Vegan Travel: A Fall Foliage Weekend in The Litchfield Hills of Connecticut

The “New England” states, in the Northeast region of the United States, is the premier destination for observing the Fall foliage! When the summer air gives way to the crispy cool Autumn weather, we await the tree leaves to turn into their splendid hues of golden yellows, burnt oranges, and deep reds!

My goal for this year is to visit two regions: one in the early to mid-peak and another during peak foliage. Last weekend’s journey to western Connecticut’s “Litchfield Hills” gave me the opportunity to view the state’s foliage during its earlier stages. For many years, I experienced the “turning of the leaves colors” in my own state of Massachusetts or in one of the northern New England states. This year, it was about time to see what southern New England had to offer!

Online research and a quick google search revealed the “Connecticut Tourism” site (Connecticut Tourism). The Route 7 drive along western Connecticut’s “Litchfield Hills” region was recognized by National Geographic Traveler as one of the premier foliage drives in the United States! Hence, the reason I chose this destination, along with the fact that I had never visited there in the past.

As any seasoned vegan traveler, I preceded my journey with research on the best vegan-friendly dining in the area. My first stop that morning was a visit to “The Sweet Beet”(The Sweet Beet). This vegan bakery and cafe offers a nice selection of mini-sized treats and many savory options for a filling meal.

My breakfast purchase included a mini pumpkin spice muffin. The kind waitstaff gave me a mini apple cider doughnut ‘gratis’. Both were absolutely delicious! Moist and tasty bites satisfied my hunger for breakfast! Apple cider donuts are a New England favorite, so I was thrilled to find a vegan version!
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The refrigerated cases of homemade meal options caught my eye. I purchased a savory carrot pie with potato crust for my lunch. The vegan ricotta and pesto filling was smooth and tasty. It was a filling and delicious meal!
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I was offered a free mini container of eggless potato salad. Every morsel was delectable. I highly recommend that visitors to Connecticut pay a visit here!
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My final purchase at the bakery was a box of four mini cupcakes. Know as “sweeties”, these mini-treats are a delightful offering for customers! I purchased the Fall flavor “Pumpkin Pie”, Coco Beet Chocolate, Coconut, and Snickerdoodle. I took a couple of bites(prior to my onward drive) and enjoyed them immensely!
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It was time to “hit the road”! I started my day of exploration in the town of Ridgefield, Connecticut at the foothills of the Berkshire Mountains. The town was settled in the year 1708 by English colonists. The Battle of Ridgefield; a Revolutionary War skirmish, took place within the Main Street area. The town militia fought alongside Benedict Arnold.

The Lounsbury House, built in the 1870s was later purchased by Governor Phineas Lounsbury as his residence. The classical Revival-style building is now home to the town’s community center.
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Around the corner I found the Benedict House and Cobbler Shop, built in the year 1740. The structures on these grounds are among the oldest colonial buildings in the entire town.
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Maynard House is a neo-Georgian style home in town, built circa 1900.
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The Keeler Tavern and Inn maintains a Revolutionary War cannonball still lodged into the side of its structure. It was built as a home by Benjamin Hoyt around the year 1713. His grandson Timothy Keeler purchased the property in 1769 and converted it into an inn three years later. Mr. Keeler operated the town’s post office from the tavern building. Napoleon’s younger brother was a guest there for a brief period. The architect Cass Gilbert purchased the property as a summer home in 1907 and added some gardens and cherub fountains.
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After I had made the rounds about Ridgefield to embrace its place in US history and to peruse the various architectural styles represented in its buildings, I was ready to forge ahead to another section of the Route 7 corridor!
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My drive took me next to the city of Danbury. Its nickname is Hat City, because at one point time, it did indeed manufacture a large percentage of hats in the United States.Settled in 1765, it played an important role in Revolutionary War due to its military stockpile.

The first hat factory in town was established in the year 1780 by Zadoc Benedict. The early part of the 20th century was Danbury’s heyday as a hat manufacturer leader!

