Set in central Vermont, 80 mi/130 km southeast of Burlington, Woodstock is one of the most beautiful towns in the U.S. Dating to the 1760s, it looks much as it did during its heyday in the late 1800s—overhead electrical wires have been buried underground so they won't mar the view.

The town owes much of its allure to the preservation efforts of Laurance Rockefeller and his wife, Mary, who owned an estate in the area. Today, their lands make up the Marsh-Billings National Historic Park, which includes more than 500 acres/200 hectares of woodlands, pastures and gardens as well as a mansion and a 26-room "cottage." Adjoining the park is the Billings Farm and Museum, a faithful re-creation of a Vermont farm in 1890. It, too, was once part of the Rockefeller estate.

Visitors will also want to see the Dana House, a fully furnished restoration of an 1800s home created by the Woodstock Historical Society.

And everyone will enjoy The Vermont Institute of Natural Science, which includes a museum featuring birds of prey (owls, hawks and eagles), an educational facility and a rehabilitation infirmary.

Be sure to save some time to appreciate the town itself: It's particularly charming during autumn, when red and gold leaves shade its long, manicured green.

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