Our day tours are perfect for people who are already in Vermont, or for those just visiting for a short period of time. We've packed a ton of interesting places into an 8-hour tour that runs from Burlington to Stowe and back again.
After meeting up in Burlington, our first stop will be at the Ben & Jerry's Factory in Waterbury. There, you will take 30-minute tour of their ice cream making process. The factory tour includes an entertaining short film about the history of Ben & Jerry's, followed by a guided walkthrough of the production facilities, ending with free samples of their latest flavor! After the factory tour, there will be plenty of time to explore their gift shop and purchase ice cream and other souvenirs. Admission to the factory tour is $4 per person.
After leaving Ben & Jerry's, we will head over to the Ziemke Glassblowing Studio. Glenn Ziemke has been blowing glass since 1976, and has worked out of his studio in Waterbury Center since 1995. Open 363 days out of the year, you can always catch Glenn making his latest work of glass art. We usually spend about 15-20 minutes watching him in action, followed by some time in the main lobby to admire his creations. Most of the items for sale are small enough to bring with you, but shipping is also possible for larger items.
Our next stop of the day will be the Cold Hollow Cider Mill, also in Waterbury Center. Cold Hollow is one of Vermont's leading producers of apple cider, but they also carry a number of other Vermont-made products as well, such as maple syrup and other specialty items. The first thing you will notice when entering Cold Hollow Cider Mill is the amazing smell of fresh apples being transformed into cider. The aroma always reminds us of Autumn, but fortunately for us, Cold Hollow Cider Mill is open year 'round! Once inside, you can help yourself to free samples of their freshly made cider, plus sample locally made jams and preserves. And of course, there is plenty of food for sale as well. (You will not want to leave without trying a cider donut!)
After Cold Hollow Cider Mill, we will drive to Stowe to visit the Trapp Family Lodge. The Trapp Family Lodge sits on 2,500 acres of land, with breathtaking scenic views of Vermont's Green Mountains. The Von Trapp Family (from "The Sound of Music" fame) chose this location as their home because its scenery is reminiscent their native Austria. Upon arrival, you'll be greeted by a welcome sign that reads "The Trapp Family invites you to share a little of Austria, a lot of Vermont." Lunch is available for purchase on site (1 hour), followed by 45 minutes of free time to explore the main lodge and surrounding property.
After leaving the Trapp Family Lodge, we will take a scenic drive through *Smugglers' Notch State Park. This narrow pass through Vermont's Green Mountains features a steep and winding road, with impressive views of 1,000 foot cliffs above. As its name suggests, Smugglers' Notch was originally used to smuggle various goods in and out of the country. Nowadays this area attracts visitors for its scenic beauty alone. Still photographs don't do it justice, so be sure to watch our short video above to get a feel for what this road is like. The most exciting part is the slow and winding corners as we near the top of the mountain.
* Smugglers' Notch is closed in Winter. In its place, we will visit several other local attractions including: Cabot Annex Cheese (tasting room), Lake Champlain Chocolates, Emily's Covered Bridge, and a scenic ride through Stowe Hollow.
Finally, our last visit of the day will be in downtown Stowe. With a population of just over 4,300 people, this village is home to many events throughout the Summer, including a hot air balloon festival and many different arts and crafts shows. Here you will find many local artisan shops featuring art, jewelry, clothing, gifts, and number of award-winning specialty foods. There is even a Ski and Snowboard Museum, of interest to those who enjoy downhill Winter sports. We will leave Stowe at 4:15 PM, arriving back in Burlington for customer drop-off at 5:00 PM.
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