Group Leaders

Looking for something new and unique? Try one of our single-day or multi-day outings led by a knowledgeable Notch Above Guide. We offer a wide variety of tours to destinations throughout the United States and Canada. Since our founding in 1993, we have offered tours to over 35 states, Canada and Europe. Has your group considered bird watching, a train ride, sugar-on-snowGroup Tours or exploring gardens? For a change of scenery, try our single-day and multi-day getaways for summer theater, Maine lobster bakes, country fairs, fall foliage tours, Montreal’s Botanical Gardens, museums, lighthouses, Quebec City celebrations, and holiday spectaculars. Tours serve as fundraisers for many organizations. Contact us for details.

Choosing the right tour company is an important decision. Notch Above was incorporated in Vermont in 1993. All of your payments are deposited in a business escrow account. We have been selected for membership in the National Tour Association with stringent admission requirements to assure all members adhere to a strict Code of Ethics and professional business standards. We are committed to providing fun, safe and memorable outings for you and your group.

Contact us for a customized proposal or more information.

Inbound Receptive Services

Sample Itineraries

Multi-Day Tours

Single-Day Tours

Map Of New England

Planning a tour to New England, the Northeastern United States or Eastern Canada has never been easier. You can't afford to compromise quality. All of our tours feature customized itineraries designed to meet the interests and budgets of your travelers. These tours are enriched by local and our professional guides who will introduce your guests to the lore and legends that make our region special, while both entertaining and informing your travelers. We arrange lodging, meals, entertainment, professional multilingual guide service, sightseeing and attractions. Notch Above has earned an enviable reputation for offering an incredibly diverse range of tours, many thematic in nature.

Myrtle Beach Boomer Weekend
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The Sound Of Music
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Notch Above offers three options for Step-On Guide,
Tour Planning and Receptive Services:

1. Full Receptive Services-We will provide a proposal and itinerary for your visit including lodging, meals, attractions, transportation, entertainment and guide service. As a full-service receptive tour operator of New England and Eastern Canada, Notch Above will save you time and money and introduce your clients to the essence of our region.


2. Limited Tour Planning-If you need advice about the region or assistance with reservations, we will provide that service to you on a hourly fee basis. You will be given an estimate for charges and will be contacted for approval if the time we need to spend will exceed the estimate. Our fee for tour planning is 60.00 per hour with a one-hour minimum.


3. Step-On Guide Service-Our guides will provide commentary about a specific region or topic. We will adhere to your itinerary. Our fee for step-on guide service is 200.00 for a half day (up to 4 hours) and 275.00 for a full day (up to 8 hours.) After 8 hours, the fee is 30.00 per hour. Our assumption is that the guide will depart and return to the same location. Mileage/travel/meal expenses may be additional depending upon the itinerary. Second language/non-English speaking guides are available. Add 25% to the fees listed above.

Vacationers

Contact us for a customized proposal or more information.



Private Guide Service

Notch Above offers Private Guide Services and Touring. Designed for the Independent or Small Group Traveler, our Private Guide Services cater to individual interests and schedules. Tours provide authentic, memorable experiences with a personal guide who will introduce you to the lore, local legends and hidden treasures of the region. You’ll enjoy comfort, flexibility, privacy and convenience. Travel with Notch Above gives you the freedom and security of working with a reputable professional and saves you endless hours of your valuable time trying to calculate routes and find hotels, restaurants and attractions online and by phone.

Simply let us know what you want to see and do, then leave the planning to us. Our guide will join you in your vehicle or we can arrange appropriate transportation depending upon the number of folks traveling. At Notch Above, we’ll be happy to handle all your travel needs including hotel, transportation and other arrangements.

We offer tour and guide services throughout the United States and Canada with a focus on New England and Eastern Canada. Our knowledgeable, professional guides will enhance your vacation with memorable experiences. Contact us today for more information.

Multi-Day Tours

Heroes, Hometowns and Legends 2014
Featuring: Lee Greenwood, Loretta Lynn and Ronnie Milsap

Heroes, Hometowns and Legends 2014

4 Dates:
May 22-25 . . . July 3-6 . . .
August 28-31 . . . Dec 1-4, 2014

Clarksville,TN celebrates: Memorial Day, The 4th of July, Labor Day and December with the Legends of Country Music! Come see Superstar Concerts, salute America's Military Legacy and enjoy the hometown attractions of a friendly Tennessee community.

  • Highlights:
    • Three Evening Concerts:
      1. Loretta Lynn
      2. Lee Greenwood (May & Aug)
        • Ronnie Milsap (July)
      3. Doyle & Debbie Show (May)
        • Hank & My Honky Tonk Heros (July & Aug)
    • A Bluegrass Gospel Brunch with Rhonda Adams from the Grand Ole Opry
    • Tour of Fort Campbell Military Base (home of the 101st Screaming Eagles) with lunch
    • Tour Loretta Lynn’s Ranch
    • Visit the Coal Miner’s Daughter Museum
    • Tour a Tobacco Farm
    • Time to Shop in Historic Collinsville
    • Beachaven Winery Tour & Tasting
    • Tour of Fort Defiance
    • Nights First Class Lodging
    • Three Breakfasts
    • Two Lunches
    • Three Dinners
    • All Taxes and gratuities on these services
    • Luggage Handling
  • Pricing Information:
    • Per person double occupancy: from 599.00
    • Per person triple occupancy: from 549.00
    • Per person quad occupancy: from 519.00
    • Per person single occupancy: from 799.00

2014 Concert Lineups
May 22-25: Loretta Lynn, Lee Greenwood plus Doyle & Debbie
July 3-6: Loretta Lynn, Ronnie Milsap, plus Hank & My Honky Tonk Heroes
Aug 28-31: Loretta Lynn, Lee Greenwood  & Hank & My Honky Tonk Heroes
Dec 1-4: Michael W. Smith & Lee Greenwood, Jason Crabb, and Sandy Patty

This itinerary covers all four dates, but concerts change.  Shows are listed below.

 

Day 1 – Travel to Clarksville, TN. Your first stop on arrival will be a Tobacco Farm. This area once was Tobacco King, the second largest tobacco market in the United States, and home to the largest tobacco warehouse in the world. Learn about Clarksville’s type 22 tobacco and the influence that this tobacco had on this area. You will also speak with a farmer and view the process and the importance tobacco has had on the economy.

Stop at Beachaven Winery for a tour and tasting. Beachaven is one of the largest wineries in the State of Tennessee and the only one that produces French Method Champagne.

Check into your hotel in Clarksville for a three-night stay.  This evening enjoy a great dinner followed by the Doyle & Debbie Show. You will be entertained by parodies and comedy sketches that only country music could produce.

(The Doyle & Debbie Show is only available in May . . . Hank & My Honky Tonk Heroes Show will be available in July & August) . . .   Michael W. Smith & Lee Greenwood

Day 2 – This morning, tour Fort Campbell Military Base, home of the famed 101st Airborne Division’s Screaming Eagles (Air Assault). See the Don F. Pratt Memorial Museum, which traces the history of the Screaming Eagles from WWII engagements to Vietnam to Operation Desert Storm.  View the various aircraft, military equipment and monuments on display. These massive machines are sure to capture your imagination as well as private memories.

Following the tour, enjoy an included lunch at a Military dining facility. Eat with the soldiers eat and have a chance to visit with them at their dining hall.

Next, visit Fort Defiance, a Civil War site. This attraction is settled on a bluff overlooking the confluence of the Cumberland and Red Rivers and is an important part of Clarksville’s Civil War story.

You will have some free time this afternoon to shop in downtown Clarksville.

Dinner is included and served at a local restaurant.

Tonight enjoy an "Intimate Evening with Lee Greenwood," as he performs hits from his decades of entertaining. You will hear hits such as "Ring on Her Finger, Time on Her Hands," "It Turns Me Inside Out," "Somebody’s Gonna Love You," "Holdin’ A Good Hand," "I Don’t Mind the Thorns (If You’re the Rose)", "She’s Lyin," "Dixie Road" and of course "God Bless the USA."

(Lee Greenwood will be performing in May & August . . . Ronnie Milsap will be performing at the July Eevent) . . . Jason Crabb is live on stage in December.

Day 3 – After breakfast, travel to the countryside to visit Historic Collinsville. Located on 40 sprawling acres, the restored log pioneer settlement dates from 1830 to 1870. Tour the twelve log structures, including a dogtrot house, blacksmith shop, loom house, barn and other outbuildings and houses. See demonstrations, such as churning, weaving and spinning while learning about life in Tennessee in the 1800’s.

The afternoon features a tour of Loretta Lynn’s ranch. Tour the 14 room pre-Civil War Mansion, home of the living legend, Loretta Lynn. Take a glimpse into the personal life of Loretta and Mooney Lynn and see the original Crisco kitchen from the famous commercials.

Tour the Coal Miner’s Daughter Museum that depicts 50 years of history from Loretta Lynn, her family and the many icons she has worked with.  After the tour, you will have time to stroll through the shops, like the Mill Shop, the General Store, Country Store and the Western Store.

Tonight enjoy a hearty barbecue dinner, followed by a wonderful concert by the "Coal Miner’s Daughter," herself, Loretta Lynn! (Note:  Sandy Patty performs in December.)

Day 4 – This morning you head for the small town of Dickson, Tennessee for a morning of music, food and blessings.  Your host, Rhonda Adams, who has danced on the Grand Ole Opry since she was a child, has invited some talented folks to come and bless you with some incredible bluegrass gospel music. Feed your soul and feed your body at this wonderful Bluegrass Gospel Brunch.

After brunch depart for home.

Lakes and Mountains Harley-Davidson Vermont Vacation. . . .
It’s not the destination, it’s the journey!

Harley Davidson Vacations

Rev up and ride through the pristine countryside, motor through ragged notches carved by glaciers, watch your reflection in the still waters of a mountain lake. Scenic byways wind to first-class accommodations, culinary creations and handcrafted brews. Time at leisure leads you to gondolas and galleries, waterfalls and watering holes, maple syrup and cool mountain breezes.

Day One:
Start your vacation when you pick up your ride at Green Mountain Harley Davidson in Burlington. Or, if you have you own bike, ride through the Green Mountains and meet your co-travelers at the renowned Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, VT. Have dinner on your own at the Lodge’s casual Tavern Restaurant.

Day Two:
Smuggler's Notch Rise and shine for a hearty breakfast buffet at the lodge. Meet your guide and head out for a spectacular ride through Smugglers’ Notch. As you travel through, you will find yourself swallowed up by a wondrous landscape of hidden caves, huge boulders and narrow crevices to squeeze through.

The Notch will bring you to the quintessential Village of Cambridge. There will be time to stop for coffee and a freshly baked pastry, to explore the talents of local artists featured in the galleries or to visit the Vermont Maple Outlet.

Cambridge Covered Bridge

Continue on through the Green Mountains and witness spectacular panoramas of rich farmland framed by rolling hills and silver streams. As an option, visit the Johnson Woolen Mills where you will find selections of Brighton, Woolrich, Pendleton and Cahartt.

The trail leads you to the Village of Hyde Park, nestled along the banks of the Lamoille River. The Village has welcomed visitors for over 200 years and it offers majestic mountaintop views of Mount Mansfield and Smugglers’ Notch. Stop in Morrisville for lunch on your own at a local’s favorite restaurant.

Trapp Family Lodge

Ride back to the Trapp Family Lodge where you will arrive mid-afternoon. Say goodbye to your guide. There will be time to take an optional gondola ride to the summit of Mount Mansfield, partake in a "Sound of Music Tour" or walk along the hiking trails at the Lodge or just sit back and relax. Gather late afternoon for a beer tasting at the Trapp Family Lodge Brewery.

Have dinner on your own at one of Stowe’s many restaurants and pubs.

Day Three:
Prepare to check out of the Lodge after breakfast. Join your guide and head out to the White Mountains of New Hampshire.

Travel a short distance to Montpelier for a photo opportunity at the Vermont State House. Situated in the smallest capital city in America, this is one of the nation’s oldest and best-preserved state capitols.

Continue East along scenic Route 302 that winds through the Green Mountains and into the White Mountains. Stop in Lincoln, NH for lunch on your own and time to visit their Main Street.

Franconia Notch

Start your engines for a short ride into Franconia Notch, a major mountain pass through the White Mountains. The notch was home to the Old Man of the Mountain, a rock formation whose profile is a symbol of the state of New Hampshire, until 2003, when the formation collapsed. You have the option to ride the aerial tram to the 4,180' summit of Cannon Mountain. On a clear day, you may enjoy views of the mountains of New Hampshire, Maine, Vermont, Canada and New York!

Prepare for one of the most beautiful rides of your vacation. Ride along the spectacular Kancamagus Highway, a 34.5-mile scenic drive along NH's Rt. 112 that is well known as one of the best viewing areas in the country. The Kancamagus Highway is designated an American Scenic Byway for its rich history, aesthetic beauty and culture.

From the "Kanc" continue on through quaint New England villages and past historic homes until you arrive at Lake Winnipesaukee, the largest lake in New Hampshire. Arrive at your lakeside destination, the Margate Resort on Lake Winnipesaukee. Sit back and relax on the water’s edge surrounded by a landscape of soaring pines and deep blue skies. Have dinner on your own at a restaurant near the hotel.

Squam Lake

Day Four:
Prepare to check out of the hotel after an included breakfast. You day begins with a "cruise back in time."

Ride into Holderness to "Squam Lake." Covering 6,791 acres, Squam is the second-largest lake located entirely in New Hampshire and is where the 1981 movie On Golden Pond was filmed. Board a canopied pontoon boat and sail off on a fascinating and picturesque 50-minute cruise and learn about the natural forces that created these lakes, the wildlife that makes them so special and the people who have enjoyed these lakes for over 5,000 years.

Following the cruise, travel along scenic Route 4 and back into Vermont. Your first stop is at the Quechee Gorge, "Vermont’s Little Grand Canyon." Witness beautiful vistas from 168 feet above the river and walk along the paths to the waterfall.

Visit the renowned Simon Pearce Glass Studio, where you will see craftsmen blow glass into beautiful pieces of art and glassware. The "New York Times" described Simon Pearce as a prominent American designer of glassware, and his works have been given as gifts to foreign dignitaries and to presenters at the Academy Awards. Have lunch on your own at the Studio’s restaurant or one of the many eateries nearby.

Stop in the nearby historic Village of Woodstock, which has been coined "the prettiest small town in America" thanks to its nostalgic Main Street, rural attractions and untouched panoramas. Stroll through the Village Green and witness an abundance of historic homes.

Summit LodgeTravel a short distance into Killington and to the Summit Lodge, your home for the next night. You will feel instantly welcomed as you travel up the knoll and arrive at this resort-hotel. Enjoy commanding views of Killington Peak and the surrounding Green Mountains. The lodge’s decor of antiques, hand hewn beams, barn board and fieldstone fireplaces all combine to provide a warm and friendly ambiance, seconded only by the adorable St. Bernards, the official welcoming party at the lodge. Known as the Summit Saints, for over 40 years, Saint Bernards have graced the grounds of the property. Refresh in the heated pool or hot tub, or relax in the cocktail lounge and take in the amazing views. Dinner is included, served at the lodge and prepared by the owner and formally trained chef.

Day Five:
Enjoy breakfast at the Lodge, pack your gear and check out. Travel north toward Burlington. Stop at the Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory for a tour and taste of Vermont’s finest ice cream. Arrive back at Green Mountain Harley Davidson late morning.

Your Package Includes:

  • 4 Nights accommodations
  • 4 Breakfasts
  • 1 Dinner
  • 5-Days of Harley Davidson rental, including insurance, helmet and rain gear*
  • 4 Days of private guide service
  • Rides in Smuggler’s Notch, Franconia Notch State Park and along the Kancamagus Highway
  • Beer tasting at the Trapp Family Lodge
  • Photo op at the Vermont State House
  • Cruise on "Golden Pond"
  • Visit to Simon Pearce Glass Studio
  • Tour and Taste and Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory

Priced From:

  • 2,181.00 per person based on double occupancy.
  • Price without motorcycle rental: 1,381.00 per person based on double occupancy.

So screw it-let’s ride!
Green Mountain Harley-Davidson

Contact us for more information.

Black Friday Holiday Shopping Spree in Vermont
3 Days - 2 Nights

Shopping

Get ready for Black Friday! Black Friday is not only the day after the United States’ Thanksgiving holiday, it also marks the beginning of the holiday shopping season with blowout bargain prices.

Burlington, Vermont is a Mecca for the serious shopper. With 2 large malls, a huge shopping complex, an outdoor pedestrian outlet mall, an outlet plaza and the charming Church Street Marketplace, the variety of shops, the deep price-cuts and the tremendous savings are amazing. Join us for the sweetest shopping spree of the year!

Shops such as Macys, Gap, Old Navy, Bon Ton, Kohl’s, TJ Maxx, Marshals, Home Goods, Christmas Tree Shop, Sears, JC Penney’s, Polo Ralph Lauren Outlet, Orvis Outlet, Osh Kosh B’Gosh Outlet, Pottery Barn, Yankee Candle Company, Toy "R" Us, Walmart, Brooks Brothers Outlet and many, many, many more will be ready to greet you with open doors.

Day One:
Arrive in Burlington by 4:00 pm and check into your first-class hotel hotel. Feel instantly at home with a complimentary wine and cheese reception featuring a selection of Vermont’s artisan cheeses. This evening join in the celebration of "Thanksgiving in the States" as you savor the flavors of a traditional meal featuring carved roast turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, gravy and amazingly delicious desserts.

After dinner there will be time to rest and relax before boarding the first shopping shuttle at midnight. For die-hard shoppers, this is the best chance to jump start your spree and the best bargains at many stores begin just after midnight!

Day Two:
After a "grab and go" breakfast in the hotel, get ready to launch a non-stop day of bargain hunting. Travel on your coach to and from Burlington’s shopping destinations. Your motor coach even offers "worry free" storage of all your purchases! Have lunch on your own at one of the many eateries along the way.

