Greetings: the news about Irene and Vermont makes me want to visit the state for its history and charm. (Not particularly for leaf-peeping.)
Is there a better time this fall to avoid the foliage hounds — or at least the prices — and towns with Universalist churches that a particularly charming. And with this caveat: I’ve got a ton of Amtrak points, so I’ll probably be taking the Vermonter to Burlington, which with Montpelier, I’d like to see on their own. If at all possible, I’d like to use public buses.
And that train stops in Boston, right?
I would suggest late October or November. Leaf peepers are gone and the prices are lower before the ski season starts. The Vermonter takes you to Saint Albans so I would suggest Burlington for the UU and some of the quintessential New England experience.
In the southwestern part of the state is Bennington, a lovely little city whose oldest section (“Old Bennington”) is dominated by the pristine meetinghouse of the First Congregational Church (NACCC), the pastor of which is UU Christian minister Ken Clarke. It is universally regarded as one of New England’s most beautiful churches, Behind it is the church cemetery in which Robert Frost and Ethan Allen are buried; there is also a cenotaph commemorating Willliam Ellery Channing, who lived in Bennington at one time.
The Bennington meetinghouse is open every day through mid-October. If you plan to be in the area after that, it would be well to phone the church (the number is on the website) to let someone know when you’re coming. I’m sure something could be arranged.