Lakes, Leaves, Castles, and the Wonder of Vermont and New York
September 19-29, 2017 / 11 days and 10 nights
This trip will take us to areas of New York and Vermont that we have never explored before as a group.
We will make our way through Virginia and into New York with an overnight stay in Corning, where we will visit the Corning Glass Museum. From glass blowing demos to collections of the most amazing glassware, you will find this place fascinating. Next up is the Geneva Lake in the Finger Lakes region. We’ll enjoy a drive up the full length of the lake into the town of Geneva, where we stay at a lake front property with amazing views. This region is known for its wine, so we will enjoy tastings at two local wineries with gorgeous lake views. On the west side we will visit the magnificient Belhurst Castle Winery; and on the east side we will visit Ventosa Vineyards, with its sweeping lake views. A delicious lunch will be served on one of the properties as well. From the rolling hills of the lake country, we continue north to pretty Alexandria Bay, which is located on the St. Lawrence River Seaway. Just across the water is Canada! We will stay at a waterfront hotel for two nights. This lovely lake town is home to one of the most famous landmarks of Northern New York – Boldt Castle. It all began on the heart shaped island as a present to a wealthy man’s wife, but fate had other plans and the Castle was never finished. It and the beautiful boat house, which carries the same unique architectural details sit on one of the 1800 ‘mini’ islands that dot this area. The 129 room castle is a replica of the Rhineland Castle in Germany. It has been transformed into a beautiful showcase of what a little ‘summer’ home might have looked like. A short ferry ride will take us to the Castle and back. While in the area we will also visit the Clayton Antique Boat Museum, with it’s collection of Chris-Craft Wooden Boats. We will also enjoy dinner out at a nice lakefront property. From the lakes area we venture over to the Lake Placid area.
In route we make a stop at The Wild Center on Tupper Lake in the pretty Adirondack Mountains. This 54,000 square foot center is a hands-on experience with exhibits, treetop walking trails, and lots more. It’s one of the top stops in the region. We will overnight in the same area, and then get ready for our next day travel into the Green Mountains of Vermont. We have done most of northern and central Vermont areas, but this tour will concentrate on Scenic Route 7, which follows the western part of the state. While here we will first start with a tour of the Danforth Pewter Company and see how a gray mass of pewter is turned into exquisite gifts and decorative pieces. We will also see two of the more famous covered bridges in the state – one is even a two lane bridge that still carries regular daily traffic. Photo stops will be made. We are now near the Middlebury area, where we will enjoy an included lunch at the Waybury Inn – home to what many consider the Stratford Inn of the Bob Newhart Show. Built in 1810 as a stagecoach stop, it will now be a step back in time for us. From there we’ll enjoy a driving tour of the Middlebury College campus, home to the Robert Frost Interpretive Trails, where seven of his poems are on plaques along the trail. Now in the Rutland area we will also take in the Vermont Marble Museum which tells the unique story of the people and places of the marble industry. We will view sculptures, see the story of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and an exhibit of the Presidential Busts and Sculpture Garden. We will stay two nights at a local Lodge and enjoy sweeping views from each rooms private balcony.
A full day of touring is planned in the area among Vermont’s scenic villages and fall colored mountains. We will take in the Coolidge Historical Site in Plymouth, where President Coolidge vacationed during the summer. It’s a pristine example of an early 20th century Vermont hill town. While there we can sample some of the delicious cheese products still made in the Plymouth Cheese Factory, owned by the president’s father. Next up is Quechee Gorge, their ‘Little Grand Canyon’. We will follow that up with lunch on your own in the pretty village of Woodstock, which many consider to be one of New England’s most beautiful towns. The Village Green is reminiscent of days gone by, and features the stately Woodstock Inn, once owned by the Rockefeller family. We continue our day out with a stop at Billings Farm and Museum, one of the state’s finest small dairy farms. You’ll see engaging farm life exhibits, and enjoy a self guided tour there. We will also take in a corn husk doll making session which you can bring home with you. Then, after a brief rest at the lodge we venture out to Taylor Farm to climb aboard a horse drawn wagon and head over to a working dairy farm where we will enjoy a fun night out! There will be bar b q, foot stompin’ music, and a hoedown – Vermont style!
The next morning we will make one last stop in Vermont at Hildene – The Lincoln’s Family home. This 24-room estate with beautiful gardens was owned by Robert Todd Lincoln. It remained in the Lincoln family til 1975. We continue south along route 7 and travel into Massachusetts to take in the Hancock Shaker Village, which houses 25 historic buildings in a community that started in 1783. You can enjoy a self guided tour, while exploring the main dwelling, barns, the meeting house, school house and more. Bob Vila’s A&E Network production of ‘Guide to Historic Homes of America’ was featured here. We then venture further south into the Berkshire Mountains, where we will make a stop at the Norman Rockwell Museum. It’s the most popular attraction in the Berkshires and houses the world’s largest and most significant collection of Rockwell’s work with over 998 original paintings and drawings. We will then overnight in the Poughkeepsie, New York area where a delicious family style Italian dinner awaits us on the shore of the beautiful Hudson River. We will start our venture home now, going south into Virginia for an overnight and an included dinner.
I’m excited about this beautiful trip and hope that you will be too! From mountains full of fall color, lakes of every size, and quaint New England towns this tour has everything to offer. It’s unique, and it’s new territory for us, so I hope you will come and enjoy the journey!
Includes deluxe motorcoach, all hotels and luggage handling, all listed tours, local guides with tip, all admission fees,
10 breakfasts (5 buffet style), 4 lunches, and 6 dinners.
Trip insurance is highly recommended on this tour. There will be NO refunds after August 1. I have many vendors who need to know by that date final counts with payments. Fall is their BIG season, so I cannot have any exceptions to that rule. Insurance prices are listed on the attached page and are based on your age and the price of the trip.
Final payment will be due July 1. Invoices will not be mailed, so please save this date.
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Per Person Double
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