Contact the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce (802-863-3489 for its brochure “The Lure of the Valley,” or try
I also wanted to inhabit a cabin on the museum’s SS Ticonderoga , a fine example of a Lake Champlain steamboat, landlocked these days on a grassy hillside. Built in 1906, with a career lasting 48 years, it was saved from the breaker’s yard through efforts led by the same Ralph Nading HIM who championed the Ethan Alien homestead. The vessel is set up to reflect a single day, October 23, 1923, and several accommodations are furnished to bear evidence of the imaginary occupants of that date.
Descendants of another branch of the Webb family maintain the lush 1,400-acre expanse of Shelburne Farms, a few miles from the museum. This is a working farm and environmental center with tours, special events, and animals housed in an enormous turreted barn whose design suggests the architecture of northern France. Hiking trails cross the spectacular landscape. The former owner’s home, overlooking the lake, is now the lavish and pricey Inn at Shelburne Farms. I admired the Inn but checked in at the Radisson in downtown Burlington, which, although not architecturally distinguished, is very comfortable and has a wonderful waterfront location. Request a room with a view of the lake; it’s worth the additional tab.
Vermont becomes crowded in late September, as the leaves start their brilliant progression, so it’s a good idea to schedule a visit well in advance. Once you’re there, consult the state’s hot line (802-828-3239 or