A Craft Brewery Tour of Stowe, Vermont

A Craft Brewery Tour of Stowe, Vermont

Widely regarded among the top craft brewing destinations in the world, the Green Mountain State brims with crisp lagers and full-bodied ales inspired by the outdoor New England lifestyle. Some of its best can be found in and around Stowe, where you can also indulge in world-class skiing each winter and a spectrum of vibrant fall colors when the leaves change.

Here are some of our favorite breweries within 45 minutes of Stowe – all easily accessible when you fly Tradewind aboard regularly scheduled shuttle flights in the Northeast or private charters. In-flight, enjoy a memorable selection of Vermont craft beers.

Lost Nation Brewing

Morrisville, Vermont

Photo: Lost Nation Brewing

Photo: Lost Nation Brewing

Nine miles north of Stowe and just five minutes from the Morrisville-Stowe Airport, Lost Nation Brewing in Morrisville is home to exceptional year-round brews with clean flavor profiles like the smooth and malty Rustic Ale, the Pitch Black Ale with subtle notes of smoke and roast, and the crisp Mosaic IPA. Life in Vermont, combined with lesser-known European styles, is the inspiration for these brewers, who have one guiding mission: producing honest beer.

Rock Art Brewery

Morrisville, Vermont

Photo: Rock Art Brewery

Photo: Rock Art Brewery

The first solar-powered brewery in Vermont is Rock Art, an environmentally-conscious micro-brewery and tasting room that highlights original flavors on eight rotating taps. Find your seat in the viewing room to watch the brewing process, or take home a few of the signature 22-ounce bottles with the Kokopelli logo. Some local favorites include the Vermonster barleywine, the Ridge Runner double IPA, and the Sun Rocked IPA – a citrus-packed beer with hints of pine and grapefruit that is the brewery’s first to be made entirely with solar power.

Idletyme Brewing Company

Stowe, Vermont

Photo: Oliver Parini via Idletyme Brewing Company

Photo: Oliver Parini via Idletyme Brewing Company

Set in an 1830s building that has been home to classic Stowe establishments like a cider mill and a beloved local restaurant, Idletyme Brewing Company is a European-inspired brewery led by Brewmaster Will Gilson. Acclaimed creations like the English Brown Ale, Danube Blueberry Hefeweizen, and Idletyme Double IPA combine classic brewing techniques with Vermont hop culture, and they pair beautifully with refined comfort food like the Truffle Mac-N-Cheese.

The Alchemist

Stowe, Vermont

Photo: Danielle Visco/LuvLens Photography via The Alchemist

Photo: Danielle Visco/LuvLens Photography via The Alchemist

Fresh, unfiltered IPAs have built a cult-like following around The Alchemist, located just around the corner from Idletyme. The family-run brewery first opened in Waterbury in 2003 (where they still brew the nationally renowned IPA Heady Topper, an American double) and added a second, low-impact location in Stowe last year. Try the brewed-on-site Focal Banger American IPA or one of an array of rotating seasonal beers.

von Trapp Brewing

Stowe, Vermont

Photo: von Trapp Brewing

Photo: von Trapp Brewing

After two decades of dreaming about an Austrian-style brewery, Johannes von Trapp opened von Trapp Brewing at the Trapp Family Lodge in 2010. A passion for clean Austrian lagers and a love of Vermont contribute to brews like the Vienna Style Lager (amber), Kölsch Style German (hoppy summer session ale), and Dunkel Lager (roasted brown with a creamy, toffee aroma). Sip your beer of choice with kebabs or chicken schnitzel from von Trapp Brewing Bierhall Restaurant, where many of the Austrian entrées are prepared on the wood-fired Parrilla grill.

Burlington Beer Company

Williston, Vermont

Located on the edge of Burlington, Vermont’s vibrant lakeside city, Burlington Beer Company finds the balance between tradition and innovation with new takes on classic styles. Owner Joe Lemnah brewed more than 200 batches of home brew – while working in acclaimed breweries like Dogfish Head Brewing Co. – before opening the locals’ favorite in 2014. The menu features standouts like the Peasant Bread dry-hopped brown ale made with wild rice and the Barista coffee porter.