Within the perimeter of a small square on Main Street, one finds several structures of historic significance.
I visited the John Dodd Hat Shop built in 1790. It is the oldest commercial building in this district.
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Next on my agenda was the John Rider House, adjacent to the hat factory. The wooden home was built in the year 1785. Mr. Rider was a carpenter who served in the Revolutionary War. The home remained in his family until the early 20th century. It is on the National Historic Register of Historic Places.
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Also located within the same block, is the “Little Red Schoolhouse”. Built as a one room schoolhouse during the 18th century, it was rebuilt during the 1950s on the same spot after some structural damage had destroyed it. The desks and interior layout represent what it would have resembled during its day.
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The final building on the block was the Marian Anderson Studio. Marian Anderson was a noted African American opera singer of the 20th century. Singing a variety of genres, she frequently toured the United States and Europe between the 1920′s and 1960s. She resided in Danbury during the 1940s. The studio houses her piano, her opera ball gowns, her music compositions, and photos of her performances and appearances.
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After a full day of sightseeing and long drives, the thought of an evening meal sounded perfect just about now. I headed back to Ridgefield for dinner at the vegan “Food Evolution” (Food Evolution Restaurant). This elegant restaurant offers an eclectic selection of appetizers, entrees, and desserts. I opted for the butternut squash soup and a veggie paella entree consisting of veggies, chickpeas, seitan, and rice. Everything was delicious! If you seek a truly creative and upscale menu, than this is your place!

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The drive up north on Route 7 provided beautiful views of foliage in each color of the Autumn rainbow: gold, orange, red, and green!
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After a lovely drive, I finally entered my destination town of Kent. I beheld a glorious mountain before me, showcasing its orange and yellow foliage at its top elevation.
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The Kent Falls Bridge greeted me to my left. This gray-colored bridge is one of the many popular covered bridges on New England byways.
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When I arrived in the town center of Kent, the bright red old railway station was among one of the first sights that stood out. Built around the year 1872, the Victorian style station was once part of the great Housatonic Railway going from New York City to Hartford.
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The nightfall gave way to dark roads, so it was time to settle in for the evening. I drove south on Route 7 to the town of New Milford for an overnight stay at an inn. When morning arrived, I headed back to Kent again for breakfast. The Villager Restaurant (The Villager Restaurant) appears to be the own place in town that opens early enough for breakfast. Luckily for me, they did offer an option that was coincidentally vegan. The packaged plain oatmeal was my breakfast option. I ordered it with raisins and a bowl of fresh sliced fruit. It was good and indeed satisfied my hunger during the morning hours.
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Kent Falls is a popular tourist attraction in the area, so that was to be my AM destination. The waterfalls are located within Kent State Park. The two falls make a pretty sight among the colorful trees and red covered bridge nearby.
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Onward north on Route 7, I landed in the town of West Cornwall. Very long and winding roads that twist up and down like a roller coaster entertained me on the drive towards this destination. The picturesque red covered bridge was well worth the drive through the foliage-rich region!
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I drove south on Route 7 back to Kent for some additional exploring. The town center proudly showcases quite a few unique artistic pieces and sculptures on the town green.
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The “Barns” are actually shops where one can purchase art, clothing, and gifts.
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Another interesting sculpture caught my eye! A fall favorite: apples!
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My exploration on western Connecticut’s Route 7 was complete! I headed east on Route 341 from the center of Kent towards Warren.
The foliage went from early stage to at least mid-peak colors. It was stunning! I stumbled upon a large pond surrounded by trees with gorgeous orange and red foliage, reflecting on to the waters!
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As I drove further and further eastward, more and more captivating foliage kept appearing! Rows of tall trees standing by wooded forests, trees surrounding ponds and swamps, and colorful trees on the National Byways greeted me with every turn on the road.
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Heading a bit eastward brought me into farm country. I paid a visit to a local farm to purchase some freshly picked turnip, broccoli, kale, and pumpkin gourds. Every tourist in the area should pick up some fresh vegan produce at a local New England farm.
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Huge cornfields with a palette of colorful trees in the backdrop, provided a superb Autumn New England scene.
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The final destination on my weekend agenda was the town of Litchfield. A hidden gem for vegan dining, I dined at “West Street Grille”(West Street Grille). This vegan-friendly establishment is a very popular dining spot in town. They offer vegan items, clearly marked on their menu. For my lunch, I selected the tofu tempura with green beans, shiitake mushrooms, leeks, and coconut chili peanut sauce. My meal was scrumptious! The flavorful entree was delicious gourmet dining at its best!
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For dessert, I opted for the chocolate raspberry ganache cake. The decadent sweet was superb!
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In the nearby town square, I glanced upon its historic buildings such as the town hall and church.
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I enjoyed my weekend road trip to Western Connecticut’s Litchfield Hills! The Fall foliage, historic architecture, winding country roads, and vegan dining made lasting positive impressions for me!

