On our way to Lake Champlain for a weekend cycling trip one recent fall, Anthony and I decided to visit the Shelburne Museum. I’d never heard of the place before. But when doing research seeking something cultural to do in the area, the Shelburne and Ben & Jerry’s Factory Tour topped the list.

To say the collection at the Shelburne is eclectic is an understatement. While most of what you’ll find there falls into the Folk Art category, there were also a handful of paintings from European Impressionists including Monet, Manet and Degas. Pieces you don’t normally get to see because, well, they’re up in Vermont. We actually didn’t get to see them either. Because like some of the bigger museums in NYC, you can’t expect to do the Shelburne in just a couple of hours.

A ferry boat, a lighthouse, a mini rail station with working trains. I was amazed at the extensiveness of the grounds and how much there was to see. There was a shuttle service available to take you from place-to-place if you wanted. But we preferred to walk around so we wouldn’t miss a thing.

I guess if you have enough space to spread your things out nicely, you can avoid the embarrassment of being featured on A&E’s show Hoarders. I mean, really. There’s a lot of stuff here. And I’m showing you only a mere fraction of it.

Looking at the hat heads and the little dioramas, I can’t help but think of Barneys’ Christmas windows this year. I wonder if the window designer came up to Shelburne for a visit recently.

The carousel area was quite breathtaking. There were dozens of horses and carriages and other things you’d expect to see in such a collection. We had already visited the blacksmith hammering horseshoes. Ogled the children’s play house full of toys…tin mostly. And strolled through a house full of glass collectibles including dozens of glass walking canes in all different colors with the most interesting variety of handles. So by the time we got to the carousel, to be honest, we were exhausted…the sign of a good day spent at the museum.

xo Mary Maru