Magic Hat Brewing Company

Burlington, Vermont

Photo: Magic Hat Brewing Company

Photo: Magic Hat Brewing Company

There’s more to Magic Hat Brewing Company than its ever-popular #9 ale, renowned nationwide for its dry, crisp, and refreshing flavor. Also try one of 15 brews on draft like the Circus Boy hefeweizen or the Low Key session IPA, along with an ever-changing lineup of small-batch and seasonal selections. Ingredients from local purveyors are highlighted on the casual-but-singular menu, which includes artisanal cheese plates and one-of-a-kind grilled sandwiches.

Zero Gravity Craft Brewery

Burlington, Vermont

Photo: Zero Gravity Craft Brewery

Photo: Zero Gravity Craft Brewery

A sun-drenched beer garden is the design highlight of Zero Gravity Craft Brewery, where you can sip balanced beers like the Green State Lager pilsner, Conehead IPA, and Leipzig-style Gose outdoors. The South End Arts District brewery actually got its start in 2004 inside American Flatbread Burlington Hearth, today known as Flatbread Brewpub (where 18 Zero Gravity beers are on tap and flatbreads are baked with local ingredients in a wood-fired, clay-domed oven built by the owners of both establishments). The new location opened in 2015 and is home to the brewery’s barrel-aging program led by talented Brewmaster Paul Sayler.

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Still can’t get enough? Continue your brewery tour of the Stowe area at up-and-coming breweries like Foam Brewers and Hill Farmstead Brewery, each of which offer one-of-a-kind, craft experiences to round out your taste of Vermont.

 

*Featured Image: Zero Gravity Craft Brewery

Jim Remy’s Autumn Golf Tour through Vermont

Jim Remy’s Autumn Golf Tour through Vermont

Written by David Gould, a former Executive Editor of Travel + Leisure Golf who has authored several books on golf history and course architecture.

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On a map of New England you notice Vermont’s silhouette—narrow at the bottom and widening toward the top. That’s how it feels to any fall-foliage seeker motoring north, as the road opens up and the scale of the topography increases. If rather than drive you’ve booked a Tradewind flight—a private charter to the classic Vermont town of Stowe—the sense of anticipation will be similar and your views (from above) naturally grander.

Come autumn, trees and bushes here controvert the Green Mountain State nickname, flaring into yellow, orange, and red. Arriving to view the fiery results are vacationers of every sort, and yet it’s golfers who get the best of it. “Where you want to be is on an elevated tee somewhere along Route 100 in the first week of October,” says Vermont golf expert Jim Remy, “with the maples coming to peak and sunlight flooding the fairways.”

Jim Remy with Former U.S. President George H.W. Bush. Courtesy of The PGA of America.

Jim Remy with Former U.S. President George H.W. Bush. Courtesy of The PGA of America.

Remy was a hotshot ski-racer kid who left his hometown in central Massachusetts after graduation and settled in the Vermont town of Ludlow, working at golf courses in the summer while waiting for the double-diamond trails to turn white again.

Despite not treating golf as his number one sport, Remy honed his game, turned professional, mastered the nuances of the golf business, rose ever higher in his peers’ estimation, and wound up as president of the PGA of America, a massive organization with 27,000 member pros and hundreds of millions in sponsorship contracts to manage. When his years of constant events and travel as a PGA officer ended, Jim was even more of a Vermonter than when he started.

“This is a part of the world where people tend not to overdo things,” Remy explains. “While golf was growing at an unhealthy rate elsewhere, Vermont was adding just the right type of courses and resorts, in just the right locations—mostly up and down Route 100, the old ‘Skier’s Highway.’ ”

Whatever Vermont highway you travel, you may see ‘Moose Crossing’ signs, but you don’t ever see billboards. Likewise, you see very few big-box stores. All part of not overdoing things—commercialism particularly. But the quaint towns come along reliably every 20 minutes or so, with their general stores, craft barns, antique shops, glassblowing studios, wood stove suppliers, and other “country things,” as Robert Frost referred to them.

Okemo Valley Golf Club. Courtesy of Okemo Mountain Resort. 

Okemo Valley Golf Club. Courtesy of Okemo Mountain Resort. 

