5 Southern Vermont Towns You’ve Got to Visit

Last updated on January 16th, 2019 at 05:35 pm

There is so much to love about Southern Vermont. Especially the way that the towns are surrounded by mountains and rich expanses of trees, making them even more beautiful  in that brief autumn period where the leaves are multicolored and bright. These 5 southern Vermont towns are each unique, and vary in size and culture. But all of them are rich in artistry, with diverse communities of independent artists, performance arts, and theater.

These 5 communities thrive with quaint downtown areas, promising lots of food and plenty of shopping! Antique stores, one of a kind book stores, eccentric decor shops, galleries, and much more are what make these towns so special and true to Vermont.

All of these towns are less than an hour away from us at Stonehurst, and we’d encourage you to visit them to see all of the wonderful things they have to offer!

 

1. Brattleboro

Brattleboro, VT Photography
A Rainbow over Brattleboro, Vermont. Photo by Professor Bop via Flickr

 

2.  Bellows Falls

Bob Taylor Photography
‘Bellows Falls Street Scene’ Photo by Bob Taylor, via Flickr.

3.  Wilmington

Wilmington Vermont Photography
Wilmington, Vermont. Photo by Kimberly Vardeman via Flickr

4. Bennington

Bennington, Vermont
Bennington Battle Monument, Photo by Jim Guerard via Flickr

 

5. Chester

Chester, Vermont
Chester, Vermont. Photo by Lee Bennett via Flickr

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This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

Discover Vermont Artists at the Southern Vermont Art and Craft Festival

Last updated on March 13th, 2019 at 05:24 pm

Click photo for source. Southern Vermont Art and Craft Festival.

Vermont’s most popular summer art and craft festival begins today! We’re proud of Vermont for its amazing support of its craftsman and artists, which is why we are super excited about the Southern Vermont Art and Craft Festival. The festival had been hosted in Manchester for 30 years, but the 2013 festival will be held in Bennington, Vermont! This provides advantages because its in a more southern region of Vermont, which will hopefully bring in a larger turnout than in previous years! The festival will host over 160 talented artists who will display and sell their one of a kind artwork, as well as traditional and contemporary crafts, and pottery!

From Friday, August 2nd to Sunday, August 4th, this three day event will run in conjunction with the town wide Bennington Arts Festival Weekend. The festival is put on by a variety of community arts organizations and venues, so expect a jam packed weekend with live music, art, and activities ranging from art walks, open studios and receptions, live entertainers, and a historical architecture exhibit! As always, you can expect lots of kid friendly activities, local food vendors, ice cream,craft beer, and more!

If you don’t have plans for the weekend, why not add the Southern Vermont Art and Craft festival to your agenda and find some inspiration in the work of talented Vermont artists!

 

 

 

 

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This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

Quechee Hot Air Balloon Festival: Real VT Fun

Last updated on March 13th, 2019 at 05:09 pm

Quechee Hot Air Ballon Festival
Hot Air Balloons at Night. Photo taken from Quechee Balloon Festival Facebook Page.

When I was younger, one of my favorite events of the year was the local hot air balloon festival that took place in my town (Pittsfield, New Hampshire) each year. While it wasn’t the Quechee balloon festival, it was a hot air balloon festival all the same. I loved the way that it would bring the whole community together for a day of fun and celebration, despite whatever else was going on in the world and on the news. It seemed like even the busiest people in town always made time to come down to the festival to watch the hot air balloons or to just be in the presence of friends, family, and community members. Kids loved it too, because they’d get to come and run around and go on rides with their friends (plus there is usually cotton candy and all sorts of other goodies too). And there really is just something special about hot air balloons. They are whimsical, and magical in a way. Magical in that they never fail to give you that feeling of childhood excitement, wonder, and awe as you watch them rise. Maybe its the way their colors light up in the sky, or the fact that they get to float amongst the clouds…either way, a hot air balloon festival is a spectacular event that every person should get to experience at least once in their life (but hopefully more)!

This weekend is the 34th annual Quechee Hot Air Balloon festival, taking place in Quechee, Vermont! The weekend festivities include music from a bunch of great bands that will be playing continuously throughout the weekend, tasty food, a kiddie zone for the children, a beer and wine garden for the adults, tons of talented Vermont artists and crafters, vendors of all sorts, and hot air balloons of course!

I truly hope that you get to enjoy the unique and heartwarming experience that a small town hot air balloon festival provides– and if not this year, maybe next year! 🙂

For more information on the festival, check out their official website and Facebook page.

 

 

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This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

Vermont Road Trip: Dorset Custom Furniture

Last updated on March 13th, 2019 at 04:28 pm

Custom Furniture Makers | Dorset Vermont
Meet the master craftsmen of Dorset Vermont.  From left:  Bill Laberge, Bob Gasperetti, Steve Holman and Dan Mosheim.  These guys are world class expert furniture designers and woodworkers.  Their beautiful creations grace the Green Mountain State as well as public and private homes, businesses and galleries the world over.  

