Written by golfntennis on 07 Jul, 2003
The brochures bill this place as "three comforts of Vermont": Cheese, Chocolate, and Teddy Bears. In addition to those three specialty stores, there are also other stores in the complex including the Rockin’ Horse T-shirts, the Ziemke Glass Blowing Studio, and the Vermont Clay Studio.…Read More
The brochures bill this place as "three comforts of Vermont": Cheese, Chocolate, and Teddy Bears. In addition to those three specialty stores, there are also other stores in the complex including the Rockin’ Horse T-shirts, the Ziemke Glass Blowing Studio, and the Vermont Clay Studio.
We started at the Vermont Teddy Bear store. I did not know that there would be such a large selection of teddy bears to look at. Not only were there all sizes and colors of teddy bears, the extensive wardrobe selection was mind boggling! There was also a special section where you stuff, sew, and dress your own teddy bear. At the end, you get to name the bear and will receive a birth certificate! Real neat!
The next stop was the Cabot Annex Store where I spent some time sampling the various flavors of cheese, jam, and crackers. All were delicious. Besides buying a few of the favorites, we also bought a few bottles of wine from their extensive collection.
Our final stop was Lake Champlain Chocolates. My wife is a true chocoholic so we were there for a while! I am still amazed at how many varieties of chocolate were displayed in the store. I do not remember any free samples to try, but we did have a coupon for a few free truffles. My wife bought quite a few gift boxes of chocolates for her co-workers. Of course, I do not think all of the chocolates made it to work!
Written by JimAF on 04 Dec, 2005
Accommodations: Stowe is filled with wonderful B&Bs, country inns, and full-service resorts sure to please any taste. Within each category there is a range of services and rates. You’ll find inexpensive, casual B&Bs and beautifully decorated, luxury B&Bs; moderate country inns and inns with fireplaces…Read More
Accommodations: Stowe is filled with wonderful B&Bs, country inns, and full-service resorts sure to please any taste. Within each category there is a range of services and rates. You’ll find inexpensive, casual B&Bs and beautifully decorated, luxury B&Bs; moderate country inns and inns with fireplaces and hot tubs in each room. The Green Mountain Inn, Stone Hill Inn (B&B) and the Meadows at Stoweflake (condos) are the best places to stay.
Dining: Stowe offers the full spectrum of dining experiences from casual to fine dining and includes nearly all types of cuisine including Steaks, Seafood, Italian, German/Viennese, Thai, Mexican, Continental and Japanese. There are over 60 restaurants from which to choose, many with wonderful views and most with roaring fireplaces. Michael's on the Mountain, Blue Moon, Trattoria de Festa and Mes Ami are my favorites.
Things To Do: Stowe is truly a year-round resort offering a wide range of activities. In winter, there is downhill and cross-country skiing, snow shoeing, snowmobiling, ice skating, sleigh rides and horseback riding. Spring, summer, and fall offer hiking, golf, tennis, canoeing, and horseback riding. Fly-fishing for trout in spring is a local favorite, and hot-air ballooning over the mountains in summer is an exciting experience. Throughout the year, you can enjoy the Recreation Path which begins in town and winds its way 5.5 miles toward the mountain through the woods, beside bubbling brooks and next to open fields. Depending on the season you can walk it, bike it, cross-country ski it, rollerblade it or snow shoe it. It is wonderful introduction to the beauty of Stowe. There are sights to see, shops to explore, art galleries in which to browse and antiques stores to search for treasures.