Don’t Miss Warren

Warren Town SignBe careful when driving through Warren, Vermont. If you don’t know what you are looking for, you

could just miss one of Vermont’s original classic villages.  To get there, you must take route 100, a curvy, hilly road that sticks close to Vermont’s rivers and mountain valleys, and is also known as one of the most scenic drives in all of New England. Watch out, the Warren Village sign is your only reminder to change course towards town. Once in town, Warren Village welcomes visitors with a timeless atmosphere and many outdoor recreation opportunities, certain to make you feel like a kid again.

Throughout the 19th century, Warren was a lumber and grain milling center. The mills produced everything from wooden bowls to shingles and exported most products to southern New England. You can experience this 19th century history by visiting many of the original town buildings. There are over 75 buildings and sites in all that are a part of the Warren Historic District. Start your tour in the center of Warren Village, on the hill that houses the Warren United Church. The church dates back to 1838 and is a good viewpoint of the rest of town. Be sure to also include: the 1867 schoolhouse (now the Municipal Building and Library), the Village Cemetery of 1826, and the Warren House Hotel (1840) which is now the town’s general store. Although this building has a new purpose, it is still the center of village activity.

The Warren Store is a Must-Stop for local specialties, exotic clothes, and friendly chatter.

The Warren Store is a Must-Stop for local specialties, exotic clothes, and friendly chatter.

After you have enjoyed the classic ambiance of Warren Village’s rich history, you can move on to Warren’s outdoor amusements. On your way out of the village, though, don’t miss Warren’s unusual covered bridge. The Lincoln Gap Bridge, built in 1879-80, is a queenpost type covered bridge; unusual in how the two portals differ, meaning that the entrance extends farther than the exit. To this day, a town ordinance exists that restricts any alterations to the bridge unless two-thirds of the voters approve a change.

Don't forget to stop at Warren's covered bridge. Make sure to drive through, then park and read about the bridge on the plaques inside.

Don’t forget to stop at Warren’s covered bridge. Make sure to drive through, then park and read about the bridge on the plaques inside.

A trip to Warren in the summer is not complete without experiencing its natural wonders. An absolute must is a visit to what the locals know as Warren Falls. Although somewhat hidden off route 100 south, Warren Falls, is a natural water park for all ages, complete with water slides naturally carved out of boulders and diving platforms high enough to get your adrenaline going. Whether or not you are interested in taking a dip, the cosmic variations of blue and green that exist throughout the falls are sure to impress. Next, drive or bike down route 100 south to Moss Glen Falls. This unique landform is not a swimming hole but is an easy hike to two magnificent, clear blue waterfalls. If the swimming holes of Warren are too off the beaten path for you, take a trip to Blueberry Lake, a warm, pristine lake that was actually once a marsh. The lake is great for swimming, kayaking, and sailboats.

Warren is a must stop on any trip to Vermont. It is close to many other Mad River Valley attractions in addition to being less than an hour to Stowe, Montpelier, and even Burlington. Although summer is the best season to enjoy its many swimming holes, Warren is remarkable during any season.

Enjoy more pictures below:

Warren Falls is one of Vermont's most beautiful swimming holes.

Warren Falls is one of Vermont’s most beautiful swimming holes.

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Weekend Sabbatical: Lowell, Massachusetts for the Afternoon

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Historical Mill District from the river

Last weekend, last minute, we decided to attend the Stout Festival at the Armsby Abbey in Worcester, Massachusetts.  Although we have enjoyed New England and the Boston area for four years now, we never actually spent any time in Worcester. It seemed like the perfect opportunity to check out both a city we haven’t enjoyed yet and one of the top rated beer bars in the world. And, yes, I did say world.

From Vermont, we usually take 89 south most of the way through Vermont and Massachusetts until we hit 93 south through Boston. This brings us through Lowell, MA which we hadn’t stopped at for a few years. Lowell is an old manufacturing center, mostly within the business of textiles. It is now, surprisingly, the four largest city in the state. The town is no longer centered on textile mills when it comes to the market, but the mills are still a major part of the town’s geography. In fact, much of the mill district has been restored, even becoming part of the Lowell National Historical Park.  Lowell is also the birthplace and burial place of Jack Kerouac, a well known novelist and poet of the beat generation.

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Upclose: Lowell Mill Equipment

We stopped for just a few hours, long enough to walk up and down the city streets, take in the old mill district, have some amazing lunch, and stop by Kerouac’s grave for the second time.

Highlights:

-History: You can learn a lot and get a better feel for the city if you take a moment to read the historical signs and outposts set up along the river, streets, and historical mill area. Having the mill as a backdrop to the city really allows you to envision it as it was in the 1800 and 1900’s.

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Jack’s Grave During Another Visit (Fall)

Jack Kerouac sites: Lowell is home to many important places in Jack’s early and later life. If you do some research before coming, you could stop by his childhood home, bars he frequented, parks he wrote in, and of course, where he is laid to rest.

-Culture and town life: When I hear of Lowell, I think of the average size Massachusetts town. However, Lowell is a city. Lowell is also a cultural hub, calling its home to many different ethnicities and cultures, evident by the different types of stores, churches, and clubs that call it home.

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Life Alive Wrap and Music

Before we left Lowell, we stopped by for music and lunch at Life Alive, located on Middle Street. This café calls a few different towns in Massachusetts home including Cambridge and Salem also.  There food is vegan and vegetarian, yet well known and delicious to all types of foodies. They infuse so much taste into every wrap, salad, and rice bowl, that it is hard to miss the meat. I heard this over and over from each meat eating foodie that stopped by. The atmosphere is also a lot of fun.