The Great Northern Route

Hitchhikers are common on US-2 between Montpelier and Plainfield, thanks to the presence of Goddard College, one of the nation’s most renowned countercultural institutes of higher learning. The tiny town of Plainfield also boasts the Maple Valley Café (802/454-8626, tie-dyes welcome), a combo deli-café that is the local hangout. The soups are fantastic, as are the veggie burgers. The store’s parking area is built on a foundation of recycled granite, leftovers from the nearby quarries and stonecutters.

If you want to linger, consider a night on the farm: At Hollister Hill Farm (2193 Hollister Hill Rd., 802/454-7725, $100 and up), east of town, they make their own maple syrup (and serve it over pancakes at breakfast) and raise all sorts of organic produce (from vegetables to “beefalo” hybrids).