Return to the hotel to rest before the evening’s activities or if you are still out shopping, gather at the Church Street Marketplace with your co-travelers. This evening, witness the spectacular Tree Lighting Celebration when the Marketplace comes alive with the sparkles of the season. Over a hundred thousand white lights adorn the tree-lined pedestrian mall and a massive pine tree lights up the main stage. Sing with the carolers, sit on Santa’s lap and make your wishes for "A White Christmas."

Have dinner on your own in one of Church Street’s fabulous restaurants, cafes or pubs before you return to the hotel.

Day Three:
Following breakfast in the hotel, prepare to pack your luggage and check out.

There will be time to visit one last shopping destination before you head home, or leave right after breakfast to make your way back to Canada.

Your Package Includes:

  • 2 Nights accommodation
  • 2 Breakfasts
  • Complimentary Wine and Cheese Welcome Reception
  • 1 Traditional US Thanksgiving Dinner
  • Maps to outlet shops, galleries and boutiques
  • Exclusive store coupons
  • Tree Lighting Ceremony at Church Street Market Place
  • Baggage handling for one piece of luggage per traveler
  • Accommodations and breakfasts for coach driver
  • Taxes and gratuities

Pricing Information:
The following NET prices are in US Dollars and are based on 30 paid travelers. Fewer than 30 paid travelers may result in a price increase. Prices and itineraries are subject to change.

  • Per person double occupancy: 142.00
  • Per person triple occupancy: 107.00
  • Per person quad occupancy: 89.00
  • Per person single occupancy: 248.00
Contact us for more information.

Fire and Ice
Alaska and Hawaii-Volcanoes and Glaciers
11-Days/10-Nights
2014 (Several dates available)

Alaska and Hawaii-Volcanoes and Glaciers

Experience a once-in-a-lifetime chance to visit both the 49th State, Alaska and the 50th State, Hawaii on the same trip! Fly into Anchorage and tour "The Great Land" including Denali National Park, The Alaska Railroad and the Alaska Native Heritage Center. Board a non-stop flight to Honolulu where you tour Pearl Harbor and Waikiki before island hopping to the Big Island and Volcanoes National Park.

Day One:
Fly into Anchorage, Alaska’s largest city, and transfer to your downtown Anchorage hotel. Relax, refresh and have dinner on your own.

Day Two:
This morning, board the world-famous Alaska Railroad and travel to Denali National Park. The trip follows along the Susitna River where you might catch your first glimpse of majestic Mt. McKinley, or see black bear fishing along the banks of the River. Arrive at your Denali hotel for a two-night stay.

Day Three:
After breakfast, travel deep into Denali National Park on a Tundra Wilderness Tour. Search the pristine wilderness for bear, moose, caribou and Dall sheep. This full-day narrated bus trip explores the restricted-access Denali Park Road, offering you un-paralleled wildlife watching opportunities. Gain insight into the animals, flora and fauna of this spectacular region.

Day Four:
Today, enjoy a guided tour along the George Parks Highway to Anchorage. Your motorcoach will pass through heavy Birch forests and the spectacular Knik and Matanuska River Valleys. Along the way keep your eyes peeled for wildlife. Return to Anchorage for a two-night stay.

Northern Lights

Day Five:
After breakfast, take a narrated tour of Anchorage and the historic downtown district. Also visit the Alaska Native Heritage Center, a gathering place that celebrates, perpetuates and shares Alaska’s native cultures. This is a renowned cultural center and museum; a place where all people come to expand their understanding of Alaska's first people. You will feel their heartbeat, hear their stories, explore their history, see their villages and discover a cultural heritage that is living and thriving today.

Tonight, is a very special evening as you feast on an Alaskan family-style buffet and share tales from the road with your traveling companions. You will also have a chance to visit the Wildberry Chocolates factory.

Day Six:
After breakfast, bid farewell to Alaska, as you are shuttled to the Anchorage Airport for your flight to Honolulu.

Your first experience of "Aloha" begins on arrival, where you will be greeted with a traditional flower lei. After collecting your bags, transfer to your hotel for a three-night stay. (The price of this flight is included in your package but subject to change).

Day Seven:
Today learn one of our country’s most valuable history lessons:
how men and women gave their lives on December 7, 1941 - "The Day of Infamy." Your experience on the Arizona Memorial will make you proud and thankful for the freedoms that we enjoy. Honolulu highlights include the National Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl), Washington Place, the Governor’s Mansion, the State Capitol Building, Chinatown, Iolani Palace and the King Kamehameha Statue.

Return to your hotel at approximately noon for an afternoon free to enjoy lunch, explore the shops on Kalakaua Avenue or take a leisurely stroll on the world’s most famous beach, Waikiki.

Tonight, be ready to hula at a traditional Hawaiian Luau. It's a night of Polynesian drinks, Hawaiian food, live island music and entertainment. This Aloha-style hospitality will have you dancing and singing island songs.

Day Eight:
Embark on the Grand Circle Island tour, a breathtakingly beautiful 120-mile trip around the Island of Oahu. See Hawaii’s most famous landmarks; Diamondhead, Hanauma Bay, Halona Blowhole, Pali Lookout, the Dole Pineapple Plantation, big-wave beaches of the North Shore and the unparalleled South Pacific vistas on the Eastern side of the island.

Volcano

Day Nine:
After breakfast in the hotel, transfer to the airport for a short flight to the Big Island. Upon arrival on Hawaii, transfer to your hotel.

This afternoon explore Kona Town. You may stroll Ali’i Drive’s historical sites, such as Ahu'ena Heiau-which was once King Kamehameha’s place of worship, Hulihe'e Palace, once used by royalty as a vacation home and now a museum filled with ancient Hawaiian artifacts and Mokuaikaua Church, the site of the first Christian church built in Hawaii.

Everyone loves the movie "Forest Gump" and tonight it’s not a box of chocolates but a three-course dinner at the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company. Savor your meal as the sun sets into the blue Pacific at this oceanfront restaurant.

Day Ten:
Your day-long bus tour covers the very best of the Big Island. Witness some of the Big Island’s most impressive and diverse natural wonders, from its volcanoes to its tropical forests and world-famous black sand beaches. There are several photo-worthy moments along the way, including a spectacular view at Kealakekua Bay Overlook, the historic location known for the death of Captain Cook.

Volcanoes National Park is a highlight. Here you will learn about Hawaii’s active volcanoes and see their features throughout the park. Hear about the island’s seven ecological zones, its plant and animal communities and how the area perpetuates native Hawaiian culture. Whether you are gazing at a lava tube, steam bluff or waterfall, your guide will provide fascinating insights into the island’s rich geology, history and culture.

Day Eleven:
After breakfast, transfer to the airport and begin your trip home.

Tour Highlights

  • Denali National Park
  • Tundra Wilderness Tour
  • Ride on the Alaska Railroad
  • Alaska Native Heritage Center
  • Anchorage Sightseeing
  • Arizona Memorial and Pearl Harbor Tour
  • Honolulu City Sights
  • Oahu Circle Island Tour
  • Grand Circle Island Volcano Tour
Coastal Vacation

Your Package Includes:

  • 10 Nights accommodation
  • 10 Breakfasts
  • 3 Dinners
  • Admission to attractions listed above as included
  • Full-time professional tour manager
  • Intra-tour transportation on a luxury motor coach
  • Non-stop flight from Anchorage, AK to Honolulu, HI
  • Hawaiian inter-island airfare
  • Baggage handling for one piece of luggage per person
  • Taxes and gratuities (Note: Taxes and gratuities for full time escort, local guide and coach driver not included. They are left at your discretion based on service.)

Prices start at 2,999.00 per person double occupancy.

Notch Above Tours will gladly arrange air transportation to Anchorage and from Hawaii for you. We will also arrange pre and post-night stays upon request.

Contact us for more information.

"Hawaii Three I"
10-Days/9-Nights
2014 (Several dates available)

Hawaiian Sunset

This is the perfect tour for first-time visitors to Hawaii. Visit Pearl Harbor, Volcanoes National Park and the rainforests. You receive a flower lei on arrival and get to wear a grass skirt before you leave. Come, enjoy Aloha Fun!

Day One:
Your first experience of "Aloha" begins on arrival, when you will be welcomed with a traditional flower lei. Transfer to your hotel, meet your local escort and enjoy your first Mai Tai.

Day Two: PEARL HARBOR HONOLULU SIGHTSEEING
Today you visit the USS Arizona Memorial where you will learn one of our country’s most valuable history lessons: how men and women gave their lives on December 7, 1941 – "The Day of Infamy." Your experience on the Arizona Memorial will make you proud and thankful for the freedoms we enjoy.

Next we embark on a narrated driving tour of the highlights of Honolulu City. This tour winds its way through The National Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl), Washington Place -which is the Governor’s Mansion, The State Capitol Building, Chinatown, Iolani Palace and the King Kamehameha Statue.

After a morning of sightseeing we return to the hotel and you will have a free afternoon to enjoy lunch, explore the shops on Kalakaua Avenue or take a leisurely stroll on the world’s most famous beach, Waikiki.

Optional Upgrade – Stars and Stripes Tour - If you are a real WWII History buff, you may upgrade and include walking tours of both the USS Battleship Missouri and The National Cemetery of the Pacific (Punchbowl). This extended tour returns to Waikiki at approximately 3:00 PM.

This evening, enjoy Hawaii Island Cuisine made famous by 12 chefs focused on locally grown produce, fresh island fish, pork, beef and cheeses, which are then creatively melded together with delectable sauces to create extraordinary treats for foodie visitors to the islands.

Day Three:
Today we take a breathtakingly beautiful 120-mile trip around the Island of Oahu. We visit Hawaii’s most famous landmarks: Diamondhead, Hanauma Bay, Halona Blowhole, Pali Lookout the Dole Pineapple Plantation, big-wave beaches of the North Shore and the un-paralleled South Pacific vistas on the Eastern Side of the island. Your local escort has extensive knowledge of the islands and will be available to assist you in finding your own unique dining experience this evening.

Beach Coast

Day Four:
Today is free time – "Hanging Loose." Enjoy the beach or shop. Explore parts of Hawaii that you have always dreamed of. You might delve into Hawaii’s history and culture at the Bishop Museum or watch a free hula show in Waikiki.

Tonight gather and say "Aloha" as you sail out of Honolulu Harbor on a sunset dinner cruise. Sail up the coast while watching the sun drop off into the Pacific. The night comes alive with views of the spectacular city lights while you dine on Polynesian delights and shake your hula hips to a little Hawaiian music.

Day Five:
This morning check out of your Honolulu hotel and board a plane for a short flight to the "Big Island." Once you arrive in Hawaii, you will be transferred to the hotel.

This afternoon you have the opportunity to explore Kona Town. You may stroll Ali’i Drive’s historical sites, such as Ahu’ena Heiau-which was once King Kamehameha’s place of worship, Hulihe’e Palace-used by royalty as a vacation home but now a museum with many ancient Hawaiian artifacts and Mokuaikaua Church, which is the site of the first Christian church built in Hawaii.

Everyone loves the movie Forest Gump and tonight it’s not a box of chocolates but a three-course dinner at the Bubba Gump Shrimp Company. Watch the sun set into blue Pacific at this oceanfront restaurant.

Hawaiian Volcano

Day Six:
Today we board our deluxe motorcoach and enjoy a driving tour the "Big Island." Witness some of the most impressive and diverse natural wonders, from its volcanoes to its tropical forests to its world-famous black sand beaches. There are several photo-worthy moments along the way, including a spectacular view at Kealakekua Bay Overlook, the historic location known for the death of Captain Cook.

Volcanoes National Park is the biggest highlight. Here you will learn about Hawaii’s active volcanoes and see their features. You will hear about the island’s seven ecological zones, its plant and animal communities and about how the area perpetuates native Hawaiian culture. Whether you are gazing at a lava tube, steam bluff, or waterfall, your guide will provide fascinating insights into the island’s rich geology, history and culture. This is a tour not to be missed!

Day Seven:
This morning pack your bags and transfer to the airport for your short flight to Maui. This afternoon, you might want to take a trolley ride to the historic whaling town of Lahaina. Once the capital of the Hawaiian Kingdom, it’s rich in history and culture. You may also choose to walk the Lahaina Historic Trail marked by bronze plaques on and around Front Street, or explore the over 40 art galleries and multiple oceanfront restaurants featuring Hawaii’s regional cuisine.

Day Eight:
From the mountains to the valleys, to the ocean, this full-day bus tour shows you a few of Maui’s magnificent highlights. You will go from sea level to 10,023 feet to the top of Mt. Haleakala. Descend into Iao Valley where the bright green Iao Needle shoots up from the ground and tropical plants, waterfalls and swimming holes accentuate this tropical rain forest. The final stop of the tour is Lahaina Town, an old whaling seaport lined with restaurants, shops and over 40 art galleries. This tour is a perfect day of Maui sightseeing./p> Hawaiian Dancers

Day Nine: "Hanging Loose" on Maui
Today is your last day to "Hang Loose" in Hawaii. So, sit back and relax and enjoy the tropical vistas of your island paradise.

On your final night say "Aloha" with a traditional Hawaiian party and authentic Hawaiian Luau. Tonight you will be able to do the hula, enjoy traditional Hawaiian foods, music, entertainment and gracious island hospitality.

Day Ten: Aloha and E Malama Pono
Today is departure day. We bid you Aloha and a Big Mahalo for visiting the islands. Make sure you take some of the Mana (Hawaiian Spirit) with you.

Your Package Includes:

  • 4 Nights on Waikiki
  • 2 Nights at Kona
  • 3 Nights on Maui
  • 4 Dinners
  • Traditional Flower Lei Greeting
  • USS Arizona Memorial Tour
  • Honolulu City Highlights Tour
  • Oahu Circle Island Tour
  • Self-Guided Kona Historical Tour
  • Grand Circle Island Volcano Tour
  • Magnificent Maui Tour
  • Deluxe motorcoach transportation
  • Airport transfers and Sky Cap tips
  • All Inter-Island airfare to Hawaii & Maui
  • Local tour director
  • All Luggage handling, taxes and gratuity (Note: Gratuity for the tour leader and coach driver is not included. This is left at your discretion based on service.)

Prices starting at 2,599.00 per person double occupancy.

Note: Notch Above Tours will gladly arrange air transportation to Honolulu and from Maui. We will also arrange pre and post night stays upon request.

Contact us for more information.

Alaska Adventure
13-Days/12-Nights
2014 (Several dates available)

Alaska Cruise

Experience all that Alaska has to offer with Princess Cruises. Discover the many facets of this exciting destination, including Alaska's fortress-like glaciers, treasured National Parks and diverse wildlife. This trip also features four pre-cruise days of touring featuring Fairbanks, Denali National Park and the Alaska Railroad.

Forest

Day One:
This Cruise /Tour Package begins with your arrival at the Fairbanks Airport. Once on the ground you will meet your Adventure Specialist and a transfer vehicle that will pick up your group and drive you to your Fairbanks hotel for the night. Endearingly nicknamed "Alaska’s Golden Heart," the City of Fairbanks sits just 200 miles south of the Arctic Circle.

Day Two:
This day is filled with exciting activities beginning with the Riverboat Discovery Cruise.  This three-hour sternwheel boat ride takes you deep into the wild heart of Alaska; past bush plane docks, the Athabascan Indian Village and more. Then you have a scenic motorcoach trip from Fairbanks to Denali National Park. Overnight accommodations are at the Denali Princess Wilderness Lodge.

Day Three:
This morning embark on a Denali National Park Natural History Tour that introduces you to the wildlife and beauty within the park, you’ll board a motorcoach for a very picturesque trip to the southside of Denali Park. The afternoon is yours to enjoy as you please.  Optional activities are available from the hotel.

Day Four:
Enjoy a morning of leisure before you board your luxury motorcoach for a scenic journey to the Mt. McKinley Princess Wilderness Lodge where you will overnight.

Tonight gather and say "Aloha" as you sail out of Honolulu Harbor on a sunset dinner cruise. Sail up the coast while watching the sun drop off into the Pacific. The night comes alive with views of the spectacular city lights while you dine on Polynesian delights and shake your hula hips to a little Hawaiian music.

Day Five:
This morning transfer to the town of Talkeetna for your Direct-to-the-Wilderness Rail Journey. The Alaska Railroad pulls your private glass-domed railcar on an unforgettable journey through Alaskan wilderness, past Anchorage, along the Cook Inlet and all the way to Whittier where your ship awaits. At Whittier step off your railcar and onto the waiting Coral Princess to begin your cruise. The itinerary is titled "The Voyage of Glaciers."

Day Six:
Anchorage (Whittier), Alaska Day at Sea

Glacier

Day Seven:
Today you will see the Hubbard Glacier, the largest tidewater glacier on the North American continent. It has been thickening and advancing toward the Gulf of Alaska ever since it was first mapped in 1895.

Day Eight:
Your ship spends this day cruising Glacier Bay National Park, gliding among 15 active glaciers.  This is truly one of the most rugged and surreal spots on earth./p>

Day Nine:
Today you visit Skagway, the end of the Inside Passage and was on a gateway for the gold rush. Relive that colorful past at the dance-hall revue, shop for handcrafted gold-nugget jewelry or hop aboard the historic White Pass and Yukon Railroad.

Day Ten:
Visit Juneau Alaska’s capital city. It has a rainforest climate that is filled with vibrant wildflowers, yet offers unparalleled glacier viewing. Early settlers included miners during the gold rush and Russian fur traders.

Day Eleven:
At Ketchikan, visit the ancestral home of Alaska’s Tlingit Indians. This town displays its proud native heritage in colorful totem poles – boasting the largest collection in the world. You will also find unique shopping and sport fishing options.

Day Twelve:
Enjoy a day of scenic wonder as you cruise south on Alaska’s Inside Passage between the mainland and coastal waters.

Day Thirteen:
Your ship docks in Vancouver this morning and after breakfast you are transferred to the airport for your return flight.

