A quick spin across the World Wide Web turns up a surprisingly high number of Web sites generated by Vermonters. You could spend the rest of your life trying to visit them all. Or you could save yourself a lot of trouble and sample the sites recommended below. With over 77,000 out there, we can’t guarantee that these are the absolute best. But you can be sure that each one distinguishes itself in some way, be it the beauty of its design, the ease and depth of its links, the nature of its content, or something fun about its format. And please feel free to let us know about any noteworthy sites we’ve over-* looked.
THE BEST OF THE BEST, PERIOD
Senator Patrick Leahy — http://www.senate.gov/ member/vt/leahy/general
We are sorely impressed by this senatorial site with its clean, inviting, easy-to-use design and wealth of timely information and links to places and events in Washington, Vermont and around the world. The environment, land mines and breast cancer get special attention, as does the senator’s ever-changing gallery of Vermont artists. Most notable, though, is a brand-new CyberSelling site, which provides a comprehensive online resource center for the ever-growing number of Vermont businesses looking to expand their markets through the Net. The only disappointments: no links to Batman or The Grateful Dead.
THE BEST OF THE BEST FOR KIDS
Ben & Jerry’s — http://euphoria.benjerry.com/
Probably the state’s most visited Web site, Ben & Jerry’s offers as many tasty cyber treats as they have flavors, with screens as bright and clean as their scoop shops. Sure, you can find out all about Vermont’s dynamic dairy duo. But you can also discover craft kits to print out and play with, or, on Martin Luther King’s birthday, a world of information about the Civil Rights movement
BEST BLUEGRASS BAND
Banjo Dan & the Midnite Plowboys — http://www.bigheavyworld.com/banjo.dan/
These guys must have a cult following. How else would you explain the need for a Vermontiana Index — an indispensable list of references to local place names in their lyrics?
BEST ECLECTIC BAND
Belizbeha — http://www.belizbeha.com
After you’ve downloaded samples of their music, you might want to scroll through the index to find the closest retail outlets stocking their CDs. And don’t overlook the band’s diary, which is surprisingly well-written and entertaining.
BEST CLUB SITE
Club Toast — http://members.aol.com/clubtoast/
Bright, retro graphics lead you to the clubs calendar, where scheduled performers’ home pages come alive at the click of your cursor.
MOST IN YOUR FACE BAND
Five Seconds Expired — http://www.together.net/-5seconds
Formerly Slush, these gentlemen invite you to plug in and give an ear to “Worthless Fool,” “Null” and other mosh-worthy tunes.
The Flying Noodle — http://www.flyingnoodle.com
Waterbury’s virtual pasta emporium calls out, “Welcome all pasta lovers!” Check out the friendly macaroni floating through the sky on durum shell parachutes.
Vermont Department of Liquor Control — http://www.state.vt.us/dlc/
After you’ve ascertained the price of gin this week and figured out where to buy it, you might consider some statistics about the impacts of alcohol and tobacco and check out a host of addiction treatment and prevention programs.
Top of the World Books — http://www.topworld. com/
Need an out-of-print tome on ice climbing with penguins? This Williston cyberstore offers 800 titles on mountain climbing and the arctic regions, and nothing else.
Vermont Granite Works — http://www.in-vermont. com/granite
Get a piece of the rock from Barre’s hardworking chiselers.
A Very Vermont Store — http://www.veryvermont. com/
Bold, folkloric graphics give this online catalog of Vermont vendors a distinctive, appealing look.
BEST SNOWBOARDING SITE
Burton Snowboards — http://www.burton.com/
A cyber-snowboarder’s dream, complete with snow-swept opening screen, link-rich interviews with riders of distinction, a cozy chat lodge and, of course, an electronic catalog.
BEST DOWNHILL SITE
Ski Vermont! — http://moIe.uvm.edu/skivt-l/
Look at pictures of people skiing. Read real skiers’ reports about slope conditions. Find informations about restaurants and hotels. Request an application to UVM. (For more info on this site, see our Outdoor page this issue.)
BEST BASEBALL SITE
Vermont Expos Homepage — http://homepages.together.net/'-mdobson// vtexpos.htm
'Ninety-six stats to help you remember, '97 schedule to help you plan, and plenty of merchandise so you can show your rupport for the home team.
MOST DOWNSTREET SITE
Burlington Home Page – http://www.burlingtonvt.together.com/homepage.htm
It ain’t pretty, but its got what you need: on-ramps to maps, weather, news, politics, arts, events, businesses and the whole Vermont Web. They even threw in a color photo of the mayor to print out and hang on your wall.
MOST DOWN HOME SITE
Jericho Home Page — http://enhanceddesigns. com/jericho/
How can you resist a site that so proudly presents Snowflake Bentley’s photos of the white stuff, a guide to Underhill's historic buildings, the local 4-H Club's recipe for doggy treats and a three-year-old interview with Phish's Mike Gordon?
BEST BEACHED WHALE
Charlotte, the Vermont Whale – http://www.uvm.edu/whale
In 1849, railroad workers unearthed the remains of a whale in Charlotte. Wisit this "electronic museum: to find out how a sea creature turned up so far from the ocean.
