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Ausable Chasm to Burlington via Charlotte: Any Attractions?

Brooklyn, New York
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Ausable Chasm to Burlington via Charlotte: Any Attractions?

Hi,

We (3 female friends in our 20s) will be staying in Burlington Oct 3 & 4. For Oct 3 we've planned a day of biking and shopping at the Church St Marketplace as we'll be staying at the Burlington Hilton but we've rented a car for Oct 4 and want to make the most of our second day there.

Our plan is to take the 10:50 AM Burlington ferry to Fort Kent NY and visit Ausable Chasm, then head south to Essex NY as we've heard that the Essex-Charlotte crossing is more scenic (and arrives more frequently, as we are short on time).

We would like to see some foliage / nature (it's our understanding that Oct 4 is a bit early for the Burlington region) and some local flavor such as farmer's markets and craft fairs (but are having difficulty finding such places on Thurs Oct 4)

Aside for the museum in Shelburne, are there any other interesting attractions along the way or a little bit out of the way?

We will be leaving Ausable Chasm at 1:30 PM and plan on returning the car rental at BTV at 6:30 PM to take a 7:30 PM flight (is it ok to arrive only 1 hour before the flight?). So what can we squeeze into those 5 hours?

Thanks in advance for your help!

PS We are also open to visiting a different region than Ausable Chasm but we aren't really "hikers" (we are not afraid of physical exertion but admittedly, we are clueless city slickers)... if there are even better views to be seen via an easy to moderate hike near Burlington VT, please let us know. We are also open to doing the Grand Isle crossing if it will yield us better views and local attractions.

Burlington, Vermont
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1. Re: Ausable Chasm to Burlington via Charlotte: Any Attractions?

There's the Vermont Teddy Bear Factory just down the road from Shelburne Museum, but it's pretty commercial, IMHO, and unless you're a devout teddy bear enthusiast, likely not of interest to adults.

The Rokeby Museum is a very small but fascinating place for history buffs, also just south of Shelburne.

http://www.rokeby.org/

Your ferry plan makes sense, the Port Kent crossing is gorgeous across the broad lake, the Charlotte ferry is a very short 15 minute scenic cross. However, be aware that the Charlotte ferry is just one boat, so it has just one departure time on either side of the lake....on the hour from Charlotte, on the half hour from Essex. Miss it by one minute, and you'll wait an hour for the next departure.

You'll probably be okay getting to the airport one hour ahead of flight time if you are doing carry-on...but if you're checking bags, forget it. That said, I fly out of BTV all the time, and I've seen MANY a passenger cut it too close hoping the security line would be short, and then get caught in the line and miss their flight. My recommendation: don't do it. 90 minutes before flight is my m.o.

Edited: 30 September 2012, 12:20
Burlington, Vermont
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2. Re: Ausable Chasm to Burlington via Charlotte: Any Attractions?

I stand corrected: Charlotte-Essex runs 2 boats every half hour during parts of the day.

Check the schedule at ferries.com/crossing-schedule-rates/charlott…

Brooklyn, New York
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3. Re: Ausable Chasm to Burlington via Charlotte: Any Attractions?

Thanks!

The only reason I've excluded the Shelburne Museum in the initial post is because I was aware of it... so what is your view of the museum for adults?

Now that we are updating our plans to arrive at the airport at 6 PM, we have a much tighter schedule. We were actually trying to fit 2 attractions in, such as the museum and perhaps pick your own apples at Shelburne orchards... but we will only have 3 hours in Shelburne now.

We are still disappointed that there are no fairs or farmers' markets as we wanted to pick up some maple syrup, organic soaps, and perhaps some produce. Any local shops / stands worth visiting along that stretch?

Finally, we are taking the 10:50 AM ferry in the morning simply because the 8:10 is too early and there is nothing in between... so would it make sense to leave at 9 or 9:30 and head north to the Grand Isle crossing? We'd be willing to give up our Burlington crossing if we could find nice foliage up north (maybe a quick stop at a farm stand or scenic view on either side) and because it will help us maximize the time we have...

Vermont
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4. Re: Ausable Chasm to Burlington via Charlotte: Any Attractions?

Hinesburg has a farmers market on Thursdays. Thats not too far out of your way. Especially if you do the Essex/Charlotte ferry. You could swing over to Hinesburg on your way to the airport. Its a small market tho and it starts at 3:30. Right in town at the Community Church. If noone has syrup there you can run into Lantman's Store and get some. Keep in mind you'll have to pack it in your suitcase for your flight as they won't let you carry it on.

OH WAIT. I just looked at their website and says it runs through September. But maybe they'll have one Oct 3? May be worth an email or call:

http://www.hinesburglionsfarmersmarket.org/

If that is closed, the local orchards are all open. Many orchards also sell produce, syrup etc. Shelburne Orchard would be close to the Charlotte Ferry.

http://www.shelburneorchards.com/

Vermont
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5. Re: Ausable Chasm to Burlington via Charlotte: Any Attractions?

For foliage you'll have to east north and east - Stowe should have GREAT foliage next week. I was there yesterday and its not at peak yet. Next week should be AWESOME.

The areas along the lake have early foliage right now - its warmer here than the mountains so our foliage always comes later - like mid Oct.

Ormond Beach...
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6. Re: Ausable Chasm to Burlington via Charlotte: Any Attractions?

Another ferry you can consider is the Platsburg NY - Grand Isle VT crossing. It's ~15 minutes as well and runs both ways every ~20 min. The drive back to Burlington from Grand Isle is ~30 min.... maybe 5-10 min more than Charlotte to BTV, but a nice drive IMO.

Agree that Stowe's foliage will be excellent next week. Jericho/Underhill will likely be near peak too - a bit closer to BTV if time is short.

Brooklyn, New York
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7. Re: Ausable Chasm to Burlington via Charlotte: Any Attractions?

Thanks everyone!!

8. Re: Ausable Chasm to Burlington via Charlotte: Any Attractions?

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