05491 = Gorgeous Lake Champlain shoreline priced a smidgeon lower than in Chittenden County, fabulously removed, and yet 17 miles to vibrant Middlebury...this really is the "Gold Coast"! For more information on Panton or questions about the local real estate market, contact Kathy today!
Panton is a small town in Addison County, of approximately 700 residents, with the lake creating its Western border, and surrounded by Ferrisburgh, Vergennes, Waltham and Addison at the remaining. Directly across Lake Champlain is Westport, New York and the Adirondack Mountains behind. A 17-mile drive East will find you in Middlebury, 27 miles North to Burlington. With some of the most exquisite lakeside properties, it is no surprise that residents feel they have found paradise (and no wonder why many refer to the region as the “Gold Coast” of Lake Champlain). As is much of the Champlain Valley, the gently sloping land meeting the shoreline is perfectly suited to farming and a picturesque background for lakeside living.
The Addison County school system is comprised of three supervisory unions as well as several private schools. Panton residents wishing to send their children to public schools operate through the Addison Northwest Supervisory Union, utilizing the Vergennes Union Elementary School and the Vergennes Union High School. Other options include private schools in Middlebury and Bristol, including Aurora, Bridge School, Gailer School and Red Cedar School.
On the Landscape
There is plenty of opportunity for outdoor recreation including Button Bay State Park, in Ferrisburgh (253 acres on a bluff with 73 camp sites, facilities, picnicking, play area, swimming pool and access to the myriad of water sports the lake supports); D.A.R. State Park in Addison (a quiet spot for campers, great for bird watchers, and those wishing convenient boat access, offering facilities, picnic areas and 70 camp sites); Snake Mountain in Addison (with its moderate 3.6 hike to 180 vista view across the lake and Adirondack Mountains); and Kingsland Bay State Park in Ferrisburgh (264 acres with picnicking, swimming, facilities, and several buildings including a dining hall and theater, that have become popular in which to host large group gatherings from reunions to weddings). Important to mention for the bicycling enthusiasts, are the nine variably difficult loops of the Lake Champlain Bikeways. Made of peaceful country roads, charming B&B’s, country stores, farm stands, historic sites and a plethora of shoreline parks, cyclists know these routes are among the most valued on the East Coast. Of course the V.A.S.T. non-profit private snowmobiling organization has been active for over 40 years, with 30,000+ members and 5000 miles of trails, some of which are found in Panton. Clearly marked, well-mapped, and weaving in and out of Vermont’s wooded back country, local towns, villages, snow covered mountains, and along creeks and lakes the V.A.S.T. trails offer Vermont vista views and beautiful winter scenery, connecting Vermont’s VAST winter wonderland.
The Basin Harbor Club is located along the Lake Champlain waters just a 10 minute drive North from Panton in Vergennes. This three-season hotel and resort is designated by the National Trust for Historic Preservation as an “Historic Inn of America” – one visit and you’ll experience the nostalgia locals cherish, with its Adirondack style décor, friendly Staff, sprawling gardens, wide covered porches, and an activities schedule loaded with authentic family-style programming. With both hotel and cottage accommodations, great dining options, children’s camps, fishing, swimming, boating, tubing, paddle boarding, kayaking, and an 18 hole golf course, Basin Harbor offers something for everyone!
Chimney Point, on Route 17W, tells the history of over 9000 years occupation at Chimney Point on Lake Champlain, one of the earliest and most intensely settled sites in the Champlain Valley. The Chimney Point History Trail is an informative stroll that teaches about the area’s early inhabitants. Permanent and rotating exhibits can be viewed from the museum. From the museum’s porch you’ll have a perfect view of the newly completed Champlain Bridge. The tiny Chimney Point Post Office is a charming step back in time. From spots along the shoreline you’ll appreciate beautiful vistas across to the Crown Point State Historic Site, the Champlain Memorial Lighthouse, and the Adirondack Mountains beyond.
Mount Independence in Orwell, open late May through October daily, features permanent exhibits highlighting the role Mount Independence played during the American Revolution and the Northern Campaign. The outdoor exhibit begins at the museum building and includes four separate trails, from .2 miles to 2.5 miles in length, each included in the trail guide and maps offered in the museum.
