Where to ride: A visit to Burlington isn’t complete without cruising three miles out onto the Causeway and across Lake Champlain to explore the islands (with a little help from the bike ferry). But if you want to go off brochure, do local Lindsay Westley’s 50-mile Baby Gap loop. Beginning 20 minutes outside of Burlington, park at the Old Round Church and prepare for an exhilarating three-hour jaunt with 3,681 feet of climbing. “Start at Sweet Simone's with a homemade bagel and a cup of locally roasted coffee,” says Westley. “Then climb south toward Hinesburg, where the roads out to Bristol are fast and mostly flat farmland, with plenty of great views toward the Adirondacks to the west." Refuel at Bristol Bakery & Cafe with an egg taco — you'll need the energy to get up over Baby Gap, which climbs 800 feet in less than four miles. If you're feeling super motivated, stay on Route 17 to climb another 2.5 miles up over App Gap, which shoots upward for 1,200 feet of climbing on a sustained 8 percent grade. Otherwise, turn left on Gore Road, passing through Huntington and returning to the church on a mostly downhill road. “Finish the day with a Hatchet Burger and a pint of Hill Farmstead at the Hatchet Tap & Table," says Westley.
Where to rest: If you had a Hotel Vermont in your hometown, it would be your go-to staycation. The hotel (summer rates from $239) regularly draws locals seeking inspired farm fresh fare at Hen of the Wood restaurant and weekly live concerts in the lobby. In addition to its fleet of complimentary Old Spokes Home bikes, it recently rolled out a bevvy of Budnitz Bicycles exclusively for guests.