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My New Vegan Travel Accessories “Must Haves”

Whenever I discover new travel accessories, a rush of excitement takes over me! And it is even better when those travel items are specifically created with vegans in mind! My recent purchases are indeed proof of the growing number of products designed to provide ethical travel for vegans.

Anyone who has traveled to a Central American rainforest, Southeast Asia, or the African continent realizes just how crucial it is to take precaution against mosquito bites. Until fairly recently, DEET was the only insect repellent that most travelers purchased. In fact, it was up until recently, the only insect repellent approved by the USA’s CDC (Center For Disease Control). However, it is toxic and can cause physical damage to skin. As of now, the CDC also approves vegan-friendly and non-toxic lemon eucalyptus oil. They note that it must be a special formulation of this oil: one that is found in store brand spray bottles. A homemade concoction of lemon eucalyptus oil is not recommended, as it has not been tested for its concentration or for the inclusion of a few other choice ingredients. I was thrilled to hear that a non-toxic, vegan repellent has been approved! This is definitely my choice for my travels! “Repel” (Repel Lemon Eucalyptus Oil Insect Repellent) is a brand that offers this insect repellent. It is thought to work best when it is re-applied every hour or so.
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I was thrilled to find a company that designs vegan travel accessories! Lavishy (Lavishy) based in Canada, offers vegan “faux leather” luggage tags(as well as passport covers and travel wallets). The tags display colorful animal outlines in whimsical patterns. I purchased a luggage tag with two adorable owls on the front cover!
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Quite often our travels include a “night out on the town” to explore the local music, dance, or theater. Many organized tour groups offer a dinner theater and music option on their tours. For this reason alone, us ladies should pack some vegan cosmetic items. I recently purchased an eco-friendly, vegan cosmetic pouch made of cork. It is lightweight and compact which makes it convenient for carry on bags or totes. For that special evening at the dinner theater, it fits nicely into a small handbag. It even includes an attached mirror to apply those last minute makeup touches. The Portugal-based company “Corkor” (Corkor cosmetics pouch) designs vegan-friendly makeup pouches, backpacks, and handbags. A thin lipstick, small liquid makeup bottle, travel-size perfume, and eyeshadow fit compactly into this pouch.
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I have been searching high and low for a vegan, travelsize skincare product line that includes all the basics needed for our travels. I was delighted to have found “Pure Natural Diva Botanicals”(Pure Natural Diva Botanicals Skincare) products! Their Deluxe Travel Organic Skincare arrived in a linen drawstring travel pouch, containing travel-size peppermint toner, facial cleanser, moisturizer, day lotion, facial exfoliant, eye serum, decollete mask, and argan oil. Your face now has all it needs for its care during your travels!
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Fanny packs were “all the rage” a few years back. The hidden waist pouch would hide your valuables from wanna-be thieves. Today’s traveler has other options to protect their belongings from theft. The Clever Travel Companion company(Clever Travel Companion) manufactures undergarments, t-shirts, and tank tops that contain a ‘secret pocket”. Would-be robbers will not realize that your valuables are hidden and safely tucked away within this pocket. Its dimensions provide room for a passport, credit cards, and cash. The rayon/spandex fabric is obviously vegan. You can wear the garments under your main clothing or as is. For example, I plan on wearing the sleek tank top under a long sleeve shirt during my overnight trip on a train in India. Potential thieves won’t have a clue where my valuables are hidden!
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After my shopping extravaganza was complete, what better way to immerse myself in the culture of my next travel destination (India) than by experiencing its cuisine! That said, I developed an instant craving for Indian food! Onward I marched, to the Indian restaurant “Udupi”(Udupi Restaurant) located in Nashua, New Hampshire.

