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This Premier tour is an Ultimate Autumn Experience.

“If you can pick and choose, there is no better time for a motor trip through Vermont than in autumn,” Abner W. Coleman wrote in the very first issue of Vermont Life published in 1946. Coleman continues to say, “Vermont during the autumn months offers delights indescribable.”

This is the absolute prime time to journey through the Green Mountain State with R&J Tours! Vermont is a unique and special place, especially along the back roads, in the villages and small hamlets where quality of life and being a good neighbor is a priority. It is a place of mystical mountains, rolling hills, green valleys, picturesque farms, scenic rivers and color. The autumn woods run the entire color spectrum from the blazing reds of the maples, the yellows of birch and beech to the violets of the ever present mountain backgrounds. But it’s the Charming Villages that bring it all together and give life and character to a pace and time we all so fondly remember.

Join us as we explore the Charming Villages of Vermont!

Day 1 – Home to Lansing, IL

A travel day thru beautiful Wisconsin to Lansing, IL will begin our adventure to the charming villages of Vermont. Coffee & lunch breaks are planned along the way. Dinner will be on your own.

Hotel: Holiday Inn Express of Lansing


Day 2 – Lansing to Erie, PA

Travel day across Indiana & Ohio today where the scenery & color begins to intensify east of Cleveland as we journey along Lake Erie into NW Pennsylvania. Coffee & lunch breaks will be enjoyed at convenient Turnpike Travel Plazas. Dinner will be on your own.

Included Meals: Breakfast

Hotel: Holiday Inn Express – Erie, PA


Day 3 – Erie to Bennington, VT

Today we will travel one of the most scenic stretches of interstate in the country, I-86 & I-88 across southern New York. This seldom traveled section of freeway will be a colorful and awesome introduction to the days ahead. Our entry into Vermont and the Village of Bennington is a pleasant preview of what is in store. Our “Welcome to Vermont” dinner will be at the historic Bennington Station.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Hotel: Hampton Inn – Bennington (2 nights)


Day 4 – Bennington

After breakfast at our lovely hotel, we have a fitting start to our adventure at the Vermont Covered Bridge Museum. Then traveling the streets of this classic Vermont “city” takes us by the impressive Bennington Battle Monument to the Historic Bennington Pottery for a self-guided tour. A beautiful Vermont drive takes us to Manchester, a summer resort area since the Civil War and we’ll see why when the world famous Equinox Resort comes in view. Next is a very privileged visit to Hildene, the Lincoln family home of Robert Todd Lincoln, son of Abe Lincoln. This ancestral home sits on a promontory with breathtaking views of the Vermont landscape. Here we enjoy an included light lunch with our hosts. Taking the back roads we journey to the Sugar Shack in Arlington, which features the setting and personalities for most of Norman Rockwell’s classic Saturday Evening Post art. The setting for dinner this evening is the prestigious Mt. Anthony Club with the best view of the Green Mountains.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Backroads: Hwy 7 & Old Hwy 7

Villages: Bennington, Manchester Depot, Manchester, Arlington, Shaftsbury & North Bennington

Hotel: Hampton Inn – Bennington

 

Day 5 – Bennington to White River Junction, VT

Breakfast at our hotel begins another day in autumn paradise. Before leaving Bennington, we visit the incredible Bennington Museum where we experience a definite highlight of the trip, the Grandma Moses Gallery! Next we travel legendary Highway 100 through the Green Mountains and picturesque Vermont villages on our way to Weston, a mountain crossroads village that embodies all we envision when we think “Villages of Vermont.” Weston is home to the world reknowned Vermont Country Store, Vermont’s number one nostalgia outlet. The oval common is shaded with majestic maples that surround the village bandstand. Don’t miss the old mill on the bubbling mountain stream that runs through town. Lunch is on your own in this magical place with many old fashioned options. Next comes Chester, “hometown Vermont.” Dinner is at the Fullerton Inn: Offering classic Vermont hospitality dating back to the 1860’s.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Back roads: Hwy 9, Hwy 100 & Hwy 11

Villages: Wilmington, West Dover, Wardsboro, Londonderry, Weston & Chester

Hotel: Hampton Inn, White River Junction (2 nights)


Day 6 – White River Junction

Viewing a map of Vermont, distances look formidable until we realize that it’s really not very far from place to place. We’ll travel only about 80 miles today with so much to see and do. Traveling south along the Connecticut River, we arrive in Windsor and the Simon Pearce Glass Blowers. At the little crossroads of Downers we discover a wonderful covered bridge – Have your cameras ready – Here is another classic photo op! You’ll love the little hamlet of Cavendish, it is like a movie set. Note the unique Village Fire Station and intriguing roof lines of the Victorian homes. As we enter Ludlow, the ski capital of Vermont, we’ll be captivated by the artfully designed church across the street from the flag adorned bandstand in the village square. Then we motor by beautiful Echo Lake and the village of Tyson, on our way to Plymouth Notch and the birthplace of Pres. Calvin Coolidge. This historic village is virtually unchanged from the early 1900’s and is a fascinating step back to a time gone by. The Florence Cilley General Store is a favorite of visitors and our included village lunch at The Wilder House will have you wondering when Pres. Coolidge will step through the door! Next the village of prestigious Woodstock lies ahead. Relaxful time is given to enjoy the Billings Farm Museum, a “Gateway to Vermont’s Rural Heritage.” A trip to central Vermont isn’t complete without viewing the spectacular Quechee Gorge. You will look down 163 feet to the cascading waters of the Ottauquechee River framed in stunning fall color. Afterwards an included dinner is served at Firestones, one of the warmest and coziest places you’ll ever experience.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Back roads: Hwys 5, 131, 103, 100, 100A & Hwy 4

