Hidden treasure in Vermont's Northeast Kingdom

Clayton Collins spent the weekend in St. Johnsbury, VT

Where did you go? St. Johnsbury, "capital" of Vermont's lush Northeast Kingdom.

Where did you stay? Ten miles south of town, at Harvey's Lake Cabins & Campground (sites $30 per night). Horizontal rain had the two little girls in our party not-so-cheerfully recounting Weather Channel "Storm Stories" - and led us to abandon our tent for a dry RV rented on the spot ($90 in a special deal).

What did you do? Stumbled across the remarkable, dark- paneled Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium. Just $5 per adult ($3 per child) opens the door on surprising collections that range from native-American and Civil War relics to miniature Japanese sculptures and an assemblage of taxidermy that includes 131 species of hummingbirds. (Resist the temptation to pat the bears; the alarm is quite shrill.) Well worth a stop for a peaceful meadow walk: the Karme Choling Buddhist Meditation Center in West Barnet, just south of St. Johnsbury.

Where did you eat? Piccolo's on Railroad St. It's a notch above a standard sandwich shop; curried tuna and hummus wraps provide a break from camp food, and the root beer floats are formidable.

Would you go back? Would and will - for the panoply of stars unseen by suburbanites, and for fall's technicolor trees.

Where have you been? What did you do? Let us know at: Weekend

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