Remy’s base of operations, going back 20 years, is Okemo Mountain Resort and the Okemo Valley Golf Club. In 1997, the couple that owned the resort (the Mullers, who own it still), hired Remy to assemble a team that would build and manage a first-class golf amenity, making Okemo a four-season force to be reckoned with. Twice this decade, Okemo Valley has been anointed by Golf Digest as the Best Public Course in the state, and it has hosted major regional tournaments like the Vermont PGA and the New England PGA Senior Championship.

“It’s got a beautiful collection of par-3 holes,” says Remy, “and par-5s with a lot risk-versus-reward choices for the golfer to make.” At plenty of spots the errant shot bounces back into play, preserving the enjoyment factor—this on a course built at a time when brutal difficulty was in fashion across the golf landscape.

Okemo is nearly on the opposite, or southern, end of Route 100 from your Tradewind-served town of Stowe, where you find the fairways of The Golf Course at Stowe Mountain Club, a high-country layout designed by golf polymath Bob Cupp and built a dozen years ago. Vermont’s highest peaks, Mt. Mansfield and a neighboring bump called The Chin, are in full view for golfers nearly throughout the round. The course is a wonder of engineering, the way its fairways have been ramped onto hillsides and its greens perched on precipices. Pick the right afternoon and this place offers as much visual beauty as one can take and still swing a club.

Courtesy of Stowe Mountain Resort. 

Courtesy of Stowe Mountain Resort. 

To play Vermont National Country Club, located west of Stowe in South Burlington, you have to be a private-club member elsewhere. Have your own club’s professional call ahead and set things up so pay a Reciprocal Guest fee, then take your shots at this Jack Nicklaus-designed course that seems eminently playable but can very easily wind up playing you. The layout was carefully routed in respect of prevailing winds, which in the meadow-like confines of the Champlain Valley are dependable. Vermont National has 17 holes that run north-south and just one, the 10th, oriented east-west.

There is enough variety and novelty—a split fairway on No. 3, a shared green for holes 10 and 15—to make the course seem like a charmer rather than the taskmaster it really is. Between fairways of the early holes are lively swaths of bottlebrush, goldenrod, and even thick stands of cattail. 

Rutland Country Club, a citadel of Vermont golf history, looks and feels like a private enclave but opens its first tee to anyone who calls in advance and covers its $80 green fees. The ancient layout has good bones and fine character throughout. It opened in 1896 as a nine-holer and was expanded to 18 in 1928 by the under-appreciated course architect Wayne Stiles. With greens that are smooth and gospel-true—but only lightly contoured—it’s a course where you could show up with a hitchy putting stroke and perhaps make it well again.

No. 6 is where RCC begins doling out the distant views of Killington Peak, Ram’s Head, and all the various high points to the east. Putting out on the sixth you are soothed by the sound of a nearby falls. Other than a short, deep plunge to the green of the par-3 15th, the inward nine climbs steadily up the ridge until you hole out on lofty No. 16. From there it is down toward the creek again before a testy par-4 finishing hole with a curling fairway and a tucked green. 

Courtesy of Green Mountain National. 

Courtesy of Green Mountain National. 

With not too much travel time in between, you can play your next day’s round at Green Mountain National, which cuts merrily through noble woodland and packs a great variety of shotmaking challenges into its 6,500 yards. Course architect Gene Bates laid out his No. 8 hole at Green Mountain National as a bite-it-off dogleg to the left that punishes the greedy. On No. 16, you blast down a hill then have to thread your approach into a well-guarded green; it’s like a ski run you’ll want to turn around and scoot down again.

These courses all come with a nod of approval from our guide, Jim Remy, as do many smaller, lesser-known layouts—many of them family-owned. “You can take your autumn vacation here and divide it between the courses that are elite and the ones that are more humble,” he advises. “Whichever you choose on a given day, it’s still Vermont.”

5 Ultimate Fall Experiences in New England

5 Ultimate Fall Experiences in New England

New England’s charm spans all seasons, but it’s during fall when the region is most magical. Technicolor foliage blankets the land. Mild, sun-kissed days give way to crisp, starlit nights. Rich and varied harvests hold testament to this nexus of fertility. From late September to early November, there’s no place on Earth quite like it.

Here, we present five experiences for maximizing your New England fall and crafting an autumn to remember. Reserve your Tradewind flight by the seat on our daily shuttles from New York to Boston, Martha’s Vineyard, and Nantucket, or book your private charter to the airport of your choice.

