Manchester is shopping, Dorset is pretty, Bennington is historic... and then you must get to the other side. You'd think at the narrowest point in the state you could get there from here... but getting over the mountains is still a trip. Try going on one of the smaller roads, it makes for more of an adventure.

Vermont's Crown Jewels: by area: North, Central, South

Robert Todd Lincoln's Hildene: Manchester. We may as well make a big arc, so working our way 'round... Hildene housed Abraham Lincoln's descendants until 1975. As tours go, this one is very well done, and we picked up some great period tips going through. Lovely views to lunch by if you pack a little basket.

Images From the Past: Bennington. Not really an "attraction" per se, this is actually a publishing house with an astonishing collection of images from old Vermont. Publisher Tordis Llg Isselhardt also provides interpretive services for groups, spinning stories from Vermont's past, lavishly illustrated with images. A neat way to "see" the past.

The Bennington Museum: Once one of those large attractions you expect to see in this list... the Bennington Museum has matured into a fine and interesting collection, well displayed. Stars in their crown include a collection of Grandma Moses, and their extensive display of pottery. I do still stop to see the Bennington Flag, one of the oldest stars and stripes known to still exist, and marvel that one of my ancestors probably touched that flag.

The Bennington Battle Monument and Old North Church: Are just up the road from the museum... and they are worth the trip. Robert Frost lies in the church cemetery, and while this is interesting, park at the monument then walk down to the church to see it. You'll pass colonial homes beautifully maintained, a monument to the Catamount Tavern, and get a feeling you can't possibly duplicate from the interior of your car. For over 200 years, Vermonters have walked where you walk now, to get to this very church... now that's kind of neat.

Bennington Pottery: Celebrating over 60 years as America's oldest and largest Art Pottery, not only can you browse through the seconds for a bargain, but there are tours too. There is something about a Bennington Pottery trigger mug that's never been duplicated.

The Town of Putney: Now, I could spend a lifetime in Putney, so I'm slightly biased. Squeezed between The River and the hills, Putney is more community than tourist attraction, with the best food coop in the state just as you exit the highway. In Putney you'll find the Green Mountain Spinnery, where the spin small lots of premium fleece and mohair into exquisite wools, and a thriving fiber arts community. Basketville has its home here, as does a pick your own orchard operation (Harlows) I stop at every time I pass through so I can load up on the berry of the season.

The Town of Chester: There used to be a little train (the Green Mountain Flyer) which stopped in Chester. Now, there probably isn't any reason to go there at all, except it is a nice little town, with lovely examples of Revival and Victorian buildings.

Simon Pierce Glass Blowing Factory: Windsor. A gallery overlooks the blowing floor... and hot doesn't begin to describe, but it is fascinating. Glass blowing artists have taken up residence around the state of Vermont (most noticeably in Stowe) but Simon Pierce remains the largest, and the most industrial of the producers, complete with an apprentice program.

continue on to Northern Vermont, home of Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream <Northern Vermont Travel Guide>

continue on to history rich Central Vermont, home of Plymouth and Billings Farm. <Central Vermont Visitor's Guide>

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