Category Archives: Vermont

Creamery Covered Bridge (Brattleboro, VT)

Date Of Visit: August 6, 2017

Location: 9 Guilford St, Brattleboro, VT (Guilford Street off Route 9 west, over Whetstone Brook, VT-13-01)

Cost: Free

Parking: There is a small free parking lot to the left side of the bridge

Hours: Accessible all day, everyday

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes

Website: Creamery Covered Bridge

Highlights: covered pedestrian bridge

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As I  have been going through my photos and getting ready for next year’s adventures, I have come across quite a few photos from photo shoots from weeks and in some cases months ago that I have not posted yet.  So, in my effort to play catch up, you may see some photos in my posts from places I have visited during the summer and early fall.  It will be nice to see what green leaves and pretty flowers look like since they are no longer with us.  O.K, so next year’s there’s another resolution for next year: get more organized!

Vermont is known for maple syrup, snow and more snow.  Oh, and they also have a few covered bridges.

In fact, covered bridges are a staple of Vermont.  They have the most covered bridges per square mile than any other state in the country.

There are over 100 (109 to be exact) covered bridges in Vermont.  But the Creamery Covered Bridge in Brattleboro, VT,  is no ordinary bridge.

The Creamery Bridge so called after the old Brattleboro Creamery which stood beyond the bridge is Brattleboro’s last surviving 19th-century covered bridge.

The bridge, which only allows pedestrian traffic, is 80 feet long and 19 feet wide, with a 15-foot roadway; the attached sidewalk is 5.5 feet wide.

The sidewalk attached to side of the bridge offers some pretty views of the Whetstone Brook below.

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The bridge was built from spruce lumber 1879 and it had been used be vehicles until it was closed to vehicle traffic in 2010.  It now only allows traffic from cyclists, joggers and other pedestrians.  The sidewalk was added in 1920.

To the side of the bridge there is an area with benches where you can sit and admire the bridge.

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This marker was located near the bridge.  I could not find any reference to it on the internet.  If anyone has any information on it, I would appreciate it if you left a comment about it.  Without making too many assumptions, it appears as though it may have been dedicated to someone who was a covered bridge enthusiast.

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Below is a video of the inside of the bridge.


Twice Upon A Time (Brattleboro, VT)

 

Date Of Visit: August 6, 2017

Location: 63 Main St, Brattleboro, VT

Hours:

10:00am – 6:00pm Monday through Saturday

11:00am – 6:00pm Sunday

Parking: There is metered parking located throughout the city

Handicapped Accessible: No

Dog Friendly: Yes

Website: Twice Upon A Time

Tips:

  • there are three floors to the building (includiing the basement).  Make sure to hit them all.
  • Parking can be difficult in the center of town where the store is located.  It could be better to park farther away and walk a short distance (and taking in the sights along the way)

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Second hand clothes and dog-eared books aren’t the only things you’ll find at Twice Upon A Time.  Memories and laughs are also not in short supply at the store.

The three floor (if you count the basement) and 10,000 square foot store has everything from vintage clothing to old lighting fixtures and skis that have seen better days..

Nostalgia poured over me as I looked back at all of the items that were once popular during my childhood and younger years.

My favorite part of the shop was rummaging through the books, toys, audio recordings and collectible collections.  It’s not only fun to see books and music you recognize it also gives a glimpse into what life was like at an earlier time.

Raise your hand if you remember sitting at these types of desks. OK, it can be just our little secret.

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I was also fascinated by the more unusual and vintage items at the store.  I was also struck by how much corporate culture has invaded both our current and past.  I mean, who wouldn’t want that vintage Coke temperature gauge hanging in their kitchen?

Twice Upon A Time…is no fly by might store.  The store has  been around, in various locations in Brattleboro, since 1987.  They have been at their current location on Main St since 1996.  And, based on the constant flow of shoppers and visitors to the store it foes not appear to be closing any time soon.