Marion Cross School Homepage – http://picard.dartmouth.edu/~cam/MCS.html They get an A for combining community sites with school issues and at-home activities. We’ll raise their grade to an A+ when they update their six-month-old calendar of events.
BEST VIRTUAL FIELD TRIP
Vermont State Parks – http://www.state.vt.us/ant/fpr/parks/
Take your mouse on a hike down Burton Isle State Park's nature trail, or plan a real outing with the aid of maps, weather forecasts, pretty pictures and useful text
BEST TV SITE
WCAX – http://www.wcax.com/
Hot buttons take you directly to the AP wire service as well as the latest news, sports weather and programming information.
BEST RADIO SITE
WIZN — http://www.wizn.com/
With links to your favorite bands' homepages, listings of local clubs, a Corm and the Coach scrapbook, you'd almost think you were actually listening to the radio.
EASIEST ACCESS TO THE STATEHOUSE
Vermont Legislative Home page – http://www.leg.state.vt.us/
We've got to hand it to whomever put together those Vermont State government Web pages. They're smart and useful models of cyber-citizenry. Use this one to read the text of a pending bill, track its legislative progress, find out who's on the relevant committee and send e-mail directly to those members.
The Watchman – http://plainfield.bypass.com/~watchman/
Settle down beside the woodstove and vent your frustration about Vermont's lost status as an independent Republic. Jeezum Crow!
THE BEST PERSONAL DIRECTORY
Paul's Fricken' Vermont Page – http://www.well.com/user/pb/vt
Paul Bissex helps you pull in loads of fun sites from Vermont and all over
THE BEST ARTS AND CULTURE DIRECTORY
Big Heavy World – http://www.bigheavyworld.com/
yea, this is the home of Seven Days' site, so maybe we are a little biased. But you really ought to check us out – not to mention designer Jim Lockridge's compilation of everything you'd want to know about the Burlington music scene – you can even listen to CDs!
THE MOST COMPREHENSIVE DIRECTORY
Vermont Web — http://www.VermontWeb.com/list/ No bells, no whistles, no hassles. The fattest — and continually growing — listing of Vermont Web sites.
SILLIEST CLEAN ZINE
Happiness, Vermont — http://www.virtuaivermont.com/towns/happiness/
Zip-itty-do-dah! What a cute idea! A virtual small town that’s so, well, Vermont, you’d almost think it was real! This site is so sweet you 11 want to brush your teeth after you visit.
SILLIEST DIRTY ’ZINE
Purging Talon — http://users.aol.com/boysatan /ptp/ptp.htm
Misanthropic battery acid and socially hostile thought. Your own personal link to Poo Poo Magazine and DeSade (where “all sexual perversions are welcome”). This site is so sleazy you’ll want to brush your teeth after you visit.
BEST SITE COME RAIN OR COME SHINE
Vermont Weather Center — http://www.pbpub.com/ Vermont/vtwet.html
These are the same hourly updates and satellite images used by actual meteorologist. Brush up on your goofy grin and stale jokes and you too can fulfill your fantasy of being Tom Messner.
BEST GARDEN VARIETY SITE
Perrys Perennial Pages — http://www.uvm.edu/-pass/perry/
Its never too early to start planning this summers garden. Here's your online guide to the best Vermont -hardy herbacious perennials.
BEST SITE FOR SCANNERS
Vermont Frequencies – http://www.li.net/~4dice/frequencies/Vermont/
Don't you wish you could have picked up Newt's cell-phone chit-chat on your police scanner? This helpful page tells you where to tune in to Vermont's shortwavers.
BEST VACATION PLANNER
Discover Vermont — http://www.discoververmont. com/
User-friendly listings of lodging, eateries, campgrounds, attractions and other points of interest.
Shelburne Museum — http://shelburnemuseum.com/ shelburne/shelbume.htm
An excellent substitute when you don’t feel like braving the traffic on Shelburne Road. Now you can tour the state's second-most popular attraction from the comfort of your home.
BEST BUSINESS BEACON
VermontGuides Travel Guide — http://www.vermontguides. com/tg/
Business Days presents practical advice about visiting and doing business in Vermont in a slick, easy-to-use double-screen format.
BEST ARMCHAIR TOUR BUS
Scenes of Vermont – http://www.pbpub.com/~tbpb/
Point and click your way through the Green Mountain State's beckoning byways, inviting inns and shopping bargains.
BEST LANDSCAPE PIN-UPS
Vermont Life Magazine – http://www.cit.state.vt.us/vtlife/
Covered bridges and snow-clad hillsides from the states official goodwill publication.
BEST WINTER FOLIAGE
Stick Season — http://www. pbpub.com/vermont/sticks.htm
Anyone can appreciate fall foliage. But it takes a real connoisseur to rhapsodize over the splendors of stick season. Follow the link to Mud.
BEST WEB PAGE DESIGNER
Rhombus Communications — http://rhombus.net
Even if you're not interested in hitting a professional designer, you owe it to yourself to drop by this stunning animated page. (And see our story on Rhombus in this issue).
BEST ONLINE GALLERY
Steve Huneck Online Gallery – http://www.tfa2.com/huneck_gallery//huneck_page_1.html
Huneck's a fun guy. He puts wings on cats and dogs on chairs and offers a Web page with fun, multi-paned mix -and-match windows.