Top Five Ways to Peep Like a Local

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Leaves… people! Peeping at leaves!

We Vermonters have a love/hate relationship with leafing season. How can you not be lured in by the nature’s annual show of flamboyance? It’s stone-cold gorgeous. Economically, we’re grateful, of course, for the multi-week tourism boom.

It’s just that as a collective of 600,000+ independent spirits, we still have lives to attend to. Just like in any other tourism Mecca, we locals want to welcome our guests while still getting to work on time, making it through the grocery store in decent time, and enjoying a meal out without a glacial wait time.

It’s ironic that most travelers seek to assimilate – at least to some extent – with the foreign culture they’re visiting. Yet, somehow, that traveling mantra seems to be tossed out the window when your destination is just at the other end of the Interstate. Because we love visitors and really want you to feel comfortable throughout your annual New England escapade, Ibex presents the top five ways to “Peep Like a Local.”

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1. Drive the speed limit. We get it. The views are spectacular and this weekend is all about “slowing down.” Here’s an idea. Drive the speed limit to a trailhead. Exit the car, toss on a hat and appreciate the Technicolor trees on foot. For multi-generational broods, we have lovely hikes from easy to challenging.

2. Sleep in… please. This one is about relaxation and consideration. We are the 49th most populated state; we’re unaccustomed to lots of people. But we also fancy ourselves a considerate bunch. We let the guy with a single gallon of milk go in front of our full cart at the grocery. We take the time to chat with our neighbor. If you’re in line for your triple espresso with extra sugar while the rest of your family lulls in bed, perhaps you could allow a local on her way to work to go first in line?

3. Do not wear plaid flannel from head to toe. We dress for the cold weather, not for a Paul Bunyan convention.

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4. Don’t pretend to know which day will be the peak of color. The science of the color change (light, temperature, precipitation) allows for some solid guesses, but there is always room from surprise. No one really knows which day will be more mind blowing than the next.

5. Share the goods. When you stumble on a superlative expanse of color, tell people. If it’s remote, we guarantee your excitement won’t overrun the joint. If it’s right off the highway, the beauty of this annual tradition is that it’s indiscriminate as to who can enjoy it. Not sharing the good spots doesn’t make you “local,” it just makes you stingy.

Happy peeping.

Love, Ibex.

(photos courtesy of Anthony Quintano)