Lilacs in Bloom
Years ago, when I was a full-time ski coach, I would meet a lot of people who came to Vermont only to ski. The conversations I remember having with them make me laugh today, because the gist of their comments would be focused on the lack of entertainment during a Vermont summer. “What do you do in the summertime in Vermont? It must be so boring! I love Vermont but I could never live here in the summer."
Think about the frenzied activity level of a winter sports enthusiast. For those traveling on weekends to the state there is a quick close-up of work on Friday, then manic drive north with random traffic, and weather conditions as an added challenge. Then a big rush to the Mountain on Saturday morning, kids into their programs and in line for first chair to beat the crowds and to get the best snow conditions. High energy and passion for winter sports makes the day fast paced, fighting to stay warm while getting in enough runs to get your money's worth. Gotta love this sport!
So, I wonder, how does someone who participates in Vermont primarily in the winter know anything about the true nature of this amazing state? As a passionate ski coach, dyed in the wool winter sports enthusiast, my love for the Vermont winter is far surpassed by my enjoyment of the summer months. Once we pass the black fly season of course…. But that’s another topic.
If you are one of the folks who wonders what all the buzz is about Vermont summers, here are a few of my favorite ways to spend time.
Begin the weekend at the West River Farmers Market in Londonderry on Saturday morning. It is right along the river and the setting is delightful. There are fresh veggies, flowers, jams, cheese, bread and Sugar Bob's Smoked Maple Syrup, Sue Kramer’s colorful pottery and the most fun social scene. Then take a trip over to the Orvis Fly Fishing School and learn to fly fish. Or, maybe off-road driving is your thing, try the LandRover Experience at the Equinox.
Art enthusiasts may want to take a ride to Simon Pearce and see their world class glass blowing. Having lunch there is a treat, either at the old mill building in Queechee or at the Harpoon Brewery in Windsor. While in the area make a stop in to see Andrew Pearce and his exquisite woodworking.
Plan to attend a play at the Weston Playhouse or the Dorset Theatre, reservations are always a smart idea.
If being outdoors is your thing, head to Lowell Lake State Park or hike to Hamilton Falls from Jamaica State Park. There is always a gondola ride and mountain biking at the ski areas.
What do you do in a Vermont summer? Are you kidding? There are so many fun and exciting opportunities. The long days of summer provide many hours for entertainment at a far less frenzied pace than the short winter daylight hours allow.
Summer is brief in Vermont which makes it ever so precious. We don’t have a lot of time to squander so its important to make the most of it. As I write this, the lilacs are in bloom and I can smell them through the open window. It is the small pleasures like this that make the Vermont summer extra special.