I have just returned from four weeks in the US and had a great time. While I was there I bought some tools and went to a few places. One of those was the Lee Nielsen factory in Maine. Maine is spectacular and worth a trip there for the scenery and the lovely villages. I stayed in Camden Maine which is very close to the factory and also to the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship.
If you are travelling from Australia, make sure you take some cash to the factory as it will break your heart to walk away with nothing. A $245AU shoulder plane cost me $195US, with the dollar for dollar exchange rate. I bought a spoke shave as well and a couple of small items and the lovely young lady on the counter threw in a t-shirt for free. I would of loved a tour of the actual factory but my son was asleep in the car. But they have the tools set up in the shop front and you can play as long as you like. Also there is books and DVDs as well.
The visit to the Centre for Furniture Craftsmanship was just a drop in but it is lovely with a great gallery as well. The campus is magnificent and the workshops look great (from the doorway). One day I will have the time, freedom and money to visit and do some actual work.
On this trip I also dropped into Highland Woodworking in Georgia and Woodcraft store in Alpharetta Georgia. These are also worth a visit, if for no other reason than to chat to the staff.
-- Living is a constant gamble, life is about working the odds in your favour