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.