Villages: Windsor, Ascutney, Downers, Cavendish, Proctorsville, Ludlow, Tyson, Plymouth Union, Plymouth Notch, Bridgewater, Woodstock & White River Junction

Hotel: Hampton Inn – White River Junction


Day 7 – White River Junction to St. Johnsbury, VT

You may only want to have a lite breakfast at the hotel this morning because our very first stop is King Arthur Flour & The Baker’s Store in Norwich. Baking tools, ingredients and knowledge is the byline of this world-famous baking store. The bakery goods selection is irresistible and the coffee aroma compelling. When our appetites are satisfied, we depart on a scenic morning drive that takes us along the Connecticut River to Bradford, VT and a favorite stop for many traveling this area, The Farm Way store. Now prepare yourself; You want back roads and villages? Here they are! We travel to East Corinth and East Topsham, two of Vermont’s most photographed villages. You’ll have some time to explore and get pictures then journey on to Groton, another intriguing little gem before we make our way to Cabot. Included lunch is at Butter’s Restaurant. It doesn’t get any more “locally owned and operated” than this. Following lunch we make our way to Cabot Creamery, just a few steps away, for a guided tour and an opportunity to shop for their world-famous Vermont Cheese. Cabot Creamery is one of the most visited sites in all of Vermont. Now on to St. Johnsbury, the heart of what Vermonter’s proudly call The Northeast Kingdom. We are privileged to visit the world class Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium in the quaint downtown of St. Johnsbury. Our dinner this evening will be another genuine Vermont experience at a locally favorite place to dine in St. Johnsbury before we settle in at the beautiful Comfort Suites of St. Johnsbury.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Backroads: Hwy 5, Hwy 25, Village Rd, Hwy 232, Hwy 215 & Hwy 2

Villages: Norwich, Thetford, Bradford, East Corinth, East Topsham, Groton, Cabot, Danville & St. Johnsbury

Hotel: Comfort Inn & Suites of St. Johnsbury


Day 8 – St. Johnsbury to Stowe, VT

Vermont is famous for its maple syrup and we experience the very best of this at the Bragg Family Farm and Sugarhouse. They will explain how their awesome maple syrup is fashioned over traditional wood fires. This is the place to select the version of syrup you prefer but make sure you don’t leave without their homemade cookies! Now our adventure takes us through the city of Barre to the Rock of Ages Quarry. Witness a granite quarry nearly 600’ deep and watch factory artisans ply their trade. Next we visit Montpelier, with 8,000 residents, it is the smallest capitol city in America and the only one without a McDonalds. We’ll make a stop in the heart of downtown for lunch on your own at one of the many sandwich shops and a chance to view the beautiful State Capitol Building before we journey on to Waterbury. This is no time to contemplate diets as we are stopping at Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory for a tour and ice cream treats. Just on up the road is Cold Hollow Cider Mill. Here is another wildly popular family road stop featuring fresh apples, Vermont cheese, their legendary cider donuts, and viewing their cider making. But the best is still ahead as we make our way up a gentle winding mountain road to the Trapp Family Lodge. This gracious European styled mountain retreat is located at the original homestead of the von Trapp family. Famously chronicled in the musical “Sound of Music,” the von Trapp Family has been welcoming guests here since 1938. Experience Vermont hospitality at its best at this dreamlike resort lodge overlooking the magical mountain landscape only Vermont and this location can offer. We dine this evening in the relaxed luxury & comfort of the lodge dining room overlooking the valley below. This evening view “The Real Maria” story in the lodge theatre while still having time to stroll the retreat pathways.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Exquisite Dinner

Back roads: Hwys 2 & 100

Villages: Danville, Marshfield, Graniteville, E. Montpelier, Montpelier, Waterbury & Stowe

Hotel: Trapp Family Lodge – Stowe


Day 9 – Stowe to Williston, VT

Watch the sunrise over the mountains this morning as you experience a “breakfast-of-a-lifetime” in the exquisite lodge dining room. Enjoy a relaxed morning in this incomparable setting before we continue our journey. This is another day of unsurpassed vistas as we travel through the Vermont countryside and wind our way down the mountainside to the classic village of Stowe. Stowe is the most famous and widely recognized village in all of Vermont. Stowe has it all: charming village streets, country stores, classic Victorian inns, and white spired churches. Just about every magazine and brochure you’ve ever seen on Vermont features this picturesque town. Next an amazing Vermont experience awaits us – A guided tour of Shelburne Farms, a 1400 acre working farm & National Historic Landmark with a spectacular landscape set along the banks of Lake Champlain. A few of the farm’s highlights include the amazing 1880’s Farm Barn, the Dairy, the 24-room Shelburne Inn, the Carriage Barn, and the Estate Gardens. Farm products, including their very own farmhouse cheddar, are available. Then we’re off to Burlington, Vermont’s largest city and home to the University of Vermont. Burlington has an almost seaside feel. Here we board the Spirit of Ethan Allen III for a delightful dinner cruise on beautiful Lake Champlain and witness the sunset over the mountain horizons.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Back roads: Hwys 100 & 2

