Saturday, August 30, 2014

September at The Town Hall Theatre – Middlebury, VT

There is something special about walking into a theatre and feeling the buzzing anticipation in the room before a highly acclaimed production takes the stage. A fantastic performance by talented local actors is just a great way to spend an evening and in Middlebury, VT we have the wonderful Town Hall Theatre, a real treasure with some great history.

Coming up this fall are some wonderful productions at the theatre that will be worth taking in. The fall is a beautiful time in our area as the leaves pop with color and there is always a host of fun things to do and places to see. If you need a night away, weekend retreat or even a week break from the busyness of life, our Swift House Inn is the perfect rest stop. If one of these productions speaks to you, plan your reservation around it and then make sure to stay long enough to enjoy all that our area has to offer.

Town Hall Theatre Highlights

James Blair Photography Talk - September 10th, 2014

See amazing photos from this National Geographic photographer and listen as he shares the story behind each one.

Snake Mountain Bluegrass – September 12th, 2014

This local bluegrass band creates incredible harmonies backed by talented musicianship. Hear some great bluegrass songs as they team up with the Connor Sisters.

To You, Around You, About You by the Bryce Dance Company – September 14th, 2014

This multimedia dance performance by thirteen Vermont-based artists will explore themes related to end of life.

The ALT with John Doyle – September 21, 2014

This is an event that is part of the After Dark Series. John Doyle is an amazing guitarist and songwriter who will be joined with singer, Nuala Kennedy.

A Streetcar Named Desire – September 26, 2014

This is Tennessee Williams’ timeless masterpiece that will be broadcast live on the big screen from London by National Theatre Live.

Make your fall plans now and be sure to catch one of these great performances. Swift House Inn is a classic Vermont country inn with all of the amenities you need to relax and feel pampered. Contact us at (866) 388-9925 for reservation information or feel free to check our availability online.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Bartlett Falls: A Top Swimming Hole in Bristol, VT

Alongside Lincoln Road about a mile outside Bristol, VT, you will stumble across one of the top 10 swimming holes in New England: Bartlett Falls. What you will quickly realize though is that this is not just another swimming hole. Bartlett Falls is a large waterfall in the gorge of the New Haven River. The layered bedrock leave natural ledges and benches along the side of the pool below the falls—perfect for keeping a watch on younger ones in the water or for reading a favorite book in the warm Vermont sunshine.

The 14-foot falls plunge into a deep sparkling pool 40-feet wide and 120-feet long. The surrounding ledges provide many places from which to jump—just be careful to look where you are jumping! The rocks can be slippery but it is fun to swim across the pool to the rock edge on the other side. From there you can walk along the edge to actually stand underneath it. A little ways down from the waterfall, the water becomes shallow and you can find great picnicking spots along the shore. If you go above the falls, there are some bedrock ledges that make for some fun water slides when the water is low. The current is simply too strong to do this in high water. There is also a large cave behind the falls to explore and cool off. It is actually a very relaxing spot to just sit and watch the falls.

Even though the summer months are winding down, there is still plenty of warm sunshine here in Vermont and it’s a perfect time to visit us at Swift House Inn. In addition to the falls there is a variety of great things to do and see, places to shop, and restaurants to try. Sneak in an end-of-summer getaway or make a plan for the fall when things are a bit quieter. Our 20-room former governor’s mansion offers the essence of New England warmth with all of the amenities you love at home. Contact us at (866) 388-9925 or feel free to check availability online.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Fly Fishing Tips: New Haven River near Middlebury, VT

Perhaps you learned to fish by sitting at the edge of a dock with your feet dangling in the water and a small worm on your hook. Maybe it was a parent or grandparent who showed you the ropes and then spoke of “the big one” they once caught when they were little. Even though times have changed and massive chain stores sell thousands of kinds of rods, hooks and lures of every size and every color of the rainbow, fishing is still a very simple and enjoyable sport. It is something anyone at any age can enjoy and around Swift House Inn in Middlebury, VT, there are some favorite places to go.

We love helping our guests find fun things to do and if fishing is up your alley then you may want to spend some time on the New Haven River. Only 3.4 miles from Middlebury, this river is a tributary of Otter Creek and while many areas of its waters are popular for swimming, the fishing is also fantastic. The season starts in April and goes until the end of October. Summer and fall both provide great opportunities for some fun fly fishing. In this river you will find wild Brook Trout, stocked Rainbow Trout and stocked Brown Trout. The river is full of hidden pockets of water and plunge pools, both of which are an angler’s delight. There are some great websites out there too that will provide you with up-to-date information on the best times to go fishing the New Haven River depending on weather changes and barometric pressure.

