Discover Vermont’s Route 100

The grounds at Hildene, the Lincoln family home

The grounds at Hildene, the Lincoln family home

Ready for a road trip? Take a drive up Vermont’s Route 100, the state’s longest running north-south highway (it spans almost the entire length of the state). It’s a beautiful drive packed with countless must-stop spots, whether you go in fall, winter, summer, or spring. As you travel through the Green Mountains you’ll find great skiing, cozy lodges, and historical landmarks along with refreshing local beers, cheese, and, of course, maple syrup.

My Southern Vermont tour along Route 100 began at New York Penn Station, where I took an easy train ride on Amtrak from New York to Brattleboro, Vermont. See where I headed after Brattleboro and start plotting your own Route 100 stops:

View of Mount Snow from Grand Summit Resort

Mount Snow

Just four hours from New York City and two-and-a-half hours from Boston, Mount Snow is part of the Green Mountain National Forest. This idyllic setting is a premier ski destination, with 588 skiable acres and 80 trails. Fun fact: It’s home to the Bluebird Express, North America’s only high-speed detachable bubble lift.

Stay & Play

Located slope-side, Mount Snow Grand Summit Resort Hotel offers cozy rooms with picturesque views of Mount Snow, a thriving village atmosphere, local cuisine, and relaxing spa treatments. Step outside and you can take to the mountain by snowshoeing, skiing, tubing, or snowmobiling. I opted to snowshoe, which turned out to be a good workout and a fantastic way to see the beautiful terrain.

The ski lift at Mount Snow

Dine

A locavore philosophy makes Harriman’s Farm to Table a mountainside standout. Dedicated to farm-to-table dining, Harriman’s uses its network of local farmers and producers to serve exceptionally fresh and delicious meals in a fine yet laidback atmosphere.

The Mount Snow village offers a variety of dining options. Located in the Main Base Lodge, Cuzzins Bar & Grill is a great place to have lunch and experience its well-known après ski scene. On the menu: microbrews on tap and comforting American fare, from light salads to hearty burgers.

Unwind

Naturespa at Grand Summit, a resort spa and holistic wellness center, is a place to relax and get a treatment (including facials, massages, and body wraps) or take yoga or Pilates.

Also Worth Checking Out:

Bennington Battle Monument
Kevin’s Sports Pub
Madison Brewing Company
Robert Frost’s Gravesite
The Bennington Center for the Arts
The Covered Bridge Museum

Stratton Mountain

Southern Vermont’s highest peak at 3,875 feet, Stratton Mountain is also located in the Green Mountain National Forest. It was established as a ski area in 1961 and neighbors the charming town of Manchester, Vermont.

Stay & Play

Stratton offers a variety of accommodations for all tastes and budgets, from the cozy, classic rooms at Black Bear Lodge to the family-friendly condos at Long Trail House. Learn to ski or snowboard at the Stratton Mountain Sports School, take a guided tour, or hit one one of the mountain’s 97 trails at your own pace.

Dine

Sea scallops at Luna

Located inside the Stratton Mountain Club, Luna offers upscale farm-to-table dining in a casual yet refined atmosphere.

Quinoa salad at Seasons Restaurant

A true gem, Seasons Restaurant is a neighborhood bar and grill that encapsulates Vermont’s charm. Owned and operated by the Bogossian family, the restaurant’s seasonal menu is packed with delicious options for different tastes and diets (gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian dishes are available).

Explore

A central hub for the surrounding accommodations, Stratton Village is a quaint area with shops (including Burton) and a day spa.

Northshire Bookstore

The village of Manchester, home to about 4,000 people, has its own walkable shopping area with charming local boutiques and cafés. Be sure to check out Northshire Bookstore and Spiral Press Café.

Hildene, the Lincoln family home

If you’re at all interested in United States history, Hildene is a must-visit. Built by President Abraham Lincoln’s son, Robert Todd Lincoln, in 1905, it was home to Lincoln’s descendants until 1975. You can tour the main house and learn about its fascinating history, explore the expansive gardens, and visit the Hildene farm, where they make goat cheese on-site. There is also a fully restored Pullman Palace Car on the grounds, complete with an exhibit and a knowledgeable guide who will walk you through the company’s controversial history.

Shop

You can shop the extensive selection of outdoor gear at Orvis, and you can also learn to fly fish—for free! Home to the oldest mail order outfitter in the US (it was established by the Perkins family in 1856), Orvis is the place for fly-fishing gear, and the company is committed to sharing its love of the sport.

The Vermont Country Store

Founded by the Orton family in 1946, the Vermont Country Store is a treasure trove of hard-to-find items, from retro beauty products to modern knickknacks and toys. The store brings its well-known catalogue to life, and it’s a delight to explore. Don’t miss the plentiful samples in the cheese and candy sections.

Also Worth Checking Out:

Manchester & the Mountains Regional Chamber of Commerce
Manchester Designer Outlets

Brattleboro

Named one of the 20 Best Towns in America by Smithsonian Magazine, Brattleboro isn’t just a place to catch an Amtrak train. It’s an incredibly charming town that lives up to its slogan, “The One and Only Brattleboro.” Truly one-of-a-kind, it hosts the Strolling of the Heifers, an annual event and parade that promotes sustainable living and entrepreneurship and innovation in the farm and food businesses. Yes, the cows actually do walk in the parade; sounds like a riot to me! It’s a summertime event, and the next one is Saturday, June 7, 2014.

Stay

Latchis Hotel and Theatre

Located in the heart of downtown Brattleboro, Latchis Hotel and Theatre offers a wonderfully unique experience. It’s a combination of boutique hotel and movie theater, so not only can you get a good night’s sleep at Latchis, but you can walk right downstairs to see a first-run movie in the fully restored Greco-Deco theater.

Dine

A beer flight at Whetstone Station

Beer flights, trivia nights, an extensive menu, and stunning views of the Connecticut River make Whetstone Station a must. The restaurant and brewery is a large, bustling space that’s great for groups.

Explore

VT Kids Design Glass II at the Brattleboro Museum & Arts Center

Located in a converted train station, the Brattleboro Museum & Arts Center is a standout, rich in local history and innovative exhibitions. You’re in for a special experience anytime you go, but if you stop by before March 8, 2014, be sure to check out these two exhibits: “VT Kids Design Glass II” and “Jerry’s Map.”

Also Worth Checking Out:

Brattleboro Food Co-Op