The Champlain Islands are ready for their closeup: donning their spring finery: the apple blossoms are on their way! The Islands are blessed with three apple orchards. In South Hero, travel west on South Street and visit either Hackett’s Orchard or Allenholm Farm to see the apple trees in bloom. As their farm stands open, you can enjoy cider donuts, local maple syrup and honey, and pies. This year’s apples won’t come in until late summer, but there are plenty of other items to enjoy. At Allenholm’s petting paddock, kiss Willy the donkey – he likes peppermints – or visit the baby chicks and rabbits. In Isle La Motte, there’s Hall’s Orchard. Hall Home Place is making ice cider. Tasting and purchases are available there and at South End Café, open now. Need plants? Grand Isle Nursery and Champlain Islands Nursery are full of perennials, annuals, trees, shrubs. The Islands have the longest growing season in Vermont! It’s the “lake effect” – and we love it! So hop in the car and come on up Route 2. Better still – bring your bike or rent bikes at Allenholm Farm or Hero’s Welcome General Store and explore on two wheels! From South Hero to Alburgh there’s plenty to enjoy.