Twice Upon A Time…is a dog friendly store,  And who knows; you might even find something for your pup there.  Molly, a 3 year old Shih Tzu, was there shopping with her human during my visit.

When you are paying for your purchases, you might meet Nugget, an 8 year old Pomeranian and pet of one of the owners of the shop.

Below is a short video of a tour of the Twice Upon A Time store from the Brattleboro Community TV YouTube page:


Brattleboro Museum & Art Center (Brattleboro, VT)

Date Of Visit: August 6, 2017

Location: 10 Vernon Street, Brattleboro, VT

Hours: The galleries are open every day except Tuesdays, 11-5 (closed January 1, July 4, Thanksgiving Day, and December 25). On the first Friday of each month, the galleries stay open until 8:30 p.m., with free admission after 5:30 p.m.

Cost:  $8 for adults, $6 for seniors, $4 for students, free for BMAC members and youth 18 and under. Free admission for all on Thursdays, 2-5 p.m.

Parking: There are about a dozen parking spots in front of the museum and next to the

Handicapped Accessible: BMAC is wheelchair-accessible, and a guest wheelchair is available. Upon request and with advance notice, we will provide an ASL interpreter.

Website: Brattleboro Museum And Art Center

Highlights: the following exhibits: “Free Fall”, “The Boomer List”, “Boundaries, Balance and Confinement”, Spaceship Of Dreams”, “Lost Porches”, “Density & Transparency” are all on display until Oct. 8.

Tips:

  • parking in front of the museum is limited – there is street parking available in the area
  • The art isn’t only in the museum itself: there are additional works of art on the grounds of the entrance to the museum

 

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Have you ever dreamed of spaceships?  Do you ever wonder if a piece of art can be dense and transparent?

Then the  Brattleboro Museum And Art Center is just the place for you.

Brattleboro is a “non-collecting museum.”  So, the exhibits do not stay there permanently and they often switch out exhibits.

Although it is only one floor, technically two if you count the five stairs that lead to the “Spaceship Of Dreams” exhibit, the Brattleboro Museum And Art Center (BMAC) has a wide variety of art to view and appreciate.  The small size of the museum is actually comforting for people like me who can be overwhelmed by museums with a lot of art.  You can certainly look through all of the seven exhibitions currently on display, without rushing, in about an hour or hour and a half.

My favorite exhibit is “Spaceship Of Dreams” by William Chambers.

Formerly titled “Spaceship York”, “Spaceship Of Dreams” began as a window display at a vacant storefront in York, PA.   For two moths during the summer of 2015, William built and displayed this exhibit for all to visit for free.   The “Spaceship York” project culminated with a countdown and blast off day, reports of travel, and return of the ship.

As people began to visit the exhibit, the work of art transformed into more than just a rocket display.  People were able to connect with the artist and the work of art by working on the ship, using the space library and sharing ideas for change in York and the world.   The ship became a metaphor for imagining possibilities and realizing dreams.  Most significant was the chance to write or draw personal visions to be sent up with the ship.  William would incorporate this as well as other family friendly aspects to the exhibit.  It was great to see the messages and drawings the children left to be placed into the ship.

The exhibit is stopping off at the museum as part of its national museum tour.  It will be on display until October 8.

Also on display is the “Density And Transparency” art display by Wolf Khan.

Wolf Kahn, who has macular degenerative, experiments with new methods and materials.  He begins each painting by scrubbing in the basic composition and colors.  Then, he uses a variety of oil sticks to produce bold forms and densely filled, saturated forms colors.

“Scrub, scub, scrub” that is how Wolf describes the process of making this art.  Wolf uses this method to create layers of thinned paint.

Below is a sample of his work.

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Pink Tangle Painting (2007) – oil on Canvas

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Nathalie Miebach’s “Lost Porches” exhibit combines everyday items (such as paperclips). Her sculptures use designs that resemble weather maps and  what she calls “numeral logic.”  Her sculptures are meant to mirror our weather and the unfortunate consequences of some of our extreme weather patterns.  I couldn’t help but think of a weather doppler or meteorological radar screen as I looked at her work (given the earlier mentioned intentions of her art).