1. Take a Leaf-Peeping Road Trip from Boston

Boston-Road-Trip.jpg

All paths to New England’s multi-hued finest are easily reached from Boston. Head 116 miles west to access Massachusetts’s 63-mile Mohawk Trail. This route through the Berkshire Mountains is considered New England’s original scenic drive and follows a Native American trade route. Today, the trail’s some 50,000 acres of color-coated forest and parklands are dotted with charming, artisan shops specializing in everything from handmade quilts to house-made chocolates (try the chocolate caramel apples at Richardson’s Candy Kitchen).

Alternatively, from Boston travel 140 miles north to New Hampshire’s Kancamagus Highway, affectionately referred to as “The Kanc.” This scenic 35-mile stretch through White Mountain National Forest is the apex of New Hamsphire’s fall glory, bursting with blazing amalgams of orange, red, yellow, and green over the mountainous landscape. Unlike the Mohawk Trail, The Kanc lacks stores, gas stations, and restaurants, keeping the focus solely on nature.

2.  Wade through Massachusetts’ Cranberry Bogs

Courtesy of Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism

Courtesy of Massachusetts Office of Travel & Tourism

While we love New England’s prolific you-pick apple orchards and pumpkin patches, there’s no fall harvest experience as exciting—or photogenic—as “wet” cranberry farming. In the same vain as your favorite Ocean Spray commercials, you’ll wade through flooded cranberry bogs in rural Mass, raking in seas of the vitamin-rich red berries. Work on a farm for a day through the “Be the Grower Experience” at Mayflower Cranberries in Plympton, MA (45 minutes from Boston). Or, if manual labor isn’t your thing, observe the process of cranberry harvesting during the Nantucket Conservation Foundation’s Annual Cranberry Festival (Oct 7, 2017). Now in its 14th year, the festival dedicated to everything cranberries takes place at Milestone Cranberry Bog, one of the island’s two commercial cranberry farms.

3. Whale Watch in Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary

Courtesy of Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary

Courtesy of Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary

In summer and fall, the waters between Cape Ann and Cape Cod teem with thousands of migratory humpback, finback, and minke whales and several dolphin species, converging over a protected area known as Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary.  Summer is a busy time in Stellwagen, when it seems that boats outnumber whales. However, come early October, once the seafaring tourist hordes have left, you can really see why this region is cited as one of the top locales for whale watching in the world. See the highly intelligent leviathans in full force—without another boat in sight—on Boston Harbor Cruises, which runs whale watches until early November from New England’s Capital.  For visitors to Martha’s Vineyard, Hyannis Whale Watcher Cruises operates until late October from Barnstable Harbor on the Cape (and several hotels on the vineyard can arrange the whale watch as a day trip, including transport to Hyannis).

4. Channel Your Inner Tarzan and Spiderman in Stowe

Courtesy of Stowe Mountain Resort

Courtesy of Stowe Mountain Resort

Fall foliage is great at ground level, but it’s even better up in the trees. Thanks to a new aerial adventure course at Stowe Mountain Lodge in northern Vermont, gliding and swinging through the Vermont forest canopy is completely within reach. After a short training session, you’ll hook onto the cables that commence this exhilarating treetop adventure, going higher and deeper through a progressive series of obstacle courses woven through fall flora. Similar to skiing, the difficulty of each course is noted through a color–shape rating system. Prepare to test your balance skills, swing into sky high spider web nets like Tarzan (and then scale them like Spiderman), jump between floating planks, climb ropes, and zip line during this rip-roaring, often white-knuckled experience.  

5. Take a Leaf-Peeping Road Trip from Stowe

Courtesy of Stowe Mountain Resort. 

Courtesy of Stowe Mountain Resort. 

In a state where maple-laced forest dominates, prepare for the brightest of fall colors around nearly every highway, country road, covered bridge, and white-steeple church. For maximum adventure, ditch the Google maps and just drive. You can’t make a wrong turn from Stowe—New England leaf-peeping is at its finest here. For something more organized, try a mini-road trip on the 11-mile Green Mountain Byway towards Waterbury (be sure to get some free samples at the Ben & Jerry’s factory along the way). Or for something more extensive, and to appreciate the diversity of Vermont’s fall flora, from Stowe continue on the Vermont 100 (beyond the Green Mountain Byway), all the way down the Green Mountains into Wilmington.

