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Cycling Highlights of VBT’s Biking Tours in New England

While New England may be known for its harsh winters, our summers and falls are the stuff of legend. Whether cruising along the quaint shores of Massachusetts or Maine, or discovering the rolling hills and pristine lakes of Vermont, our home state, there are miles and miles of amazing riding to be done on VBT’s New England tours. Of course there’s also plenty to do off your bike on a VBT tour as we carefully select charming inns, delectable meals, and exciting activities designed to provide the perfect window into local life. Check out some cycling highlights on our 5 New England cycling tours.

The Island Line Bike Path
found on our Vermont: Champlain Valley & Islands
Island Line Trail, vermont
In the town of South Hero, located on Grand Isle—the largest of the Champlain Islands—we’ll board the Island Line Bike FerryBike Ferry for a short cruise with our bikes across “the cut”, a gap in the causeway between South Hero and Colchester. Once we hop back on our bikes we’ll be treated to unparalleled views of the Adirondacks and the Green Mountains alike as we literally bike across Lake Champlain on a rail trail built on a causeway, and head straight into Burlington.

Cycling to Jordan Pond
found on our Maine Coast: Purely Acadia
IMG_7521Taking a quiet ride on Acadia’s famed car-free carriage roads is our favorite way to see the park. During your loop, we recommend stopping for lunch at the Jordan Pond House, which has an outdoor dining area that overlooks Jordan Pond, the Bubbles, and a field of wild blueberries—be sure to pick some if they’re in season! The specialties at the Jordan Pond House are their famous lobster stew and golden lighter-than-air popovers.

Scenic Windsor County
found on Biking Southern Vermont: A New England Idyll​
The Inn at Waters Edge
We’ll trace VT-103 and pedal past North Chester’s Stone Village—on the National Register of Historic Places—a community of homes built from locally-sourced granite. Afterwards, enjoy riding along the Williams River before heading east over the Springfield Dam and stopping for a picnic lunch at Stoughton Pond, the perfect setting for a mid-day chill-out. We continue cycling to the Inn at Water’s Edge where we reward ourselves by relaxing on a rocking chair overlooking Echo Lake.

The Aquinnah Cliffs
found on our Cape Cod & Martha’s Vineyard​
Aquinah Cliffs
On the final full day of this tour, we’ll ride along scenic island roads to the western side of Martha’s Vineyard to check out the breathtaking Aquinnah cliffs. Perhaps the best-known natural feature of the vineyard, the brilliantly colored cliffs at Aquinnah are a mile long and are sprinkled with tropical fossils. The Aquinnah lighthouse stands atop the cliffs, creating a very dramatic view, and the beaches below are a delightful spot to picnic and swim.

Cycling Western Addison County
found on Classic Vermont
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On this tour we’ll spend a terrific day cycling along the gently rolling farm fields of Addison County that offer panoramic views of the Green Mountains and the Adirondacks. Stops along the way include the town of Panton, the Chimney Point Historic Site, the Champlain Bridge, and the apple orchards that line Lake Street. As you may surmise by its name, the road that will lead us back to our hotel for the night is full of both lake and mountainside vistas.

These are just some examples of the great rides that you’ll enjoy on our biking vacations in New England. If you would like to reserve a vacation—do so by July 31st and save up to $150!—or to speak with one of our Tour Consultants, please call 800-245-3868 or visit www.vbt.com. They are available Monday-Friday from 8:30am to 6:30pm EST and Saturdays from 10:00am to 3:00pm EST.

Step in to the Wyoming Wilderness in Style at the Old Faithful Inn in Yellowstone National Park

OFI an Old Faithful

One of the oft-overlooked aspects of an active vacation is the experience you’ll have off the road, walking path or ski trail. At the end of an adventure filled day we want our guests to slip in to the lap of luxury. A delicious meal, a few laughs with some new friends over a drink, a toasty fire to unwind near and an inviting, comfortable bed to rest up for the next day’s experiences. One of our favorite accommodations is featured on our new Yellowstone & Grand Teton: Walking America’s Wilderness vacation and where guests will stay on their last night, the iconic Old Faithful Inn.

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Construction
The Old Faithful Inn is a rustic-style lodge, with a log and wood shingle exterior in close proximity to the world famous 736px-OldFaithfulInnLobby1904FJHaynesOld Faithful Geyser in the heart of Yellowstone National Park.  Initial construction on the Inn began in the fall of 1903 to replace the Upper Geyser Basin Hotel which had burned down. Robert Reamer, a 29 year old architect known for designing train depots, was hired to design the new lodge.  Reamer’s enormous vision was inspired by the rustic camps of the Adirondacks, just on a much grander scale, as the seven-story log and frame lobby is quite unique in American architecture.  Most of the building materials used, including lodge pole pine and rhyolite stone, were found within a 5 mile radius of the Inn and a temporary sawmill was built to assist in the log preparation. When the Old Faithful Inn first opened in the spring of 1904, it boasted electric lights and steam heat. 

Famous Features
The Old Faithful Inn, a designated National Historic Landmark, is one of the few remaining log hotels in the United States and is the largest of its kind in the world. The Inn is a masterpiece of rustic architecture with its unique design and fine craftsmanship and has even hosted six presidents and all Three Stooges. Its influence on American architecture, particularly park architecture, was immeasurable due to the use of natural materials to create a feeling of high-style Old Faithful Inn Lobby.rusticity. In fact, in 2007 the American Institute of Architects conducted a survey to determine the 150 favorite buildings in America and the Old Faithful Inn ranked 36. Recently the Inn was featured on Travel + Leisure’s list of Great National Park Lodges.

Of course the most famous “feature” of the inn is its location within Yellowstone National Park.  At a mere eighth of a mile from the most famous geyser in the world, guests can use the viewing platform on the porch’s roof to see Old Faithful’s eruptions , while the front of the Inn faces Geyser Hill across the Firehole River. But let’s get back to the Inn itself. The century-old heart of the inn, known as the “Old House,” features a cavernous 7-story lobby with a handmade copper, wood and wrought iron clock and an 85-foot stone fireplace in the center -classic examples of the “Golden Age” of rustic resort architecture. Guests can stand in the middle of the lobby and look up at the exposed structure, or climb up a gnarled log staircase to one of the balconies and look up, down, or across. Visitors could even climb up to the roof via the staircases before the 1959 earthquake damaged the hotel. In the lobby, you’ll enjoy relaxing by the magnificent fireplace or take in the sunset on one of the giant porches with spectacular views

Old Faithful Inn exterior.

Modern Day
Despite its 109 year history, the Old Faithful Inn features many modern amenities complimenting its rustic charm, making it an attractive place to stay and not simply visit. It remains the most requested hotel in all of Yellowstone Park and the east and west wings where the rooms are, built in the 1920’s, have been remodeled in recent years. The Old_Faithful_Inn_interior_wideGeyserside premium rooms look out on the geyser basin, and include one or two queen beds.  There is also a full service dining room as well as the Bear Pit Lounge, where guests can enjoy appetizers and drinks while discussing the day with friends. A deli, gift store and interpretive tours are also available at the Inn.

We are very excited to share this new Yellowstone & Grand Teton: Walking America’s Wilderness vacation with you. We hope learning a bit more about this gorgeous lodge piques your interest and you know that while you’ll spend your days in the vast Wyoming wilderness, you’ll have wonderful accommodations waiting for you at days end, as with all VBT vacations. To learn more about this vacation please visit the tour page on our website.

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