With all that hiking, biking, and skiing that Vermonters undertake, they've upped the ante in how to refuel properly. These days, dining in Vermont restaurants is a back-to-the-land affair: The "eat local" movement has swept through the Green Mountain state with a particular fervor, and thanks to its 6,000-plus small farms, organic, seasonal ingredients are just about everywhere. Even the Ground Round in South Burlington features locally raised beef and Vermont bread on its menu. Look for places that belong to the Vermont Fresh Network, the state's consortium of farmers and chefs.
Reflecting the independent spirit of the state, Vermont's dining scene is also abundant with eclectic restaurants, such as the River Run in Plainfield (a fish-out-of-water tale, serving Southern-style catfish in snow country) and Waitsfield's American Flatbread, where devotees wait hours for superlative pizza. From artisanal cheeses and smoked meats to silky chocolates and piquant berries, Vermont fare is anything but the bland New England boiled dinner of yesteryear, and everything is washed down with pints from one of Vermont's many fine microbreweries, or a glass of vino from the state's increasingly impressive wine lists.