Stowe, Vermont, to give away free trips

Prescient leaf peepers visiting Stowe this season will have a chance to win a five-day trip to the popular New England destination. Guess the time and date of the leaves' peak point (or the leaves' "highest point of color"), and you'll be entered to win the contest.

For those of you who have never visited Stowe, it's a lot of fun—cute restaurants and boutiques, beautiful vistas from the trails of Mt. Mansfield, and delish samples from the Ben and Jerry's and Cabot Cheese factories nearby. I visited a few years back, en route to Montreal, and have long wanted to go back for a more extended visit. Two of my friends have honeymooned there, and it's also an ideal destination for skiers.

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To enter the fall foliage contest, stop by the Visitor Information Center on Main Street in Stowe Village between September 24 and October 21. Fill out a "Leafy Entry Form" with your guess for the peak foliage time and date; the person with the closest prediction will win the five-night midweek stay for two.

Or, if you can't make it to Stowe during fall foliage season, you can still try to win a free trip remotely. The Stowe Area Association runs a similar contest on its tourism website, with a winner chosen each month. Fill out your name, contact information, and interest in Stowe, and you'll get a chance to win a five-night vacation.

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