Your Package Includes:

  • 13-day Alaska Cruise/Land Tour
  • 8 night voyage of the Glaciers Cruise
  • 4 days pre-cruise touring
  • Riverboat Discovery Cruise
  • Wilderness rail journey
  • Denali National Park
  • Denali Natural History Tour
  • All meals aboard ship
  • Inside passage cruising
  • Airport to hotel transfers
  • Full-time adventure specialist on land portion only
  • Baggage handling
  • Alaska motorcoach tour and transportation
  • All taxes and fees included on these services (Note: Gratuities are not included for the adventure specialist and the coach driver. These are left at your discretion based upon service.)
  • Passports are required

Prices start at 2,429.00 per person double occupancy.

Note: Notch Above Tours will gladly arrange air transportation to Fairbanks, Alaska and from Vancouver. We will also arrange pre and post-night stays upon request.

Contact us for more information.

The British Are Cruising
Sail aboard The Queen Mary 2
Celebrate Independence Day in Boston Harbor
June 30-July 6, 2014

Cruise Ship

The RMS Queen Mary 2 is Cunard’s flagship and most magnificent ocean liner ever built. She is a transatlantic ocean liner and the first major ocean liner built since the Queen Elizabeth 2 in 1969.

Climb aboard for a New England/Canada Cruise from New York City to Halifax. Celebrate Independence Day in Boston and have the best seats in town for the renowned fireworks display as you sit on board the ship!

Itinerary:

Day 1, Monday, June 30: Arrive in New York City. The afternoon and evening are yours to enjoy at your leisure. There is time to shop, sightsee, attend a Broadway Show and dine in some of the most fabulous restaurants in the world. Overnight accommodations are conveniently located in a Midtown Manhattan Hotel.

Day 2, Tuesday, July 1: This morning allows for more free time in New York before you check out of the hotel at 12:00 noon. Transfer to the pier and board the Queen Mary 2. Lunch is included on board. Set sail at 5:00 pm.

Day 3, Wednesday, July 2: Today you sail north past the Coast off Cape Cod toward Canada.   This day at sea is a great time to discover the ship’s amazing amenities. Enjoy the majestic Britannia Restaurant, the swank Commodore Club, have a draught in the Golden Lion Pub, discover the world’s only shipboard Planetarium and enjoy dancing with dinner in the chandeliered Queen’s Room.   Discover that no one does afternoon tea better than the Brits! There are countless other amenities onboard such as a Casino, Spa, duty free shops and more.

Day 4, Thursday, July 3: The Queen Mary docks this morning in Halifax. Embark on a private sightseeing tour of the city that includes a visit to Titanic Graveyard and to beautiful and timeless Peggy’s Cove.  Witness the historic harbor protected by The Citadel, and learns of this town’s history.

Day 5, Friday, July 4: Cruise through the night and arrive Boston Harbor late this morning. Paul Revere will welcome you and lead you on a tour of the renowned Freedom Trail featuring landmarks such as the Old North Church, Bunker Hill and Paul Revere’s house. A visit at the Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum gives you the chance to throw tea overboard!

This evening you have a choice of buying a shore excursion pass from the cruise line that features the Boston Pops and fireworks, or for the best seats in town, simply relax on deck and observe the show without the crowd.   It’s a unique opportunity to celebrate American Independence from the deck of a British Ship!

Day 6, Saturday July 5: You may enjoy a quick morning visit into Boston or simply relax and indulge yourself amidst the Queen Mary’s many luxuries.   Set for New York at lunchtime.

Day 7, Sunday, July 6: Arrive in New York’s harbor early morning. Disembark the ship and transfer to the airport or to your ground transportation carrier for your trip home.

Your Package Includes:

  • Six Night Cruise on the Queen Mary 2
  • All meals aboard the ship
  • One night Pre-Cruise New York City
  • Evening on your own in Midtown Manhattan-a great time for a Broadway Show1
  • Shopping on Fifth Avenue
  • July 4th Fireworks in Boston Harbor
  • Freedom Trail Tour in Boston let by Paul Revere
  • Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum
  • Gift Box of Boston Harbour Tea
  • Cruise to Halifax, Nova Scotia
  • Locally guided Halifax City Tour including Peggy’s Cove
  • All Taxes and Fees on These Services
  • Shipboard gratuities
  • Baggage handling for one piece of luggage per person

Pricing Information:

Inside Cabins: 2,149.00 Double, 3,348.00 Single
Oceanview: 2,699.00 Double, 4,347.00 Single
Verandah: 2,899.00 Double, 4,690.00 Single
Triples and Quads are very limited and will be priced on request.

Terms:

100.00 Per person due at time of Booking
500.00 Per person due Oct 30, 2013
Final Payment is due March 30, 2014
Last Date to cancel without penalty is March 30. 2014

 
Contact us for more information.

Feel the Beat of American Blues and Jazz
Fourteen Days - Thirteen Nights

American Blues and Jazz

Day One:
Arrive in New Orleans, LA, late afternoon/early evening for a three-night stay in a French Quarter hotel.

Day Two:
This morning begins with a narrated New Orleans City Sightseeing tour aboard a public site-seeing vehicle. You will travel by the historic parts of the French Quarter, where you will see some of the oldest sections of the city: Jackson Square, the towering St. Louis Cathedral, the infamous Bourbon Street and the bustling French Market. No visit to New Orleans would be complete without a tour in one of the historic cemeteries, where you will find the above ground tombs that inhabit these "cities of the dead." Tonight, savor the beauty and romance of the New Orleans skyline aboard the last authentic steamboat on the Mississippi River. Climb aboard the Steamboat NATCHEZ for an included Dixieland Jazz Dinner Cruise. (D)

Day Three:
New Orleans is a destination that abounds in food, history and music. The Court of Two Sisters, where you have brunch today, offers an authentic blend of it all. In this picturesque old-world courtyard with original gas lights and flowing fountains, is a historic restaurant with a strolling trio that plays real New Orleans Jazz music. Your afternoon is then free to enjoy The Quarter's many shops, boutiques and entertainment venues.  Dinner is on your own. We recommend that you visit the Preservation Hall, a unique venue featuring the distinctive sound of New Orleans Jazz that embodies the city’s musical legacy. You may easily travel around New Orleans on foot or by pubic transportation. (Br)

Day Four:
From New Orleans enjoy a scenic drive through rural Louisiana swamps and marshes to Lafayette, located in the heart of Cajun Country. This region is rich in tradition and full of the energy and spirit that has made South Louisiana world renown. The Vermilionville Living History Museum and Folklife Park were created to preserve and represent Acadian, Creole and Native American cultures within the region. Vermilionville is the largest physical representation of Acadian and Creole culture in the world. It is a place for music, food, expression, cultural exchange, historic architecture and much more. Witness a lifestyle as it occurred during a time period spanning from 1765 to 1890 where you will find craftspeople in period clothing, historic and period reproduction buildings and homes, plus live Cajun and Creole music.  This evening enjoy fine food and entertainment at Pont Breaux's Cajun Restaurant, where authentic flavors and music fill the night. (B, D)

Day Five:
At this point in your tour you have toured New Orleans and Southern Louisiana and listened to that great Dixieland Jazz that has roots in the Cajun and Creole cultures of the region. Today you return to the river and embark upon the Mississippi Blues Trail. The Blues, with its roots in plantation culture, is a style of music created by slaves who later in post Civil War generations brought it to the cities where it merged with and influenced Jazz, Gospel and Rock n' Roll.

Enroute to Natchez, visit the Frogmore Cotton Plantation in Ferriday, LA.  Hear the story of cotton in the antebellum era of the South when slaves tended these fields. Equally as important as the agricultural history that the plantation cared for, is the human story. Attend a slave wedding or a church sing. You may hear song coming from the slave quarters as re-enactors portray the lives of their ancestors.

Your next stop is the Delta Music Museum where you will learn how and why music interplayed daily in the lives of the slaves and sharecroppers. Discover how earlier music transformed into Rhythm and Blues and Rock 'n' Roll. Listen to intimate stories about Jerry Lee Lewis, Mickey Gilley, Aaron Neville, Conway Twitty, Percy Sledge and other Ferriday native musicians. You also have a chance to hear their music.

Overnight lodging is in Natchez, MS on the banks of the Mighty Mississippi and amidst magnificent antebellum homes, fascinating history, exciting events and a romantic atmosphere. Your stay features two nights lodging in an antebellum mansion or historic home.

Dinner is served at a historic district restaurant that has been voted America’s #1 Blues Nightclub by the Memphis Blues Foundation. Listen to great live music in an intimate setting where everyone has a front row seat! (B, D)

Day Six:
This morning you motor along the historic two-lane rural road known as the Natchez Trace, and travel as far as Jackson, MS. At the end of your drive you find Raymond's Little Big Store.  This is an historic building filled with records, tapes (8-Track Cassettes), CD's, posters, magazines and all kinds of music-related stuff.

Overnight this evening in Jackson, MS.  Here is your chance to explore the Farish Street redevelopment. This street is to Jackson what Beale Street is to Memphis. Listen to the famous "Farish Street Sound" at the area’s all-new clubs and restaurants. You will also find phonograph shops, record stores, historic theaters and countless stories of bluesmen. (B)

Day Seven:
This morning you travel through Yazoo City, MS, known for the unique Bentonia style of Blues, and a Juke Joint called the Blue Front Café. However, your destination is actually the B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center in Indianola, MS. Your tour begins in the theater and leads you on a journey through the Mississippi Delta and into the life of B.B. King. The Center features the very latest in high-definition projection and audio technology.  You are immersed in the sights and sounds of the Delta, and then introduced to the remarkable legacy of a man known as the King of the Blues. Have lunch on your own at a restaurant near the museum.

The next stop on your Delta tour is the Greenwood Blues Heritage Museum and Gallery. This museum contains the South's largest collection of music and memorabilia from Robert Johnson, the Delta Blues musician who allegedly "sold his soul to the devil" in order to become the greatest guitar man ever.

Todays drive ends in Clarksdale, located at the intersection of Highways 61 and 49 ("the crossroads.") Clarksdale and the surrounding Delta region are known as "the land where the blues began." This evening enjoy a Southern Barbecue dinner and live music at Ground Zero, a restaurant/juke joint that is co-owned by actor Morgan Freeman. (B, D)

Day Eight:
Your morning features a visit to the Delta Blues Museum, an internationally acclaimed museum that showcases the history and significance of the Blues in this region. The museum features a wax figure of Blues great, Muddy Waters and the famous Muddywood Guitar. Many now-legendary musical artists, were born and raised in and around Clarksdale: Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Son House, Ike Turner, Jackie Brenston, Sam Cooke, Junior Parker and W. C. Handy. The likes of Robert Johnson, Howlin’ Wolf and Charley Patton are also associated with the museum. Clarksdale was a major market for the Delta’s constantly traveling musicians

Next, visit the Rock and Blues Museum. It is packed full of music memorabilia dating from the 1920’s through the 1970‘s.  During your visit, follow the evolution of America’s music, from Blues, R&B, and Rockabilly to Rock ‘n Roll and Soul and see how it influenced people all over the globe. Clarksdale also has a wide range of eclectic shopping experiences that feature the culture of the Mississippi Delta.

Your accommodations are at a hotel convenient to Beale Street so you may conveniently enjoy the sights and sounds and have dinner on own.

Day Nine:
It was Muddy Waters who once said, "the Blues had a baby and they called it Rock’n Roll." That said you are bound for nearby Memphis, home to the King himself, Elvis Presley.

Your day begins with an included visit to the Rock 'n Soul Museum. The museum offers a historical and educational exploration of the origins of Rock and Soul music, of the musical legends that overcame racial and socio-economic barriers to create America’s music and of its influence on world culture.

Your next stop is Graceland where you will tour the mansion where Elvis lived during his adult life. You will also see his private airplanes, automobiles and special exhibits.

Return to Beale Street to enjoy another evening among the Blues Clubs and restaurants. (B)

Day Ten:
This morning is dedicated to recording, where you begin at Stax Records.  Stax is important in American music history, as it is one of the most popular Soul Music record labels of all time - second only to Motown. Next, visit the legendary Sun Studios, the most famous recording studio in the world.

The afternoon features a one-of-a-kind driving tour of Memphis' musical heritage. Your Mo Jo Tour features live music on the bus, so you are guaranteed to have a good time as you learn about the sights and sounds of the City.

Enjoy dinner with your co-travelers, at B.B. Kings on Beale Street! (B, D)

Day Eleven:
This morning’s travel takes you to St Louis where you arrive mid afternoon. Enjoy the afternoon at your leisure to explore the city. Overnight accommodations are at the Moonrise Hotel, a unique boutique hotel located in the entertainment district. Enjoy a dinner and show combo, "Jazz at the Bistro." There are several other local clubs that offer live entertainment such as Chuck Berry's Blueberry Hill. (B, D)

Day Twelve:
Travel to Chicago where you will arrive mid afternoon. Enjoy time at your leisure in the City. Overnight accommodations for two nights are in a downtown hotel, The Palmer House. Prepare yourself for an evening of Blues entertainment.  Begin with dinner, on your own, followed by visits to Chicago’s multitude of entertainment venues. (B)

Day Thirteen:
This morning, embark on a Chicago Blues Heritage Tour.  This musical movement began as rural Southerners migrated to industrial jobs in the city and brought their music with them. Witness all of the places important to the evolution of the Blues:  Maxwell Street, the 708 Club and Chess Records (now home to the Blues Heaven Foundation.) Learn about the State Street Stroll and the Blues District and witness Vee Jay Records and the Blues Brothers Mural. Your farewell evening features dinner and music at the renowned Buddy Guy’s "Legends." (B, D)

Day Fourteen:
Transfer to the airport for your flight back home.

Your Package Includes:

  • 13 Nights first class lodging
  • 11 Breakfasts
  • 1 Lunch
  • 7 Dinners
  • Admissions to attractions described above as included
  • Full-time escort
  • Inter city transportation on a luxury motor coach
  • Guided local tours stated above as included
  • Accommodations for coach driver
  • Taxes and gratuities (Note: Gratuities for coach driver, full time tour manager/escort and local guide are not included and are at your discretion based on service.)
Contact us for more information.

Florida’s Palms, Pirates, Dolphins and Disney
Ten Days – Nine Nights

Florida’s Palms, Pirates, Dolphins and Disney

Day One:
Upon arrival at the Orlando, FL airport you will be greeted by your full-time escort and board your private motor coach. Arrive at your first-class hotel where there will be time to relax and refresh before the evening’s activities.

This evening enjoy shopping, entertainment galore and dinner on your own in Downtown Disney. Divided into 3 sections—Downtown Disney West Side, Downtown Disney Marketplace and Pleasure Island—Downtown Disney area is an ever-changing destination committed to keeping the experiences exciting and new. Choose from dining with dinosaurs to a Disney shopping extravaganza to catching incredible live music and shows!

Day Two:
After breakfast in the hotel, discover Disney World with your full-day admission ticket to your choice of Disney World’s Theme Parks. Choose The Magic Kingdom, EPCOT Center, Disney's Animal Kingdom, or Disney Hollywood Studios. Lunch and dinner are at your leisure in Disney World.

Day Three:
Following breakfast, pack your luggage and prepare to check out of the hotel for today you travel to nearby Ft Myers, FL for a two night stay.

Upon arrival you learn that winning isn’t everything –it’s doing your best that matters most, and that creativity and balance are key. That’s the thinking behind the new "Art of the Olympians Gallery" in downtown Fort Myers’ historic River District. Developed by Al Oerter, (Discus), the gallery also features work by Peggy Fleming, (Skater) Flo-Jo Griffith Joyner, (Sprinter), Liston Bochette (Decathlon and Bob Sled), Bob Beamon, (Long Jump) and other athlete- artists.

This evening you enjoy dinner with Beach Music at a local restaurant. Wear your flip-flops, shorts and flowered shirts!

Day Four:
Enjoy a hearty breakfast in the hotel before you start an exciting day with a Marine Biologist Cruise, where you pursue dolphins, manatee and other wildlife. Learn about Florida's many diverse animals including sea urchins, sea horses, conchs, brittle stars and more. As a bonus to your outing, walk the beach of a remote barrier island and look for seashells. This fun morning is both educational and recreational, as you will have time for a swim after the cruise.

Prepare yourself for a wild afternoon as you learn about Florida's most remarkable treasure, the Everglades. This Wildlife Adventure begins with a 30-minute Airboat Ride across the Everglades Sea of Grass. During the tour, you will hear tales of how the Seminole and panther once coexisted in this lush wilderness. As you skim across the glassy water, you'll catch a glimpse of endangered wildlife that inhabits the area.

Return to your hotel after a busy day and have dinner on own at a restaurant near the hotel.

Day Five:
Check out of the hotel after breakfast and get ready to travel to Margarita Ville! Your coach drops you at the Key West Jet Express pier at 8:00am and you board a high-speed catamaran ferry for a 3 -1/2 hour cruise to Key West. Your driver and luggage will meet you later at the hotel.

Once in Key West you have free time for lunch in one of the many shore-side restaurants or at an eatery on Duval Street.

Climb aboard the renowned Conch Train for a riding your upon which you see the sights, hear the stories and share a few laughs, as you tour this happy little Island Resort.

Late afternoon meet your coach check-in to the Fairfield Inn for a two–night stay. Dinner is included this evening at Jimmy Buffet's Margarita Ville. After dinner heat to Mallory Square for the sunset celebration. This nightly festival features art, crafts, psychics and food carts. Witness the antics of the street performers such as jugglers, escape artists, musicians, magicians, tightrope walkers, The Cat Man and an unpredictable variety of other colorful performers.

Day Six:
After breakfast, start your day with a visit to Truman's Little White House. This property served as Harry Truman's Winter Home from 1946 to 1952. It was later used by other Presidents, including Eisenhower and Kennedy.

Next, is a visit to the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum. Nestled in the heart of Old Town Key West, this unique property was home to one of America's most honored and respected authors. Wander through the lush grounds and enjoy the whimsy of the more than sixty, six-toed cats that call this place home.

After your tour of the Hemingway Home continue to explore Old Town Key West on your own. Stroll by an amazing array of ornate architecture that displays a strong Spanish influence to the impoverished shotgun houses inspired by the Haitians. Walk by the Key West Cemetery, established in 1847 and witness the aboveground vaults and massive display of delicately carved markers.

