After Maine, we decided to continue on to New Hampshire followed by Vermont. It is amazing just how close these states are to each other. Most of the time, I had no idea where one state began and the other ended. Even google maps had no idea where we were half of the time!
Tip: AT&T doesn’t work very well in these states. Everyone swears by Verizon.
As mentioned in the previous post, everything is planned at most 2 days in advance as many of our routes depend on the housing that we can get on short notice. Here was our route for the next 6 days:
Bangor, ME –> Campton, NH –> Plymouth, NH –> Waterbury, VT –> Stowe, VT –> Montpelier, VT –> Hardwick, VT–> Burlington, VT.
In New Hampshire, we stayed on a beautiful horse ranch with a very sweet and generous host, Patty, who runs an equestrian center on her property (56 acres). She provided us with a lovely breakfast (muffins and eggs) and introduced us to her gorgeous horse, Andreas. We loved staying at the ranch so much that we extended our stay.
Covered bridge on the way to Patty’s ranch…
The ranch itself …
Apple trees surrounding the property . . .
Mr. Andreas nudging me to give him a scratch…
And watching sunsets with a cup of tea…
I mean, what’s not to love?
In Vermont, we ended up booking a place a bit further out from all the fun destinations that we wanted to visit but it was an entire apartment in Hardwick that was attached to someone’s house. The property is actually a maple farm and so our refrigerator was always filled with yummy organic maple syrup!
A cute little town is just down the street and some of the bigger small towns are just within a 30 minute drive. The beauty of staying in Hardwick is that we would have never known that this place existed if we didn’t come across the apartment there. Our geography is improving day by day!
Here was our home for 3 nights!
WHAT TO DO IN NEW HAMPSHIRE:
We spent most of our time either hiking or hanging out at the ranch, so the list is limited and I am sure there is much more to do there. But we did and saw the following:
Plymouth: A college town just 15 minutes away from Campton, NH. Lots of young people, a pub, an ice cream joint, a Thai restaurant and maybe a few more shops.
Squam Lake: Located in the central NH. Lovely with lake resorts all around (you can rent an all inclusive cabin there for your entire family with food included for approximately $3,000 for a week). There are also beautiful hiking trails all around which will surprise you at the end. One of those is the rattlesnake trail and WOWSA! After a pretty steep climb, you are in awe of the view. I can only imagine what it looks like in the fall.
As we started our drive to VT after 3 nights in NH, we drove a bit more through the White Mountain Forrest and made a few stops…
WHAT TO DO IN VERMONT:
On the way to Hardwick, VT, we popped into Vermont’s capital, Montpelier (neither one of us had any idea what the capital of VT was until we got there). Good thing Siri can answer almost any question. It is the smallest state capital in the US with population of about 7,800. Beautiful and quaint little town. We then stopped by the Ben and Jerry’s Factory in Waterbury, VT, because it was on the way (kind of, not really)! Though the tour was only $4, it really wasn’t worth the expense. You are better off spending the money on a big ice cream cone.
They do have a pretty funny cemetery to commemorate those flavors that didn’t make it. This you can visit without paying for the tour. Trapp Family House: Yep, it’s those Trapps…the Sound of Music gang. Although the family in the Sound of Music is fictionalized to a large extent, the Trapp family did in fact come from Austria and they settled in Vermont mountains in 1942 because it reminded them of their home in Austria. The house has been a ski lodge/hotel for many years now. It’s a nice property with beautiful views, pretty flowers, a brewery, a bakery and a restaurant. Is it worth a stop? If you are in Stowe, might as well! Otherwise, don’t detour for it. Stowe: A stunning ski resort town. The county is pretty big, but the central town is only a few blocks in length. It is very picturesque with a white church standing tall in the middle of this tiny town!
We were lucky enough to drop in during an arts and wine festival where the Carbecue will be your food option (and Kieran trying to sneak a picture of the Amish family in front of the Carbecue)…
followed by a game of bocce ball.Smugglers’ Notch State Park – Sterling Pond Trail Hike: While in Stowe County, this is a very nice hike – a good one hour uphill! The lake that you reach at the end of the hike is like glass.
Burlington: A day trip to Burlington is a must, but if you can stay longer, do it! It’s a great college town with a huge shopping street in downtown, lots of restaurants, breweries and a gorgeous waterfront.
Oh, and when I grow up, I would like to own one of these waterfront homes…one is currently for sale, so feel free to donate to the Bees fund!Brattleboro Farmers Market: As we were making our way to Massachusetts, we decided to make a final stop in a small town of Brattleboro as it is famous for its Farmers Market. The town is ok and the Farmers Market can be easily skipped, although I did have some delicious raspberry ice-cream there.
WHERE TO EAT:
The Little Red School House: this little gem is right in Campton, NH and our motto is if you find a great inexpensive place to eat, go there every day! Delicious fish sandwiches, burgers, home made ice cream and a beautiful outdoor and indoor seating. LOVE!
Vermont Place: this place was a HUGE surprise in Hardwick, VT (where downtown consists of one block). Live music, open mic, great ambiance, yummy food and when you are in Vermont, everywhere you go, it’s all about Bernie…Bernie Sanders that is! Skinny Pancake: This is a chain that is located all over Vermont and other New England states. It’s cute, healthy and even has vegan options.
Grazers: Stowe, VT is a really cute ski resort town with great restaurants which are super pricey for backpackers, so we settled for a burger joint and it was solid. But if you are traveling while still making $, go to the other highly rated restaurants as they looked fantastic.
The Bench: Also right outside of Stowe, VT – a great stop after a hike or after a day of skiing. Lovely mushroom pizza and great interior design. Very modern and trendy.
As you can imagine, there were many more, but these were our dining budget highlights. Oh, and there was always ice-cream involved!
Creemees in Burlington, VT serves tasty Maple soft serve…
CONCLUSION: New Hampshire and Vermont are gorgeous green states. We loved both of them and would definitely come back to see the fall foliage as we keep driving through these states a bit too early.
This is what one would be seeing if driving through New Hampshire, Vermont or any other New England state around the first or second week of October. Picture borrowed from Google as we didn’t wait long enough to see this!If you are into skiing, going to a town like Stowe in Vermont is a must because it is a great ski resort town with numerous lifts taking you up to gorgeous mountains that surround the area. In the summer there are hiking trails and lake resorts everywhere you go. Just say YES to New England!
NEXT UP: Boston and Cape Cod!