Vermont and it's four beautifully changing seasons, offers travel options for any taste or budget. Consider boating, hiking, mountain biking, skiing, snowboarding and/or camping.
Explore nature and get your kids moving... literaly. Here are a few kid-friendly, gay-friendly trip ideas when enjoying your visit to Vermont.
Experience "Freedom & Unity," which is the idea of balancing two seemingly opposite ideals: the personal freedom and independence of an individual citizen, with the common good of the larger community... and is also the Vermont State Motto!
A recommended resort for travelers with children, is the Topnotch Resort & Spa in Stowe, Vermont.
Some Topnotch family favorites include:
Tennis - Four indoor courts, six outdoor courts, tennis ball machines, and tennis lessons and clinics for all ages
Horseback Riding - for all ages and abilities, including trail rides and carriage or wagon rides
Swimming - large indoor family pool open year-round, and outdoor family pool
Games - Game room with ping-pong, pool table and hoops. Video game room,
board games, and a selection of lawn games, including croquet, badminton and bocce.
Dining - Kids' menus, poolside dining, picnic lunches, 24-hour room service
The Great Outdoors - Nature is huge in Vermont, and Topnotch is an ideal hub for exploring all the Green Mountains have to offer.
Here is a link to the detailed review of our visit to Topnotch, which includes photos. Here is a link to the Topnotch Resort webpage that features a kids video, along with family activities and teen activities.
Nestled in the heart of the Green Mountains in Waterbury, Vermont, is the Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream factory. Sample the flavor of the day and learn how the two best friends (Ben & Jerry) turned a $5.00 course on ice cream making into a successful business. Tours are hosted daily until 6pm, seven days a week, and last 30-minutes long. The views are spectacular and they offer outdoor activities for kids during the summer months, along with a picnic area.
Gay and gay-friendly parents appreciate that Ben & Jerry's has always been supportive of equality and human rights, while the kids appreciate all the famous flavors of ice cream... its a WIN-WIN situation.
Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Factory
Burlington, Vermont seems to be the hip and chic location, possibly because it's a college town or maybe because of its location? Either way, Burlington is nestled beautifully on the edge of Lake Champlain, and the brick lined streets are filled with unique shops and fabulous restaurants.
Burlington is known as "an epicenter of outdoor activity and urban delight." Burlington has a fantastic bike path, which rides along the lake (and is great to capture those kodak moments). You can check out ECHO Lake Aquarium & Science Center (www.echovermont.org), located in the heart of town. Take the kids hiking through Sunset Ridge Trail on Mount Mansfield, or let an experienced boater teach them the basics of kayaking (www.vermontkayak.com). After dinner, feel free to just hang out and enjoy the music, as bands play in the streets, and you watch the tree-lit town come alive at night.
Oh, and don't forget to tell the kids the story of "Champ" the Lake Champlain monster... it's a classic.
Whether your interest lies in nature, history or entertainment, Vermont is sure to please. Some other ideas to mention are the infamous Shelburne Museum and the Vermont Teddy Bear Factory.
Here is a link to Vermont's official website.
Oh, and don't leave the state without Vermont (to-die-for) cheddar cheese, and their very own all-natural peanut butter.
Enjoy culture, diversity, and spectacular views in ITHACA, NY!
As a child, I can recall camping trips to Ithaca, visiting Buttermilk Falls and Robert H. Treman State Park. Riding bikes and swimming during the day, then eating smores while laying flat on the picnic table staring at the blanket of stars that glisten in the clear night sky. It wasn’t until much later in life when I was able to appreciate the fascinating culture and delectable diversity offered in a community as gorgeous as Ithaca.
It is no surprise to me that Ithaca made the list as “Most Liberal Places in America” by www.epodunk.com, or that The Utne Reader named the city “America’s most enlightened Town.” Home to the prestigious Ivy League Cornell University, it would not be unusual to see a local walking through the infamous Ithaca Commons with dreadlocks, a backpack, and no shoes in this college town.
Ithaca may not be a place where ’everybody knows your name’… but the LGBT community certainly feels welcomed, rather than just accepted. Partners walking hand-in-hand don’t get the ‘double take’ from passers by.
Statistics from city-data.com show lesbian couples account for 0.8% of all households and gay men account for 0.5% of all households. This may seem like a small percentage but compared to a larger city such as Rochester, NY, where the population difference is over 203,000 more residents, their statistics show only 0.4% for lesbian households and 0.5% for gay men.
You ask: "What is there to do in Ithaca?" I say: "What ISN’T there to do in Ithaca?
Set on the southern shore of Cayuga Lake, sailboats, fishing, and tours on the water are pristine when weather permits. Imagine a 220 acre wildlife sanctuary with more than four miles of walking trails, found at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology/Sapsucker Woods Sanctuary. Take a scenic hike through a one mile long gorge at Fall Creek with waterfalls, cascades and rapids! When seeking
shelter from the temperamental weather in Central New York, visit several art galleries, find plenty of unique gifts in ‘the commons’ shopping strip, or maybe a wine tour is just up your alley! For a great history lesson, the Museum of the Earth at the Paleontological Research Institution, as well as the Earth Science Center are great ways to practice reverse psychology on the kids!
Did you know?
- The Tompkins County Public Library in Ithaca hosts a used book sale twice a year and it is claimed to be the 3rd largest used book sale in the United States.
- In June of 2008, 6,000 Ithaca residents set the unofficial world record for the largest human peace sign at Stewart Park.
- In 2006, VegNews Magazine listed this unique town as one of the “12 Hippest Hometowns for Vegetarians.”
- According to a poll taken by www.city-data.com, East Ithaca is #49 on the list of “Top 101 zip codes with the most full service restaurants in 2005.”
So whether a camping trip with the young ones is on the agenda, or a romantic getaway at a quaint B&B would better suit your
needs, consider the breath-taking views, liberal attitudes, and unique atmosphere in Ithaca, for your next trip. As the locals would say, “Ithaca is gorges!”
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