"Do the Duval Crawl" and have lunch on your own as you head back to the downtown area. Stop in at Sloppy Joe’s, one of Hemingway’s favorites haunts. Next, visit the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum, home to more than $20 million in treasure and historical objects. You will see a wide range of artifacts, including gold and silver bars, over 4,000 silver coins, swords, guns, pottery and personal effects from the 1622 Spanish Fleet.

After dinner at local restaurant, climb on board for a Sunset Cruise. Sail off into Key West’s famous sunset and listen to the sounds of steel drum music, let the warm breezes surround you and sip a frozen beverage as you toast the end of the day.

Day Seven:
Check out of the hotel after breakfast and prepare yourself for a day of travel. The route takes you up through the Keys, past the Everglades, and on to St Augustine, FL, America's Oldest City, and home of the Golf Hall of Fame.

Once you have had a chance to relax and refresh, join your co-travelers for dinner at a local restaurant.

Day Eight:
Enjoy breakfast in the hotel before you depart on a full day of "Hop-on Hop-off" St Augustine visits aboard the Trolley. The driver/guides provide narration between each stop so you learn the history of Americas Oldest City and have a chance to visit her most interesting attractions. Admission to Ponce De Leon's Fountain of Youth is included. (We'll do anything to keep our customers young!). The park here features a museum with artifacts about the founding of St. Augustine, a planetarium, natural springs and Indian burial grounds. There are plenty of other attractions, shops and restaurants to keep entertained.

So, once you've drunk from the Fountain of Youth, you are on your own to explore the city until mid-afternoon. At that time you will board the Black Raven Pirate Ship and set sail with a crew of swashbucklers and storytellers. This is a lively outing with friendly pirates that will have you singing with them the music and shanties of old.

Enjoy a lovely dinner in a local restaurant or on board the Black Raven (depending upon number of travelers.)

Day Nine:
Check out of the hotel after breakfast and travel back to Orlando for another day of Amusement Park Fun. You may choose to spend another full day at a Disney World Theme or a day at Universal Studios. Lunch and dinner are on your own.

Day Ten:
After breakfast, transfer via motor coach to the Orlando Airport for your flight home.

Your Package Includes:

  • 9 Nights first class lodging
  • 9 Breakfasts
  • 5 Dinners
  • Time to visit Downtown Disney
  • Admission to Disney World
  • Admission to the Art of The Olympians Gallery
  • Coastal Sea life and Shelling Cruise
  • Everglades Airboat Ride
  • Jet Express to Key West
  • Conch Train Tour in Key West
  • Time to enjoy the Sunset Celebration on Mallory Square
  • Admission to Truman’s Little White House
  • Admission to Ernest Hemingway’s Home and Museum
  • Admission to the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum
  • Key West Sunset Cruise
  • Admission to Ponce de Leon’s Fountain of Youth
  • St. Augustine Trolley Tour, Hop-on, Hop-off Ticket
  • Black Raven Pirate Ship Cruise
  • Admission to Universal Studios or a second day at Disney World
  • 10 Days of professional escort/tour manager service
  • Baggage handling for one piece of luggage per traveler
  • Taxes and gratuities
  • Luxury motor coach transportation
Contact us for more information.

Visit the Big Three:
New York, Niagara Falls, Washington, DC
Nine Days – Eight Nights

New York, Niagra Falls, Washington, DC

Day One:
Upon arrival at a New York City Airport, you will be greeted by your full-time escort/tour manager and travel via motor to a Midtown Manhattan hotel for a three-night stay.

Join a local New York City guide and embark on a windshield/walking tour of the City. You will see landmarks such as Ground Zero, Wall Street, Greenwich Village, Time Square, 5th Avenue, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Neighborhood of Harlem and the United Nations Building. You will also visit the Aircraft Carrier U.S.S. Intrepid and its Sea, Air and Space Museum. You also have a chance to tour the submarine Growler and visit the aircraft collection that includes a British Airways Concorde.

Have dinner on your own in a restaurant near Rockefeller Center. After dinner, take a stroll through the amazing night-lit maze along the city streets.

Day Two:
After breakfast in the hotel, travel via coach to Battery Park and board the morning ferry to the Liberty and Ellis Islands. Witness one of the world’s most historical landmarks, The Statue of Liberty, followed by a visit to Ellis Island, the symbol of American immigration.

You will have time to disembark the ferry and explore both islands.

Following your cruise, visit the South Street Seaport. The Seaport is a designated historic district, features some of the oldest architecture in downtown Manhattan and includes the largest concentration of restored early 19th century commercial buildings in the city. Enjoy the shops, street vendor cards and street performers. Have lunch on your own in one of the many eateries.

The afternoon is reserved for time at your leisure to visit an art museum. Selections include The Guggenheim, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, or MOMA the Museum of Modern Art.

Dinner is served at a landmark New York restaurant, Carmine's, a family-style Italian Ristorante, followed by a Broadway Show where your reserved Orchestra Seat tickets await.

Return to the hotel following the performance.

Day Three:
Following breakfast in the hotel, your first stop is Rockefeller Center where you embark on a tour of NBC Studios. Your next stop is St. Patrick's Cathedral, the largest gothic-style Catholic Cathedral in the United States.

Enjoy lunch on your own in one of the city’s renowned delicatessens.

As the afternoon unfolds you find yourself on Fifth Avenue the shopping mecca of the world. Visit Saks, Bloomingdales, Macys and countless smaller boutiques and shops. "If you can’t find it there, you can't find it anywhere..."

After dinner on your own, travel up to the 86th Floor Observatory of the Empire State Building. This illuminated bird’s eye view will surely be one of your most memorable experiences.

Day Four:
After breakfast and hotel check out, board your motor coach and travel across New York State bound for Niagara Falls, NY and a two night stay in nearby Buffalo. Once you have had a chance to relax and refresh, join your co-travelers for dinner at a local’s favorite restaurant.

Day Five:
Enjoy a hearty breakfast in the hotel for today is a day of adventure. Travel a short distance into Niagara where a local guide will meet you. Begin at the American Falls Observation Tower that extends out over the Niagara Gorge. You will be able to look directly out into the Falls and then into the raging torrents below. Today's sightseeing includes a cruise on the Maid of Mist, the most famous boat ride in New York State. For more than 150 years the Maid of the Mist has taken countless visitors through the foam and spray at the bottom of Niagara Falls. Get ready for damp, but thrilling ride!

Next, the wild excitement continues at The Cave of Winds. Here you follow your tour guide over a wooden walkway to the Hurricane Deck, where you are less than 20 feet from the torrents of Bridal Veil Falls. You'll experience tropical storm-like conditions and be doused by the spray of the rushing waters. It's a view that very few people ever get to experience.

Have a relaxing evening and dinner on your own.

Day Six:
Prepare to check out of the hotel after breakfast and travel south and east across New York and Pennsylvania and on into Washington DC. Arrive at your suburban hotel, your home for the next three nights.

Once you have had a chance to relax from the travel, enjoy a great dinner at Tony & Joes Seafood on the Potomac in nearby Georgetown.

Day Seven:
After breakfast in the hotel, embark on a sightseeing tour of Washington DC. The tour will include a photo opportunity of the White House, U.S. Capitol, Washington Monument, Union Station and the Holocaust Museum. You will also visit the Smithsonian Museum of Air & Space and have lunch on your own at the museum’s concession.

Your next stop is at the US Capitol Visitors Center followed by time at your leisure to visit the museums of The Smithsonian Institute.

This evening enjoy dinner at a local’s favorite restaurant followed by an illuminated monuments and memorials tour.

Day Eight:
Start another day of touring after breakfast in the hotel. Begin at the Arlington National Cemetery. Witness the Eternal Flame, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier for the Changing of the Guard and the Custis Lee Mansion. Have lunch on your own at an Arlington restaurant.

This afternoon, your group will visit either The International Spy Museum or the Newseum. At the International Spy Museum, learn how spies, intelligence operations and deceptions have changed the course of history. The Newseum is an interactive museum of news with behind-the- scenes views of how and why news is made. Hands-on exhibits trace five centuries of newsgathering.

Gather together for a farewell dinner at a landmark DC restaurant.

Day Nine:
After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight home.

Your Package Includes:

  • 8 Nights first class lodging
  • 8 Breakfasts
  • 5 Dinners
  • New York City Sightseeing Tour
  • Admission to the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum
  • Cruise to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island
  • Time to visit the South Street Seaport
  • Choice of Art Museum admissions
  • Admission to a Broadway Show with Orchestra Seat Tickets
  • Time to explore Rockefeller Center
  • NBC Studio Tour
  • Visit to St. Patrick’s Cathedral
  • Time to shop on Fifth Avenue
  • Admission to the Observatory at the Empire State Building
  • Guided tour of Niagara Falls
  • Visit to the American Falls Observation Tower
  • Maid of the Mist Boat Ride
  • Visit to Cave of the Winds
  • Guided Washington, DC sightseeing Tour
  • Visit to the Smithsonian Museum of Air and Space
  • Visit to the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center
  • Free time to visit the Smithsonian Institute’s Museums
  • Admission to the International Spy Museum of the Newseum
  • 9 Days of professional escort/tour manager service
  • Baggage handling for one piece of luggage per traveler
  • Taxes and gratuities
  • Luxury motor coach transportation
Contact us for more information.

The California Coast and American Icons
Ten Days – Nine Nights

California

Day One:
Upon arrival in San Francisco you will be greeted by your full-time escort and board your private motor coach. Embark on an afternoon tour of the city to include, as time allows: Twin Peaks, Golden Gate Park and Presidio.

Arrive at your hotel on Fisherman’s Wharf. There will be time to relax and refresh before dinner on Pier 39.

Day Two:
After breakfast in the hotel, depart for a tour that features the Giant Redwoods at Muir Woods National Monument. The tour is conducted on a mini bus. "This is the best tree-lovers monument that could possibly be found in all the forests of the world," stated John Muir.

Your afternoon features time to shop in charming Sausalito, and a ferry ride across San Francisco Bay, past Alcatraz and on to Fisherman's Wharf. Enjoy the evening at Fisherman’s Wharf and have dinner on your own in one of the fabulous restaurants.

Day Three:
Following breakfast in the hotel, travel again by private motor coach and arrive at Yosemite National Park (200 miles) for lunch at the Ahwahnee Lodge.

Following lunch is a two- hour Yosemite Valley Tram Tour. Park Rangers narrate as you enjoy an open-air tram ride and see the most famous sights such as El Capitan, Half Dome, Yosemite Falls and more. There will be time at your leisure to visit the gift shops and take some photographs.

Late afternoon, depart for Merced, CA where you will overnight. Dinner is on your own at a restaurant near the hotel.

Day Four:
Enjoy breakfast in the hotel before your tour takes you to the coast and for a visit to Monterey. There will be time to shop and have lunch on own on Old Fisherman's Wharf.

Then take the 17 Mile Drive past Pebble Beach and Lone Cypress, one of America's most scenic spots, and head south on California's Scenic Highway 1 with a photo stop at Big Sur.

Following the rocky Pacific Coast, you will travel on one of the most scenic highways in America. Lodging tonight is in the town of San Luis Obispo (264), and dinner is at a popular local restaurant.

Day Five:
Following breakfast, your travel continues on Scenic Highway 1 South. Stop in the Danish community of Solvang for lunch and time to shop.

Continue to Santa Barbara and visit the Old Spanish Mission followed by a stop in Santa Monica as you enter the Los Angeles area. There will be time to stroll along the Santa Monica Pier before dinner. After dinner travel into Hollywood for a two-night stay.

Day Six:
Today starts with breakfast in the hotel followed by a driving tour of Century City, along the Avenue of the Stars, window shopping on Rodeo Drive, tour Mann's Chinese Theatre and the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The rest of the afternoon and evening are at your leisure to explore Universal Citiwalk and have dinner on your own.

Day Seven:
Say so long to Hollywood after breakfast and travel to Las Vegas, where you will have a three-night stay in a downtown Las Vegas hotel. Enjoy time at your leisure to discover this amazing city, try your luck at the casinos and have dinner on your own.

Day Eight:
The entire day is at your leisure to enjoy Las Vegas. Take in the sites, shop, visit the casinos and attend one of their many live show offerings.

Day Nine:
Have a hearty breakfast in the hotel, for this morning you embark on an all-day motor coach trip to The Grand Canyon where you tour the sights on The South Rim. Bring your cameras!

Return to Las Vegas in the evening and have a farewell dinner on your own.

Day Ten:
Following breakfast at the hotel, transfer to the airport for your return flights.

Your Package Includes:

  • 9 Nights first class lodging>
  • 9 Breakfasts
  • 1 Lunch
  • 4 Dinners
  • San Francisco City Tour
  • Visit to the Giant Redwoods at Muir Woods
  • Ferry ride past Alcatraz
  • Visit to Yosemite National Park
  • Yosemite Valley Tram Tour
  • Visit to Old Fisherman’s Wharf
  • Stop at Pebble Beach
  • Travel along the 17 Mile Drive
  • Stop at Big Sur
  • Travel along California’s Scenic Highway 1
  • Visit to the Danish Community of Solvang
  • Tour of Santa Barbara
  • Tour of Century City and the Avenue of the Stars
  • Admission to Mann’s Chinese Theatre
  • Visit to the Hollywood Walk of Frame
  • Time at leisure to enjoy Las Vegas
  • Grand Canyon Tour
  • 10 Days of professional escort/tour manager service
  • Baggage handling for one piece of luggage per traveler
  • Taxes and gratuities
  • Luxury motor coach transportation
Contact us for more information.

Say Cheese in Vermont!
Follow The Artisan Cheese Trail
Three Day-Two Night Package

Vermont Cheese

Known as the "Napa Valley of Cheese" Vermont currently has the claim to fame of boasting the largest number of artisan cheese makers per capita. Excerpted from Martha Stewart Living Magazine, "The Green Mountain State is famous for its dairy farms, which have provided fresh, clean-tasting milk to New England for generations. Now, thanks to a new breed of dairy farmers, some of these dairies are also producing delicious, hand-crafted cheese. These luscious creations include tangy chevres; buttery tomme-style wheels; oozing disks that recall Camembert; and pungent, creamy blues -- all inspired by European classics and tasting of the fertile earth from which they come (or at least of the grasses, herbs, and other browse that cows, goats, and sheep graze on before they are milked)." Follow along, travel from the farm to the table and discover why "Martha Stewart loves Vermont Cheeses!"

Day One:
Vermont FarmOn your way into Vermont, your first stop is at Neighborly Farms. This traditional, family-operated dairy farm is the ideal introduction to your Vermont Cheese Tour. The farm operates on 168 acres with grazing fields to support the dairy and a sugarhouse for producing pure Vermont Maple Syrup. The Neighborly Farms store features dairy products, maple products, wood products, bee products and more! Enjoy a barn tour and sample their award-winning cheeses and fresh-made maple syrup.

Take a lunch break served in an historic Vermont barn, converted into an impeccably furnished Adirondack-style Mountain Lodge. Its hilltop location provides outstanding, unobstructed views of the surrounding valleys and peaks. Stop in the adjacent historic general store to sample Vermont gourmet food products and browse through the Granite Museum.

Your next stop is at the award-winning Vermont Butter and Cheese, where artisanal dairy products are crafted in the European style through a vital link with local farms. The company supports a network of more than 20 family farms, providing milk that meets the highest standards of purity. Their cow’s milk and goat’s milk cheeses have gained international recognition and Martha Stewart loves their signature Bijou cheese!

Arrive at your Stowe area hotel and relax with a complimentary welcome reception. Dinner will be served in the hotel’s dining room this evening.

Day Two:
After breakfast in your hotel, get ready to savor the many flavors of Vermont. Your day begins with a stop at Cold Hollow Cider Mill. Open the door to a mouth-watering aroma of fresh-baked cider donuts and watch apple cider being made. The Cider Mill gift shop offers a fine collection of Vermont specialty food products, crafts and wines. Enjoy the free samples!

Come Visit Us

You’ll fall in love with the animals, the heart warming struggles to save their herd, and the cheeses at Three Shepherds in Warren. Three Shepherds Farm is a true family farm and has the involvement of all five members of the Faillace Family. The production of their highly acclaimed raw milk cheeses, from the finest grass-fed milk, has a loyal following not only in the Mad River Valley of Vermont, but also across the country. Larry’s cheeses have been featured in numerous publications and on television, including "Food Finds" on the Food Network, Martha Stewart Television, "Gourmet," "Cooking Light," and "Ski" magazine.

Travel into Burlington for a "Cooking with Cheese Demonstration." The demonstration takes place in an amazing healthy living market where you may have lunch on your own in their café, prior to the demonstration.

Vermont InnChild With GoatTravel to Shelburne Farms, a National Historic Landmark on the shores of Lake Champlain, Shelburne Farms was created in 1886 by Dr. William Seward and Lila Vanderbilt Webb as a model agricultural estate. The 400 acre estate is home to a herd of 125 purebred, registered Brown Swiss cows, the Inn and Restaurant, originally the 19th century home of Seward and Webb, a cheese making facility, bake shop, gift shop and educational center.

After a driving tour of this remarkable property, sample their award-winning "farmhouse" cheddar. The American Cheese Society has consistently honored their cheddar with awards for excellence since 1990.

What’s missing after all of this cheese? A glass of wine! Your visit to Shelburne Vineyard includes a tour, a souvenir glass, and of course samples of delicious wines!

Dinner this evening is served in a cozy New England style, historic building. You’ll love the variety, the home-cooked cuisine and the service in this charming setting.

Morse FarmDay Three:
Enjoy a farewell breakfast at the hotel and prepare to depart for the last day on the trail. It may be a bit early in the morning to sample cheese, so you will arrive at Morse Farm to sample another Vermont flavor, maple syrup! Watch how real maple sugar is made, from the trees to the finished product, on a traditional Vermont maple sugar farm. You will tour the sugarhouse, sample fresh-made maple syrup and visit the largest and most unique maple, crafts and mail order shop in the area.