The appetizer I selected was the samosa. This flaky crust pastry was filled with potatoes and peas. The mint dipping sauce complemented it nicely.
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My main entree was the Bindi Masala. The Okra slices were stuffed with dry roasted spices, peanuts, chana dal and red chillies and sauteed. The order was accompanied by a side of basmati rice. The meal was 100% vegan, as are many of the dishes at this vegetarian restaurant. I enjoyed my flavorful dinner immensely!
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Whether you are a seasoned traveler or a novice backpacker setting out to explore the world for the first time, these vegan travel accessories are sure to make your journeys more satisfying! You will definitely want to experience the joy that comes when traveling safely and comfortably as a vegan!

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My Lovely Day at the Vegan-Friendly Southeast Asian Water Festival in Lowell, MA

The Summer season abounds with outdoor festivals! Music, dance, crafts, and food offerings are plentiful at these events. As a travel & culture enthusiast, multiple festivals had secured a dedicated spot on my summer agenda! During late August, I spent the afternoon at the Southeast Asian Water Festival in the cobble-stoned mill town of Lowell, Massachusetts. After all, visiting a cultural festival can wonderfully prepare you with useful insight for future travels to those countries! These fabulous festivals may introduce you to the culture of a particular region or to the vegan-friendly options of your upcoming vacation destination. This particular festival showcased the music, arts, dance, and food of places such as Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, and Burma.

The Merrimack River flows along the Lowell region in northern Massachusetts. Hence, it was the perfect place for the Dragon boat races. Several teams rowed fearlessly along the waters until one by one various teams were eliminated and a winner was declared.
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One of the first food vendors I came across, was displaying an intriguing item that I had never seen in the past. Tall and mighty sugarcane stalks had been carved into shorter vessels containing a sweet purple sticky rice treat. As it was vegan, it was time for me to try this extraordinary find! I must say..it was delicious indeed! It is eaten by scooping out the rice using your hand. When you can no longer reach into the stalk, you are required to break it open into two lengthy pieces to eat the remainder of the rice. If I see this food during any upcoming travels to Vietnam or Cambodia, I will be prepared with the knowledge on how it is eaten! My beverage to wash it down was obviously its sugarcane juice.
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Another festival ‘favorite’ of mine was my encounter with containers filled with various Southeast Asian fruits. Rambutan, longan, and lychee were ripe and ready to consume. I enjoyed eating some lychee! Vegan-friendly exotic fruit is another reason to look forward to future travels to Southeast Asia. I highly recommend sampling all of the local fruit.
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I stumbled upon a food vendor table that offered several vegan Burmese lunch appetizers and meals. Tofu salad, tofu and kidney bean fritters, and noodle salad. Later in the afternoon, when my hunger pangs arrived, I knew that I would return to this vendor for my lunch.
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Crafts items such as intricately woven baskets were proudly displayed for purchase.
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Spectacular art work by Cambodian artists represented scenes from the Cambodian countryside, renowned landmarks such as Angkor Wat, and the closeup expressiveness of its people.
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Buddhist monks in their bright orange garb sat soulfully still in contemplative pose, surrounded by vibrant flowers, while incense permeates the air.
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Within the same tented area, a group of young women in traditional Cambodian attire performed local dances.
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Finally my tummy told me that it was time for lunch. I dined on some tofu fritters and kidney bean cakes that I had luckily noticed earlier at the Burmese food tent. A tasty tomato sauce accompanied the savory bites. They were quite yummy! Burmese food is wonderful, in my experience.
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More entertainment was stirring up the main stage! The next performance that took place was a dance performance by the Angkor Wat dance troupe from Lowell. Their interpretation of Cambodian traditional dances was superb to say the least.
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Next up was a group that showcased dances from Vietnam. This particular one was referred to as the Vietnamese “Fan Dance”. It was another stellar rendition of traditional Southeast Asian dance!
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A flutist rendered some wonderful instrumental tunes.
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For the final stage act showcasing Asian arts & culture(though not Southeast Asian), a Grand Master exhibited sleek and swift moves of Tai Chi.
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I truly enjoyed my afternoon at the Southeast Asian festival! It brought back fond memories of my past holiday in Thailand and has fueled my desires for future travels to Vietnam and Cambodia. The festival sights and sounds, along with the great vegan food options, has given me a nice glimpse into that culture to prepare me for any upcoming visits to that region.