The 8 Best Places to Charter a Flight in the Northeast

The 8 Best Places to Charter a Flight in the Northeast

As we reach that ideal time of year between late summer and early fall, the Northeast beckons with an array of charming coastal retreats and vibrant mountain settings. Some inspire tranquil beach days along the Atlantic, while others are already seeing the first leaves change, but each is easily accessible by private charter – and often difficult to reach via commercial connection.

For your next flight with Tradewind Aviation, here are eight destinations that epitomize the beauty of private air travel:

Newport

Photo: Michael Kagdis

Photo: Michael Kagdis

America’s Cup and the Volvo Ocean Race are just a few of the internationally recognized sailing events to have been held in Newport, renowned as the sailing capital of the world. Once a retreat for wealthy American families like the Vanderbilts, the coastal Rhode Island city still emanates the splendor of the Gilded Age with centuries-old city squares and beautifully restored mansions, some of which have been transformed into boutique hotels.

Fly into Newport State Airport, where Tradewind’s Pilatus PC-12s are some of the only aircraft capable of landing, then explore Newport’s fascinating history with accommodations at Vanderbilt Grace, Castle Hill Inn overlooking Narragansett Bay, or The Chanler at Cliff Walk. The 3.5-mile Cliff Walk offers breathtaking vistas of the Atlantic Ocean, and exquisite cuisine awaits at Bouchard Restaurant, The Dining Room at Castle Hill Inn (where the wine list is consistently recognized by Wine Spectator), and Bowen’s Wharf.

Saranac Lake

Photo: Mwanner

Photo: Mwanner

Verdant mountains and more than 100 lakes frame the charming town of Saranac Lake, located in the Adirondack Mountains in Upstate New York. With activities from boating and fishing to snowshoeing and snowmobiling, the destination is a spectacular year-round retreat with a lively downtown strip that regularly sees musicians performing and artists painting near Lake Flower.

You can fly into Adirondack Regional Airport, but the more scenic approach is the nearby Lake Placid Airport, with a 4,200-foot runway in the midst of a lush, forested landscape. Stay in a log cabin crafted from native timber and stone without sacrificing comfort at The Point, and dine at standout restaurants like Blue Moon Cafe, Left Bank Café, and Bitters & Bones.

Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket

Photo: Bobak Ha'Eri

Photo: Bobak Ha'Eri

Among the most sought-after retreats in the Northeast, the neighboring islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket abound with New England coastal charm and rich history. Idyllic hillsides and beaches overlooked by lighthouses give way to quaint towns, where you will discover exquisite globally inspired cuisine, boutique shopping, and opportunities for sailing.

Visitors can fly into Martha’s Vineyard Airport or Nantucket Memorial Airport with Tradewind’s regularly scheduled shuttles, or for larger parties, by private charter. (Keep in mind, Tradewind’s fleet can also land at Katama Airfield.) During your stay on the Vineyard, Winnetu Oceanside Resort overlooking South Beach offers a wonderful base to explore the surrounding villages and dine at restaurants like Atria and Little House Café. A quick plane ride away, the cobblestoned streets and steepled churches of Nantucket await. Stay at The Wauwinet or the White Elephant and explore exceptional dining at The Pearl (try the acclaimed wok-fried lobster) and Straight Wharf (nightly changing, seasonal offerings).

Bar Harbor

Set between Acadia National Park and the deep blue Atlantic, Bar Harbor is one of Maine’s most coveted destinations for its beautiful scenery and world-class lobster. The Mount Desert Island town is close to hiking and biking trails that follow soaring cliffs and the rock-bound coastline, and in town, an array of unique dining experiences highlight fresh-off-the-boat seafood and local farm produce.

The Hancock County-Bar Harbor Airport, located just across the bridge on the mainland, features a 5,200-foot runway alongside the waters of the Mount Desert Narrows. After landing, check into Harborside Hotel, Spa & Marina, or West Street Hotel before ordering some of the freshest lobster in the northeast at the roadside shack Rose Eden Lobster. And for a gourmet experience, order the Coulette steak over warm blueberry and spinach salad at Havana.