As you head south, stop at Fat Toad Farm, a small family-run goat dairy that specializes in artisanal goat cheese and goats’ milk caramel. Their Fat Toad Farm Caramel was featured in New York Times Style Magazine. They produce farmstead cheese, meaning all of the milk used in cheese production comes from the farm, creating subtle flavor nuances throughout the year because the goats’ diet changes seasonally based on pasture availability. Enjoy samples of their five distinct fresh goat cheeses.

Taftsville Country StoreYour last stop is the Taftsville Country Store, built in 1840. The store has one of the State’s finest assortments of Vermont cheeses, gourmet foods, pure Vermont maple syrup, gift baskets, smoked bacon and ham. This gem of a store is the centerpiece of the Taftsville Historic Districts that includes one of Vermont’s oldest and longest covered bridges. This is the ideal stop to pick up some Vermont treats to take home and grab a bite to enjoy along the way.

Contact us for more information.

Picture-Perfect Holidays In Vermont

Holidays In Vermont

Day One:
Vermont HillsideStep into the magical world of a "Currier and Ives" holiday. . . . .welcome to Vermont! Witness gently rolling hills covered in "marshmallow snow", gaze at twinkling lights that adorn village homes, appreciate the simplicity of a hand-made evergreen wreath decorating a barn door, listen to the jingle of sleigh bells as a team horses pulls carolers over the river and through the woods. Bring back fond memories and create new ones, as you wrap yourself in the warmth of the holiday season in Vermont.

Arrive late afternoon at your resort hotel, The Essex. The Essex combines luxurious country- inn-style accommodations and resort amenities. The colonial-style architecture and country-contemporary décor will provide you with a haven of relaxation and comfort. Sit by the crackling fireplace, visit the all-new spa, walk next door to the outlet shops or go for a stroll on snow-covered paths.

Dinner this evening will be served in The Tavern Restaurant at the Inn, and prepared by chefs from the New England Culinary Institute. After dinner, sing-a-long to tunes of the holidays and your own version of "Moonlight in Vermont", as The Essex’s singers create an entertaining evening.

Day Two:
Vermont HillsideToday you will be immersed in the beauty of winter in Vermont. Travel past snow covered fields that border Lake Champlain, visit picturesque New England Villages, and share the spirit of the season with the locals.

Following a hearty breakfast at The Essex, meet your local guide and begin your day’s adventure. The first stop is Dakin Farm, where you will have a "taste of Vermont." Recently featured on The Food Channel, this local attraction features a sugar house, maple syrup cannery and USDA inspected plant where meats and cheese are smoked using the farm’s original 1800’s Vermont recipes. Their spacious retail store offers an array of Vermont specialty food products. Enjoy the free samples!

From Dakin Farm, travel to historic Middlebury Village. home of Middlebury College which was founded in 1800. The Village was chartered in 1761 and is home to 18th and 19th-century buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places. While in Middlebury you may visit the Vermont Folk Life Center that offers folk art and traditions of Vermont, The Vermont Soap Company, the Geiger Outlet Store, home of the famous boiled wool jackets and Danforth Pewter, where you’ll find exquisite gifts and home décor. Browse for unique gifts in the boutiques and galleries.

Nostalgia abounds with luncheon at the Waybury Inn. Originally built in 1810 as a stagecoach stop and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, most people attribute its significance to the role it played as "The Stratford Inn’ on "The Bob Newhart Television Show."

Tractor With WreathOn the way back from Middlebury, stop at Shelburne Farms. A National Historic Landmark on the shores of Lake Champlain, Shelburne Farms was created in 1886 by Dr. William Seward and Lila Vanderbilt Webb as a model agricultural estate. The 400 acre estate is home to a herd of 125 purebred, registered Brown Swiss cows, the Inn and Restaurant, originally the 19th century home of Seward and Webb, a cheese making facility, bake shop, gift shop and educational center. Enjoy a horse-drawn sleigh or hayride through this magnificent property. Your ride begins and ends at the gift shop where you may sample the artisan cheeses, Vermont specialty foods, and fresh hot coffee.

There’s more traditional Vermont ahead with a stop at the unique and charming Shelburne Country Store. You will find gifts, crafts, jewelry, Vermont-made products of all types, and tons of penny candy to bring back memories.

It’s time for a little holiday cheer with a visit to Shelburne Vineyards. Sample locally produced wines and leave with a souvenir wine glass. These wines make great gifts!

The warmth of the hearth beckons, so it’s back to The Essex to toast your toes by the fire or have a relaxing treatment at the spa. Enjoy a hot toddy and relax before the evening’s activities begin.

Dinner this evening is at the cozy New England style, Lake View House. You’ll love the variety, the home-cooked cuisine and the service in this charming setting.

Church StreetOn the way back to the Inn, stop for a tour of the Church Street Marketplace dressed in the holiday glow of thousands of white lights and watched over by a lighted Christmas tree to rival the one in Rockefeller Center. Get your jingle bells ready, as you sing carols on a holiday light tour during your ride back to The Essex.

Optional Evening Entertainment: Take in the Vermont Symphony’s Holiday Pops Concert or a performance at the Flynn Center for Performing Arts.

Day Three:
After a hearty breakfast, check out of The Essex, join your guide and make your way to Morse Farms. Watch how real maple sugar is made, from the trees to the finished product, on a traditional Vermont maple sugar farm. You will tour the sugarhouse, sample fresh-made maple syrup and visit the largest and most unique maple, crafts and mail order shop in the area. Burr, the owner, will treat you to a sugar-on-snow party, Vermont style!

As if you weren’t sweet enough after all the maple syrup, your next stop is at the Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory. Enjoy the light-hearted tour and a scoop of Vermont’s finest!

On the way into Stowe Village, there are two places that you won’t want to miss! At "The Special Place" you will find Cabot Cheese, Lake Champlain Chocolates, Snowfarm Wines and Danforth Pewter. Next, at the Cold Hollow Cider Mill, open the door to a mouth-watering aroma of fresh-baked cider donuts and watch apple cider being made. The Cider Mill gift shop offers a fine collection of Vermont specialty food products, crafts and wines. Enjoy the samples!

The minute you arrive in Stowe Village, you’ll recognize the oft-photographed white steeple of the church in the Village center. Enjoy lunch on your own and time to explore the shops, boutiques, galleries and Vermont craft stores.

Candy canes and Christmas go hand in hand. Learn how candy canes are made and even make your own at one of Stowe’s popular confectionaries.

Don’t be late for check-in at Trapp Family Lodge, as warm cookies and hot tea await your arrival. Nestled in the Green Mountains; this alpine lodge features deluxe accommodations combining the charm of Vermont with the sophistication of Austria. Take time to relax and rejuvenate as you enjoy the amenities such as cross-country skiing, heated indoor pool, and the fitness center.

Enjoy European-style cuisine in the hotel’s dining room this evening. Executive Chef Jeurgen Spagolla, a native of Austria, designs ever-changing menus to reflect both Austrian and Vermont traditions and seasons. After dessert, you’ll feel like singing "The Hills Are Alive."

Optional Evening Activity: Attend the Festival of Trees at the Helen Day Art Center or a choral performance at the Community Center.

Day Four:
Christmas TreeAfter a delicious hot breakfast at the hotel, prepare to visit "Christmas Past" at Wassail Weekend in Woodstock. Voted one of Vermont’s Top Ten Winter Events, the term Wassail has its roots in medieval England referring to the Norse, "ves heill" meaning "to drink to the health". Ale brewed with spiced apples and sugar was the warm drink given to the singers who went door to door during the Solstice. Christmas became interwoven with celebrations during the darkest time of the year.

Witness the parade through the center of town, featuring over fifty horses and riders dressed in holiday costumes and period dress from the early 19th Century. Troupes of singers parade the streets as you browse through the fascinating shops and boutiques.

Partake in an optional tour of five of Woodstock’s most notable historic homes, all decked out for the holidays. Have lunch on your own in one of Woodstock’s fine eateries.

This afternoon, visit Billing’s Farm and Museum and witness holiday life in 19th Century Vermont. Reflect on holidays of yore as you gaze at the authentic decorations displayed throughout the farmhouse and watch preparations for the holiday meal. Make an historic ornament and tour the operating dairy farm.

Return to Trapp Family Lodge for time to relax and refresh before dinner. After a busy day of touring, you will welcome the warm crackling fire and fabulous fare at the Lodge.

Day Five:
Savor every bite of your farewell breakfast before preparing for your trip home. If your schedule permits, enjoy the morning at the Lodge. Go cross-country skiing or venture out on snowshoes, take a sleigh ride or grab your camera and capture the fabulous scenery.

Depending upon your travel route home, we will gladly arrange for you to visit more unique attractions on your departure from Vermont.

Itinerary may be altered to meet your specific travel dates.

Pricing information available upon request

Contact us for more information.

Vermont’s Covered Bridges and Country Stores
Three Day-Two Night Package

Vermont is renown for granite, maple syrup and fall leaves. However, there are a few more facts that make Vermont the special place that it is. Vermont is home to some of the oldest and most quaint country stores in the nation and to the town with the most covered bridges in the country! In fact, Vermont has the highest number of covered bridges (104) relative to the state’s size.

Join us as we travel Vermont’s country roads to explore these fascinating and historical landmarks.

The Vermont Country Store

DAY ONE
Covered BridgeThe Vermont Country Store in Rockingham is our first destination. Known as "purveyors of the practical and hard-to-find", this store is known worldwide for its unique, old-style mail order catalogue. Witness first hand the vast variety of apothecary, apparel, candy and Yankee Bargains.

From the Country Store you’ll begin to see covered bridges. The Victorian Village Bridge, built in 1872 was dismantled in 1959, modified and rebuilt in 1967. Vrest Orton, founder of the Vermont Country Store was instrumental in rescuing the bridge from a flood control project. You will also witness the Hall Covered Bridge, c1870 and the Bartonsville Covered Bridge, built in 1870 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

By this time you will be ready for lunch. Arrive at an authentic Vermont country inn, built in 1840 as a Victorian summer hotel. Enjoy fine food served with the best of New England hospitality.

Olson’s Bridgewater Corners Country Store, built in the 1840’s and FH Gillingham and Sons General Store are next. Gillingham’s is one of Vermont’s oldest country stores where you can buy everything from caviar to cow manure! As you wind your way between country stores, witness the Taftsville Bridge c1836, Middle Bridge and Lincoln Bridge c1877.

Handcrafted Vermont Goods

The last stop before arriving at your hotel is certain to sweeten your travels. The Sugarbush Farm welcomes you with samples of Vermont maple syrup and artisan cheeses. Discover how maple syrup is made and visit the workroom where cheeses are hand-wrapped and hand-waxed. Purchase your favorites from their Pantry Shop.

Arrive at your lovely Stowe hotel. Enjoy a relaxing evening and a delicious dinner served in the hotel’s dining room.

DAY TWO
Rise and shine to a hearty country breakfast at the hotel. Enjoy a leisurely stroll around the hotel’s beautifully manicured grounds before heading out for a busy day. Your local guide will join you at breakfast.

Your first stop is Shaw’s General Store in Stowe. Family owned since 1895, the tremendous inventory that ranges from socks to toys will amaze you.

Prepare yourself for an adventure into some of Vermont’s most beautiful backcountry roads and scenic vistas, many of which are known only to the locals. Stop for photo ops at the Jaynes Covered Bridge c1877, known as the Kissing Bridge according to a sign posted by a visitor in the 1950’s, The Church Street Bridge, built in 1877 and still containing old ads and decorative stenciling on the inside and The Lynch Bridge.

Covered Bridge

Our route takes us to Belvidere, population 294. The name translated from Italian means "beautiful view." We stop at Tallman’s traditional old-style country store, and witness the Mill Bridge, 1890 and the Morgan Bridge, 1887, which with a 62’ span covers the North Branch of the Lamoille River.

From Belvidere, we travel to the Covered Bridge Capital of Vermont, Montgomery. The unique geography of this farm town required may bridges and as recently at the 1940’s there were 13 covered bridges within the Town’s limits. Today there are six covered bridges within the Town, and one which straddles the town line with Enosburg; the most of any town in the country.

In Montgomery Center visit a restored country store and have lunch at the same time. This former 3-story general store boasts the original ice cream counter and 3 levels of displays from local artists. The aromas of fresh-baked bread will assure you of a delicious and down to earth lunch.

Vermont Covered Bridges
Vermont Covered Bridges

We travel up and over the mountains into Coventry to view the Orne Bridge, built with a 14-panel truss representing the 14 counties in Vermont and the fact that Vermont was the 14th state to enter the Union.

At the "locals’ favorite" Evansville Trading Post, you will find all you want and more. Shovels for shovelin’, worms for fishin’ and sody pop for Saturday night’s social are just a few of the sought after supplies and staples! Back on the coach, relax and take in the amazing scenery. Stop in Craftsbury Common, one of the most-photographed villages in Vermont.

Vermont Covered Bridges

The Fisher Covered Railroad Bridge is the last railroad covered bridge still in regular use in Vermont and one of a very few left in the U.S. Built in 1908, it is the only one remaining with full-length cupola which provides a smoke escape.

Vermont Fall Foliage

A relaxing and delicious dinner served in a landmark restaurant is the perfect ending to your busy day. Return to the hotel for the evening.

DAY THREE
Enjoy your farewell breakfast in the hotel before you begin your travels home. Along the way, there are a few "must see" visits.

Emily’s Bridge offers a hauntingly sad history. In the nineteenth century a young woman, Emily, grew up in the town of Stowe. One day a handsome young man came upon Emily while she was doing chores and he instantly captured her heart. Emily’s parents forbid her to see him, however their love was so intense that they decided to run off together and meet at the Gold Brook Bridge the following night. Emily’s parents discovered their intentions and had the boy friend beaten unconscious. Emily thought she had been stood up and as a result, hung herself from the rafters of the bridge. Today, it is believed that Emily’s angry spirit haunts the bridge. Open the door to the aroma of fresh-baked donuts at the Cold Hollow Cider Mill. Enjoy samples of apple cider, Vermont specialty food products and shop for Vermont gifts and hand-made crafts.

A visit to Vermont is not complete without a stop at the Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory.

From Chunky Monkey to Cherry Garcia, a scoop of "Vermont’s Finest" is a must. This is a perfect touch of sweetness in your day of touring.

Traveling south, stop in the Village of Tunbridge. The entire center of Tunbridge was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1994. Tunbridge boasts 5 covered bridges, all of which are listed on the National Register. Stroll through this charming historic village and have lunch on your own.

Taftsville Country Store

Your last stop in Vermont is the Taftsville Country Store. The store has one of the finest assortments of Vermont cheeses, gourmet foods, pure Vermont maple syrup, wine, cigars, gift baskets, smoked bacon and ham you can find in the Upper Valley. This gem of a store is the centerpiece of the Taftsville Historic District, which includes one of Vermont's oldest and longest covered bridges, a turn of the century brick powerhouse, the stately Taft homes, and a quiet residential hamlet of less than one hundred people. The covered bridge, built in 1836 is the third oldest covered bridge in Vermont.

Vermont Covered Bridges

Say goodbye to covered bridges, country stores, maple syrup and cheese galore!

Your Package Includes:

  • 2 Nights lodging
  • 2 Breakfasts
  • 2 Lunches
  • 2 Dinners
  • Customized Covered Bridge and Country Store Travel Guide
  • Local guide service for one day
  • Luxury motor coach transportation if needed
Contact us for a customized proposal or more information.

Postcard New England
6 Days 5 Nights

Our customized itineraries can be modified to meet your schedule

Postcard New England

New England’s history earns the region a special place in American life. Trusted Colonial roots, charming towns with village greens and remembrances of the Revolutionary War make this a virtual museum of early American history. From 16th-century settlements to old-fashioned general stores, rolling hills, scenic mountains and wave-washed beaches are all part of the region where America began.

New England
  • Five nights accommodation. Baggage handling included
  • Breakfast is included each morning
  • Five dinners included
  • Visit the Mark Twain House and Old State House in Hartford, Connecticut
  • Tour Old Weathersfield, featuring homes 200 and 300-years-old including the Webb-Deane Stevens Museum where George Washington planned the battle of Yorktown Journey
  • Visit Stockbridge, Massachusetts and the Norman Rockwell Museum
  • Visit Bennington, Vermont and the Old First Church with Robert Frost’s tombstone
  • Tour Hildene, the 24-room Georgian Revival mansion, where Abraham Lincoln’s descendents lived until 1975
  • Visit Dorset, Vermont, a pristine village and haven for artists and writers and home to H. N. Williams General Store, run by the same family for six generations
  • Visit the New England Maple Museum
  • Visit Woodstock, Vermont, one of New England prettiest villages with opulent old homes
  • Travel along the White Mountains of New Hampshire, the highest range in the northeastern US
  • Tour Ogunquit, Maine, a popular seaside resort with craft shops, theaters and parks lining its streets
  • Visit Kennebunkport, Maine, a beautiful seaport where the Bush family has a vacation home
  • Visit Portsmouth, New Hampshire where sea-weary travelers first disembarked in 1630
Contact us for a customized proposal or more information.

Explore the Best of New England’s Past
8 Days 7 Nights

New England's Past

Experience life during years gone by. Is it "the good old days" or a time when medical care, plumbing and transportation were still in the dark ages?

Explore New England
  • Seven nights accommodation. Baggage handling included.
  • Breakfast is included each morning
  • Seven dinners included
  • Visit Mystic Seaport, a 19th-century Connecticut seaport village
  • Visit Plimouth Plantation, a recreated 17th-century village with interpreters living the lives of village residents
  • Visit Boston, America’s "Birthplace of Freedom"
  • Tour Boston’s Freedom Trail linking the city’s historic sites
  • Visit Lexington and Concord
  • Visit Old Sturbridge Village, a recreated 19th-century New England village
  • Visit historic Deerfield which preserves and interprets the architecture, artifacts and life of a prosperous early New England town
  • Visit Hancock Shaker Village and Canterbury Shaker Village where early Shaker life is presented
  • Visit Vermont’s Shelburne Museum, "New England’s Smithsonian" with 37 exhibit buildings on 45-acres with 80,000 artifacts of everyday life in early New England
  • Visit Willowbrook at Newfane, Maine, described as a Currier & Ives scene in three dimensions
Contact us for a customized proposal or more information.

