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BellaOnline's Family Travel Editor

A Tour of Southern Vermont

Fall is a great time to visit New England, and southern Vermont is an especially family pleasing destination. Visiting the state of Vermont is like taking a trip back in time; there are no billboards, malls are rare, and rolling hills and quaint little towns are everywhere. Here are a few possible stops for your tour of southern Vermont.

The Vermont Country Store. A trip to Vermont isnít complete without stopping at this huge creaky old building in the beautiful town of Weston (another store is located in Rockingham). You could spend a whole day here wandering around and finding things you thought didnít exist anymore. Youíll find all sorts of kitchen utensils, wool sweaters, homemade fudge, a big barrel of dill pickles, bottles of root beer, and old-fashioned kidsí toys like pick-up sticks and pop guns. Most importantly (in the childrenís eyes), youíll find a fantastic penny candy counter where the kids can scoop their own treats into paper bags, keep track of their expenditure, then pay the cashier. Donít neglect to visit the rest of Weston too. The Weston Village Store sells souvenirs such as Vermont cheese, maple syrup and local crafts. A nearby barn is filled with Christmas decorations, including dozens of lit and decorated trees.

If being in the great outdoors is on your wish list, consider two parks especially popular with families. Jamaica State Park in Jamaica, Vermont is a great place to camp, fish, and hike if the weather is nice. An especially good hike for families is the flat trail that follows the West River, with a side trail to Hamilton Falls.

Townshend State Park in Townshend Vermont is a great place to picnic, poke around the river (or swim in warm weather), or just admire the foliage. Also in Townshend is The Black Bear Shop. Located in a bright red building on the highway, it's a must for all stuffed animal fans.

If your kids are into farms, take them to Adams Farm in Wilmington. They offer something every season, including sleigh rides, visiting with the animals, hayrides, a corn maze, quilts for sale, pony rides, eggs to gather, and evening bonfires. Thereís also a gift shop stocked with the farmís own maple syrup, jams, and sauces.

If you like baskets, a trip to Basketville in Putney, Vermont is a nice way to round out your trip. The store is huge, and with baskets of all sizes itís an organizerís dream. They also sell wicker furniture and kitchen wares, along with a small selection of kidsí toys, such as wood handled jump ropes and Jacobís ladders.

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