History Abounds on our Southern Vermont Bike Tour
One of the biggest points of emphasis on a VBT vacation is to make sure our travelers experience and learn as much about the history of their destination as possible. Although Vermont is a small state, it has a rich history. Guests on our Southern Vermont bike tour will experience some of that history during visits to the homestead of U.S. President Calvin Coolidge, a maple sugaring house, a National Historic Park, a village constructed from granite (that is on the National Register of Historic Places), and one of America’s longest continuously-operated inns.
Birthplace of a President
Despite being the nation’s second least-populous state, two U.S. Presidents were born in Vermont. On this biking tour you’ll pedal to Calvin Coolidge’s birth place, located in the sleepy town of Plymouth Notch. We’ll spend the morning touring the homestead and learn that what makes President Coolidge’s childhood home so special, is that he was actually sworn in here as America’s 30th President on August 3, 1923—after the sudden death of President Harding. Imagine becoming President in the living room of your childhood home!
Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park
Another memorable day is spent discovering Vermont’s only unit of the U.S. National Parks System (other than the part of the Appalachian Trail that runs through the state), the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park. Use some of your free time to walk along the carriage trails of the property and then head to the park’s visitor center and the Billings Farm & Museum. You’ll learn how three different families conserved the forest and ran a sustainable dairy farm here for generations. Admission into the park is included in the price of you tour.
Quintessential Vermont: Granite & Maple Syrup
One of the best rides on this tour will take you through North Chester’s Stone Village. Located along VT-103, and named to the National Register of Historic Places, the stone houses at Chester Depot are a community of homes built from locally-sourced Vermont granite. As the nation’s largest maple syrup producer, we’d be remiss not to mention this integral industry’s place in Vermont history. We’ll cycle to a “sugar house,” where we’ll learn how maple syrup is made. Although the sap won’t be running during the cycling season, our visit here is sure to be illuminating, as we’ll see how the sticky sap is transformed into various grades of syrup and other maple products. We’ll also have the opportunity to purchase a tasty souvenir.
Travelers will spend the first two nights of this tour at The Grafton Inn, one of America’s oldest continuously-operating inns, which opened in 1801. Located in Grafton, Vermont, the inn is a member of Historic Hotels of America. If you want to come a little early to see more of Vermont on your own, opt for our pre-trip extension in Norwich. You’ll stay in the historic Norwich Inn that dates back over 200 years. Established in 1797, the inn consists of three separate buildings—the Main Inn, Ivy Lodge and Walker House—and offers 38 guest rooms with a range of amenities. The inn is also home to Jasper Murdock’s Alehouse, a pub and on-site brewery that produces award-winning, English-style ales from hops grown in the adjacent garden. We have yet another presidential tie on this itinerary as President Monroe enjoyed a meal at the inn in 1817 during a tour of New England on horseback.
These are just some examples of the historical attractions you’ll visit on our Biking Southern Vermont: A New England Idyll biking tour, one of VBT’s four tours in our home state. If you would like to reserve a vacation or speak with one of our Tour Consultants, please call 800-245-3868 or fill out this form and we’ll contact you shortly to complete your reservation. They are available Monday-Friday from 8:30am to 6:30pm EST and Saturdays from 10:00am to 3:00pm EST.