Antiques, Back Roads and Collectibles of Vermont
5 Days 4 Nights

Our customized itineraries can be modified to meet your schedule

Vermont Antiques

Explore the back roads of Vermont, visiting antique and collectible shops along the route. We’ll wind our way through small villages and discover "off-the-beaten-track" stops where owners will talk with you about their collections. Vermont is fertile ground for aficionados of antiques. You’ll find "treasures" for both the bargain hunter and collectors.

Vermont Antiques
  • Four nights accommodation. Baggage handling included.
  • Breakfast is included each morning
  • Four dinners including a dinner cruise on Lake Champlain
  • Visit Burlington, Vermont's Queen City on the shores of Lake Champlain. Explore the historic Church Street Marketplace, a four-block pedestrian mall with a multitude of shops, boutiques, galleries and restaurants
  • Tour the Shelburne Museum, "New England's Smithsonian" with 37 historic buildings housing a world-renowned collection of American folk art, artifacts and architecture.
  • Tour Vermont's Northeast Kingdom where you'll see nature pristine and wild, lakes deep, clear stunning hillside farmscapes and a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts
  • Stop at small town antique and collectible shops
  • Visit Stowe where you'll find Vermont's highest mountain, lush meadows and valleys, the classic white Church steeple, red barns, covered bridges, traditional country stores and Stowe village shops which have provided the necessities of life for residents and visitors since 1840
  • Travel along the Green Mountains to the President Calvin Coolidge State Historic Site, considered the best-preserved Presidential birthplace in the nation, Plymouth Notch is virtually unchanged since the turn of the century. This rural Vermont village includes the homes of Calvin Coolidge's family and neighbors, general store, church, cheese factory (still operated by Coolidge's family), dance hall and 1924 summer White House office.
  • Visit Woodstock, one of New England's most beautiful villages with opulent mid-19th-century homes built around the Green. The stately Woodstock Inn, owned by the Rockefeller family, presides over the town Green.
  • Enjoy a scoop of "Vermont's finest" at Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory
  • Visit Middlebury, the classic Vermont college town.
  • Visit the Vermont State Craft Center - Frog Hollow with crafts and art of Vermont artists
  • See the Pulp Mill Covered Bridge, generally agreed to be Vermont’s oldest covered bridge and one of only seven two-lane covered bridges in the country
  • Visit Vergennes, the smallest city in the USA and home of Kennedy Brothers, a former woodenware factory and now packed with Vermont crafts, antiques and gifts
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Vermont’s Natural Wonders
4 Days 3 Nights

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Vermont's Natural Wonders

Vermont is like no other place. Its vibrant community life and rural ways still remain strong today despite 20th-century influences. Its mountains and valleys offer a quiet world of wonders for all ages. Vermont offers glimpses of the spirit and valor of early settlers and heroes of the American Revolution. Once you visit, you'll realize why Vermont is truly a special place! Its mountains and valleys offer a world of wonders for all ages. Explore stunning hillside farmscape, lakes deep and clear, a maze of scenic back roads and fascinating indoor looks at the natural world at ECHO.

Wooden Duck
  • Three nights accommodation. Baggage handling included
  • Breakfasts included each morning
  • Three dinners including a dinner cruise on Lake Champlain
  • One luncheon at a Victorian-era lodge on a scenic lake
  • Visit one of our "best kept secrets", the Birds of Vermont Museum with over 400 life-size woodcarvings of Vermont birds in habitat settings with nests and eggs. See live birds and observe a woodcarving demonstration
  • Tour Shelburne Farms, the former Webb family estate of 4,000-lakeside-acres. One of the grandest in New England is now a working farm and educational center. See how cheese is made and taste the finished product.
  • Tour the colorful birthplace of America’s most loveable teddy bears during a tour of the Vermont Teddy Bear Factory.
  • Visit to the world-class ECHO Lake Aquarium & Science Center. Experience over 60 species of live fish, amphibians, invertebrates and reptiles, 100 interactive exhibits, recreated whale dig and shipwreck, major traveling exhibition, special behind-the-scenes tour and multi-media object theater. ECHO is located at the Leahy Center for Lake Champlain on the Burlington Waterfront.
  • Spend a day of "off-the-beaten-track" touring to Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom. The Kingdom has been revered by residents and visitors alike for its lovely countryside, abundant natural resources and the preservation of traditional landscapes and lifestyles that have made the Vermont experience one to be cherished by generations.
  • Visit Craftsbury Common, considered one of Vermont’s loveliest with classic homes and other 18th and 19th-century structures overlooking the Village green. Walk the Green and explore the Village.
  • Visit the village of Greensboro with a century-old following of noted authors, educators and socialites. It is also home to Willey’s Store. Explore one of the biggest, best and most authentic general stores in the State.
  • Visit Stowe, ski capital of the East with Vermont’s highest mountain, lush meadows and valleys, the classic white church steeple, red barns and Village shops that have provided the necessities of life for residents since 1840.
  • Walk through Vermont’s only haunted covered bridge
  • Enjoy a scoop of "Vermont’s finest" at Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory
  • Visit the homestead of Vermont’s famous Revolutionary War hero, Ethan Allen. Learn first-hand about life on the Vermont frontier.
  • Visit The Shelburne Museum, "New England’s Smithsonian", with 37 exhibit buildings displaying 80,000 pieces of Americana, quilts, carriages, sleighs and the S. S. Ticonderoga, the last steam-powered side-wheeler of it type in the US.
  • Visit the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, a large collection of original small watercraft built over the last 150 years. Learn about the life of citizen soldiers in Vermont in 1776. Watch craftsmen continue traditional maritime skills of boat building and blacksmithing in working shops.
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Discover New England’s Mountains, Valleys and Coastal Wonders
12 Days 11 Nights

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Discover New England

Visiting New England is like stepping back in time. Small villages, mountain peaks and rolling meadows, hillside farms and big red barns. Breathtaking coastal scenery, broad beaches and picturesque villages framed in beautiful fall foliage make this a very special region.

Discover New England
  • Eleven nights accommodation. Baggage handling included
  • Breakfast is included each morning
  • Ten dinners including a Culinary Demonstration at the Inn at Essex, Dinner Cruise on Lake Champlain and Maine Lobster Bake
  • Tour begins and ends in Boston
  • Tour Boston with a local guide. Follow the Freedom Trail with sixteen Revolutionary and Colonial-era historic sites, visit Old North Church where two lanterns signaled the Redcoats’ arrival by sea, the Old State House where the Declaration of Independence was read to the citizens of Boston in 1776, Boston Common, see the Boston Tea Party ship and the Old South Meeting House. Visit the USS Constitution ("Old Ironsides"), the Bunker Hill Monument and Faneuil Hall is one of the most historic sites in the nation
  • Visit Quincy Market with interesting shops, street performers and tantalizing restaurants and an expansive food court
  • Ascend to the 50th-floor of the Prudential Center and enjoy a spectacular view of Boston from the Skywalk Observatory
  • Visit the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts – "America’s Premier Cultural Resort". Visit Stockbridge, established as an American Indian mission in 1734 and now described as "the best of America, best of New England". See preserved turn-of-the-century homes known as the "Berkshire Cottages" and the Village Cemetery where the first slave to be legally freed in the United States is buried.
  • Visit the Norman Rockwell Museum. Rockwell lived in Stockbridge and many of its residents are depicted in his illustrations. His original studio has been relocated to the museum
  • Visit The Mount – Edith Wharton’s Estate & Gardens. The 42-room mansion was built in 1902 by Edith Wharton, the first woman to win a Pulitzer Prize for fiction and an authority on architecture, interior design and gardens. The estate includes formal flower gardens (in season), woodland trails, a Georgian Revival stable and a mansion with restored rooms. Wharton’s personal 2,600-volume library is on view.
  • Tour the Hancock Shaker Village, a 1,200-acre restored village. Explore 21 buildings with original Shaker furniture and artifacts, a working farm and an heirloom herb and vegetable garden. Walk through the 1830’s brick dwelling and 1826 Round Stone Barn, laundry and machine shop. Hands-on activities and first-person portrayals are typically available and staff demonstrate Shaker woodworking, weaving, oval box-making and other 19th-century crafts.
  • Drive through Williamstown, a quintessential New England college town and home to Williams College, founded in 1793.
  • Visit Bennington, Vermont where Ethan Allen organized his Green Mountain Boys in 1770.
  • Visit the handsome clapboard Old First Church, designated "Vermont’s Colonial Shrine" and its cemetery, the final resting place of early Vermont governors and the poet Robert Frost.
  • Visit Manchester, one of New England’s prime resort towns with Mount Equinox to its west and a stately sense of the past.
  • Tour Hildene, the summer estate of Robert Todd Lincoln, Abraham Lincoln's son and his descendants. The 24-room Georgian Revival mansion is filled with original furnishings and family memorabilia. The 400-acre estate includes a carriage barn and magnificent formal garden in the shape of a Gothic window and panoramic views of the mountains.
  • Explore the back roads of Vermont including several covered bridges, a maple sugaring/syrup farm and scenic rivers, ponds and lakes
  • Visit Stowe, the "ski capital of the East" which has kept the turn-of-the-century look of several generations ago. Tucked between the Stowe Community Church and the venerable Green Mountain Inn, you'll find shops that have provided necessities of life for residents and visitors since 1840.
  • See the Mount Mansfield Ski Area
  • Stop for samples at the Cold Hollow Cider Mill
  • Discover the specialty foods and outstanding arts and crafts of Lake Champlain Chocolates, Cabot Cheese, Vermont Teddy Bear Annex and the Mesa Factory Store. Visit Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Factory for a scoop of "Vermont's Finest"
  • See the Old Round Church built in 1813
  • Visit Burlington, Vermont’s "Queen City" nestled between the peaks of New York's Adirondacks and the gentle Green Mountains of Vermont.
  • Visit the University of Vermont, founded by Ira Allen in 1793. The classic campus overlooks the city of Burlington and is built around the traditional New England Green.
  • Visit the Church Street Marketplace, an historic district now a pedestrian mall with shops, boutiques and restaurants.
  • Tour Shelburne Farms, the former estate of Dr. & Mrs. William Seward Webb. The 4,000-acre lakeside estate is one of the grandest in New England and is now a working farm, educational center and cheese making plant.
  • Visit "New England’s Smithsonian", the Shelburne Museum. Explore 37 exhibit buildings displaying 80,000 pieces of Americana, quilts, carriages, sleighs and the S.S. Ticonderoga, the last steam-powered side-wheeler of its type in the United States.
  • Travel back roads through small towns and villages of Vermont to St. Johnsbury, home of the Fairbanks family who began manufacturing scales in the 1830’s.
  • Explore the White Mountain National Park in New Hampshire
  • Visit The Mount Washington Hotel opened in 1902 by railroad magnate Joseph Stickney and billed as the largest wooden building in New England. Early in the 20th-century, as many as 50 private trains a day brought the rich and famous from New York and Philadelphia to the hotel.
  • See New England’s highest peak, Mt. Washington
  • Travel through Crawford Notch State Park and the White Mountains, the highest range in the northeastern United States
  • Follow the spectacular Kancamagus Highway which winds through the mountains with grand views of distant peaks
  • Travel through Franconia Notch State Park, location of the former granite profile, Old Man of the Mountain
  • Travel through the beautiful Lakes Region of Maine
  • Visit Portland, Maine’s largest city. Explore the bustling waterfront and Old Port Exchange with its restored shops and restaurants.
  • Tour Portland on the Duck, "Eider" and splash into Casco Bay. Cruise by lighthouses, historic forts and the breathtaking Calendar Islands. Pass by the working waterfront, tug boats, harbor seals and the Whaling Walls where lobstermen haul in their traps.
  • Visit Freeport, "Birthplace of Maine" and now home of L. L. Bean, sporting goods store and more than 130 other retail shops and name brand outlets
  • Visit Bath, an active center for shipbuilding since the early 1600’s
  • Visit the Maine Maritime Museum, a 20-acre site located on a 19th-century shipyard, offering paintings, ship models, ship artifacts, interpretive exhibits of life at sea and a Boat Shop where boat building still takes place
  • Visit the Boothbays, small villages clustered along Maine’s rocky coast, which were favorite summer retreats for the rich and famous in the 19th-century
  • Visit Kennebunkport, the seasonal retreat of the President Bush family. In the first half of the 19th-century more than 1,000 wooden schooners, clippers and cargo vessels emerged from the area’s 50-some shipyards. The historic district features beautifully detailed homes.
  • Visit Portsmouth, New Hampshire where sea-weary travelers first disembarked in 1630. The town became a major shipbuilding center and attracted a merchant class in large numbers.
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Vermont’s Myths and Mysteries
4 Days 3 Nights

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Vermont’s Myths and Mysteries

In the words of Vermont author, Howard Frank Mosher, our State has "hundreds of wonderful stories just waiting to be written. Every hill farmer and horse logger and old-time hunter and trapper seems to have dozens of spellbinding tales to tell. Many of the stories I heard involved mysteries and a good number of these mysteries touched by the supernatural." Join us as we explore the stories and visit the sites of many of Vermont’s myths and mysteries.

Vermont’s Myths and Mysteries
  • Three nights accommodation. Baggage handling included
  • Breakfast is included each morning
  • Three dinners including a dinner cruise on Lake Champlain
  • Visit Hope Cemetery, a veritable outdoor museum of fine granite sculpture with headstones created by the world’s most skilled granite artists
  • Tour Rock of Ages Quarry, the world’s largest and most modern granite manufacturing plant
  • Visit our nation’s smallest state capital, Montpelier, and an 1890’s summer house believed to be a getaway for the spirit of a ghostly kitchen
  • Visit the Green Mountain Seminary where a deceased teacher allegedly walks the halls
  • Walk across Vermont’s only haunted covered bridge
  • Visit Stowe, "ski capital of the East", where you’ll find shops that have provided the necessities of life for residents and visitors since 1840
  • See the Trapp Family Lodge still operated by Trapp family members
  • Enjoy a scoop of "Vermont’s finest" at Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory
  • Visit a library where a ghost continues to play pranks of staff and volunteers
  • Visit "New England’s Smithsonian", the Shelburne Museum with 37 historic buildings displaying 80,000 pieces of Americana
  • Learn about the "Educated Spirits" at the University of Vermont with at least 14 haunted buildings and a campus founded by Ira Allen in 1791
  • Learn about "Champ", Lake Champlain’s resident monster during an evening dinner cruise
  • Visit Vermontt quintessential college town, Middlebury, with its 300 village buildings from the 18th and 19-centuries
  • Visit the Sheldon Museum, home to the Petrified Indian Boy unearthed in 1871
  • See Vermont’s oldest covered bridge and one of the last remaining two-lane spans still in use

Visits to other Myth & Mystery sites can be arranged in locations throughout the state

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Great Farms & Early New England Rural Life
4 Days 3 Nights

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Great Farms & Early New England Rural Life

Vermont is one of the most beautiful and rural states in the nation. Vermont farms play a critical role in providing products for consumers world-wide. Its farms also provide a spectacular backdrop for the Green Mountain State. For a glimpse of farm life, old and new, you’ll visit Vermont’s working farm museums, horticultural and experimental farms, family farms and specialty farms raising livestock such as llamas, emus, highland cattle and miniature ponies. Talk with farm families. Roam gardens, sample maple sugar-on-snow and taste farm grown products. Colorful farmers’ markets, roadside stands and opportunities to pick your own apples and berries may also be added to your visit.

Great Farms
  • Three nights accommodation. Baggage handling included
  • Breakfast is included each morning
  • Three dinners including a dinner cruise on Lake Champlain
  • Visit Stowe with Vermont’s highest mountain, classic white church steeple, red barns, covered bridges and Stowe village shops which have provided the necessities of life for residents and visitors since 1840.
  • Visit Shelburne Farms, the lakeside estate of Dr. & Mrs. William Steward Webb and now a working dairy farm and cheese making operation.
  • Visit Shelburne Museum, "Vermont’s Smithsonian", with 37 historic buildings and a collection of 150,000 works representing days gone by
  • Visit the Billings Farm & Museum, sustained by the Billings and Rockefeller families, a working dairy farm with a meticulously restored 1890 farmhouse
  • Visit the President Calvin Coolidge’s homestead, the best preserved presidential birthplace in the nation which has remained virtually unchanged since the early 1900’s Visit Woodstock, one of New England’s most beautiful villages and home to a working family farm where we’ll learn how maple syrup is harvested and cheese is produced
  • Visit the Morgan Horse Farm where Justin Morgan’s famous equine descendents are on display
  • Visit a diversified working family farm and enjoy a horse-drawn sleigh, wagon or tractor ride
  • Visit a bustling local farmer’s market and/or roadside produce stands (schedule dependent)
Contact us for a customized proposal or more information.

Bicycling Vermont’s Back Roads

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Bicycling Vermont’s Back Roads

Bicycling is not only a healthy way to see the State. It is also a way to get "up close and personal" with our sights, sounds and people. Discover rural Vermont at your own pace. Routes are carefully researched and ridden and are located throughout the state. You can opt to cycle for a weekend or a week; stay at an inn, hotel, or campground; and dine in charming country inns or in the great outdoors! Experienced tour leaders are trained in bicycle repair, basic First Aid and CPR and share their knowledge and love of the region with travelers. Groups can include a mix of couples, singles and families (children should be 10 years or older). Tour sizes are limited. Cycling Vermont is a wonderful way to share outdoor fun and exercise, great food and lodging and natural beauty.

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Vermont Vignettes
3 Days 2 Nights

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Vermont is like not other place. There is the Vermont of folklore; the Vermont of yesteryear; the Vermont of history books, homesteads and village greens; and there is the Vermont of today. Experience everything that is Vermont as you wander through the State, exploring its past and experiencing that which makes it unique today. Meet "the locals" and visit sites not normally on the beaten track.

