Montpelier with Teens: A Perfect Family Day

by Pam Parent, an AOL Travel ContributorPosted Sep 27th 2010 10:04 PM

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Montpelier with Teens: A Family Vacation

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A great place for a family adventure, Montpelier, Vermont is a small, seemingly old-fashioned city with many hidden treasures. There's something for everyone in this capital city, from historic sites to fantastic restaurants. Traveling to Montpelier with teens is an especially worthy endeavor, as the city features lodging, dining and activities that those aged 13 to 19 are old enough to appreciate.

For a nearly perfect day, start with this list of things to do. It's Montpelier with teens made easy!


Morning

Begin your family adventure at a Montpelier original: Coffee Corner Diner. Located on Main Street, this eatery offers a large selection of affordable breakfast items, snacks, desserts and lunch alternatives. They also offer a vegetarian menu featuring sandwiches and salads, among other treats. Since you'll be eating breakfast, you'll want to focus your attention on the scrumptious waffles, topped with whipped cream and chocolates chips, or the build-your-own omelet.

If your family likes breakfast here, it's worth coming back for lunch during your time in Montpelier. Dining with teens is infinitely better when the family is indulging in specialty items like the Bacon Wimpy Burger – a half pound of ground beef, double the cheese, and sautéed onions served on a fresh Kaiser roll.

Insider Tip: Mid-week and mid-morning are the best times to visit this family favorite.

Coffee Corner Diner
83 Main Street
Montpelier, VT 05602
(802) 229-9060
6:30AM – 3PM


Next on your list of things to do is the Montpelier Elks Country Club – why not enjoy a round of golf with the entire family? The nine-hole regulation course is accessible for beginners, and the scenery is spectacular. Practice your golf swing at the driving range before hitting the course, perhaps giving the kids a few pointers.

Insider Tip: It is best to call the Montpelier Elks Club for specific prices and available tee times: (802) 223-7457.

Montpelier Elks Country Club
(no website)
203 Country Club Road
Montpelier, VT 05601
(802) 223-7457
Open April 15th - November 15th
Fees vary


Afternoon

A round of golf can be a tiring family adventure, and the Montpelier farmer's market is a great place to refuel. Capital City Farmer's Market, located on State Street, also gives visitors a chance to experience the local flavor – literally and figuratively. A different live band is featured each week with musical styles ranging from jazz to bluegrass to country. Your teens can pick up souvenirs crafted by talented local artisans, including handmade jewelry, specialty soaps and lotions, pottery, batik and more. There's no shortage of tasty homemade treats to sample, either, including pastries, pies and breads made by the area's finest cooks and bakers. You can grab a slice of pizza, made on-site in a wood-fired oven, or opt for authentic Chinese egg rolls and dumplings. Be sure to pick up some Vermont maple syrup, too, so you can take home a taste of Montpelier. With teens around to help you eat it, this signature sweet will be gone before you have to worry about calories.

Insider Tip: The earlier you can get to Capital City Farmer's Market, the better. Many products are in high demand and tend to sell out fast.

Capital City Farmer's Market
60 State Street
Montpelier, VT 05601
(802) 223-2958
May – Oct: Every Saturday 9AM – 1PM

Winter Farmers Market
Corner of East State Street and College Street
Dec – April: 1st and 3rd Saturdays 10AM– 2PM


After people watching at the farmer's market, you might be ready to delve into Montpelier history. Green Mount Cemetery is an intriguing place to do just that. One of the spookier things to do in Montpelier, this 35-acre cemetery is supposedly haunted. People report hearing large metal doors slam, chains banging and weeping coming from tombstones. Even if you don't experience any haunting voices or doors slamming, it is an eerily exciting endeavor to explore this little piece of Montpelier history with your teens. Maps are available for self-guided tours and lead visitors to the locally notorious gravesites. Be sure to notice the intricately detailed tombstones as you walk through the paths. You're likely to find them hauntingly beautiful.

Green Mount Cemetery
251 State Road
Montpelier, VT 05602
(802) 223-5352
Open during daylight hours


Evening

After exploring the cemetery, head back to your hotel and take a breather. I'd recommend staying at Capitol Plaza Hotel and Conference Center, located at 100 State Street, or Doyle's Guest House, located at 35 School Street. Both offer comfortable accommodations within walking distance of attractions, shopping, the farmer's market and top dining establishments.

Capitol Plaza Hotel & Conference Center is across the street from the State Capitol Building. Clean and elegantly decorated, it boasts a welcoming staff, a large reception area with a big screen television, and free Internet. The hotel's restaurant, J. Morgan's Steakhouse, is one of my favorite things about the property. If your teens are tired (or even if they aren't), eat dinner here. Specialties include high-quality house beef, homemade pasta and fresh seafood. Whether you stay here or not, their Sunday brunch, complete with Belgian waffles, crepes and maple bourbon glazed ham, is something you'll want to keep in mind for later during your trip.

Insider Tip: Mid-week is the best time to stay at the Capitol Plaza Hotel. Weekends, holidays and fall foliage rates are usually higher.

Capitol Plaza Hotel & Conference Center
100 State Street
Montpelier, VT 05602
(802) 223–5252
(800) 274-5252
Rates vary

For a slightly less conventional lodging experience, Doyle's Guest House is ideal. Teens will love the character of this bed and breakfast. The owners of the brick, Victorian-era house are quite accommodating, and each apartment-style room is fully furnished with a television, Internet and private bath, among other comforts, which makes for an authentic home away from home. Rooms even feature kitchens, so you can opt to end your perfect family day with an affordable meal in the comfort of your room.

Insider Tip: The beginning of the week to mid-week is the best time to stay at Doyle's Guest House. Weekends, holidays and fall foliage rates will be higher.

Doyle's Guest House
(no website)
35 School Street
Montpelier, VT 05602
(802) 223-3535
Rates vary

If you're up for eating out, and you didn't decide on J. Morgan's Steakhouse, conclude your day in Montpelier by dining with the teens at Montpelier Village Pizza. A mainstay of the downtown dining scene, this popular spot is great for families. In addition to pizza, they're famous for their build-your-own subs, sandwiches or wraps. You can count on fresh ingredients and variety here with every option from vegetarian pizza to an authentic Italian stuffed shell dinner that includes garlic bread and a house salad.

Insider Tip: Weekdays and afternoons are the best times to dine here unless you have time to spare. Nights and weekends tend to be busy, and there is sometimes a wait.

Montpelier Village Pizza
89 Main Street #5
Montpelier, VT 05602
(802) 229-4333
Mon – Thurs, Sat: 11AM – 9PM
Fri: 11AM – 10PM
*Sun 12AM – 8PM
(Only open on Sundays from Nov to April)

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