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My Vegan Day Trip To Nantucket Island!

My favorite destination in the entire USA is the island of Nantucket! This is the reason why I could not let summer go by without paying a visit! The quaint island with a length of fourteen miles and width of three, is located thirty miles off the southeastern coast of Massachusetts. During this past Labor Day weekend holiday, I took a day trip to my beloved isle!

The Steamship Authority ferry departs from Hyannis on Cape Cod. As the ship was leaving the dock, I glanced back towards the lovely view of this Cape Cod town. Small boats dotted the harbor along the way, as the homes and retail establishments faded from our view.
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Grassy sandbars protruding from land into the sea came into our sight. Eventually we were surrounded by nothing but the vast ocean!
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Approximately, two hours and fifteen minutes later, we had reached our destination of Nantucket! From a distance, I could clearly recognize that glorious panoramic view with the tall church steeple in the background.
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Visitors are first greeted by the Brant Point Lighthouse, upon arrival to the island. I’m an energetic girl by nature..always on the go…filling my itinerary with non-stop action and sightseeing from morning til night! However, there is a certain “je ne sais quoi” about Nantucket that makes my inner restlessness want to unwind, relax, and just go with the flow here! It is such a tranquil place with soothing scenery that encourages you to exhale a deep breathe of calmness.
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Once the ferry docked, I knew where I was headed first! To the “Juice Bar”!
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The “Juice Bar Homemade Ice Cream”(The Juice Bar Homemade Ice Cream) shop is a longtime Nantucket institution! I had been going there for years just for their fresh fruit juices. Each year, I looked at the throngs of people in line waiting to order one of the many flavors of ice cream for which the shop is renowned. Finally, they offer VEGAN flavors this year! I jumped for joy at this recent discovery! The vegan flavor of the day was chocolate peanut butter. I absolutely loved the smooth and creamy, tasty treat!
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Since this was a Saturday, the summertime Farmer’s Market was taking place during the hours of 9am until 1pm. “Sustainable Nantucket” runs this event to support local agriculture and the local economy. My main reason to drop by, was primarily to see a vegan-friendly vendor called “Fare Isle” (Fare Isle). The owner offers artisan whole food creations such as organic and foraged food items, specialty teas, sauces, herbal oils, jars of vegan ingredients for baking cookies, skin products, and craft items. Sometimes, she brings a quantity of her baked goods for guests to sample, such as vegan bars or cookies. Kaity(the founder) also creates a vegan, specialty item known as “ice cream drops”.
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A woman who hosts a website called “Vegan Nantucket” has sometimes displayed an information table at the Saturday market. She was not in attendance during my visit to the island, however. She basically educates visitors regarding local vegan dining and shopping.