Vermont Vignettes
  • Two nights accommodation. Baggage handling included
  • Breakfast is included each morning
  • Two dinners including a dinner cruise on Lake Champlain
  • Visit Weston, a village virtually untouched by time and listed on the National Register of Historic Places
  • Visit The Vermont Country Store, a revived 1890 rural emporium still sells New England goods, housewares, country clothing, and of course, penny candy.
  • Visit the Weston Village Christmas Shop, Weston Village Store, Village Green Gallery and Whales in Vermont Gallery
  • Visit the Weston Priory, a Benedictine monastery founded in 1953, is home to a dozen or so resident brothers who became well known thanks to their music, now available on CD's and cassettes. Learn about the life and work in the priory.
  • Visit historic Windsor, the Birthplace of Vermont
  • Visit the Simon Pearce manufacturing facility where you’ll observe teams of world-renowned glassblowers, watch potters work and visit the gift shop
  • Visit the Harpoon Brewery and its Brewery Shop
  • Visit the Vermont State Craft Center with an extensive collection of Vermont crafts and gifts
  • Tour the Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site in Cornish, New Hampshire. Augustus Saint-Gaudens (1848-1907)was one of America's greatest sculptors. Tour "Aspet", his home and formerly an old inn along the stage coach road, his many gardens, gallery and studios.
  • Enjoy a local storyteller who will entertain you with tales and legends of the region
  • Visit Rock of Ages Quarry in Barre. Watch miners carve out mammoth blocks with unique jet channeling flame machines, then lift up 100 tons with granite derricks towering 115 feet above the quarry edge.
  • Visit Hope Cemetery, a veritable outdoor museum of fine granite sculpture. The headstones and markers, created by the world's most skilled granite artists, rival the finest granite carvings anywhere. Tour the Vermont State House
  • Visit Montpelier, America’s smallest state capital (and the only without a McDonalds!)
  • Enjoy a scoop of "Vermont's finest" at Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Factory
  • See cider being made and sample the finished product at the Cold Hollow Cider Mill.
  • Visit Stowe, ski capital of the East, with Vermont's highest mountain, lush meadows and valleys, the classic white church steeple, red barns, covered bridges, traditional country stores and the village shops.
  • See the Mount Mansfield Ski Area
  • View the Trapp Family Lodge, made famous by the Sound of Music, and visit the Gift Shop.
  • Enjoy a dinner cruise on Lake Champlain. During the cruise you will learn some of the history and legends of this beautiful and historically significant body of water.
  • Tour Burlington located on the shores of Lake Champlain and nestled between the peaks of New York's Adirondacks and the gentle Green Mountains of Vermont. Burlington has a rich and colorful history and offers vital cultural, intellectual, commercial and recreational opportunities for people of all ages. Vermont’s largest city (40,000 people) offers the sophistication and conveniences of a larger metropolitan area and the comfort and feel of a small town.
  • Visit the Shelburne Museum, called "Vermont’s Smithsonian" by The New York Times . Explore 37 exhibit buildings on 45 scenic acres and discover 80,000 pieces of Americana, including an outstanding collection of quilts, coverlets and hooked rugs
  • Tour Shelburne Farms founded in the 1880's as the private estate of a gentleman farmer. The 1000- acre property in now a working dairy (producing superb cheese), educational and resource center.
  • Visit the quintessential Vermont college town, Middlebury. See Middlebury College and explore the village which includes The Vermont State Craft Center - Frog Hollow.
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The Underground Railroad & African-American History in Vermont
3 Days 2 Nights

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African-American History in Vermont

Vermont was very active in the anti-slavery movement before the Civil War. The Vermont Constitution abolished adult slavery in 1777. It is known that many slaves escaped through Vermont to Canada. Follow an assumed route while enjoying other sites of Vermont – small villages, mountain peaks and rolling meadows, hillside farms and big red barns. Although written evidence was scarce, there has been new research indicating who they were, how they escaped, what their routes were, and how they may have been hidden.

African-American History in Vermont
  • Two nights accommodation. Baggage handling included.
  • Breakfast is included each morning
  • Two dinners included
  • Visit Burlington and learn about Lucius Bigelow, publisher of the Burlington Daily News whose basement was the camp for escaped slaves; Rev. Joshua Young and Edward Peck, proprietor of a dry goods store, all active supporters of the Underground Railroad; and George Henderson who in 1877 became the first black man to graduate from the University of Vermont.
  • Visit Hinesburg where African-American farmer, Loudon Langley, wrote for an abolitionist newspaper and harbored at least one fugitive slave.
  • Visit Rokeby in Ferrisburgh, the home of Quaker writer and a founder of the Vermont Anti-Slavery Society. Visit the home of Rowland Robinson where he kept his home free of slave-made goods and sheltered dozens of fugitive slaves, often offering them both a home and work on the farm for extended periods of time. He operated a school on his property for both black and white students, a practice unheard of at the time.
  • Visit Middlebury and the Sheldon Museum, the oldest community museum in the country, where hundreds of anti-slavery letters are housed. Learn about Alexander Twilight, the first African-American to graduate from an American College, Class of 1825.
  • Travel to Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom where Rev. Twilight became pastor of the Congregational Church and designed and built a school and dormitory in the town. In 1836 became the first African American to serve as a Vermont legislator (possibly the first in the nation).
  • The charming town of Brandon was believed to have at least six homes that sheltered runaway slaves.
  • See the home of Stephen A. Douglas, Abraham Lincoln’s political opponent.
  • Visit the Higley House where escaping slaves slept on the floor and family members prepared their food.
  • You will also trace the spread of the Ku Klux Klan in Vermont and New England in the early 20th-century.
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Mainly Maine
6 Days 5 Nights

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Maine is New England’s largest state. All other New England states could fit within its borders. The Maine coast stretches some 5,500 miles with 63 lighthouses and a mountain over 5,000-feet above sea level. Along with a reputation for some of the best lobsters in the world, Maine is also America’s largest blueberry growing state. Join us to explore a region that abounds in natural assets and beauty.

  • Five nights accommodation. Baggage handling included
  • Breakfast each morning is included
  • Five dinners including a Maine Lobster Bake
  • Visit the historic maritime city, Portland
  • See the Portland Head Lighthouse commissioned by George Washington
  • Explore Portland’s bustling waterfront and Old Port Exchange with its restored shops and restaurants.
  • Ride the amphibious touring vessel (Duck), "Eider" and enjoy a fun-filled tour of historic Portland. By land you’ll waddle through the Old Port, bump along cobblestone streets, cruise by beautiful historic churches and climb to the highest point in the city where you’ll gaze upon the harbor. Then splash into Casco Bay and cruise by lighthouses, historic forts and the breathtaking Calendar Islands. Pass by the working waterfront, tug boats, harbor seals and the Whaling Walls where lobstermen haul in their traps.
  • Visit Freeport, "Birthplace of Maine" and now home to L.L. Bean and more than 130 other retail stores and fashion outlets
  • Tour Acadia National Park with an unusual combination of ocean and mountain scenery.
  • Drive through Mount Desert Island, the largest rock-based island on the Atlantic Coast. See the ancient, rounded peaks of the mountains worn down by centuries of erosion.
  • Visit Bar Harbor, one of Maine’s premier seaside resorts and playground for America’s wealthy in the early 20th-century
  • Visit Augusta, Maine’s capital city and once a trading post, founded in1628 by the Plymouth Colony
  • Visit Fort Western, one of the last remaining wooden forts built in1754. Costumed interpreters will talk about the fort’s military past.
  • Visit Bath, an active center of shipbuilding since the early 1600’s
  • Visit the Maine Maritime Museum, located on a 19th-century shipyard, with ship models, paintings, ship artifacts and other exhibits of life at sea.
  • Travel to Maine’s Lakes Region and the village of Gray, site of America’s first machine-powered woolen mill
  • Visit the Maine Wildlife Park, home to orphaned and injured wildlife. See moose, deer, mountain lions, bears, birds and other animals during your visit.
  • Visit Kennebunkport, the seasonal resort of the President Bush family. It historic district features beautifully detailed homes. In the early 19th-century, more than 1,000 wooden schooners, clippers and cargo vessels emerged from the area’s 50 shipyards.
Contact us for a customized proposal or more information.

Relish Rhode Island’s Coastal Culinary Creations
3 Days 2 Nights

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Rhode Island

Celebrate the arrival of summer’s warm breezes and bright sun with an outing to the coast of Rhode Island. Rhode Island is a state of many firsts. First to take action against British rule, first synagogue, first successful water-powered cotton mill, and now the Ocean State is the first U.S. state to receive the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences’ prestigious "International Star Diamond Award." This award certifies that Rhode Island is a world-class destination offering some of the best natural beauty, culinary experiences, history and cultural offerings. Come and see for yourself!

With an early morning departure, we arrive in Providence late morning. Our first stop is the Scialo Brothers’ Bakery. From 1898 to 1932 more than 54,000 Italian immigrants arrived at the Port of Providence. In 1916 Luigi Scialo arrived from Italy and together with his brother, started Scialo Brothers’ Bakery. Since his death in 1993, Luigi’s daughters, Lois and Carol, have carried on the tradition. Upon our arrival, Lois or Carol will greet our coach and offer a history of the bakery. They will then lead us into the bakery where the bakers will give us a demonstration of baking and cake decorating. Enjoy the complimentary coffee and fresh-baked treats.

Rhode Island Lobster

Our next stop will be at Geppetto’s, an upscale pizzeria located on DePasquale Plaza. Our visit includes a tableside demonstration of the techniques in grilling the perfect pizza. Watch our chef prepare specialties and interact as he answers your food related questions and you munch on some of the best pizza in the whole world! Take home a complimentary bag of Geppetto’s Dough2Go gourmet pizza shells.

After lunch, enjoy time on your own to explore Federal Hill, "The Heartbeat of Providence." Spend time in the array of boutiques or take the trolley to Providence Place Mall with more than 170 shops and restaurants. For history buffs there’s the Rhode Island State House, the Arcade, the Jon Brown House and the East Side of Providence with Brown University and the Rhode Island School of Design Museum.

Rhode Island Shell Fish

Saturday, following breakfast in the hotel, we depart to Matunuck Oyster Bar and Farm where we get "up close and personal" with the oysters. Pull on your waders and walk out in the water to the oyster farm. Observe the different stages in growth of the shellfish, become educated on the importance of sustainable aquaculture and have fun while learning.

We travel to West Kingston to the Kenyons Grist Mill where we find out about the Johnnycake and how the Native Americans taught us to make this delicious "pancake." This 1886 gristmill still maintains the ritual started in 1909 of grinding corn to make flour and meal. After the tour, lunch on Johnnycake, Chowder and Clam Cakes, a true Rhode Island tradition.

Ahoy Mateys! Climb aboard for a Lighthouse Cruise. Our captain will take us throughout Narragansett Bay, sailing us close to these historic landmarks. Witness 10 Rhode Island Lighthouses during the 90-minute cruise. Bring your cameras!

Rhode Island Lighthouse

Following the cruise, we depart for Wickford Village. Established in 1709, the village provides picturesque waterfront streets lined with one-of-a-kind shops, galleries, antique stores, cafes and restaurants. Wickford Village offers a taste of New England as it was a century or more ago. Its historic homes from the 1700s, churches, gardens and picturesque harbor offer a glimpse of our nation’s history.

Rhode Island

Dinner this evening is at the legendary Duffy’s Tavern. Located in the Wickford Seaport, Duffy’s is famous for fresh seafood and abundant portions. Sit outside on the patio and breath in the salt air. Live music will entertain you throughout the evening.

Rhode Island Coast

Sunday morning, enjoy breakfast in the hotel before we depart for the Johnson and Wales Culinary Arts Museum in Providence. This is the premier museum devoted to the preservation of the history of the culinary and hospitality industries. Explore the Diner Museum, Stove Museum, a Pantheon of Chefs, a New England Tavern, Kitchen Gadgets and Appliances, Presidential Palate and State Dinners and Culinary Showpieces.

From the museum we travel to Wrights Farm, famous for their family-style chicken dinners, an all-you-can-eat meal of chicken and pasta, and a favorite stop for locals since the 1930s. Yankee Magazine featured the restaurant in an article exploring the vast appeal to Northern Rhode Island residents, of chicken served family-style. Perhaps it is attributed to tradition, life in a simpler time, and alternative to fast food, or is it just plain delicious? Come and sample for yourself.

After lunch, we depart for Vermont filled, with the tastes of Rhode Island and renewed appreciation of the rich culture and history in the Ocean State.

  • 2 Nights lodging
  • 2 Breakfasts
  • 3 Lunches
  • 1 Dinner
  • Tour of Scialo Brothers’ Bakery
  • Cooking demo and tour at Geppetto’s
  • Free time to explore Federal Hill, Providence and Wickford Village
  • Tour at the Matunuck Oyster Bar and Farm
  • Tour of Kenyon’s Grist Mill
  • Lighthouse Cruise
  • Admission to the Johnson and Wales Culinary Arts Museum
  • Notch Above Tour Manager
  • Round trip transportation on a luxury motor coach
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Single-Day Tours

Notch Above offers a wide variety of day tours for those living in or visiting our region. All itineraries are customized and can be modified to meet your schedule. Contact us for a proposal or more information.

The A,B, C’s of Vermont: Antiques, Back Roads & Collectibles

Vermont Antiques

Join a Notch Above local guide to explore the back roads of Vermont, visiting antique and collectible shops along the route. We’ll wind our way through small villages and discover "off-the-beaten-track" stops where owners will talk with you about their collections. Vermont is fertile ground for aficionados of antiques. You’ll find "treasures" for both the bargain hunter and collectors.

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A Day in the Kingdom

Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom is a region rich in cultural history, stunning natural beauty, pristine wilderness, abundant wildlife, country roads, breath-taking scenery and outstanding recreational opportunities. Its stunning beauty has garnered a place in the book, 1,000 Places to See Before You Die. Join your Notch Above guide for a day in the Kingdom. Craftsbury Common is considered by many to be the loveliest village in Vermont. Its rambling setting along a ridge offers views in every direction. Classic Vermont homes and other 18th and 19th-century buildings overlook the village green. Greensboro on Caspian Lake has a century-old following of noted authors, educators and socialites. It is also home to Willey’s Store, one of the biggest, best and most authentic general stores in New England. You’ll have time to explore the Village and Willey’s. Enjoy luncheon at a Victorian-era lodge on Caspian Lake. Ride through high and open farm country and small villages during your day in the Kingdom.

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The Adirondack Mountains, Cruise & Great Camps

Explore the beauty of New York’s Adirondacks, an area embracing some six-million-acres. Cruise on the largest natural lake in the Adirondack Preserve and view "Great Camps" where American Aristocrats summered in privacy and luxury. Learn about these wealthy families who escaped city summer heat in this remote wilderness home. After your cruise, tour a Great Camp. The 1,526-acre estate was formerly owned by the Vanderbilts. Your walking tour includes 27 historic, fully authentic buildings, one of which is a semi-outdoor bowling alley! The Adirondack Museum has been described by the New York Times as "the finest of its kind in the world." Exhibits in 22 buildings overlooking Blue Mountain Lake show how Adirondackers framed, logged, mined, hunted, fished, harvested ice, made furniture and worked as guides and caretakers at the Great Camps and resort hotels. The Museum has the largest collection of inland, non-powered pleasure craft in the country and offers an acclaimed collection of paintings, prints, photographs, maps and manuscripts.

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Bicycling Vermont’s Back Roads

Bicycling is not only a healthy way to see the State. It is also a way to get "up close and personal" with our sights, sounds and people. Discover rural Vermont at your own pace. Routes are carefully researched and ridden and are located throughout the state. You can opt to cycle for a weekend or a week; stay at an inn, hotel, or campground; and dine in charming country inns or in the great outdoors! Experienced tour leaders are trained in bicycle repair, basic First Aid and CPR and share their knowledge and love of the region with travelers. Groups can include a mix of couples, singles and families (children should be 10 years or older). Tour sizes are limited. Cycling Vermont is a wonderful way to share outdoor fun and exercise, great food and lodging and natural beauty.

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Bonjour Montreal

Travel across the border with your Notch Above guide to the Canadian Province of Quebec. Montreal is the second-largest French-speaking city in the world. It is truly a beautiful, cosmopolitan city offering gracious hospitality to all its visitors. Upon arrival in Montreal, tour the city with a Canadian guide. See Old Montreal with its 17th to 19th-century buildings, cobblestone streets and spectacular Notre Dame Basilica. View the active Port of Montreal, colorful ethnic neighborhoods with wonderful stories about life in the city, Mount Royal Park overlooking Montreal, downtown skyscrapers, the financial district, Chinatown, the Olympic Park, McGill University and more. Enjoy luncheon in the heart of Old Montreal at a restaurant housed in a charming 19th-century building. Free time to explore the 20-mile underground of indoor shops, boutiques and cafes, the waterfront, or Old Montreal.

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Burlington: Vermont’s "Queen City"

Burlington is located on the shores of Lake Champlain, nestled between the peaks of New York's Adirondacks and the gentle Green Mountains of Vermont. It has a rich and colorful history and offers vital cultural, intellectual, commercial and recreational opportunities for people of all ages. As the largest city in Vermont (40,000 people), Burlington offers the sophistication and conveniences of a larger metropolitan area and the comfort and feel of a small town. Travel past the campus of the University of Vermont, founded by Ira Allen in 1793. The classic campus overlooks the city of Burlington and is built around the traditional New England Green. The city’s prosperous growth in the 1800’s is reflected in the handsome mansions arrayed in tiers that slope eastward from the lake shore to the "hill section." Explore the Church Street Marketplace, an historic district which is now a pedestrian mall with shops, boutiques and restaurants to meet any taste. Proceed to the historic waterfront with some of the oldest buildings in town and Lake Champlain, the 6th largest freshwater lake in the United States. Native Americans, military, commercial and recreational navigators have plied the scenic waters of the 120-mile-long lake for thousands of years. Search for Champ, the lake's resident monster and marvel at the scenery. Visit ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center. Discover 70 species of fish, amphibians, invertebrates and reptiles and over 100 hands-on experiences. See the adjacent Lake Champlain Navy Memorial with heroic "Lone Sailor" statue. Travel past Ethan Allen’s grave to Winooski where 19th- and early-20th-century woolen mill overlooking the Winooski River have been renovated and now house shops, eateries, apartments and offices.

