Friday, February 27, 2015

Nature’s Bounty at the New England Maple Museum, VT

Maple Museum Sign with trees with red leaves surrounding
It is not only Canada who gets to claim rights to creating gorgeous, golden brown, delicious maple syrup! Did you know that Vermont is the biggest producer of maple syrup in the U.S? Over 1 million gallons of the sticky, sweet syrup is produced every year and when winter draws to a close and spring begins, the maple sugaring business goes into full swing.

Just 30 minutes from Middlebury, VT, where Swift House Inn is located, you can visit a quaint place called Pittsford, VT. It is here where the New England Maple Museum can be found. Surrounded by the beauty of the Green Mountains, this is just one of many great establishments that is open year round and offers tours, gifts, and a vast supply of maple products.

You can learn about the wonderful history of maple syrup that started over 200 years ago when the Native Americans discovered that cooking the sap turned into delicious, sweet syrup. The history in this museum has been beautifully painted on over 100 feet of murals. It is truly fascinating to learn about the maple sugaring process and no matter how old you are everyone can appreciate sampling some of the goods at the tasting counter!

This is a great place to pick up some gifts for loved ones such as sweets, butters, jams, cookies, drizzles, spreads, dips, fudge, gift baskets, and of course, syrup. Skip your loved ones, we bet you can’t leave without an armful of delicious goodies for yourself!

The drive to this museum is scenic and after an afternoon of learning and tasting, you can come back to Middlebury and enjoy a dinner out and relaxation at Swift House Inn. You will be served a delicious breakfast in the morning and can use your fresh maple products if you desire—what a great way to start a morning. Contact us today if you are looking for a fantastic place to getaway this winter or spring—we have plenty of room and it is a great time of year to visit Vermont. Call (866) 388-9925 or take advantage of our online reservations.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Winter Wonderland: Top Skiing and Snowshoeing Spots, VT

While many places around the country may be enjoying pleasant temperatures and sunshine, there are others…many others…who are buried under snow! There is an old proverbial phrase that was actually coined in 1915 that says, “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” So, when life brings a whole bunch of that fluffy white stuff, we need to get out and enjoy it! Close to Swift House Inn, our bed and breakfast in Middlebury, VT, there are two fantastic places to enjoy some cross-country skiing or snowshoeing.

Rikert Nordic Center

Located in Ripton, VT, Rikert Nordic Center is a great local place to enjoy the beauty around Middlebury College. There are over 50 km of trails to explore. Ski past Robert Frost’s summer cabin or try your skills on the Tormondsen Family Racecourse. There are a lot of fun events coming up such as the Ski and Ride for HOPE on February 21, 2015 and the Family Fun Day on February 22, 2015. The Nordic Center also has a full service shop and a place to relax with food and warm drinks. Call (802) 443-2744 for further information.

Blueberry Hill Cross Country Ski Center

Located in Goshen, VT this ski center offers a myriad of trails of different lengths that are great for the beginner or the seasoned outdoorsman. The center offers a comfortable, warm place to relax and warm up. Order soup and hot drinks or take advantage of their ski and show shoe rentals. The Beaverdam Loop at 2 miles long is perfect for snowshoeing. The Hogback at 5 miles long is the most popular and has skied in tracks. If you are looking for a bit more of a workout, try the 15-mile Catamount Trail from Rickert to Blueberry. A donation of $10 is suggested to help with the upkeep of this great place. Call (802) 247-6535 for more information.

After a day on the trails, there is no sweeter feeling than relaxing in a luxurious, cozy, private room at a gorgeous bed and breakfast. Swift House Inn has every amenity you would need to feel at home plus we are the only accommodation in Middlebury, VT where a full breakfast is included. Contact us at (866) 388-9925 or book directly online.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Vermont Chili Festival Brings the Heat to Middlebury

The idea of mixing ingredients in a pot and creating a delicious soup or stew has been around for centuries. The International Chili Society shares that it was during the Gold Rush time in the mid-1800s when chili in particular become popular. The gold prospectors and cowboys had a type of “brick” made of salt, pepper, fat, dried beef, and chili peppers that they would just drop into a pot of boiling water. Chili has definitely evolved into much more of a science today and celebrating this great food is exactly what the Vermont Chili Festival is all about!

The Vermont Chili Festival is a fantastic celebration that will take place downtown Middlebury, VT on March 14, 2015. It has actually been named one of the top ten winter events by The Vermont Chamber of Commerce and is a community-wide party that they whole family will enjoy. The streets will be closed off and from 1pm – 4pm you will be able to taste all different kinds of chili from participants in the cook-off competition.

The festival will be buzzing with great, live music, street performers, and a beverage tent where you can sample local beers, ciders, and spirits. A panel of judges will be choosing the best of the best from 6 different categories: chicken, game, beef, veggie, pork, and the fun one, kitchen sink. Winners are going to receive cash prizes so if you have a recipe that you think can beat out the toughest competition, gather your ingredients and get ready! Any person that attends the festival will get to vote on their favorite. Tickets for this event are $5 in advance or $7 at the door and children 8 and under are free.

Shake off the winter blues and heat things up at this great festival. Middlebury will be full of excitement and you will not want to miss out. The Swift House Inn has a great variety of rooms—perfect for a couple’s getaway or for large family vacations. We are only minutes from downtown and close to the action but we have a cozy, private property for those who want a retreat from the hustle and bustle. Contact us today at (866) 388-9925 for reservation information or book directly online.