Stowe

Photo: Stowe Mountain Resort

Photo: Stowe Mountain Resort

Located at the base of Mount Mansfield in Vermont, the mountain village of Stowe is best known for its premier skiing and winter adventures. But much of the region’s beauty reveals itself during other seasons, from summer hiking and fly fishing to some of the most legendary leaf viewing in the Northeast each fall.

The 3,701-foot runway at Morrisville-Stowe State Airport is your gateway to Stowe Mountain Lodge, featuring ski-in, ski-out access to the slopes in winter and serving as a center for endless recreation during the warmer months. (Tradewind offers regularly scheduled shuttles as well as private charters to the airport, located just 7 miles from the center of town.) During your visit, be sure to have dinner at Plate – reserve the Chef’s Counter for an up-close view of the kitchen while you dine – and visit some of Vermont’s renowned craft breweries like Idletyme Brewing Company.

Block Island

Twelve miles off the coast of Rhode Island, a picturesque New England escape awaits with 17 miles of rock and sand beaches and dramatic, 250-foot cliffs. Touch down on Block Island State Airport’s 2,502-foot runway to explore sights like Mohegan Bluffs (with the 1800s red-brick Southeast Lighthouse set atop the cliffs), Crescent Beach, and the island’s two harbors where you can set sail for the day on a sleek catamaran.

The landmark Spring House Hotel, renowned for hosting visitors like Ulysses S. Grant and Mark Twain, is the place to stay with its quintessential, wraparound veranda and scenic views. Nearby, Restaurant 1879 offers a memorable tapas menu and a Wine Spectator award-winning wine list, while Winfield’s Restaurant serves up delectable entrees like grilled shrimp with Cajun remoulade over andouille sausage jambalaya.

Montauk

Photo: Tim Hettler

Photo: Tim Hettler

At the very tip of Long Island, 118 miles east of Midtown Manhattan, Montauk is known as the last untouched village of the Hamptons. Revered for its scenic, windblown beaches, the summer beach retreat features six state parks, exceptional fishing, resort nightlife, and the historic Montauk Point Light – the first lighthouse in New York and the fourth oldest active lighthouse in the United States.

With water at both ends, the 3,246-foot runway at Montauk Airport provides an incredibly picturesque landing only accessible to small aircraft like the Pilatus PC-12. Nearby, the historic Gurney’s Montauk Resort & Seawater Spa is the only year-round resort in town and offers 2,000 feet of private beach. Spend your stay sunbathing by the Atlantic and dining at gourmet restaurants like Muse at the End, Scarpetta Beach, and Harvest on Fort Pond.

Laconia

Photo: Mark Crawley

Photo: Mark Crawley

The serene waters of Lake Winnipesaukee and Winnisquam Lake border the mountain village of Laconia, located alongside White Mountains National Forest in New Hampshire. After soaring above the region’s many lakes during your landing at Laconia Municipal Airport, you may be inspired to take an air tour to further explore the spectacular landscape. Then, set out for boating, hiking, and walking the 1,300-foot Weirs Beach boardwalk for scenic views of the water and the Ossipee Mountains.

Stay at Lake Opechee Inn and Spa, a charming boutique hotel with individually decorated rooms and private balconies overlooking the smaller Lake Opechee. Then, go for farm-to-table cuisine at Tavern 27, an exceptional American tapas restaurant and piano bar located in a 235-year-old farm house.

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To book your private charter with Tradewind Aviation, please submit a quote request on our website, email us at [email protected], or call 1-800-376-7922.

Ideas that Matter: The World’s Brightest Minds Descend on Nantucket

Ideas that Matter: The World’s Brightest Minds Descend on Nantucket

There is an undeniable splendor to Nantucket in September. Most seasonal visitors have returned home and the island has returned to its more natural, sequestered origins – with its windblown beaches, idyllic lighthouses, and gently rolling hills.

It’s also the month of The Nantucket Project (TNP), a world-famous speaker showcase that draws nearly 500 visionaries from former U.K. Prime Minister Tony Blair to Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak to discuss some of the most thought-provoking ideas of our time – and ultimately, to make the world a better place.