This sculpture called, “Build Me A Platform, ” she asked, “high In The Trees, So I May See The Water.”  It is made of wood, paper, string and data.

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She describes this piece as being about four different flooding events that have impacted the Louisiana area since Hurricane Katrina.  This is what makes Nathalie’s work so interesting.  Many of us may not have known there were other flooding events since Katrina.

Nathalie used weather data from each of the flooding events while asking how we can come to terms with and perhaps prevent these flooding events in the future.

The sculpture below titled, “The Last Show Was For The Bleachers.”  This sculpture, completed in 2016, is made of wood, paper, data and string.

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This sculpture is based on an aerial view of the New Jersey/New York shoreline.  The piece translates Hurricane Sandy data.  The domino pieces represent retired hurricanes that are sitting on bleachers, looking on and waiting for Hurricane Sandy to join them on their benches.

The last sculpture titled, “Lost Porches” is meant to represent the front porches which is considered a traditional gathering place for the people in New Orleans.  However, when Hurricane Katrina hit the New Orleans area this important social element was lost for many people.   This sculpture tracks the redevelopment of a small section of the Lower Ninth Ward during the last 10 years.  If you look closely, you may see what looks like houses and other housing structures – without porches.

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I’m always in awe of how artists can make great art of out seemingly ordinary materials.  This is the case with “Boundaries, Balance And Confinement: Navigating The Elements Of Nature And Society”, an art exhibit by Vermont resident Mary Admasian that explores the physical boundaries between objects as well as the implicit boundaries of familial and social covenants and conventions.

Barbed wire is considered the border between the natural world and cultivated land.  Admasian uses barbed wire as a unifying material in her work.  She incorporates barbed wire with feathers, butterflies and branches among other natural materials with manufactured materials.

“The Nest”, completed in 2015, uses goose egg, Vermont birch log and stove trivet in its design.

“Go Cut Yourself A Switch”, also completed in 2015, combines pine plank, willow branches, barbed wire (Of course) and acrylic paint.

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To the left in the photo below is  “Lessons That You Won’t Forget” which combines fencing, barbed wire, willow switches and gold wire.  it was completed in 2015.

Created in 2015, “Dowsing For Center” (to the right in the photo below) is made of maple branch, barbed wire, a rusty metal ring and white paint.

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“The Hive”, completed in 2016, uses barbed wire, powder coating and a rusted steel chain.

“Progression”, from 2015, is a barbed wire and bank plank construct.  Imagine getting spanked with that!

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Mary’s last addition to her exhibit is located outside of the museum, hanging from the eaves of the art museum.

“Weighted Tears” is made of barbed wire, aluminum rods, wire and powder coating.  The five teardrops vary in size and are stabilized by spherical weights.  The smallest form is lit 24 hours a day as a symbol of hope during difficult times.

“Free Fall” is an art display by Barbara Garber.

Barbara says she often starts from a “place of not knowing” when she begins her works of art.  You can see the theme of falling in many of her photos.

Below are Barbara’s paintings that are featured as part of her Free Fall exhibit.

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Ripples, 2017, acrylic and colored pencil on drafting film

Free Fall, 2017, acrylic paint and colored pencil on drafting film

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Out Of The Oven, 2017, acrylic paint and colored pencil on drafting film

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Spin, 2016, acrylic paint and colored pencil on drafting film

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Xocian, 2017, acrylic paint and colored pencil on drafting film

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From Nothing, 2016-2017, acrylic paint and colored pencil on drafting film

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I Don’t Know, 2016, acrylic paint and colored pencil on drafting film

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Notch, 2017, acrylic paint and colored pencil on drafting film

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Upside Down, 2016, acrylic paint and colored pencil on drafting film.

