WASHINGTON (CNN) - Vermont is a picture perfect place - its rivers and mountains and covered bridges are a draw to some 10 million visitors a year.
Yet, the Green Mountain State is the forgotten place in the crowded travelogue of President Bush - the only state he has failed to visit in his presidency.
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders - a self described socialist - is a fierce Bush critic whether the issue is the Iraq war, the economy, or climate change. Callers to his office, Sanders says, often demand that the president be impeached.
But Sanders all but dares Bush to visit, saying he would benefit from sitting down with his critics. His Senate Web site even displays a banner with the headline "Bush stays away from Vermont."
"If he comes up in the fall – he can see the changing of the leaves,” Sanders told CNN. “He'll have a good visit.”
"[He] might be able to learn something," he added. "This president will probably go down in history as the least popular president in history of this country - he should go forward and find out why that is so."
But University of Vermont political science professor Garrison Nelson sees no upside in the president paying a visit to Vermonters.
"It is a photo opportunity he does not need," Nelson said. "I cannot imagine any assemblage in the state of Vermont that would give him an unalloyed positive reception."
Bush lost big there in 2000 and again in 2004. The war is enormously unpopular, and the state Senate even adopted a symbolic resolution last April calling for his impeachment.
But it's not all personal, Nelson says.
"When the Republican Party moved South and West, you know towards the sun belt and of course toward Christian conservatism, it lost Vermonters."
Vermont does have a Republican governor, Jim Douglas, but he is a throwback to the moderate breed of Republicanism that once thrived across New England. Douglas notes the first President Bush visited Vermont last among the 50 states, and predicts the son will do the same - despite his low popularity.
"He can take it," Douglas said of a potential Vermont visit. "He has certainly taken a lot of hostility and tough questions and I am sure he can do that here."
But some Vermonters do get to meet the president themselves.
Regina Gilbert traveled to Fort Bragg, North Carolina to meet the president in 2005 –her only child, Kyle, was killed in Iraq on August 6, 2003. Vermont has lost two dozen soldiers in Iraq - the highest in per capita death tolls - more than reason enough Gilbert says for the president to visit.
"He asked me something that surprised me: does it ever get easier?" Gilbert said. "And I just looked at him and looked at my husband and said absolutely not. I said this is a hole in my heart and it is always going to be there."
- CNN Chief National Correspondent John King