By Lindsey Grutchfield.Von Trapp Greenhouse: Nestled on a secluded hillside in Waitsfield, the Von Trapp Greenhouse boasts not only greenhouses full of flowers, but a breathtaking display garden worth a visit of its own.
Perennial Pleasures: Enjoy an elegant English tea or browse the nursery at East Hardwick’s Perennial Pleasures Nursery and Tea Garden Café. Open Tuesday through Saturday, 12 to 4 p.m. Reservations are recommended.
Kingdom Trails: Kingdom Trails in East Burke is a prime spot for mountain biking, offering a wide variety of trails with different challenge levels for beginners and experienced bikers alike.
Hubbard Park: Come take a walk in Montpelier’s backyard, with views to enjoy from the top of the tower, numerous picnic spots and ready access to the town by wooded trail.
Spruce Mountain: Located in Plainfield, Spruce Mountain is an easy hike, perfect for the whole family, that leads to an old fire tower offering gorgeous views of the surrounding mountains.
Crystal Lake and Lake Willoughby: Well worth the scenic drive to Barton and Westmore, respectively, Crystal Lake and Lake Willoughby stretch, fjord-like, just south of Lake Memphremagog, perfect for swimming or boating. Crystal Lake provides boat rentals.
Island Line: The Island Line bike trail is built of the Burlington bike path and the Colchester Causeway, jutting far into the center of Lake Champlain, where a bike ferry connects to the opposite shore.
Curtis Pond: A favorite swimming spot for locals, Calais’ Curtis Pond has not only a family-friendly place for a dip in the cool water, but a boat launch as well.
North Branch Nature Center: In addition to miles of trails meant for a leisurely stroll, the North Branch Nature Center offers numerous nature programs for all ages, from amphibian monitoring to the study of birds.
Adamant Music School: Founded in 1942, the Adamant Music School fosters the talents of advanced piano students. Perhaps more accessible to the general public are the grounds, which are nothing less than stunning.
Wrightsville Reservoir: Easily accessible and just outside of Montpelier, sun-drenched Wrightsville Reservoir is perfect for an afternoon swim or a casual boat ride in the August heat.
Quechee Gorge: Quechee Gorge is more than a mere tourist attraction. The gorge, Vermont’s deepest, is well worth the visit, and visitors can stare down into its depths from the dizzying height of the bridge above.
Punch Bowl: Catering at times to nudists and skinny dippers, the Punch Bowl swimming hole is tucked away on private property in Waitsfield, where locals often go to cool off in the shaded pools.
Dog Mountain: Man’s best friend is more than welcome on the 150-acre Dog Mountain in St. Johnsbury, with hiking trails and dog ponds, as well as the Dog Chapel and the Stephen Huneck Gallery.
Saint Anne’s Shrine: The site of an old French fort, Saint Anne’s Shrine in Isle La Motte serves not only as a fascinating historical place, but a modern religious shrine for Catholics as well.
Statehouse Lawn: Stretching beneath the golden dome, the Statehouse lawn in Montpelier is the perfect place to take a picnic or play a game of frisbee with family or friends.
Woods Island: In the middle of Lake Champlain lies Woods Island, a remote campground accessible only by boat. For the more adventurous camper, the adventure is worth the trip by kayak or canoe.
Little River State Park: The possibilities are endless in Waterbury’s Little River State Park. Fish, boat and swim in Waterbury Reservoir, or hike and bike the surrounding trails. There’s sure to be something for everyone.
Vermont Byways: Choose one of the numerous byways in Vermont, whether it’s the Mad River Byway off of Route 2, or the Green Mountain Byway running through Stowe, and explore the countryside.