“The Boomer List: Photographs by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders” is a large portrait display of 19 “boomers” who were born between 1946 and 1964.  The 19 photos line the walls of the right hand side of the art museum in an area that seems more like an annex to the museum.   Timothy’s portraits have a short summary of the subjects as well as a short story or a lesson the person has learned.  The portraits are incredible.  While the subjects were certainly posing for the photos they also look remarkably natural.

The people included in the “Boomer List” are listed below:

1946: Tim O’Brien, Vietnam veteran/author
1947: Deepak Chopra, New Age guru
1948: Samuel L. Jackson, actor
1949: Billy Joel, singer/songwriter
1950: Steve Wozniak, co-founder, Apple Computer
1951: Tommy Hilfiger, fashion designer
1952: Amy Tan, author
1953: Eve Ensler, playwright
1954: Julieanna Richardson, The HistoryMakers
1955: Maria Shriver, journalist
1956: Kim Cattrall, actress
1957: Virginia Rometty, CEO, IBM
1958: Ellen Ochoa, director, Johnson Space Center
1959: Ronnie Lott, athlete
1960: Erin Brockovich, environmentalist
1961: Peter Staley, AIDS activist
1962: Rosie O’Donnell, entertainer
1963: David LaChapelle, artist
1964: John Leguizamo, actor

Little known fact (at least to new visitors to the museum): the museum is on the top floor of Brattleboro Train Station. An old ticket counter from the very same train station is located next to the “Spaceship Of Dreams” exhibit.

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Now, an Amtrak train makes stops each day at 1 o’clock and 5 o’clock, backing up traffic for quite some ways.

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As if that wasn’t art for one visit, there are also pieces of art outside of the building as well as decorative flowers and signs on the museum.

“Wrench Bench” is a bench made of cast fiber, resin and oil paint.  It was made by John Tagiuri.

“Land Lift”, made by Vermont-based Bob Boemig, is made of turf, steel and stone.

IMG_8136Located in between the Brattleboro Museum and the Marlboro College Graduate School, the Sculpture Garden has two rock displays.  A sign on the wall of the museum indicates the garden is dedicated to the memory of Dan Freea.

Today’s featured link is a link to a post about an exhibit by Chris Page that was displayed at the museum last year called “Eyes Toward Heaven.”  I wish I could have seen this in person!

 


Retreat Farm (Brattleboro, VT)

Date Of Visit: August 6, 2017

Location: 350 Linden St, Brattleboro, VT

Hours: Open Wed-Sun 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. (closed Mon & Tue)

Cost: $7 for adults, $5 for children and seniors, free admission for children under 2

Trail Size/Difficulty: roughly 1.5 miles, Easy

Fitbit Stats: 1.59 miles, 3,327 steps, 297 calories burned

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Parking: There is parking for about 20 vehicles in the parking lot

Website: Retreat Farm

Retreat Trail Map: Retreat Trail Map

Highlights: animals, educational, trail, family friendly

Tips:

  • Don’t forget to take the roughly 1.5 mile Nature Trail behind the farm
  • you can get in the pens with some of the animals
  • if you do go on the trail, try going up the “Skyline Spur” trail
  • follow the signs to the Nature Trail or Lil’ Lamb Loop to access the shorter mile long trail behind the farm
  • Located right next to Grafton Village Cheese Co

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It’s easy to find Retreat Farm.  Just follow the pinwheels.  If you’re lucky, you might even be able to take one home.

The signs and some of the advertising for the Retreat Farm tout it as a “children’s farm” but it is fun for the entire family.

Retreat Farm has a variety of birds and animals in their barn.  They also allow you to go into the animal pens of some of the animals and pat some of them.

There are also three piglets: Basil, Olive and Rosemary.  They moved around a lot.  So, it was hard to keep track of each one.  But, I am pretty sure Rosemary is the first one pictured with the white and brown pattern.

Carlos, an 11 year old Brahma-Red Holstein bull, has been a resident for some time at the farm.  Standing over 7 feet tall, Carlos is truly a gentle giant.  In fact, he is so gentle visitors can feed him by hand.

Naturally, there are lots of toys and activities for children to partake in and places for adults or younger people to sit while their children or nieces or nephews play.

