2001
White River Junction
The Vermont Mystique: Exploring What Makes the Green Mountain State Distinctive
Vermont is 75% forest and 100% unique. Come discover why as you visit the birthplace of Calvin Coolidge, explore historic Woodstock and learn about art, culture, music and more!
Rating (5)
Program No. 2001RJ
Length
6 days
Starts at
899
Print All
Map details are not available for this location.
View Map
Expand All
6 days
5 nights
15 meals
5 B 5 L 5 D
Getting There
See travel details and required documents
DAY
1
Independent Arrivals / Welcome Dinner / Orientation
White River Junction, Vermont
D
Hotel Coolidge

Afternoon: 4:00 - 6:00 pm: room check-in and Road Scholar registration

Dinner: 6:30 pm - Enjoy your first dinner in the Hotel Coolidge dining room. If you arrive by Amtrak (approximately 6:30) don’t worry, we’ll keep your meal warm while you settle in.

Evening: Welcome and orientation in the hotel dining room.

DAY
2
History of White River / Coolidge State Historic Site / Film
White River Junction, Vermont
B,L,D
Hotel Coolidge

Breakfast: A hearty full breakfast will be served in the Hotel Coolidge dining room.

Morning: Our day will begin with a lecture/presentation about the cycles of community in the history of the village of White River Junction, including a walking tour. Led by Hotel Coolidge innkeeper and White River Junction native Dave Briggs. This will begin our weeklong exploration of the mystique and distinctiveness of Vermont.

Lunch: Lunch in the hotel dining room.

Afternoon: In the afternoon we’ll travel by bus to the President Calvin Coolidge State Historic Site in picturesque Plymouth Notch. The director of the site will give us an overview of the buildings and landscape. Then you’ll be free to tour the site on your own, with the guidance of program staff. The site includes Coolidge’s boyhood home, his Summer White House, the village meeting house, a replica village store, and the Plymouth Artisan Cheese factory, which was started in 1890 by Coolidge’s father.

Dinner: Dinner in the hotel dining room.

Evening: A new collaborative documentary film explores Vermont’s iconoclastic spirit: where it comes from, how it shapes our present, and how it lays the groundwork for the future. We’ll watch Part 1 of “Freedom and Unity: The Vermont Movie” and have a discussion with award-winning filmmaker Nora Jacobson.

DAY
3
Woodstock Historical Society, Billings Farm & Museum
White River Junction, Vermont
B,L,D
Hotel Coolidge

Breakfast: Full breakfast in the Hotel Coolidge dining room.

Morning: Our daylong adventure starts with a journey to Woodstock by a curious route. Imagine that you’re Frederick Billings, prominent 19th-century railroad magnate and ardent conservationist, returning home from New York and making your way the 14 miles from the train station in White River Junction to your rural retreat. The first stop in Woodstock, county seat of Windsor County, is the Dana House, home of the Woodstock Historical Society. We’ll have a guided tour of their museum, a small gem of New England material culture featuring antique furniture, fine art, clothing, textiles, silver, and ceramics.

Lunch: Picnic lunch at Billings Farm and Museum with food provided by the Hotel Coolidge.

Afternoon: In the afternoon we'll explore the agricultural heritage of Vermont and New England at the fabulous Billings Farm and Museum. Time permitting, you can also visit the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historic Park, which focuses on conservation history and the evolving nature of land stewardship in America.

Dinner: We’ll have dinner back at the Hotel Coolidge dining room.

Evening: Discover hidden stories in the historic murals that grace the hotel’s Vermont Room. If you want to get a head start on the back story, read the Wikipedia entry about Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy.

DAY
4
Presentation: History of VT / Free Time / Local filmmaker
White River Junction, Vermont
B,L,D
Hotel Coolidge

Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining room.

Morning: Today's program features a lecture/presentation about the contributions to Vermont history made by women, Native Americans, and African Americans, by historian Cyndy Bittinger, former director of the Calvin Coolidge Memorial Foundation and professor at Vermont Community College. It will include a profile of First Lady Grace Coolidge, known for her stylishness and her humanitarian work.

Lunch: Lunch is in the hotel dining room.

Afternoon: The afternoon is free. You can continue to explore the village, or venture further afield into the neighboring towns and the surrounding countryside. Shops, museums, galleries, fishing and swimming holes, and many other attractions are easily accessible from White River Junction, by car or local bus service.

Dinner: Dinner in the hotel dining room.

Evening: Enjoy the second part of our cinematic exploration of what makes Vermont distinctive. John O’Brien is well known for his “Vermont Trilogy" movies that playfully and lovingly highlight traditional Vermont folkways and characters that are being eclipsed by the pace and interconnectedness of contemporary life, featuring many local nonprofessional actors. John will be on hand to talk about the motivations behind his movies.

DAY
5
Norwich Univ, Morrill Homestead, Orozco Murals / Trad. music
White River Junction, Vermont
B,L,D
Hotel Coolidge

Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining room.

Morning: This morning we embark on another ramble, first to visit the Sullivan Museum (a Smithsonian Affiliate) at Norwich University, the oldest private military academy in the country, founded in 1819. NU is a distinctive college shared by military academy cadets and civilian students.

Lunch: On the grounds of the Norwich University campus. Food will be provided by the Hotel Coolidge.

Afternoon: From Norwich University we'll swing by another state historic site, the self-designed estate of Renaissance Man, Lincoln ally, and creator of the Land Grant College system Justin Smith Morrill. Finally, we'll make a short trip to the campus of Dartmouth College to view the astounding murals by Jose Clemente Orozco depicting “The Epic of American Civilization.”

Dinner: We’ll return to the Hotel Coolidge for dinner.

Evening: Enjoy an evening of traditional song and dance with Old Sam Peabody, one of the region’s fine contradance bands. At the hotel.

DAY
6
Morning Presentation by one of Vermont's best-known state senators / Wrap-up / Independent Departures
White River Junction, Vermont
B,L

Breakfast: Breakfast in hotel dining room.

Morning: Enjoy the wit, wisdom, and music of one of Vermont's best known members of the state senate. Dick McCormack's program focuses on Vermont Humor.

Lunch: Bag lunch served to take with you. Check out of hotel by 11 am.