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Covered Bridges of Vermont

During the 19th and the early part of the 20th-centuries, New England had some one-thousand covered bridges. The ravages of time, weather, neglect and vandals have reduced that number to fewer than two-hundred. The majority are found in Vermont. Join your Notch Above guide and an expert who has done research on and written about covered bridges. Throughout the state, we can select a region with you, visit bridges, learn about the construction, history and any anecdotal information. You will not only see, touch and cross bridges, you will also travel along Vermont’s back roads and learn about the people and villages you visit during the day.

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Explore the Champlain Islands

Vermont’s Islands and Farms Region, nestled between the magnificent peaks of the Adirondack and Green Mountains, features gently rolling hills, small towns and stunning scenery. The western border is Lake Champlain and Canada is to the north. Enjoy some of the most spectacular views in New England. Your Notch Above local guide will be with you during the day to share information about the Green Mountain State. Visit St. Anne’s Shrine, Isle La Motte This famous historical landmark on the site of Fort St. Anne honors Samuel de Champlain with a massive granite statue carved in Vermont’s pavilion at Montreal’s 1967 Expo. An open-sided Victorian chapel on the shore marks the site of Vermont’s first French settlement in 1666. Stop at Hero’s Welcome, North Hero, an authentic Vermont general store, bakery, café and post office. Stop for an outside view of the Hyde Log Cabin. Built by Jedediah Hyde in 1783, the cabin is one of our nation’s oldest and has been restored. It reflects 18th-century life on the Islands (the Cabin interior closes after Labor Day) Visit Allenholm Farm, South Hero, Vermont’s oldest working apple orchard. Enjoy Papa Ray’s homemade apple pie, then hop on for a wagon ride into the Orchard and apple picking (seasonal). Later this afternoon, you’ll discover Snow Farm Vineyard. The magic of sun, soil and Lake Champlain combine to provide the ingredients that create Snow Farm wines. Snow Farm is Vermont’s first vineyard and grape winery. Tour the vineyard and taste the wines to conclude your day.

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Lake Champlain – Corridor of History

Nestled between the peaks of New York’s Adirondacks and the gentle Green Mountains of Vermont, lies a lake that is as historical as it is beautiful. The broad, blue water of Lake Champlain is the 6th-largest freshwater lake in the United States. Native Americans, military, commercial and recreational navigators have plied the scenic waters of the 120-mile-long lake for thousands of years. Join your Notch Above guide to experience hands-on history at the dynamic, working Lake Champlain Maritime Museum. Learn about the largest collection of wooden shipwrecks in North America and talk with archaeological conservators in the Nautical Center. Climb aboard a Revolutionary War gunboat replica and learn about the life of citizen soldiers in Vermont in 1776. Watch craftsmen continue traditional maritime skills of boat building in working shops. Interpreters will take you behind-the-scenes to share fascinating information. The Museum is on the grounds of the Basin Harbor Club, a 700-acre lakeside resort owned and operated for the last 122 years by the Beach family. Take time to view the lovely gardens dating back to the 1700’s. It’s then time for a one-hour cruise on the lake to learn historical facts, lake lore and local folk tales. Keep an eye out for Vermont’s famous lake monster, Champ. Cross the lake (by bridge) to New York State and Crown Point. See the remains of Fort St. Frederic built on the shores of the lake in the 1730’s by the French. Continue to Fort Ticonderoga, built by the French in 1755, defended by Montcalm in 1758, taken by the British in 1759, captured by Ethan Allen in 1775 and restored in 1909. Costumed guides explain the history of the Fort and daily activities normally include a Fife and Drum performance on the Parade Grounds and Musket and Cannon Demonstrations.

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Lake Placid – An Olympic Gem

Lake Placid’s claim to fame revolves around its role as host to the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics. Surrounded by New York’s Adirondacks, this region offers vestiges of the Olympics and significant historical sites. Take the glass elevator 250-feet up to an enclosed observation deck of the Olympic Jumping Complex and Skydeck. See the Bobsled and Luge runs and Lake Placid Winter Olympic Museum in the Olympic Center. Enjoy a narrated cruise on beautiful Mirror Lake. Visit the John Brown Farm which his family maintained while he fought his anti-slavery campaigns in the late 1850’s. See the small graveyard where he is buried after he was hanged by the Commonwealth of Virginia for treason and murder.

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Lake Winnipesaukee & Castle in the Clouds

With more than 270 lakes and ponds in the vicinity, New Hampshire’s Lakes Region is rich in attractions, activities and special events. Your Notch Above guide will join you for a fun-filled day. Lake Winnipesaulee is 28 miles long with 283-miles of shoreline and 274 wooded islands. It is surrounded by three mountain ranges and is the nation’s largest freshwater lake entirely in one state. Board a replica side-paddlewheel riverboat for a narrated cruise on the lake. Visit "The Oldest Summer Resort in America", Wolfeboro. Its main street is lined with boutiques, galleries and craft shops including Hampshire Pewter. Luncheon today at the historic Wolfeboro Inn which dates back to 1812. Visit Castle in the Clouds, with breathtaking views overlooking Lake Winnipesaukee. "Lucknow" was built in 1913-14 high in the Ossipee Mountain Range by Thomas Gustave Plant who made his fortune in shoe manufacturing. Tour the historic architectural gem and estate featuring 1000' of waterfalls, Shannon Pond,, hiking and recreation and a New Hampshire-themed gift shop.

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Maple Syrup, Granite, Graves & Stone Soup

Travel with your Notch Above guide to one of New England's most scenic sites, the Rock of Ages Quarry in Barre, the center of the largest granite industry in the nation. Visit a working quarry where you'll watch miners carve out mammoth blocks with unique jet channeling flame machines, then lift up 100-tons with granite derricks towering 115-feet above the quarry edge. Watch master sculptors and artisans at the factory then try it yourself! Make a stone gift with you own hands. Visit Hope Cemetery, a veritable outdoor museum of fine granite sculpture. The headstones and markers, created by the world's most skilled granite artists, rival the finest granite carvings anywhere. Tragedy, humor and sheer beauty are combined here in a living testimonial to the craftsmen of the trade. Then travel to nearby Montpelier, the smallest state capital in the country (and the only one without a McDonalds). You’ll see the Vermont State House, one of the nation’s oldest and best preserved. Learn how maple syrup is produced, from trees to the finished product. Tour a sugar house, taste maple syrup and visit a very unique craft and gift shop. Finally you may have the opportunity (schedule dependent) to be part of the live audience for a taping of "New England Cooks". In a renovated carriage house, the region’s top chefs prepare local dishes. Enjoy playful interaction between the hosts and audience and sample the day’s delicacies at show’s end.

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Quebec’s Villages & Back Roads

Just over the Vermont/Canadian border, there are cultures and geography awaiting your visit. Beautiful rolling terrain with broad swaths of meadow and woods, pristine lakes and small villages will be found. The Eastern Townships were populated by European immigrants and Loyalists who left the colonies during the revolution. Today, Francophones and English speakers (Anglophones) live side-by-side. North Hatley is a charming town of about 700 residents on the northern tip of Lake Massawippi and is stuffed with art galleries, shops and restaurants. Hundreds of historic churches can be found throughout the region – modest wood structures built by the Anglicans and Presbyterians and enormous stone churches constructed by the French Catholics. One of the most interesting visits is to the Abbey of Saint-Benoit-du-Lac where fifty Benedictine monks make up the community. Mass is still Gregorian chant. Resident monks take a vow of silence. One monk will talk about life in the Abbey where they operate a cheese dairy and gift shop. Visits can be arranged to many other sites and regions of the Province of Quebec and other Canadian Provinces.

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Shelburne Museum: "New England’s Smithsonian"

Visit one of the nation’s finest, most diverse and unconventional museums of art and Americana. Over 150,000 works are exhibited in a remarkable setting of 39 exhibition buildings, 25 of which are historic and were relocated to the museum grounds. They include houses, barns, a meeting house, a one-room schoolhouse, a lighthouse, a jail, a general store and a covered bridge. Step aboard the 220-foot Ticonderoga, a National Historic Landmark and last steam-powered side wheeler of its type in the country. Folk art, quilts and textiles, Impressionist paintings, decorative arts, furniture, American paintings and a dazzling array of 17th to 20th-century artifacts are on view. Shelburne is home to the finest museum collections of 19th-century American folk art, quilts, 19th and 20th-century decoys and carriages. Stroll the paved walkways or ride the jitney through the village-like setting of historic New England architecture accented by landscape that includes over 400 lilacs, a circular formal garden, herb and heirloom vegetable gardens and perennial gardens. A café on the Museum grounds is open during museum hours and serves a diverse menu. Special interest tours can be arranged.

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Stowe: "Ski Capital of the East" and a Classic Vermont Resort Village

Vermont’s highest mountain, lush meadows and valleys, the classic white Church steeple, red barns, covered bridges, traditional country stores and the Stowe Village shops which have provided the necessities of life for residents and visitors since 1840. Join your Notch Above guide and explore Stowe Village. Walk across Vermont’s only haunted covered bridge. Ride a gondola at Mount Mansfield Ski Area to the top of Vermont’s highest peak. See the Trapp Family Lodge, a classic Austrian chalet still operated by the von Trapp family. See cider being made and sample the final product. Conclude the day with a taste of "Vermont’s finest" at Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory.

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Teddy Bears, Revolutionary Heroes & A Fabulous Farm

Your Notch Above guide will introduce you to the homestead of Vermont’s famous Revolutionary War hero. See Ethan Allen’s home overlooking the Winooski River. Learn about life on the Vermont frontier and discover clues in the landscape to 5,000 years of human residence. Tour Shelburne Farms, a nationally acclaimed 1,400-acre historic site with some of the most spectacular lake and mountain scenery anywhere. The former Vanderbilt home and estate is still a working farm with a prize herd of Brown Swiss Cows. It is a non-profit conservation and educational organization. Experience the magnificent agricultural landscape designed by Frederick Law Olmstead, the famous architect of Central Park. Visit turn-of-the-century perennial gardens overlooking Lake Champlain and see cheese making operations in a renovated historic farm barn. Sample the finished product. Then tour the Vermont Teddy Bear Factory, birthplace of America’s most lovable, huggable bears. Visit the Bear Shop and Teddy Bear Pantry.

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Vermont Colleges, Geese & Poets

Join your Notch Above guide and follow a path just east of Lake Champlain, one of the most beautiful inland waterways in America. See panoramic views of the Adirondacks and Green Mountains. We'll pass the Shelburne Museum which houses one of the finest collections of American folk art in the world. A covered bridge, Old One Room School House, and Paddle Boat are visible as we pass the Museum. Vergennes with 2,300 residents is the smallest city in the United States. It is also home to Kennedy Brothers, a former woodenware factory which now houses Vermont products, crafts, and antiques, plus a scoop shop and deli. From Vergennes we'll travel to the mountain village of Ripton where poet Robert Frost lived for many summers and home of the Bread Loaf School where he taught. The Frost Interpretive Nature Trail includes the poetry of Frost along a beautiful wooded trail. From Ripton, we'll travel just a short distance to Middlebury, chartered in 1761, and home of Middlebury College, a highly selective private college. There are 300 downtown buildings which were built in the 18th and 19th centuries and are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Many have been converted into interesting shops and restaurants, Free time for luncheon and exploration in Middlebury. Then visit the Pulpmill Covered Bridge which is the oldest in the state (1808-20) and the last remaining two-lane span in use. Travel the back roads of Addison County, a rich agricultural area, to the Dead Creek Wildlife Management Area. This is a way station for geese and other migratory birds. If we are lucky, we'll see birds (perhaps even snow geese) resting and eating before they resume their flight. Continue to Lake Champlain and the 18th- century Chimney Point Tavern where revolutionist Ethan Allen reportedly made plans for battles. Our return route will take us through more small villages and through pastoral valleys to Burlington.

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Vermont’s Villages & Back Roads

Travel with your Notch Above Guide through Jericho and Underhill. In Jericho, we will pass the Old Red Mill, a National Historic site, and learn about "Snowflake" Bentley, a farmer who was the first person in the world to photograph individual snowflakes. In Cambridge, we'll see our first covered bridge, the "Little Covered Bridge", originally built in 1897 and then stop at the Marsh Farm where maple sugaring is done each spring. Jeffersonville, at the base of Mount Mansfield, is a charming village where artists have gathered since the 1930's. There will be time for a cup of coffee or tea and donut or pastry at a local restaurant. We'll follow the Lamoille River north by a series of covered bridges and small rural villages tucked into beautiful mountains. We'll pass scenic ponds and lakes, then travel through Hyde Park with its old Opera House, on our way to Stowe. Stowe is the "ski capital of the East" and has become a year-round resort. Stowe village, where we'll stop for luncheon, has kept the turn-of-the-century look of several generations ago. Tucked between the Stowe Community Church and the venerable Green Mountain Inn, you'll find shops that have provided necessities of life for residents and visitors since 1840. After luncheon, we'll follow the Mountain Road to the Mount Mansfield Ski Area. Stop for samples at the Cold Hollow Cider Mill. See cider being made and sample the finished product. Discover the specialty foods and outstanding arts and crafts of Lake Champlain Chocolates, Cabot Cheese Annex, Vermont Teddy Bear Annex, Snow Farm Vineyard and the Mesa Factory Store. Visit Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream Factory for a scoop of "Vermont's Finest." Follow the Winooski River to Richmond, where in 1813 the people of this quiet dairy-farming community built a multi-denominational church that looked like no other in the state. The Old Round Church is actually sixteen-sided and topped by an octagonal belfry. Return to your lodging after a day on Vermont’s back roads and byways.

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The White Mountains of New Hampshire

Travel with your Notch Above guide to the beautiful White Mountains of New Hampshire. Admire the jagged crests of the highest range of mountains in the northeastern United States and a popular destination for hikers, climbers and photographers. The Mount Washington Hotel was opened in 1902 and became the haunt of presidents and dignitaries. Billed s the largest wooden building in New England, it is one of the nation’s few remaining grand hotels. Early in the 20th-century, as many as fifty private trains a day brought the rich and famous from New York and Philadelphia to the hotel. Travel through scenic Crawford Notch and the Crawford Notch State Park. North Conway is the recreational and commercial center of the Mount Washington Valley. It is also home to a multitude of factory outlets. Then follow the spectacular Kancamagus Highway which winds through the mountains with grand views of distant peaks. The 34-mile trek offers scenic overlooks. Franconia Notch State Park contains some of New Hampshire’s best-loved attractions including the former granite profile, Old Man of the Mountain.

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Woodstock & Quechee Gorge

Considered by many to be one of New England’s most beautiful villages, Woodstock, Vermont has remained virtually unchanged since the 18th and 19th-centuries. Join your Notch Above guide to see opulent homes built by professionals, scholars and craftsmen around the Village Green and along broad streets. The stately Woodstock Inn has presided over the Green since 1793. The Dana House, built in 1807, is home to the Woodstock Historical Society and its collections are displayed in theme and period rooms. The Billings Farm and Museum showcases Vermont’s rural heritage. The working farm is one of the finest Jersey dairy farms in America, has been a Woodstock landmark since 1871 and offers displays in the 1890 farm house and 19th-century barns. The Marsh-Billings National Historical Park is the former home and estate of Laurance Rockefeller. It is the first National Park to focus on the theme of conservation of history and the changing nature of land stewardship in America. Visit the 1885 Queen Anne style mansion, 1895 carriage barn and extensive gardens and beautifully landscaped grounds. Travel to "Vermont’s Little Grand Canyon", Quechee Gorge. Formed over thousands of years, its walls rise more than 168-feet above the Ottaquechee River. Quechee Gorge Village houses the Vermont Antique Mall, a Country Store & Mercantile, Arts & Crafts Center, Cabot Quechee Store, Winery and Vermont Toy & Train Museum along with other shops and eateries.

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Lakes, Leaves & Legends
Fall Foliage in Vermont
1 – 5 Days

Our customized itineraries can be modified to meet your schedule

Lakes, Leaves & Legends

Experience the natural beauty of Vermont during foliage season. Explore small villages and back roads with your Notch Above guide who will share the legends that make Vermont unique. We will take you off-the-beaten-track on what are considered by locals to be some of the most beautiful fall foliage roads and rides. Great photo opportunities and time to walk across covered bridges, browse in country stores and meet "real Vermonters". This is not your typical foliage tour!

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Hill Farms & Valley Villages
1 – 5 Days

Hill Farms & Valley Villages
Hill Farms & Valley Villages

Some of the most remote woodland and non-commercial farm country can be found in Vermont. Join your Notch Above guide to discover these small villages and rural landscapes.

The classic farming towns of Chelsea and Tunbridge (home each fall of the Tunbridge World’s Fair held each September since 1867!) are flanked by high, open country and back roads. Stop at the Tunbridge Village Store.

Strafford is the home of the Justin Morrill Homestead, a seventeen-room, pink Carpenter Gothic house with gingerbread along its gables. Tour the home with family furnishings and memorabilia. It was constructed between 1848-1851 by Justin Morrill who served in both the US Congress and Senate for some forty-five years. He was a Vermont-born storekeeper who ran on the Abolitionist platform and sponsored the 1862 Morrill Act that established America’s system of land grant colleges and universities.

Brookfield is the home of a floating covered bridge. First built in 1820, the bridge floats on pontoons over Sunset Lake and is used daily by motorists. Brookfield is also home to the State’s oldest free public library, founded in 1791.

Randolph, a small town, is the commercial center of the area. Randolph Center Historic District has a high concentration of outstanding architecture and an early 19th-century landscape plan which called for broad rows of trees and well-spaced buildings set back from the street. The Village is a National Historic District.

Visit the Porter Music Box Museum, the world’s only manufacturer of large disc style music boxes. See and hear an exquisite collection of beautiful antique music boxes and musical automata. Visit a traditional family-oriented farm and maple sugarhouse.

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