There is also a short trail (about 1.5 miles) behind the farm.  The trail is actually part of a much longer 9 mile Retreat Trail.  But, as long as you stay on the trail behind the farm you should not end up on this larger trail.

I found people of all ages and fitness levels on the trail.  It’s pretty straight with a few inclines.  But, I would rate it as being easy.  There is one very shallow and narrow stream that you will have to cross.  You can basically walk right through it.  So, it’s not a big obstacle.  The views are very nice on the trail.  There are also various plants planted along the trail such as False Solomon Seal.

If you do decide to go on the shorter trail and avoid the 9 mile trail, follow the signs to the Nature Trail or the Lil Lamb Loop.

Along the main trail, there is a side trail wit a staircase called Skyline Spur.

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The short flight of stairs take you up to an area where, during the winter, there is a ski jump.  This ski jump will be used as one of the venues for the Olympic trials for the next Olympics.

Pets are allowed on the trails behind the Retreat Farm, which are open to hikers and snow shoers year round.  I saw this cute dog on the trail.  Avive, a friendly 2 and a half year old Irish Setter, greeted me when I got off the Skyline Spur trail.

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One of the gems of the much longer Retreat Trail is the Retreat Tower.  It’s not very far from the farm.  Due to time constraints, I could not take the trail to the tower.  However, Brandy Ellen and her companion were able to hike to it, take some photos and provide a good synopsis of their hike and a summary of the history of the tower. It has quite a storied and sad past.

Take A Hike…

 

 


Grafton Village Cheese Co (Brattleboro, VT)

Date Of Visit: August 6, 2017

Location: 400 Linden Street, Brattleboro, VT

Hours: Open daily, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Parking: There are about 15-20 parking spaces in the lot in front of the store

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Highlights: a store that sells hand made cheese on site as well as an assortment of other snacks, household items and novelty items

Website: Grafton Village

Tips:

  • It gets very busy, especially during the summer and fall.  So, you may have to park across the street (the road can be very busy so use caution) or on the side of the road in front of the store
  • Retreat Farm, a family friendly farm, with animals and a short trail is located next to the Grafton Village Cheese Co

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Vermont is known for more than just maple syrup, Ben and Jerry’s and its lakes.  Tucked away along the mountains and lakes of Vermont stands one of the oldest cheese making companies in Vermont, the Grafton Village Cheese Company.

The original store, called the Grafton Cooperative Cheese Company, was founded in 1892 by dairy farmers who gathered together in a cooperative to make their surplus raw milk into cheese.  Before we had refrigeration, many of the cooperatives in the area would turn the abundant creamy milk into food that could be stored for longer period of times.  They’ve come along way from these beginnings.  As technology progressed, so did the Cooperative.

Unfortunately, the original cooperative burned down in 1912.  But, a non profit organization restored the company in the 1960’s and they have been a mainstay in the area ever since.

But, don’t let their name fool you.  Grafton Village Cheese also sells a variety of spreads, snacks, tea and other

Walking through the store, I was reminded of the general stores that used to seem to be around every corner when I  vacationed with my family as a child.  The barn-like wooden structure and

I love the rustic feel of the store and the area.

 

 

They have a wide selection of cheeses, chocolates, salsas and spreads.  And, if you’re lucky, you might be able to taste test samples of the  various jams, salsas and other jellies and spreads.

 

 

The store also supports the community with environmental, educational and philanthropic efforts.  You’ll find the donation boxes along the checkout counter.  There is also a farm next to the store that I will cover in my next blog post.

The staff at the Grafton Village Cheese Company are super friendly.  They posed for me with their signature product.

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The video below shows how they hand make the cheese at the store.


Battery Park (Burlington, VT)

Date Visited: May 13, 2016

Location: 1 North Ave, Burlington, VT

Open: 365 days a year, 24 hours

Cost: Free

Parking:  Off street parking when it is available

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Located along a busy stretch of roadway in Burlington, Vermont, Battery Park may be best known for its place in the history of American warfare.

