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Tuesday, June 29, 2021

Weekender's Guide: Stowe, Vermont (summer edition)

Stowe Vermont

Stowe is one of those four-season towns that New Englanders keep coming back to. There is something fun to do when the leaves change, when the snow falls, when the flowers bloom and when the summer sun is out. Stowe even made the cut on Travel & Leisure's 11 of the Best Small Towns in America and after a weekend in this mountain town, you will see why. I've been spending time here in the mountains with friends on a girl's getaway, a weekend ski trip with significant others, and now, a summer getaway with my little family and I promise, Stowe is worth the hype. 

Not only was this one of our first family getaways, but this was Adam's first time in northern Vermont (ever) which meant I had a jam-packed weekend planned - Katie Wanders style. I had a fun weekend planned and working around a 4-month old baby and our two dogs gave me a new perspective on travel as a family of 3+. Stowe is a great place to bring the kids and the dogs and we were so thankful for all the dog-friendly patios, budget-friendly lodging options, and opportunities to be outside with our sometimes fussy babe. 

Mount Hunger
Mount Hunger (nearby Waterbury, Vermont)

Stowe Recreation Path
Stowe Recreation Path

There is something for everyone in this small mountain town. Active adventurer? There are a lot of great hiking and biking options. Relaxing foodie? You have so many options when it comes to breweries and restaurants and you can spend the weekend eating and drinking your way through town. Bringing the family? Take the kids to one of the swim holes, take a gondola ride up the mountain, and check out the miniature golf course. Whether you are heading up solo or traveling north with a little one or the family dog (or both), this guide is for you. 

Keep on scrolling to see an example of what our weekend in Stowe looked like. You can also make this a "Mix & Match" sort of guide by scrolling to the bottom and picking your kind of weekend from the Eat, Play, Hike, Drink categories at the bottom of the post. 

Thursday, June 24, 2021

A Day Trip to Burlington, Vermont

Burlington, Vermont is just about everything you could want from a city in the Green Mountain State. It's Vermont's biggest city and it's full of good food, famous breweries, bike paths, eccentric shops, and the crown jewel of them all, Lake Champlain. Burlington is also a college town (home to the University of Vermont) which certainly helps to keep the area up and coming and trendy. 

You can find a dozen reasons to visit Burlington in the summertime. For me, it's the dog-friendly atmosphere, craft breweries, amazing bike path, and access to the lake. When the sun is out and the green mountain states takes on its namesake, it's the perfect place to spend the day - tag along. 

Monday, June 21, 2021

Sterling Pond - Smugglers' Notch, Vermont

Short, Steep, Scenic - (and a swim?) it's the trifecta of a weekend hike when you want to get in a workout, enjoy a new view, and make it back home to do something else with the day. If you've read the blog, you know I love a long day hike that challenges my stamina and my mental grit but sometimes I need something short and easy. These days, hiking typically involves carrying a baby up the mountain with us, so short and easy-ish is a necessity while we adjust to life as parents and a different kind of weight on our packs. 

Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Weekender's Guide to Jamestown, Rhode Island

Weekenders Guide to Jamestown RI

I love Jamestown 100 different ways. For many, it's the island between the bridges, the town next to Newport, the exit right before the tolls.  For me, it's all quiet roads and ocean views, historic lighthouses, and gorgeous parks. You can find quiet farms and historic forts, scuba diving spots, and seafood menus. Spend an afternoon in the cove watching sailboats float by, soak up the sun or go for a swim. When you want to get moving, jump in a kayak and drift with views of tall ships and beautiful bridges. If you prefer to stay dry, grab a bagel and a bike and cycle the island loop, challenging yourself over the rolling hills. If golf is how you prefer to move, play 9 holes on the local course - I hear the burger after hits the spot.  

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

HIKE OLD SAYBROOK, CT - The Preserve, Cedars, Clark, and Essex Meadows Trails

The Preserve Old Saybrook

I used to say I would love to live on a trail system - someday.  That day came in 2020 and yes, I pictured something a little more... mountainous than Old Saybrook in Coastal Connecticut.  There aren't any big summits or impressive vistas but there are miles and miles of quiet trails that are connected through several different trail systems.  All available from the end of my street. 

The Preserve Old Saybrook

I started writing trail guides in Utah when misinformation turned an 12 mile hike into a nearly 15 mile hike.  Conflicting and downright wrong information left me insanely frustrated as I tried to prepare for a hike.  One of my favorite trail systems here in Connecticut (where you can hike/bike/ski/horseback ride) also suffers from a lack of information.  I can't tell you how many times I have tried to point a lost hiker in the right direction, or listened to stories of my neighbors driving hikers back to their car on the other side of town.  The preserve is an awesome trail system that is fairly new and there is a lot of ongoing effort to update the maps and trail system.  The preserve also neighbors other trail systems in town/adjacent towns.