The Hudson-Athens Lighthouse is just one of the many attractions that are just a short drive from home.
Guy Falkenheimer of Hudson Cruises Inc.
Summer is the time for family outings, but sometimes the same-old nearby destinations don’t feel like enough of a getaway. When you’re craving a new trip or activity, set aside a day, a weekend, or even just a couple of hours, and hit the road in any direction.
Off-the-beaten trail fun awaits within an hour and a half of Albany, which means these destinations are manageable even with rising gas prices and busy schedules. Most sites offer a variety of activities to appeal to visitors of all ages so there are no sibling wars in the backseat over the day’s plans.
Bennington, Vt., is about an hour’s drive from Albany and affords the opportunity to explore a new state with plenty to do. Although Vermont is famous for fall foliage and has a reputation as a winter ski paradise, Bennington offers close-to-home fun for the summer crowd as well.
“Bennington is known for history,” said PJ DeVito, Coordinator of Visitor Services at the Bennington Chamber of Commerce. “We have the Bennington Battle Monument, which you can take an elevator up into and get a wonderful view. We also have the Bennington Museum, which also has Revolutionary War material.”
The monument, which opens in mid-April each year, is a favorite Bennington landmark that affords visitors unparalleled views of the surrounding countryside. Bennington is also home to Old First Church, the oldest church in Vermont, where Robert Frost was buried. The town has three covered bridges, as well as the Covered Bridge Museum, which is part of the larger Bennington Center for the Arts.
“The covered bridges are probably the thing that most tourists ask about when they come to our welcome center,” said DeVito.
Bennington is also a hub for outdoor enthusiasts. Just a few miles out of town is where the Long Trail and Appalachian Trails cross, and there are plenty of short hikes surrounding the town for visitors to take advantage of as well.