Photograph by Ben Sarle
GPS: 44°29'N 73°13'W
Burton Snowboards is headquartered here for a reason. This city, nestled on Lake Champlain, has just about everything you could want, rising to the adventure challenge in any season.
From a vibrant music scene (Higher Ground, Nectar’s) to troves of hiking and riding trails in the surrounding Green Mountains (Stowe, Smuggler's Notch, Sugarbush), heady breweries (Magic Hat), fine dining (Leunig’s Bistro, Papa Frank’s), and even teddy bear construction (Vermont Teddy Bear Co.), there’s no lack of attractions. Believe it or not, you can catch rays and real sand at North Beach, and cliff jump off adjacent Lone Rock Point. And yes, you can milk a cow: Shelburne Farms is a 1,400 acre (567 hectare) working farm offering some of the most resplendent views around (Winslow Homer was a fan), especially during foliage season. Try wagon rides and runs around the expansive property by day, and sample the wares at the on-site farm store. P.S. The farmhouse cheddar cheese here is nationally renowned.
Just about anywhere. Red Onion Café on Church Street serves drool-inducing sandwiches for pocket change (+1 802 865 2563), and New World Tortilla and its Thai Chicken Wrap are the kings of cheap eats in this town (www.newworldtortilla.com)). But don’t miss out on breakfasts at Sneakers Bistro & Café (www.sneakersbistro.com) and Penny Cluse Café (www.pennycluse.com), which are nothing short of legendary for their flavors and fresh ingredients.
The Shelburne Farms Inn is upscale country living at its finest, with colonially appointed rooms (doubles from $150; www.shelburnefarms.org). For something a little closer to town, try the Willard Street Inn, a town staple a short walk from Church Street with delicious breakfasts and cozy digs (doubles from $140; www.willardstreetinn.com).