- Where to Go
- The Best of Vermont
- Rumblings of Revolution
- New, New England Dining
- Boston’s Artistic Expression
- Vermont Leaf Peeping
- Into the Wild
- Vermont Skiing at Its Best
- Visit Vermont’s Maple Sugar Shacks
- Connecticut for Kids
- Vermont’s Covered Bridges
- A Shore Thing
- Vermont with Kids
- Portland Maine Art Galleries
- Small-Town Flavor
- Connecticut’s Wine Trails
- New Hampshire’s Farmers Markets
- A Weekend of Vermont Art
- Family Matters
- Maine Wilderness Camps
- Vermont Cheddar Houses
- Connecticut Spas
A short detour off the Mohawk Trail, this delightful village feels stranded in time. Actually the meeting place of two towns—Shelburne and Buckland—the town is a curious blend of old-time Americana and enlightened headquarters for artisans and craftspeople. Its main street is lined with owner-occupied shops and diners, and crawling with teenagers who, aside from the Slipknot T-shirts and low-rise shorts, might have stepped out of an Archie comic.
The main attraction in town is the so-called Bridge of Flowers, a once-blighted trolley bridge that was transformed by the local women’s club in 1928. Now the 400-foot span is a linear garden full of more than 300 varieties of flowering plants, with some trees a dozen feet high.
The town’s other main attraction is a natural one—underneath Salmon Falls the “glacial potholes” are a lunar landscape of holes up to 40 feet wide, formed by the swirling action of little stones during the last ice age. While not open for swimming, they make for picturesque viewing.
Modern arts and crafts can be found at the many artisan shops in Shelburne Falls. At Young Constantin & Associates Glass (4 Deerfield Ave., 866/625-6422, http://yandcglass.com/), you can watch artisans blow and shape stained-glass vases and ornaments in a blast furnace before purchasing them next door.
By the glacial potholes, Mole Hollow Candles (3 Deerfield Ave., 877/226-3537, www.molehollowcandles.com) sells foot-long tapers and votive candles, as it has for more than 30 years.
Bridge Street Cafe (65 Bridge St., 413/625-6345, $5–9) offers home-style cooking in a cute country kitchen, with vinyl floral tablecloths and black-and-white photos on the wall.
Slightly more formal, The Shire Restaurant (2 State St., 413/625-2727, $13–19) serves blackened chicken sandwiches and portabella parmigiana on an outdoor deck overlooking the Bridge of Flowers.
Sure, there are snacks, but go for the beer (and more beer) at Moan and Dove (460 West St., 413/256-1710, Mon.–Fri. 3 p.m.–1 a.m. Mon.–Fri.; 1 p.m.–1 a.m. Sat.–Sun., $9–21), home of more on-tap selections than you can shake a bottle at.
Meanwhile, those who proudly claim membership to the cult of the popover will find utter bliss at Judie’s Restaurant (51 North Pleasant St., 413/253-3491, 11:30 a.m.–10 p.m. Sun.–Fri., 11:30 a.m.–11 p.m. Sat., $14–22, www.judiesrestaurant.com). The funky, centrally located spot (overlooking downtown square) serves sandwiches, light daily specials, homemade soups, and (of course) killer popovers at hand-painted tables—and on the way out, sells apple butter and poppy seed salad dressings, to boot.
© Michael Blanding and Alexandra Hall from Moon New England, 2nd Edition