Villages: Stowe, Richmond, Shelburne, Williston & Burlington

Hotel: Fairfield Inn of Williston

 

Day 10 – Williston to Lake George, NY

Enjoy breakfast as we contemplate our last full day in this beautiful setting. We start our day at Shelburne Museum – One of the nation’s finest, most diverse, and unconventional museums of Americana. Thirty nine exhibition buildings set in a village on 45 very relaxing acres. Degas, quilts, tools, toys, gardens, Ansel Adams photography, Steamship Ticonderoga, covered bridges, and so much more. Enjoy lunch at your leisure in their inviting village café. This promises to be an experience unlike you’ve ever had. Just “down the road a piece” is Shelburne Vineyard & Winery where you can stroll the vineyard of this state of the art winery that is internationally recognized with its award winning wines. Following our Shelburne adventures we visit the Vermont Teddy Bear Factory for a guided tour and of course their well stocked gift store. This afternoon we travel more back roads south through Morgan horse country to Middlebury, another classic Vermont village. Just when you think there can’t be any more unique dining experiences, we find the Fire & Ice Restaurant. This is not so much a restaurant as a dine-in museum with its stained glass and mahogany nooks, library, and 1921 Hackercraft Motorboat that serves as a salad bar! The unusual name was inspired by a Robert Frost poem. You will love this place! Then we travel our last few miles of Vermont countryside as we make our way to Lake George, New York and our restful home this evening, the Hampton Inn.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Back Roads: Hwys 7, 30 & 4

Villages: Shelburne, Ferrisburgh, Vergennes, Middlebury, Whiting, Sudbury & Fair Haven

Hotel: Hampton Inn – Lake George, NY


Day 11 – Lake George to Erie, PA

While our Vermont villages begin to fade behind us, we still have many autumn vistas to enjoy. The New York countryside, river valleys, and villages still have much to offer us today as we begin our journey back to Minnesota. We’ll travel some of the back roads of this beautiful state before we join I-90 on our way to Erie, PA. Lunch & dinner on your own today.

Meals: Breakfast

Hotel: Holiday Express, Erie, PA


Day 12 – Erie to St. Charles, IL

Travel by interstate across Ohio & Indiana to St. Charles, IL. Dinner is included this evening.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Hotel: Hampton Inn of St. Charles


Day 13 – St. Charles to Home

Our journey concludes today as we motor across Wisconsin to our lovely home state of Minnesota.

Meals: Breakfast

 

Motorcoach Per Person Pricing Information

Double: $2,699
Single: $3,749
Triple: $2,549
Quad: $2,399

Motorcoach Travel Protection Per Person

Double: $163
Single: $240

Travel Bucks

$40 Travel Bucks per person earned with this tour

Deposit Due

$100 deposit per person due at time of reservation. Full payment due 30 days prior to depart.

Passport Needed

No

Tour Pace

Light to Moderate Walking

Price Includes

24 Included Meals, Hotels & Activities as stated in brochure, Luxury Motorcoach



The average temperature while R&J is visiting is 66°
Travel with R & J Tours to a warm destination where it is...
45°
Minneapolis, Mn
59°
Charming Villages of Vermont Backroads Tour (FULL: Call for Waitlist!)
Motorcoach Departure Date:
09/27/2013
Motorcoach Return Date:
10/09/2013

Make a Reservation Online

Tour Highlights

* Fall colors - impossible to describe.
* A true back roads experience
* Exquisite dining in classic Vermont Inns
* Covered Bridges & Museums
* Village general stores
* Hildene Lincoln Family Home
* Bennington Pottery
* The Sugar Shack featuring Norman Rockwell
* Bennington Museum
* The Grandma Moses Gallery
* Village of Weston & The Vermont Country Store
* Simon Pearce Glass
* Ludlow & Woodstock, VT
* Pres. Coolidge Historic Village
* Billings Farm Museum
* Quechee Gorge
* King Arthur Flour
* Farm Way
* Cabot Creamery
* Fairfield Museum
* Rock of Ages Tour
* Bragg Farm & Sugar House
* Montpelier & State Capitol
* Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream tour
* Cold Hollow Cider Mill
* Trapp Family Lodge
* Village of Stowe, VT
* Lake Champlain Dinner Cruise
* Shelburne Farms
* Shelburne Museum & Winery Vineyard
* Vermont Teddy Bear Company
* Fire & Ice Restaurant



Travel with R & J Tours to a warm destination where it is...
45°
Minneapolis, Mn
59°
Charming Villages of Vermont Backroads Tour (FULL: Call for Waitlist!)
The average temperature while R&J is visiting is 66°
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