Summer Escapes: Drift Away
Come fall and winter in Green Mountain country, you can barely reach for a jug of maple syrup without bumping into some leaf-peeper or skier. And during the nigh-eternal, unpleasantly chilly spring, you wouldn’t want to be found anywhere near the place. (They don’t call it mud season for nothing.)
But here’s the thing about Vermont: In summer, it just might be where God goes on vacation. The crowds are nowhere in sight. The locals take over. The farms come into their own, as does every last bit of the land around them: The mountains look as majestic as they do in high season, but instead of being burdened by foliage or snow they erupt in the entire spectrum of green — and more than accommodate hikers, campers, mountain climbers, zipliners, and picnickers, who can find plenty of space all to themselves.
And then there are the shoppers who are drawn to the Quechee/Woodstock area by the local artisans’ handiwork. To join them, start out by browsing Shackleton Thomas’s crafty-meets-minimalist ceramics, which fit as nicely in a refined-rustic home as they do in a metro-sophisticate condo. Afterward, drive 10 minutes to neighboring Woodstock and settle into an ultraplush room at Jackson House Inn to rest up for yet more shopping the next morning at Simon Pearce, a temple to all things gleaming and glass, pretty and pottery. Pay up in the store, then make your way to the fantastically situated riverside dining room (where it’s almost impossible to get a table in fall and winter). There, tuck into a plate of horseradish-crusted cod, take in the waterfall just beyond your window, and enjoy the rush. >> Jackson House Inn (starts at $185 per night), 43 Senior LN., Woodstock, VT, 802-457-2065, jacksonhouse.com. — A.H.
Take a Hike Beautiful trails flank Quechee Gorge, the mile-long stretch of the Ottauquechee River that flows 165 feet below Route 4.
Happy Meal Dig into all-American classics — burgers, hot dogs, and milkshakes — at the Farmer’s Diner; all of the ingredients are locally grown.