Locals Pick the Best of Vermont: Seven Daysies 2023 | Food, Drink, Culture, Shopping, Services, Outdoor

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All the Best: Locals' Guide to Vermont 2023
  • Jeff Drew

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Sniff ... sniff ... aahhhh. It’s Seven Daysies season again, and stopping to smell these flowers is a sweet experience indeed. Especially when you consider how much they’ve bloomed and grown over 20 years.

That’s right, it was in 2003 when Seven Days launched our first annual Daysies issue, a guide to the best of Vermont as chosen by our readers. Voters nominated their faves in 103 categories — some straightforward (best fest, tastiest takeout, coolest craft gallery) and others delightfully offbeat (most delectable dildos, best tourist-free site, best makeout spot).

Over the decades, the Daysies have blossomed. We now have 234 categories and two rounds of voting instead of one. And we use the magic of online balloting to count all those votes — no more late pizza nights deciphering handwritten ballots sent in by snail mail, praise Daysie.

Some things change, but others stay the same — namely, the Daysies’ mission to shine a light on what’s great about our state. As cofounders Pamela Polston and Paula Routly wrote way back when, “Thanks to the Seven Days readers who took the time to pick our first-ever Daysies. And thanks to all the great Vermont businesses, people, places and things that provide so many options. Without you, we have no flower power.”

We were reminded of that fact last month, when historic flooding across the state sadly impacted many of our Daysies winners and finalists. As this magazine went to press in mid-July, some businesses were still closed. It’s possible some may never reopen.

But it was heartening to see all the love poured into these Daysies votes spilling over into real-life community action. As recovery efforts began, Vermonters were lending a hand, loaning industrial-strength fans to their favorite local bookstore and shoveling silt at their go-to bike shop.

“We are overwhelmed (in a good way) by all of your support!” Daysies winner Onion River Outdoors of Montpelier posted on social media.

Keep that flower power comin’. As we celebrate this year’s Daysies, let’s continue volunteering, donating and shopping local to get our beloved businesses back on their feet. Let’s make it a real summer of love.

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