Dorset is one of the prettiest hamlets in all of Vermont, so Dennis and I were happy to make the trek to Dorset Custom Furniture last Friday.  For us, the main attraction wasn’t the quaint New England Village architecture or the view of the Green Mountain Forest.  It was to meet with Dan Mosheim and three more of Dorset’s famous custom furniture makers.  I guess it’s no coincidence that four of the country’s finest craftsmen have set up shop in this idyllic spot.  Dorset is quintessential Vermont at it’s finest and it’s natural beauty inspires artists and craftspeople from all walks of life.

Once we found our way to the slice of paradise that’s home to Dorset Custom Furniture we caught up with Dan, his wife Kit, and their sons Will and Sam.  The whole family is involved in the arts, creating not only furniture but also jewelry, musical instruments and sculpture.

Dan had invited three other powerhouses in custom furniture to meet with us:  Steve Holman of Holman Studios, Bob Gasperetti and Bill Laberge.  We were brainstorming ways to collaborate in shining a light on Vermont’s long legacy of creating sustainable, high end, custom furniture.  Dennis and I extended an invitation to the Dorset crowd to show their furniture at Stonehurst, our new fine furniture gallery so we will be working with them to make that happen before our grand opening this summer.

If you’re wandering around the world of Vermont arts and crafts before that, be sure to drop by Dorset and visit these fine furniture craftsmen in their studios.  I think you’ll find that in commissioning a piece of their custom furniture, you are acquiring much more that a functional piece of art.  I’m not sure how to describe but it has to do with getting in touch with a level of authenticity that is often missing in our lives.  I think you’ll just have to go to Dorset and check it out for yourself.  Then tell us about your experience on Facebook.  Happy travels!

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This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

Finding a Beautiful Vermont View After Nemo

Finding a Beautiful Vermont View After Nemo
We found a beautiful Vermont view after Nemo blew through Vernon yesterday.  The storm made for great skiing and sledding on Vernon’s lost ski area, Pine Top and throughout the state.

Like most Vermonters we were lucky to find Nemo pretty tolerable– for a winter storm, that is.  Vernon got about a foot of fluffy white snow and our dedicated road crew was out pushing it around in no time.  Finally it’s winter in Vermont!

When I was a kid, storms like this were routine throughout the winter.  We grabbed our skis and happily headed towards the slopes.  So today I thought it fitting to give the snowy slopes of Pine Top, aka Stonehurst a try.  I found the old toboggan my parents gave my siblings and me for Christmas many years ago and pulled it up to the top of the hill (fortunately Ken had re-conditioned it when Kendall and Riley were little and it’s still in great shape).

I found a spectacular Vermont view on the knob where the old Pine Top warming shed used to be!  Today was a beautiful day for sledding and the snow was dry and fast.  I made a few trips up and down the slope before I started pining away for the ancient rope tow that used to be installed at Vernon’s former ski area.  Or even the old horse tow that preceded that.

Ken Enjoying the View at Pine Top | A Lost Ski Area in Vernon, VT
Ken’s version of sledding.

Then I saw that Ken had finished plowing and had found an alternative way to enjoy the view, so I wrapped up my sledding and joined him for a drink.  After all the winter weather watches and warnings, it turns out Nemo wasn’t so bad after all.

If you’re in the area, stop by Pine Top, take a sleigh ride and enjoy the view before the snow melts!  We’ll supply the drinks.

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This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

Vermont Road Trips

Vermont Road Trips
Need a day off from skiing?  Take a Vermont road trip using the VT Forest Heritage trail guide.  Meet Vermont’s furniture makers and see how they incorporate nature into the sustainable furniture they design and build.

Some parts of the Green Mountain State may have run out of snow this week, but don’t let that deter you from jumping in the car and taking a couple Vermont road trips.  Our ski areas all make snow and temps have been perfect for doing that lately, so skiers are in the all set club.  But if you’re not a skier or your knees need a break we’ll post a few Vermont road trip suggestions you may not have thought about yet.

First up is the The Vermont Forest Heritage Trail.  It’s a driving tour of Vermont’s woodworking shops, studios and showrooms– large and small.  You can pick up a guide booklet at any Vermont Welcome Center or download it here.  In it you’ll find a Vermont map with dozens of furniture makers and their studios.  You’ll also find information on Vermont’s sustainable forestry industry and an invitation to the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historic Park, a managed forest in the central region of the state.

Here’s your chance to connect with nature and see how Vermont craftspeople incorporate it into the sustainable furniture they design and build.  This initial Heritage Tour goes through the middle of Vermont and features Clear Lake Furniture in Ludlow, Shackleton Thomas in Bridgewater and Copeland Furniture in Bradford.  Maple Landmark Toys are also included.  The Vermont Wood Manufacturing Association is working on updating the brochure with additional tours throughout the state so stay tuned for more options.  Happy trails to you!

 

 

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This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

Vermont Artist, Paul Stone

Last updated on November 13th, 2018 at 10:55 pm

Paul Stone, Vermont Artist
Paul Stone is a native Vermonter who grew up in Westminster and has been painting since he was a young boy. He is a graduate of Dartmouth College and Tufts University. While I was admiring Paul’s paintings at the I-91 Guilford Welcome Center, I learned that Paul is also a dentist.  What?  Like this post if you think it’s unfair for one person to have such an abundance of talent.  Haha!