Battery Park was named for the artillery stationed there by American forces during the War Of 1812.  On August 13, 1813, American gunners at that location, aided by the naval ship the USS President, successfully defended their position against an attack by a British squadron led by Lt Colonel John Murray.

Since then, the park, which was established in 1870, has taken on a more artistic and more peaceful ambiance.

Statues, memorials and other works of art are scattered along the sidewalk and grass off North Avenue.

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This statue was made by the renown sculpture Peter Wolf Toth.  Toth specializes in sculptures of Native American people.  He has sculpted dozens of statues and has one statue in each of the 50 states in the U.S. as well as in other countries.  This statue above is a monument to Gray Lock’s War veteran chief Gray Lock.  The statue, carved of wood, was dedicated June 22, 1984.

At first glance, this tree may seem rather nondescript, just a tree in a sea of other trees.  But, this is no ordinary tree.  his tree was planted in memory of the September 11 terorist attacks.

Another monument at Battery Park is dedicated to Worker’s Memorial Day (April 28th) which has been designated by the AFL-CIO to remember those who have suffered and died on the job and to renew the fight for safe jobs.

There are also these unique structures which I still haven’t figured out.

Lake Champlain provides the perfect the backdrop to the park.

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The monuments and statues do not end there.  In the background of the park you can see what have been described “winged monkeys” (from the Wizard Of Oz film).  To really get good photographs of these figures you have to be closer to Champlain College.  The figures are actually on top of some of the buildings in the area of the school’s campus.  But, you can see the distinct figures of some of the characters.  Specifically, it looks like the witch’s guards to me.  I didn’t have the time or energy at that point to (I started traveling and photographing at 7 and it was close to 6 on this day when I photographed Battery Park).  But, it’s also fun trying to see the hidden statues.

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Rudyard Kipling is said to have noted that Battery Park has one of the two finest sunsets in the world.  As the photos demonstrate, I was unfortunately not able to photograph the sunset this particular evening due to the rain and clouds.

In addition to these statues and monuments, there is a statue dedicated to American Civil War General William W. Wells and other local luminaries.

There is also a playground area at the end of the park with swings and slides.

Dogs love Battery Park too.  Gus, a 2 and a half year old, Great Pyranese

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Guilford Welcome Center (Guilford, VT)

Date Visited: May 13, 2016

Location: 1235 Broad Brook Rd, Guilford, VT

Hours:  Open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year (may be closed on federal and/or state holidays)

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It’s not very often that you are impressed with a visitor center.  But the Guilford Welcome Center is no ordinary welcome center.

It was a long drive to Vermont and sometimes nature calls…

From the moment you walk into the Guilford (VT) Welcome Center, you know you’re not in your average welcome center.  I also love how they call it a “welcome center” and not a “visitor center”.  it’s just another example of the folksy and friendly nature of Vermont.  The tables, chairs and fireplace give the welcome center a homey feel.  You could spend hours sitting at their wooden tables with a good book and a cup of coffee while the snow falls outside.

The backside of the welcome center has an area to sit and take in the beautiful Vermont landscapes.  There is also an exhibit of old farm equipment.

There are also a variety of trinkets and crafts located throughout the welcome center.

As I did my research on the Vermont Welcome Center, I noticed the welcome center in Guilford is not the only visitor center with attractions and other interesting things.  There is a Vietnam War Memorial listing all the residents from Vermont who died while serving in that war.  The Bennington, VT, welcome center has a “singing drum”.  Each welcome center seems to have its own unique flavor and entertainment.  They definitely do not make visitor centers like this in Massachusetts.  That’s for sure.

There are more exhibits and areas to sit in the front of the welcome center.

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The Guilford Welcome Center also has a dog park area across from the center.  Duncan, a 3 and a half year old Cavalier King, stopped by for a quick pit stop.

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Duncan’s sister, Vera, an 18 month old Cavalier King Spaniel, also took a moment to pose for me.

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