St Johnsbury

Overview

Introduction

Set in northeastern Vermont 70 mi/110 km east of Burlington and in the area known as the Northeast Kingdom, St. Johnsbury was an important railroad center in the 1800s. Today, it provides outstanding examples of Italianate residential architecture.

While you're in town, visit the Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium (interactive science exhibits in a nicely restored Victorian building), the Athenaeum Art Gallery (one of the oldest in the U.S., featuring 18th- and 19th-century American and European art) and the Maple Grove Maple Museum (which looks at the many uses for the tree that's a quintessential part of New England). Also worth a look is the Catamount Film and Arts Center, which hosts film screenings, art exhibits and performances showcasing the work of local and regional artists.

About 20 mi/32 km southwest of St. Johnsbury is Peacham, one of the most quintessentially "New England" villages in the state.

North of St. Johnsbury is the incredibly picturesque Lake Willoughby, a vast body of water created by retreating glaciers with depths beyond 300 ft/91 m. Nestled within Willoughby State Forest and flanked by the peaks of Mount Hor and Mount Pisgah is an outdoor enthusiast's paradise, with endless fishing, wildlife-watching, boating and hiking opportunities. It is also an ideal place to watch the lake and the surrounding environs ablaze with fall colors.

For entertainment of a different sort, head to the Bread and Puppet Museum and Theatre in nearby Glover. For more than three decades, this politically minded troupe has created often immense and haunting puppets for use in lively satirical performances. Housed in a century-old barn, the museum is the site of the puppet collection, as well as shows June-October. During the remainder of the year, the troupe travels the world with their plays.

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