How many of you readers have ever realized that our six-state region is bounded on the water on the west side as well as the east and south?
Lake Champlain - often called the "Sixth Great Lake" - runs for over a hundred miles to form the western side of Vermont.
Cape Cod also met Chaplain
Imagine the reaction of the natives, as the first Europeans set foot on the soil of what would become Chatham. Samuel de Champlain, the leader of the French expedition to the "New World", dubbed the place "Port Fortune."
Champlain and his crew spent two weeks on Cape Cod in 1606, until relations with the natives deteriorated and a skirmish left four Frenchmen, and reportedly many more Monomoyicks, dead.
Lake Champlain Facts
This is a charming college town full of streets turned into walking malls and things to do including leaf peeping as the Fall foliage begins.
Our Burligton Hilton room overlooked the lake
We stayed at the new Burlington Hilton, and our room, shown above, had a spectacular view of the lake.
The Hilton is an excellent hotel with mostly five-star ratings in TripAdvisor, and the very high quality of the food here literally blew our minds.
One hopes for adequate food at a hotel dining room, but the Hilton's Mounted Cat is a stand alone five-star French restaurant.
It's new French chef Hervé Mahe served us the meal shown below which started with superb salads, a grilled Ceasar and a gold and red beet salad, and two entrees,steak frites and pan seared halibut. See the new menu here.
What to do and see in Burlington
There is plenty to see here. We took a great trip around the lake on the Spirit of Ethan Allen. The staff was very friendly and attentive. The tour was very well-done, and gave us a good, short lesson on this lake showing us the highlights. The dock was a five minute walk from our hotel.
And don't miss a visit to the unique Shelburne Museum. It is one of North America’s finest, most diverse and unconventional museums of art, design and Americana. Over 150,000 works are exhibited in a remarkable setting of 38 exhibition buildings, 25 of which are historic and were relocated to the museum’s beautifully landscaped 45-acre campus. Shelburne’s collection includes works by the great Impressionists Claude Monet, Edouard Manet and Edgar Degas as well as a prized collection of folk art.
You can also explore the restored 220-foot steamboat Ticonderoga. This National Historic Landmark is the last walking beam side-wheel passenger steamer in existence. Built in Shelburne in 1906, it operated as a day boat on Lake Champlain serving ports along the New York and Vermont shores until 1953. In 1955, the Ti was moved two miles overland from the lake to Shelburne Museum in a remarkable engineering effort that stands as one of the great feats of maritime preservation.
The classic lodge in Bear Mountain State Park has been restored to its original beauty.
It seems like everyone we mentioned our recent visit to this classic mountain lodge had visited Bear Mountain as a child decades ago. Most were delighted - as we were to hear it had recently been restored to it's original beauty.
This historic landmark is only a 45 minute drive north of New York City and located seven miles from West Point Military Academy. The Bear Mountain Inn and Overlook Lodge is the perfect retreat to soak up all that Bear Mountain State Park and its surrounding area has to offer. From scenic views and breath-taking hiking along the Appalachian Trail, an escape to our stress free environment is nature's medicine.
Bear Mountain State Park is situated in rugged mountains rising from the west bank of the Hudson River. The park features a large play field, shaded picnic groves, lake and river fishing access, a swimming pool, Trailside Museums and Zoo, hiking, biking and cross-country ski trails.
Dining at Bear Mountain Lodge
The Restaurant 1915 -named for the year it opened - offers an eclectic mix of Global Cuisine and is dominated by it's absolutely huge fireplace which is over six-foot high and equally wide.
The large tapestry above the mantle shows Rip Van Winkle awaking from his twenty year long sleep.
We started with the Prince Edward Island Mussels with Prosciutto di Parma, Garlic, White Wine, Grilled Tuscan Bread, - $14 and the BBQ Braised Beef Shortribs served with Celery Root Puree, Pickled Vegetables - $16.
For our entress we had the Hudson Valley Duck Breast served with Udon Noodles, Bok Choy, Shiitake Ginger Broth, Sweet Chili Glaze - $28, and the Veal Osso Buco served with Risotto Milanese, Baby Vegetables and Gremolata - $34.
See the dinner menu here.
Another night we are at the Tapas Bar and tried most of the ones offered on their menu here.
Tapas are a wide variety of appetizers, or snacks which originated in Spain years ago. They may be cold (such as mixed olives and cheese) or hot (such as chopitos, which are battered, fried baby squids). In bars in Spain, tapas have evolved into an entire, and sometimes sophisticated, cuisine, and patrons of tapas can order many different tapas and combine them to make a full meal or end up having a 1915 hamburger as we did.
The foliage here is spectacular as you walk the many trials through the mountain and along the lake.
Bear Mountain Inn and Overlook Lodge
3020 Seven Lakes Drive Bear Mountain, New York 10911