Thanks to its size and seven trillion gallons of water, Lake Champlain creates the perfect microclimate for growing grapes. East Shore Vineyard is one of its direct beneficiaries, with more than 8,000 vines creeping across 11 acres along the lake's shores.
Bob and Linda Livingstone planted the vineyard's first grapevines in 2000. In the years since, they've weathered the Grand Isle's challenges?including the notoriously unforgiving weather?to create award-winning wines that are now available in 160 retailers and restaurants throughout Vermont. But fans don't have to go shopping or hide in a sommelier's cummerbund just to get a taste of the vineyard's products. Instead, they can visit its Burlington-based tasting room and pair sips with Vermont-made cheeses and chocolates.
Stowe's idyllic scenery is defined by its prime location between the Green Mountains and Mount Mansfield, Vermont's highest peak at 4,395 feet. Winter sport enthusiasts flock to Stowe Mountain Resort, whose powdery slopes encompass 485 skiable acres across 116 trails. After a morning on the slopes, guests and their snowman plus-ones can swing by the West Branch Gallery & Sculpture Park to marvel at artwork including the statuary in the outdoor sculpture garden.
To create the 30 burgers on the menu at Rozzi's Lakeshore Tavern & Restaurant, the chef?s really go all out. They marinate patties in beer and season them with jamaican jerk seasoning. They top burgers with snails, fried bananas, french fries, peanut butter, and sliced green apples. And if those burgers aren't enticing enough, they create the show-stopper Dozer burger, an agglomeration of two 1-pound patties, eight slices of bacon, and four slices of cheese served on cornbread. Guests can attempt to devour the ginormous handheld in 30 minutes during the Dozer Challenge; doing so earns them a spot on the wall of fame.
Beyond burgers, the chefs whip up seafood platters and fried chicken dinners paired with local microbrews. Inside the eatery, live games stream on flat-screen televisions, and framed sports memorabilia coat the wood-paneled walls. Guests can also play Wii games and participate in cornhole and trivia tournaments.
Four generations of Boydens have lovingly tended hundreds of acres of land that make up Boyden Valley Winery & Spirits. Plucked from more than 8,000 vines, these grapes are transformed into European-style wines, aged in French oak barrels in the on-site cellar. The results are 18 different products, including red, whites, and fruit wines as well as ice wines, hard cider, and cream liqueurs, which can be sipped by the glass on the patio, during tastings, tours, or at home.