Like many, we cancelled trips during the pandemic. As a family that travels a lot, this was hard, but necessary. Aside from a camping trip where it was easy to avoid other people, we decided to take our first pandemic trip, after a lot of planning and forethought. We chose a pandemic visit to Burlington Vermont, though the location was subject to change up to a few days before, as we awaited infection numbers for our county. Vermont requires infection rates to be below 400 per million for your county (for specific Northeastern/mid-Atlantic states), to avoid a mandatory 14-day quarantine in Vermont (or other specific rules). Given that we were only going for 3 nights, it didn’t make sense to go unless our county was in the clear, and we had a back-up plan in New Jersey just in case. See the bottom of the post for our COVID-19 trip preparations.Continue reading “A pandemic visit to Burlington, Vermont”
For a state that relies heavily on tourism, it’s not surprising there are a lot of factory tours to pull in the tourists. Here are a few to consider:
I wrote a long review of this revered mecca for this frozen, gourmet, hip treat. Read it here. Note that there’s no ice cream production on weekends, and if they finish their production for the day on weekdays, you may not see the action either.
Where: 1281 Waterbury-Stowe Road, Waterbury, VT
When: daily, except for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day. Times vary by season.
Tour length: up to 30 minutes
Tours leave: at least every 30 minutes Continue reading “Vermont Factory Tours”
When we told people we were going to Vermont, they all asked “are you going to Ben & Jerry’s?” And given how much I love factory tours, we went.
The tour was really short. After watching a sanitized (but cute) several minute video, we went into a viewing area above the production floor. Though they’re supposed to be producing ice cream on the weekdays (we were there on a Friday at 2 p.m.), unfortunately they had already finished the batch for that day, so we got to see them cleaning the equipment. Sigh.
The kids didn’t understand much about the ice cream making process, and didn’t really like the actual viewing part. But then again, that part took only about 10 minutes.
“I liked the eating part the best,” said Zachary.
When we found out the kids had President’s Day Week off, we started looking into vacations. The kids hadn’t yet learned to ski properly (a two hour lesson three years ago didn’t count). We figured they should learn to ski at a place specializing in teaching kids. And after a lot of research, we booked our vacation at Smuggler’s Notch in Vermont. We don’t know the East Coast resorts very well, but this one was highly rated as both a family resort and a great place to learn to ski. I’ll cover all that!
Bottom line – we had a great time and the kids learned to ski. There was plenty to do off the slope, and on. The best way to sum up the resort is that it’s like a cruise on land. Or a quasi all-inclusive (lots of free activities, pay for your own food and lessons).