School is out. The sun is shining. The fields are green. It’s summer time.
First order of business: get to a Vermont gas station or ice cream stand that sells creemees and procure a Maple Creemee. I personally recommend Sandy’s Dairy Bar at the Pump & Pantry in Williamstown VT – but I’m biased, because that’s my hometown. But it seriously is the best maple creemee in the WORLD. The Morse Farm in Montpelier makes a maple creemee that is pretty epic too – and so is the view! Plus then you can buy a gallon of the syrup to take home with you.
#NewEngland #summers are for lovers. And friends. And everyone. via @cabotcheese Click To Tweet
Now that you’ve traveled 30 or 3000 miles for a frozen treat, stay a while. New England in the summer is truly and incomparably stunning. We’ve got something for everyone. Experience the history of our nation through walking, trolley, and boat tours. Go hike a big (or wee) mountain. Grab a pint (or a growler) from an award-winning or unknown craft brewery. Rough it for a few nights camping in one of our beautiful state parks, or book a farm stay and experience the fresh air and relaxing quiet of country life, with incredible home-cooked and truly farm-to-table meals. Bronze up and cool off at one of our fresh or saltwater beaches. Come one, come all, to our home—beautiful, friendly, one-of-a-kind New England.
Averill’s New England Summer Recommendations
Every summer my family took advantage of all that Vermont and the rest of New England has to offer. When I got old enough to drive and go on adventures myself, my friends and I found different and just as fulfilling events, places, and people to enjoy. The possibilities are endless. Here are a few recommendations of places to start. And if you’ve spent summer days or months in New England, share your favorite things to do in the comments!
Sun bathe and then cool off. Hit Hampton Beach. It’s crowded on weekends, less so during the week, kind of touristy, but it’s kind of that quintessential boardwalk summer spot. I went with friends the summer after high school, rented a cottage, and stayed a week, just enjoying our youth. Or, if you’re not into the salty seashore and summer crowds, pick one of the beautiful lakes and ponds of New England and go for a day or a camping trip. I love Ricker Pond State Park (VT) , Ashland State Park (MA), and Quaddick State Park (CT). All family friendly, many have little grills so you can bring charcoal and cook up hot dogs or burgers, and generally just a pleasant experience. And there are some beautiful summer towns that are worth spending a long weekend in or more. Martha’s Vineyard MA, Newport RI, and Ogunquit ME are some of my favorite coastal spots.
Confession: I took up golfing for the views. Now, fellow golfers, you have to check out Rhode Island’s beautiful ocean view courses. Just stunning. And you could launch your golf vacation from the Escobar’s Bed & Breakfast – a unique farm stay!
Take a hike: If you happen to be in the Green Mountain State, there are plenty of easy, moderate, and challenging hikes you can undertake (maybe to burn off the three maple creemees a day you might indulge in. Hey, I don’t judge.) I’m an “easy” hike gal. (Which you may have gathered from my golfing motivations!) There is a great list of trails by difficulty at the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks, and Rec page, but I recommend Camel’s Hump. It’s maybe 30 minutes outside of Montpelier, and then you can do dinner in the state capital. Or skip the hike and just go hang out on the State House lawn. There will probably be some Ultimate Frisbee players—join the game! It’s close to the Cabot Waterbury Annex too. Graze the sampling table, and the stock up on all your favorite Cabot specialty items available only in Cabot stores.
Boston. I love Boston. After Burlington, it is my favorite city. (Does Burlington count as a city? I think so. It’s arguable though.) Do the Duck Boat Tour in Boston. Boston is this beautiful blend of the past and the present, and the Duck Boat Tour really showcases that.
And then just do Boston! Red Sox game, pick up fresh produce and more at Haymarket, do a walking or self-guided tour of any of the historic sites around the city, rent a kayak and cruise around the Charles, grab a cocktail on the waterfront. I’ve done the Freedom Trail a few times, and it’s really fun—though I’m a bit of a history nerd (…just finished a PhD in history!) so that may just be me 😉
Oh! And don’t forget the Sam Adams Brewery tour. Bring your own Cabot cheeses for pairing. You can swing by the Quechee store on your way to Boston. It’s just over the VT-MA border! And in the town of the Quechee Gorge, worth a stop just to be awed for a few moments nature.
If breweries are your jam: You should know that Vermont has the most craft breweries per capita in the US. The scenic drive and long line at Hill Farmstead Brewery in Greensboro is an experience. They make some epic brews. The road to Hill Farmstead goes by Cabot, VT, so you can stop in for a tour of our cheese plant there, and of course, peruse the samples. Check out the Vermont Brewers Association for other excellent stops on the Vermont Beer Trail.
Spend a few nights at a farm. This is actually a thing you can do! And it’s a family or couples retreat like nothing else you’ll ever experience. You can do some “chores” (valuable lesson—and fun—for the kiddos) or just bask in the serenity of farm life. Our farmers who double as innkeepers have beautiful properties and farmhouses, make amazing meals, and are the sweetest hosts you’ll ever have the pleasure of encountering. We are always talking about Liberty Hill Farm in Bethel, VT, but you can also stay at Emergo Farm in Danville VT, Missisquoi Valley Farm in Westfield VT, and more – check out our farmer stories pages, and sort the farm map by “Bed and Breakfast”.
Explore Portland. And while you’re in Maine, make a point to go visit some of the state’s beautiful historic lighthouses and visit our adorable Portland Farmer’s Annex – which has the sampling table you’re accustomed to in a Cabot retail store, plus all kinds of beautiful Cabot farmer products and local Maine and New England gifts and goodies.
Take the ferry. From Grand Isle VT to Plattsburgh NY at sunset. I suppose you need a reason? There is shopping in Plattsburgh, and the ferry stop on the VT side is about 20 minutes from Burlington—and you know BTV is a special place in the summer, from creemees at Burlington Bay to the college-kid saturated North Beach and the family friendly Leddy Park to boutique shopping and amazing food on Church Street—so that’s pretty much all the reason you need.
And then when you are exhausted from doing one or all of these things, head back to the Pump and Pantry and get yourself one last goodbye maple creemee. If your home is not in New England, you’re not going to find a treat like that again for a long time.
If you would like to learn more about Cabot Creamery Cooperative, get more delicious recipes, or take a virtual tour of some of our 1,200 farm families, click here. If you find a recipe that you love on our site, please rate and review it – we appreciate your feedback!
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Dr. Averill (aka <3Ave) is a long-time member of the Cabot team (ca. 2006) and a life-time lover of cheese (the sharper the better!). She’s always been moved by the Cabot commitment to the farmers, our communities, and making quality products. You can catch her on Twitter most of the time, where she leads the @cabotcheese tweeting. When she’s not talking cheese, she’s digging into the past, and just finished her PhD in History.