Vermont’s Most Surprising Art Galleries: Our Welcome Centers

Lucky me.  I stopped by the Interstate 91 N Guilford Welcome Center (a mile south of Brattleboro on I91) the other day to drop off some brochures and stumbled upon a beautiful collection of oil paintings by nationally acclaimed Vermont artist, Paul Stone.  You never know what amazing stuff you’re going to find at Vermont’s Welcome Centers (it’s not unusual for Paul Stone’s painting to sell for over $10,000 each)!

Paul Stone is a master at capturing quintessential Vermont rural scenes like the barns and farmhouses in my snapshot above.  He’s known for his use of light, shadows and a vibrant palette to create scenes that are realistic and abstract at the same time.  Maybe it’s because I live in Vermont but when I look at Paul’s work I feel like I’m inside his scenes, enjoying the view and the moment.

Apparently many others around the world feel a similar connection to Paul’s work because it hangs in numerous corporate and private collections around the world.  Paul Stone’s shows are relatively rare events so if you love art and you’re coming to Vermont to enjoy the last few days of leaf peeping season be sure to stop at the Guilford Welcome center and take this one in.

A little bit of background about the artist:  Paul is a native Vermonter who grew up in Westminster and has been painting since he was a young boy.  He is a graduate of  Dartmouth College and Tufts University.  While I was admiring Paul’s paintings, I happened to see my neighbors from Earth’s Supergrains who told me Paul used to be their dentist.  What?  Like this post if you think it’s unfair for one person to have such an abundance of talent.  Haha!

For more information on Paul Stone’s artwork, check out his website and or contact Greg Worden at Vermont Artisans Gallery on Main Street in Brattleboro to find out about Paul’s next show.

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This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

4 Places To Pick Your Own Blueberries In Vermont

Last updated on January 16th, 2019 at 05:34 pm

Photo via Adam’s Berry Farm’s Facebook Page

While driving on Vermont country roads, it is common to see a sign stating “U-Pick,” meaning you can pick your own seasonal produce at that location.  This time of year is perfect for blueberry picking.  Here at Vermont Woods Studios, we eat, breath, and live all things Vermont 365 days a year, and we want you to experience a Vermont tradition too! We’ve done our research, and have picked out four farms through out Vermont where you can visit and pick your own blueberries.

1. The Apple Barn & Country Bake Shop (Bennington, Vermont)

This is the definition of a one-stop shop to experience Vermont agriculture.  Right now you can pick your own blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries.  Additionally, they have a Complimentary Tour of their 300 acre Apple Orchard, giving you quintessential Vermont photo opportunities. After your tour, you can stop by their bakery, to try a maple creeme (or soft serve ice cream, if you will), one of their 40 homemade treats (including cider donuts) or to grab a cup of Vermont’s Green Mountain Coffee.  This memory-making experience at The Apple Barn & Country Bake Shop will leave you yearning to come back in the fall to visit and pick your own apples.

2.  Boyd Family Farm (Wilmington, Vermont)

The Boyd family has been in the farming business for over 80 years, so you know they’re doing it right! They focus on horticulture, and have become experts in wedding flower designs. Additionally, guests are welcome to the farm to pick your own blueberries!  The Boyd Family Farm is a sponsor of the Deerfield Valley Blueberry Festival (Friday, July 30- Sunday, August 8) this year, which is also located in Wilmington, Vermont.

3. Adam’s Berry Farm (Burlington, Vermont)

When you hear Burlington, Vermont, you think probably think of Lake Champlain and Church Street Marketplace; so you’re probably thinking, “there’s a farm in the city of Burlington?” Yes! The Intervale Center is a nonprofit organization that has a mission to “strengthen community food systems.”  They have 350 acres along the Winooski River, and Adam’s Berry Farm is on that land! They have been “cultivating berries in a unique urban agricultural environment” for 10 years.  Adam’s Berry Farm invites you to pick your own berries from June to mid-October, the berries depending on the season.  Right now is the perfect time to pick your own blueberries right in the city of Burlington!  While you’re there, you can also bike and hike along a variety of trails at the Intervale.

4. Cedar Circle Farm  (Thetford, Vermont)

This is a certified organic vegetable and berry farm and education center close to Norwich, Vermont and Lebanon New Hampshire. In their education center their mission is “to raise public awareness about the importance of local organic agriculture, increase access to quality organic produce for low-income people, and establish models for farm-appropriate alternative energy strategies, and train next-generation farmers.”  In addition to the education center, they also open their farm to the public for berry picking.  You can pick your own certified organic blueberries this month, and head back in October to pick your own pumpkins!

A list of farms, including theses ones, who offer “U-Pick” can be found on the Vermont Agriculture website.  Do you have a favorite place to pick berries? Let us know on our Facebook page!

Heather Barrett is a Marketing Assistant at Vermont Woods Studios, an online furniture gallery which showcases Vermont’s finest wood furniture. Follow our blog to learn about Vermont fine furniture, Vermont happenings, our mission, and our team.

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This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.