Other notable points of interest include the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum on Basin Harbor Road in Vergennes, with a campus featuring the Nautical Archaeology Center, Westport Marina Winch House, Conservation Laboratory, the Hazelett Watercraft Center, Blacksmith Shop, and Schoolhouse Gallery among others. Educational Programs, including for Teachers, offer courses and workshops (including in boat building), blacksmithing and rowing opportunities, summer programs for children, and lecture series. The LCMM is open from June through October daily.
Addison County Fair and Field Days is Vermont's largest agricultural fair, taking place annually in August, in New Haven, under 4 miles West of Route 7. "Field Days" is a must-do spot of summer fun, most find hard to resist year after year. From the Children’s Barnyard to Demo Derby, ox pulling to the midway, the 5 days of Field Days fun is chock-full with country fair events, entertainment, and community fellowship. The showing events bring draft horse teams from across New England, farm animals of all kinds to highly competitive youth and adult contests, the best pies from several counties surrounding, and a huge number of local showcase products from furniture to taxidermy to honey. Field days is an exciting ag fair located on some of the most beautiful rolling hills and lush valleys in the State.
The Town of Middlebury
Just a short drive to the East, Middlebury offers several options for dining, shopping, and entertainment. Glenn M. Andres has created a wonderful walking history of Middlebury proper at this site – it’s the best way to experience all that historic Middlebury has to offer - one of the most picturesque downtowns in the State. Beginning at the old Post Office, head down the alley toward the historic Marble Works District, home to the popular American Flatbread, lunchtime hotspot Noonie's Deli, seafood and Italian specialty food resource Costello's Market, an extensive summertime Farmer's Market, Middlebury Summer Festival, and the beautiful Riverfront Park by Middlebury Falls.
You’ll find additional services, several of the area’s businesses and now the recently developed Marble Works Residences (with incredible views of the Falls). Cross the footbridge over Otter Creek and you’ll find the Edgewater Gallery, shops at the Star Mill, PhotoPlace Gallery and the Henry Sheldon Museum. You’ll also be in the midst of the Main Street shopping district, in the center of which is the Main Street Bridge. It’s the perfect vantage point from which to watch the impressive Middlebury Falls cascading dramatically beneath and into the meandering Otter Creek. Inspired eats are everywhere, from a great cup of coffee at Carol's Hungry Mind Café, to dinner and live music at the 51 Main, and down Bakery Lane to fabulous Creek-side seating and brunch at Woody’s Restaurant, in addition to options for Mexican, Chinese, Indian, great pizza, and scrumptious bakery treats (Otter Creek Bakery is a must for specialty desserts and morning pastries).
From historic Middlebury, you’ll find your errands are a cinch along Route 7, host to much of the Town’s commercial sites and including large-scale grocery, pharmacy’s, hardware, chains such as TJ Maxx, services and recreational opportunities including the Memorial Sports Center offering an indoor arena with hockey rink in the winter, and sod field in the warmer months. Vermont Sun, Middlebury Fitness, and the Middlebury Indoor Tennis facility offer a fit community options for exercise.
Additional points of interest include the Vermont Folklife Center (with extensive programs, events, education and archives celebrating the cultural traditions of Vermont), Town Hall Theater (boasting a fantastic line-up of world class entertainment, classes, and gallery), and Middlebury College’s Mahaney Center for the Arts (home to the school’s arts programs, but also the black-box style Seeler Studio Theatre, dance theatre, and stunning 370-seat recital hall) and of course the Middlebury College Museum of Art (offering permanent collections of Asian and Western art, a significant collection of public sculpture, and 2 spaces dedicated to featuring rotating exhibitions).
A few of Middlebury’s big business ventures include Otter Creek Brewing (loved near and far), Woodchuck Hard Cider (if their new facility on Exchange Street is any indication, this stuff is well-appreciated), Geiger of Austria (check out the fashion house’s Middlebury Outlet), Vermont Coffee Company (preferred by many coffee lovers as THE Vermont roaster of choice), and Vermont Soap (100% natural, organic, and offering visitors the soap museum and factory outlet). Businesses such as these employ residents from all surrounding towns, boosting the economic viability of the Addison County lifestyle so many seek.
One of the best websites you’ll find, loaded with information on Addison County’s most prized, is the County’s Chamber of Commerce collection of information, here. You’ll also find a downloadable PDF of the most up-to-date area guide on the Chamber’s site as well – an invaluable resource for those hoping to make the area home.
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