Best of New England: Vermont
Spot to Catch a Buzz
MAGIC HAT BREWING COMPANY
The fruity #9 beer may be its best-known offering, but local brewer Magic Hat has plenty of other tasty varieties up its sleeve (or in its hat, if you will). Pay a visit to the fun, funky brewery — a.k.a. the “Artifactory” — to taste any of 30 beers on tap, including seasonal selections and experimental beers. Guided tours are offered Thursday through Sunday. // 5 Bartlett Bay Rd., South Burlington, 802-658-2739, magichat.net.
Just shy of the Canadian border, Jay rewards those willing to make the trek with some of the best, most reliable skiing conditions in all of New England. Buried in fresh powder every year, the mountain is kept virtually deserted by virtue of the four-hour drive from Boston. The 76 runs, two peaks, and a ski-anything-in-bounds policy (read: stellar glade runs) attract telemark and alpine skiers alike. // 4850 Route 242, Jay, 802-988-2611, jaypeakresort.com.
CRAFTSBURY OUTDOOR CENTER
So you want to go canoeing? How about cross-country skiing, mountain biking, or hiking? While Craftsbury Outdoor Center is designed as a stay-and-play retreat with lodging on site — its intensive sculling camps are renowned among rowers — many of its activities and gear-rental services are open to nonguests, too. Take advantage of the amazing location on Big Hosmer Pond, a 2.25-mile-long lake, and get ready to enjoy the great outdoors. // 535 Lost Nation Rd., Craftsbury Common, 802-586-7767, craftsbury.com.