A snowboarder takes time to reflect before riding down the mountain.

Finding Glimmers of Hope in a Pandemic Winter

Words and photos courtesy of Seven Days

Finding Glimmers of Hope in a Pandemic Winter
By Carolyn Fox

Welcome to a winter like no other. Admittedly, as we planned this issue of Staytripper, Seven Days' road map to safely rediscovering Vermont during the pandemic, we struggled to predict what the month ahead would hold. With the unknown course of the coronavirus in our state, the practical limitations of Vermont's famously cold weather and the likely disruption of holiday traditions, how would we fill our December days?

This issue offers some ideas for making the best of a bad situation. We encourage you to bundle up and explore our snow-globe bubble. Whether you hit the Nordic trails or the mountain slopes, you can still enjoy après sips and snacks nearby — for takeout or around a fire pit. And if snow's a no-go, how about embracing the dark, starry night? The December skies promise some exciting cosmic events.

What's that? You still have holiday shopping to do? Buy from the Main Street merchants in your town, or follow our guide to navigating the big city — Burlington, that is. Decked out in twinkling lights, may it bring you some cheer this season.
Norman Rockwell Home

Restoring Rockwell’s Retreat

Kevin and Sue Harter moved from Connecticut to restore and run Norman Rockwell’s retreat in Arlington, Vermont. Their first year as innkeepers has brought challenges and unexpected joy.

Rikert Nordic Center

Rikert Nordic Center Welcomes Athletes

The cross-country ski lifestyle, which involves the appreciation of solitude and the outdoors, won’t be much affected by the COVID-19 pandemic at Rikert Nordic Center, though they do have new policies to keep athletes safe.

Downtown shops in Burlington Vermont

Shop Vermont’s Main Street

Explore Burlington’s vintage shops and get inspired to find the perfect holiday present in your Vermont town.

Snacks after the mountain

Apres the 2020 Way

Explore some of the finest spots to refuel after your skiing and riding adventures in Vermont with this rundown of apres-ski snacks in mountain towns in Vermont. If this rundown doesn’t whet your appetite, nothing will.


Stargazing Tips

Cold, clear winter nights are among the best for stargazing. Get pro Mark Breen’s tips for navigating the night sky and soon you’ll feel right at home among the constellations.

Seasonal Must Sees

COVID-Safe Events

From virtual fairs with takeout food to an art gallery focusing on the beauty of natural ice, this winter still has a lot to offer. Enjoy COVID-friendly December offerings while staying safe this season.

About the series

This series, a partnership between Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing and Seven Days, will run weekly through mid-October, presenting curated excursions in every corner of Vermont. The idea is to highlight the state's restaurants, retailers, attractions and outdoor adventures so Vermonters and visitors alike can plan safe, local trips and discover new corners of the state. Happy traveling, and stay safe.