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Family Vacations: Vermont Institute of Natural Science


Bald eagles are among the birds of prey cared for at the VINS Nature Center.
Bald eagles are among the birds of prey cared for at the VINS Nature Center.
┬ęTouched by Nature: Matt Palmer

There are hundreds of authentic Vermont vacation towns where you can get away from it all and enjoy what the state has to offer. But if you are in search of the spirit of the Green Mountain State, you might want to visit Woodstock, Vermont. And if you want to learn about the heart and soul of little Woodstock, take a trip a few miles outside of town, past the Quechee Gorge, to the Vermont Institute of Natural Science (VINS).

The VINS Nature Center is the leading New England care center for raptors -- owls, falcons, hawks, eagles, and vultures, about 25 species in all -- that can no longer survive in the wild. The center receives injured birds from all over the United States and houses them in specially adapted high-ceilinged cages. The Nature Center is artistically designed so that visitors can view the birds and forget that they are in a building at all. Guests also enjoy bird-watching along the center's nature trails.

Meanwhile, back in Woodstock, don't overlook the Billings Farm & Museum, a working dairy farm since the 1870s. Next door is the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park. Vermont's first national park offers guided tours of the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller Mansion and its grounds and gardens.

Vermont Institute of Natural Science Information

Vermont Institute of Natural Science Information

Address: 6565 Woodstock Rd., Quechee, VT

Telephone: 802/359-5000

Hours of Operation:

  • May - Oct: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m., daily
  • Nov - April: 10 a.m. - 4 p.m., Wed. - Sun.

Admission: $8 adults; $6.50 kids

To learn more about family vacation destinations, see:

  • Family Vacations: Learn about hundreds of family vacations in destinations all over North America.
  • Vermont State Guide: Learn about Mobil Travel Guide-rated hotels and restaurants in Vermont, as well as other recreational activities.
  • Scenic Drives: For those who think that getting there is half the fun, we have compiled more than 100 of the most scenic drives throughout the country.

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