Fly Fishing Tips

You may need a fellow angler to show you the ropes but to have a successful fly fishing experience, make sure you:

Learn how to cast properly

Assemble your equipment the right way

Know your terminology

Figure out what kind of grip you want to use

Learn about the reel

String the rod properly

Learn to tie basic knots

Dress appropriately as fish are easily spooked

If you are looking for a last minute summer getaway or are planning a fall retreat, Swift House Inn owners Dan and Michele Brown can not only guide you to the best fishing spots in town but also suggest the best hot spots, shopping, dining and activities to make your vacation extra special. Our bed and breakfast offers the essence of New England warmth and our large comfortable rooms with all modern amenities provide ultimate relaxation. Contact us at (866) 388-9925 for reservation information.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Paddle Otter Creek in Middlebury, VT

Otter creek is the longest river in the state of Vermont and was once a very important “highway.” There are several rivers that empty into the creek and it passes through many quaint and beautiful towns along the way including Middlebury. It eventually empties into Lake Champlain at Ferrisburgh.

A slow canoe or kayak up and down the tranquil waters of Otter Creek is a peaceful and enjoy way to not only spend an afternoon or day but a way to see what rural Vermont has to offer as well. Sure you can admire the beauty of the river from the road but there is nothing like being down on the water, in nature, with relaxing sights and sounds around you. There is also the added bonus of having the Green Mountains as your background. You can spend hours exploring the many twist and turns as the river flows north the entire way. There are some falls along the way that thrill seekers like to find--the first are at Vergennes and the second are right in the town of Middlebury.

For guests visiting with us at Swift House Inn that do not have their own boats, there is a wonderful local shop downtown called Middlebury Mountaineer that can get you all set up. Whether you want a canoe, one or two person kayak or even a fishing kayak, they have what you need. They also offer professional guide services should you feel more comfortable with an experienced local showing you the ropes and taking you to the best spots around. If you are traveling with a group and have two vehicles to leave at the start and end spots, there are some really nice trips you can take on Otter Creek. First, you can set in at Leicester Junction and then take a beautiful 11-mile trip through mountains and farm country until you get out at the Three Mile Bridge in Middlebury. Another trip that is a bit shorter but also provides beautiful views is to set in near the dam in Vergennes, travel the river for 9 miles and then take out at the Fort Cassin Fishing Access in Lake Champlain.

Swift House Inn is a charming country bed and breakfast that offers all of the comfort and relaxation you need while on vacation, weekend retreat or business stop over for a night. With a host of great restaurants, shopping, and outdoor activities around us, you won’t have a shortage of things to keep you busy. Contact us at (866) 388-9925 or book directly online.

Friday, August 1, 2014

Shop Local at the Farmers Market in Middlebury, VT

There is nothing like buying a bunch of fresh produce that you know was just picked and harvested and going home to prepare a feast fit for a king. There are so many dedicated crafters, farmers, growers, cooks and bakers in Middlbury, VT and surrounding areas, which make our Farmers Market simply one of the best around. 

The organizers of the Middlebury Farmers Market share that Vermont is leading the United States in the number of farmers markets per capita, it has the greatest amount of certified organic farmlands, the greatest number of local dollars spent buying local foods, the greatest number of artisan cheesemakers per capita, the largest producers of maple syrup, and leads the nation in per capita production of dairy products. Now that is pretty impressive! We love home grown food and we do it well! 

The Middlebury Farmers Market, which takes place at the north parking lot of Marbleworks is an outdoor market that is truly impressive. On Saturdays from May 3 - October 25, 2014 and Wednesdays from June 11 - October 8, 2014, you can stroll around the market from 9am until 12:30pm. You will find about 6 vendors who showcase their wonderful goods and nearly two-thirds of the vendors sell local agricultural products. You will find no shortage of options if you are looking for baked goods, organic products, cheese, crafts, flowers, fruit, vegetables, honey, jam, jellies, maple syrup, meat and poultry products, wine, bread, plants, soap and body-care products, eggs, apples and cider. Many crops are harvested within hours before the market and baked goods are often still warm with aromas that just beckon you over to the table. There is also some great live, local artists that provide a great musical background while walking around. 

What are you waiting for? If you find yourself scratching your head about what to do for dinner or are just looking for a place to buy wonderful crafts, local products and fresh produce, make your way down to the market. It is a fun thing for our guests at Swift House Inn to enjoy whether they are here mid-week or over the weekend. If you will be needing a place to stay while in Middlebury, our cozy and classic Vermont country bed and breakfast is the perfect home away from home. Contact us today at (866) 388-9925 for reservation information.