Held in a tent overlooking the moored sailboats of Nantucket Harbor, The Nantucket Project – in part sponsored by Tradewind – invites the brightest thinkers and creators to an extraordinary weekend that aims to push the limits of what we know. Famed presenters like TV producer Norman Lear, playwright Eve Ensler, author Deepak Chopra, and actor Paul Giamatti take the stage (or rather, the center of the room, as the gathering is set up in-the-round), and each speaker gives what TNP’s President Scott Williams calls “the talk of their life.”

From technology to politics to psychology, there is no limit to what might become a focus at TNP. But each of the topics are ideas that matter, meant to kindle positive change that will travel far beyond the island after the event – held September 14 – 17 on the lawn of the White Elephant. Through short talks, conversation-style presentations, and films, fresh and original performances resonate with virtually every person in the room, making choosing one that has been most memorable nearly impossible.

“There are – dare I say – so many,” says Williams as he reminisces on the event’s 7-year history, citing talks by former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange (who attended as a hologram), theater and film director Julie Taymor, and singer-songwriter Neil Young in addition to Blair and Wozniak.

These are singular talks that only one person can give, something they are uniquely qualified to share. And the intimate setting – speakers literally walk on stage from the audience, as there is no green room or backstage – creates an atmosphere that heightens the energy between speaker and listeners. “It creates not only a great method for dialogue, but inclusion, because you’re looking through the speaker to other attendees,” says Williams. “And the focus becomes very, very transparent.”

Each of the event’s speakers are invited throughout the previous year, with some coming in as late as days or weeks before the gathering – like Young, who signed on three weeks out in a previous year. But TNP’s reputation and vision are such that attendees don’t need to know who the speakers are before purchasing a ticket. This year, the event sold out before even a single presenter’s name had been released. The first, former President of Mexico Vincente Fox, would be later announced on August 4.

After the event, the talks that TNP wants to share with the world are turned into IdeaFilms, short 2-to-14-minute videos led by renowned directors like Casey Neistat, Megan Mylan, and Oscar Boyson (which have been official selections at festivals such as Tribeca and SXSW). TNP was the inspiration for a film called Acceptance, a powerful story encouraging viewers to accept who they are and embrace their personal history, sexuality, or maladies like facial scarring from an injury or illness. Other features have highlighted the ramifications of population explosions in cities, and this year TNP will premiere films about race in America, the future of labor in America, as well as the award-winning projected Oscar contender, The Illumination, which tells the story of finding a cure for blindness.

Photo: The Nantucket Project

Photo: The Nantucket Project

“Then, out of that, we take what we call our satellite series, and we go on the road with what matters most to us,” says Williams. “It’s a distillation of our ideas that takes place over a full day or an evening in various cities across the country” – from San Francisco to Cleveland to Los Angeles and in institutions like Brown University. Additionally, TNP runs a nonprofit scholars program to accelerate the bold ideas of innovative minds with a curriculum that encompasses engagement, storytelling, fundraising, and advancement with the help of a network of influential individuals. They support 15 scholars each year.

But it all starts with Nantucket.

The inaugural event was held in the fall of 2011 after being founded by Kate Brosnan and Tom Scott, creator of the local Nantucket Nectars and the HBO series The Neistat Brothers. Now in its seventh year, TNP tackles some of the world’s greatest challenges, and Williams believes that attendees are leaving the world better than they found it.

“I love the vision and mission of changing minds,” he says. “I think the world needs a little more courage, and this is a very courageous group of people who want to change the world through ideas that change people’s minds. And I’m talking about literally changing people’s minds, because you come into the tent one person, and you leave the tent quite another.”

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Tickets are no longer available for The Nantucket Project 2017, however tickets for the 2018 gathering will become available in September. Tradewind is an official sponsor of the event and can get you there by way of private charters and regularly scheduled shuttle flights. Click here to reserve your trip.

 

*Featured Image: The Nantucket Project

Six Towns, One Island: Your Guide to Martha’s Vineyard

Six Towns, One Island: Your Guide to Martha’s Vineyard

Coastal charm abounds from shore to shore on the storied island of Martha’s Vineyard. But among great expanses of beach, forest, and countryside, six seaside villages each offer their own personality and historic splendor.

