By Edward Kiersh
Here in November golf is a distant memory but there is Julia Ceasar, bars teeming with young people, edgy art galleries, and if all else fails, a windswept stroll along Lake Champlain. Julia and her two cohorts were found in an art gallery blasting Southern rock, and enchanting radio listeners all the way to Canada and southern Vermont. Their soulful music was enough to make one forget what was happening in the halls of Washington D.C. power, and their innocent smiles were radiant enough to search for their podcasts.
Burlington is a hub of artistic activity, a place to visit even if the golf is miles distant. There are dozens of inviting restaurants here, and the University of Vermont is a picturesque expanse that is certainly worth a visit.
The most vaunted breakfast place is Skinny Pancake, filled with mouth-watering crepes and rich coffees from around the world. After a hearty breakfast of crepes and bacon with a delicious coating of Vermont maple syrup, it was on to wind-blown Lake Champlain for glorious vistas.
Standing on deserted beaches without the bustle of summer tourists is exhilarating, a way to really feel and capture the moment. It’s exhilarating possible to hear the crunch of leaves underfoot, to appreciate god gray clouds overhead, and to be alone with oneself—much like the solitude on a golf course late in the afternoon. Small agricultural towns dot the coastline, lots of abandoned farm buildings and of course, streams of cows.
In St. Albans a lone golfer walked off the 18th hole dismayed that he had finished his round before the rains whipped up on this last day before the course closed for the year. He smiled appreciatively and packed his clubs, happy that life was treating him well.
From there it was on to Woodstock, Vermont a classic New England town with white churches and small inns with candles burning in the windows. On this night a group of seven women were holding a torchlight vigil in a park calling for peace and respect for the US Constitution. They were indifferent to the cold and outspoken in their current outrage. Their discordant voices were in stark comparison to the idyllic aura of this town, a gem known for a Robert Trent Jones course and the Woodstock Inn, a place where the glowing fireplace serves as a beacon for many knowledgeable travelers.
Vermont, where the golf season is agonizingly too short but still a land that must be visited. Here there are country markets crammed with maple syrup, honey and roaring fireplaces. Small inns with cozy rooms and not to be missed farm to table menus.
Beautiful Lake Champlain, the gateway to small islands and to adventure. Dynamic Burlington with all its cafes, live music venues, tech start-up companies, art galleries and young vibe.
Okemo, Killington and Stratton, mountain areas that are dotted with golf courses and winterized with fabulous cross-country ski trails. White steepled churches in almost every all-Americana small town waiting to be discovered.
The Northshire bookshop in Manchester where a warren of rooms is chock full of books and Christmas stocking fillers. Beer, beer and more beer from artisanal producers.
The friendliest people knowing they live someplace special and are eager to welcome visitors looking for warmth and good cheer.
Vermont, a real America seemingly unspoiled by modern ills, a green belt happily stuck in a beatific past that means the best of life and navigating your own highway.
Hacking around at the U.S. Hickory Open Golf Championship
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