Did you know there's a whole community of bloggers that focus on travel? One of my favorite sites is The Mother of All Trips written by Mara Gorman. Guess what lucky readers? This Delaware mom is sharing one of her favorite vacations idea with us.

Many people may think that Vermont for skiing, but it's a great place for a family vacation in the summer as well. And although it is an outdoor paradise with gorgeous views; pristine lakes and rivers to swim in; and countless hiking, cycling, and boating opportunities, a vacation there doesn't have to be purely rustic. There's plenty of shopping and more than enough great food to go around, and even a museum or two.

vermont makes a great summer getaway

In southern Vermont, Manchester is full of high-end outlets like Brooks Brothers, so if shopping is your game, you'll have a great time (last summer my husband found some great deals on shirts and jackets and stocked up while I entertained the kids.) Stay at the nearby Hill Farm Inn (or the Equinox Hotel) and your kids can help feed the animals or take a stroll along the nearby Battenkill River. Other opportunities for fun include fly fishing, hiking, horseback riding, cycling, swimming, or canoeing. For dinner, check out the pub at The Perfect Wife, which serves gourmet food in a relaxed atmosphere.

If you'd rather head further north, check out Burlington, Home to the University of Vermont, it is a fun and funky city, gorgeously situated on the shore of Lake Champlain. Start your day at Mirabelles, a French bakery where butter is used to wonderful effect in the pastries as well as the omelets and other items on the breakfast menu. While you're there, you might want to pick up a picnic fixings. (I'm always tempted by the rainbow-hued macarons - you might just want to find room for them in your lunch box.)

Got active kids who like to move? Head down the city waterfront where a path follows the contours of the lake's shore. The trail is great for kids, since it is mostly level and paved. Bikes and bike trailers are available for rent right on the path. The trail stretches for miles all the way out to the Lake Champlain Islands. The last part of the trail runs along an old railroad causeway with water on either side. You'll ride past parks and beaches where you can stop for a picnic or a swim (I usually have my kids where their bathing suits on the trail).

There's lots to do if it rains as well. Head down to the waterfront again to visit the ECHO Center, a sort of all-purpose science-center/aquarium that tells the story of the lake's natural history. Grab a crepe for lunch at the Skinny Pancake right across the street and then head up to the Church Street Marketplace to do some shopping and sample a cone at Ben and Jerry's (it's not the company's original ice cream parlor, which was situated in an old gas station, but it is the flagship store and has flavors that you won't see in the supermarket.)

Burlington and Manchester are both reachable by plane or car and make a great weekend getaway for families. Visit The Mother of All Trips for even more family travel info and tips, including lots of posts about Vermont.

This guest post is submitted by the lovely and talented Mara Gorman. We were not paid for this post.

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