The bustling villages on the eastern side of the island, or down-Island, will be most familiar to visitors, from beautiful Edgartown to Oak Bluffs to Vineyard Haven. And to the west, or up-Island, the remote villages of Aquinnah, Chilmark, and West Tisbury entice with quaint towns and rolling hillsides. (The directions hail from whaling days – when seamen heading “up” traveled west, seeing increasing numbers of longitude, while those heading “down” traveled east back to England.)

To truly explore each village, you would need more than a day, and with Tradewind Aviation’s regularly scheduled shuttles to Martha’s Vineyard and private charters, an easy getaway is always at your fingertips.

Below is a general overview of each destination, complete with recommendations for dining:

Edgartown

Photo: Barry Peters

Photo: Barry Peters

With a picturesque port that regularly hosts yachts and sailing regattas, Edgartown is one of New England’s most sought-after coastal retreats. The elegant village in the southeast is home to a flourishing town center, grand churches built during the whaling era, the white-painted captains’ houses, and miles of scenic beaches accented by Edgartown Lighthouse. It is one of only two “wet” towns on the island, making for lively nightlife in the summer.

Must-try Restaurant: Atria, a polished local eatery with global inspiration and an ever-evolving menu. Try the Pay Day burger with black truffle aioli, arugula, forest mushrooms, red wine reduction, and seared foie gras.

Chilmark

Dramatic coastlines and sweeping hillsides define Chilmark, home to some of the best sunset views on the entire island. Along with lovely nature preserves, you can find pastures of grazing sheep, the rocky northern shore offering vistas of the Elizabeth Islands, and the charming fishing town of Menemsha with its little shops and fresh seafood restaurants. The village also encompasses the island of Noman’s Land, a federal bird sanctuary closed to visitors.

Must-try Restaurant: Larsen’s Fish Market, a quaint market-slash-restaurant located on the fishing docks of Menemsha. Try the littleneck and cherrystone clams.

Oak Bluffs

Photo: Michele Schaffer

Photo: Michele Schaffer

Modern elegance meets rich history in Oak Bluffs, a lively harbor-side village extending inland from East Chop Light. A walk through town will take you to the multi-colored gingerbread cottages, displaying their whimsical, Victorian architecture, as well as the open-air Tabernacle, Union Chapel, and the oldest platform carousel in the nation. Great expanses of pristine beaches are the village’s main draw, and in the evenings, visitors can enjoy vibrant nightlife and late-night pastries at Back Door Donuts.

Must-try Restaurant: Red Cat Kitchen, a tucked-away eatery with bold, artistic presentations and a nightly-changing menu.

Vineyard Haven

A place for the arts, Vineyard Haven brims with galleries and free musical performances. A walk down Main Street will take you by the renowned Bunch of Grapes bookstore, exquisite shopping and dining, and just a block away, the Vineyard Playhouse. The village was once one of the busiest shipping ports on the East Coast and today remains the island’s main port of entry. It is also very interchangeably referred to as Tisbury.

Must-try Restaurant: Little House Café, an intimate establishment with a menu brimming with creative flavor. Try the fish tacos.

Aquinnah

Gay Head Cliffs in Aquinnah, Martha's Vineyard

Located at the westernmost point of Martha’s Vineyard, Aquinnah is home to the stunning Gay Head Cliffs (formed from colorful clay deposits) with Gay Head Lighthouse standing atop them. The village itself is less than six square miles and offers a tranquil way of life in the country. It also harbors the lands of the Wampanoag Native American Tribe of Gay Head.

Must-try Restaurant: Aquinnah Shop Restaurant, a vibrant oceanfront destination with expansive decks and both American and Native American dishes. Try the Codzolez codfish cakes topped with pico de gallo and guacamole.

West Tisbury

Not to be confused with Vineyard Haven, West Tisbury is a destination in itself. The idyllic village abounds with rural charm, highlighting a 4,000-acre state forest and the grounds of the annual Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Society fair. In the small downtown center, you can find the historic Alley’s General Store catty-corner from the Field Gallery (you will know it by the dancing lawn sculptures), and for another bit of history, head down the street to Grange Hall.

Must-try Restaurant: Scottish Bakehouse, a health-conscious bakery serving everything from quinoa burgers to coconut tofu. Try the famous egg sandwich.