July 31, 2009

When it comes to American holidays, the modest northern state of Vermont is usually associated with the winter season instead of the summer. But whilst the state is an excellent ski destination when the snow arrives, during its continental summers, Vermont becomes the land of summer camps, swimming holes and country hikes. So what does The Green Mountain State have to offer?

Vermont is located in the north east of the country and borders with New York, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Canada. Making up around half of its western border however, is Lake Champlain. Named after the French explorer, the founder of Quebec City stumbled across the Lake from the north exactly 4 centuries ago this year. Consequently, 2009 is the perfect year to visit the inspirational lake and the islands scattered upon it that make up Grand Isle County.

The flavour of Vermont is multicultural and diverse, with an unsurprising French influence. Yet, one of the most intriguing resort options has its roots in Austria. The Von Trapp family (their story made famous in The Sound of Music) fled to Vermont in 1942 and opened a ski-lodge eight years later. Today, the Trapp Family Lodge near Stowe offers mountain biking and hiking trails, a fitness centre, and tours for the whole family - all amidst the wholesome nostalgia of their legacy.

Vermont is also home to a number of interesting historical attractions. The former homestead of President Calvin Coolidge is considered one of the most well-preserved and unchanged historical sites in the country looking exactly as it did when he was sworn in as President on August 3rd 1923. In Springfield, Windsor County, Eureka Schoolhouse is the oldest one-room schoolhouse in the county at over 200 years of age. Again, the building is well-preserved and can be visited today.

However, no doubt the most alluring part of Vermont is its natural side best exemplified by its many State Parks. If Hiking and Walking in Branbury isn't exciting enough, Burton Island State Park in the north west of the county offers a range of water related activities in its impressive island setting. Canoeing and Kayaking are popular in the area, and the island has 17 peaceful campsites.

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