Another vendor nearby offers homemade Nantucket jams, containing the local fruits and berries.
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The next stop on my agenda was the Ack Fresh (Ack Fresh) juice shop. Located by the waterfront on picturesque Easy Street, this storefront sells fresh raw juices, as well as eco-friendly shampoos, clothing, and snacks.
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I purchased a vegan, lemon, coconut milk soap and a nutritiously refreshing, coldpressed juice containing apple, kale, and cucumber.
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Across the road is the “Nantucket Surf Company” (Nantucket Surf Company). Remember those vegan “ice cream drops” from the “Fare Isle” market vendor? Her ice cream drops are sold at the Nantucket Surf Company! I purchased a box containing six pieces of “melt in your mouth”, flavorful raspberry cream drops!
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After my sweet snack, I strolled about the cobble-stoned Main Street for a while.
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Several unique craft shops, gift shops, galleries, and fancy boutiques call this road their home.
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At the bottom of Main Street is one of my favorite spots on the island:the place where the yachts are docked! Tourists enjoy sitting on the wooden benches by the docks and just appreciating the view! Small wooden buildings line the perimeter of the harbor, housing clothing shops and art galleries.
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Further up on Main, I stopped by a couple of larger galleries to admire the paintings and sculptures.
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Not certain about the distance of my lunch spot, I got into a taxi for what turned out to be not even a ten minute ride. The Green (The Green Restaurant) serves up vegan-friendly, inexpensive fare for a quick, mid-day meal. I opted for the burrito with black beans, brown rice, tomatoes, lettuce, olives, and red onions, in a flour tortilla. It was deliciously spicy and flavorful! I also purchased a vegan, banana nut muffin as my dessert. The moist and chewy treat was yummy! The cafe also offers vegan brownies, as well as vegan bagel breakfast sandwiches.
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Back in town, I walked up Main Street to experience the stately old mansions of the elite “captains of industry” from back in the island’s heyday. Guests may visit the interior of a few of these homes when the tours operate.
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A nineteenth century church on the corner of Main and Centre Street stands proudly.
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On the opposite side on upper Main Street, lies a clothing and accessories shop called “Vis A Vis”. I went inside to check out their collection of vegan handbags and wallets.
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Now it was beach time! Nantucket can definitely boast of several stunning beaches! Surfside Beach is one of the most popular on the island. For $2, the city bus from downtown will bring tourists directly to the beach. A snack bar, restrooms, beach shop, and lifeguard stations make this a well-equipped location. This lengthy beach with its soft white sands and crashing waves provides a breath-taking spot to spend a summer afternoon! The water temperature is perfect enough to go for a dip.
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My three hours unwinding and relaxing at Surfside Beach had come to an end. When the bus dropped me back on Main Street, I walked by The Club Car which is a famous spot to spend an evening to hear some music.
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Dinner time was drawing near, so I headed over to Dune (Dune Restaurant ). This exquisite restaurant offers an eclectic menu of entrees and appetizers, including special vegan options. My dinner selection was the vegan tasting plate. Included in my entree was black rice, panzanella tomato salad, watermelon salad, broccolini, roasted fingerling potatoes, and rainbow carrots & beet vinaigrette. The meal was absolutely delicious! Each portion provided a unique and flavorful experience for my palate. If you would like to treat yourself to a upscale gourmet meal, then this is the place to do so! I dined in their covered outdoor patio. The atmosphere and ambiance at this elegant restaurant is worth paying a visit!
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There was some time before my ferry would arrive back in port, so I strolled about the various streets in town.
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I came upon a historic old church; the First Congregational Church, built in 1725.
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Several lovely inns with their flower-trimmed windows met my gaze.
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The Atheneum with its regal white pillars stood before me. The island’s library is housed in a historic building constructed in the 1840s. William Coffin,a wealthy Nantucket banker had heard young abolitionist Fredrick Douglass give an anti-slavery speech in New Bedford and invited him to speak on Nantucket. Mr. Douglass did indeed visit and was persuaded to speak at Nantucket’s first anti-slavery convention.
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As the evening was drawing to a close, the setting sun over the waters on Easy Street provided a gorgeous vision to behold!
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It was eight o’clock in the evening when the ferry had arrived back in port. I caught one last glance of the stunning island cityscape as the ship started to depart for the return journey back to Hyannis.
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I really enjoyed this getaway to my beloved Nantucket! This jewel of an island offers breath-taking vistas, gorgeous beaches, quaint cobble-stoned streets, the arts, and wonderful vegan dining! I encourage every vegan tourist to visit the island.

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My Vegan Road Trip to The Green Mountains of Vermont

The Green Mountains of Vermont are its state prize possession! Although I had visited Vermont several times in the past, this region was new to me. Thus, my road trip adventure was a must for me this summer!

My itinerary was pre-planned, including much research on vegan dining options. You see, this region of the state does not offer much in the vegan dining scene. However, there are just enough veggie-friendly establishments that will satisfy your hunger pangs! When I arrived in the region, I drove to the city of Bennington. Bakkerij Krijnen (Bakkerij Krijnen) is a vegetarian/vegan-friendly bakery. They occasionally provide vegan treats. The day I arrived, the vegan options available were their freshly baked vegan breads. My selection was the kalamata olive sourdough bread. The soup of the day was a vegan spicy Indian curry. I was given a sample to try. Its flavor was superb! The hearty bread was baked to perfection, with the flavorful olives as adding to each tasty morsel!
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After taking a bite out of the bread, I placed the loaf into my tote bag and made my way back on the road to my breakfast destination. The Works Bakery Cafe (Works Bakery Cafe) in Manchester, Vermont includes a vegan cream cheese on its bagel menu. For the lunch time crowd, they offer a veggie wrap with a vegan dressing. I opted for the garlic bagel with the vegan cream cheese! My inexpensive breakfast was really delectable!
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The town of Manchester is in the “heart” of the Green Mountain region. The first stop on my agenda was Hildene. This magnificent mansion was the summer home of President Lincoln’s son Robert. The self-guided tour of the spacious home was a superb experience! Ornate period furniture and belongings were proudly showcased through the interior. Some of Abe Lincoln’s personal belongings are displayed in the home. If time allows, visitors may also take the minibus ride to the century old Pullman car train on the property. Robert Todd Lincoln became president of the Pullman Company in the late 1890s.
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The vibrant green mountains behind the home make for stunning views!
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The palatial home also includes gorgeous gardens on the grounds behind it. Hildene is a must-see on every tourist’s itinerary in Vermont!
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After my visit to the glorious Hildene mansion, I headed to the old historic town center of Manchester Village. The Equinox Resort & Spa is a luxurious accommodation that has historical significance. The Marsh Tavern portion of the inn was the spot where Ethan Allen’s brother held meetings to raise funds to equip The Green Mountain Boys during the American Revolution. President Lincoln and his wife visited the property and their granddaughter actually lived in the 1811 House on site around 1905. The beautiful Equinox Mountain provides the backdrop scenery.
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Heading further on the outskirts of town, my next stop was the Southern Vermont Arts Center. Within the two buildings, one finds works by local artists. Mountainous Vermont landscapes and babbling brooks painted with Fall and Summer color palates are lovely to behold.
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Outside the gallery buildings, one finds many unique and fanciful statues and sculptures on the grounds! Pieces of a game of jax, a silver palm tree, a multi-color horse, and a giant metal person in a dance pose greeted me upon my arrival!
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Onward I went to a town further north, nestled with the Green Mountain region! The quaint village of Weston has gained quite a bit of popularity among tourists! The Weston Village Store was first on my agenda. Nostalgic signs, Vermont souvenirs, local pottery and maple syrup products, and toys are found here. I purchased a couple of yummy maple syrup candies. This historic shop has been serving customers since 1891.
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Across the street, the Vermont Country Store welcomes visitors to peruse its aisles! The massive shop offers difficult to find products of decades gone by. Behind the old fashioned register counter, candy containers are displayed on shelves.
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Even a vegan cookie brand displays on a nearby shelf!
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Jars filled with classic candies greet visitors upon entering the store.
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Various new and classic food items are showcased throughout the shop, offering free samples to visitors. I tried some old fashioned potato chips, pretzels, and some salsa with multigrain crackers.
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Titanic soap, toiletries from the 1970s, and cold and medicinal remedies from the World War II era are just a few of the items I noticed.
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The final shop I visited, was the Weston Village Christmas Shop. What a fabulous gem this is! Unique and beautiful Christmas ornaments, holiday figures of Santa Claus and Snowmen, Nativity scenes, and many other Christmas items can be purchased at this enchanting shop! This is a “have got to see” attraction!
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My visit to lovely Weston had come to an end. Lunch time arrived and I was indeed hungry! I headed to the town of Londonderry, Vermont for my meal. “Garden Market” (Garden Market) is a wonderful market where one can find shelves lined with vegan snacks, beverages, deli foods, produce, and anything that vegan tastebuds can desire! The shop includes a vegan-friendly deli counter where one can purchase sandwiches and beverages. I selected the bbq tempeh sandwich with avocado, red onion, peppers, and tomatoes in a grilled flatbread. It was delicious! My beverage was a lavender, freshly squeezed lemonade. I enjoyed it, as well!

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Driving further south a bit, I appreciated the spectacular landscape of the mountains and valleys.
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My next destination was the town of Dorset. The important landmark to note in this small village is the Dorset Quarry. It is the oldest marble quarry in the United States, dating back to the year 1785. Locals use its waters as a swimming hole. The surrounding large marble pieces are spectacular to say the least. The marble and surrounding trees provide stunning reflections in the water.
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The pretty mountain vistas met my glance as I headed back to the town of Manchester.
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Back in Manchester, the red Kimball Grist Mill built in 1853 looked very picturesque with the gushing waterfalls before it.
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Adjacent to the main mill building, lies a vibrant green one. In the background, an attractive and historic red church stands.
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Farm stands selling local produce are dotted along the roadways in Vermont. I came across one such stand “Dutton Berry Farms”. It was more of a large wooden building selling local fruits and veggies. I purchased a newly harvested tomato and some local black raspberries to take home with me.
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Another popular attraction on every tourist’s Vermont itinerary is any of the splendid covered bridges, along many local routes. I found this one by sheer coincidence heading southeast from Manchester towards Brattleboro on Route 30.
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My final meal of my Vermont excursion was had at Superfresh Organic Cafe (Superfresh Organic Cafe ) in Brattleboro. This Vermont city is actually outside of the Green Mountain Range. However, I wanted to try this vegan-friendly “new kid on the block” on my way back home to Massachusetts. The restaurant is almost all vegan, except for a couple of items. Rice bowls, vegan pizzas, burritos, baked goods, and wonderful smoothies round out their extensive menu.

The vegan, chocolate chipolte cupcake was my first purchase. After taking a bite of the yummy treat, I saved the remainder for the next day’s snack.
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The restaurant serves up several wonderful rice bowls. I chose a quinoa and lentil bowl with avocados, seasonal veggies and greens, an amazing sunseed scramble, cashew cheeze, chipolte aoili, mild salsa, and sprouts. My food was absolutely delicious! I highly recommend dining here for their nutritious and flavorful bowls.
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Thus ended my visit to the Green Mountains! This jewel of a region in southwestern Vermont is a breath-taking experience that any traveler would enjoy! I drove back to my neighboring state of Massachusetts feeling content and fulfilled by my Vermont sightseeing adventure.

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