Vermont Great Things to Do include fun family attractions, farms, parks
Find fun things to do and places to visit on your Vermont vacation. VT offers attractions for adults, families with kids
, and more, like farm and winery visits; nature museums and parks; shopping for Vermont crafts, food, and art; bookstores; mountain walks and scenic drives; maple gifts; skiing and snow sports. Find a cozy B&B
and explore! Call ahead to check on scheduling details, especially for outdoor activities.
4800 Basin Harbor Road
Vergennes, VT, 05491
Just driving by? Maybe you should stay.
Not a Basin Harbor guest? Well until you make your reservation, we still want you to enjoy our 18-hole golf course or any of our delectable dining venues: The Red Mill Restaurant, The Main Dining Room or the Ranger Room. Like to eat outdoors? During the summer months, we offer al fresco dining on the dock buffet style. Visit the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum and take advantage of our Three Pack deal. Lunch, lake cruise and admission to one of the most fascinating displays of maritime history. Check out our events calendar online to get more details on our annual festivals open to the public.
1168 County Road
Montpelier, VT, 05602
Four-season fun and a whole lotta maple goin’ on
Morse Farm is four-season, every day fun. The Woodshed Theater has displays and artifacts and a humorous and educational video about the Morse Farm maple process. There’s a nature trail, country store, and an outdoor farm life museum with an antique replica of the Vermont State House. Sprinkled about the farm are whimsical carved soft sculptures created by Burr Morse. A maple trail leads to the trees where the 200 year Morse farm experience continues. Savor samples of Vermont Maple syrup, jams and jellies, and you’ll find local crafts and gifts. In the winter, the Ski Touring Center has cross country and snowshoe
trails, sliding, snowmobiling and skating. And later in the season it’s
Sugarin’ Time and the Sugar House will have its annual maple tastings.
135 U.S. Route 5 South
Norwich, VT, 05055
Good things come in great places
There is no end to the great things you can do at King Arthur Flour in Norwich, Vermont. At the state-of-the-art Baking Education Center, there are advanced baking workshops lasting several days for baking professionals and baking enthusiasts. In the classroom, you can learn how to roll pie crusts, shape baguettes and bake sticky buns, even create the perfect cake. You’ll be taught simple techniques for making flavorful Mediterranean breads and old fashioned cinnamon buns and learn how to bake with your child. In the retail shop you’ll find specialty baking items, and be sure to take home breads, chocolate chip cookies and delicious sticky buns. Savor barista-style coffees and teas, plus soups, salads and sandwiches in the café.
707 Kipling Road
Dummerston, VT, 05301
Outdoors, Arts, Shopping, Sightseeing: All Here
Southern Vermont is a wonderfully compact place to find fun things to do for a short or long vacation, for every member of the family. One of the region’s landmarks for literary-minded people, in fact, is Rudyard Kipling’s home, Naulakha, one of the fully furnished guest houses operated by The Landmark Trust USA. Along with the Kipling home, Landmark Trust preserves and operates Naulakha’s carriage house, a restored sugarhouse, and some 19th-century farmhouses for fortunate guests. Stepping out, you can enjoy mountain hikes at Merck Forest; browse and dine in the offbeat town of Brattleboro; walk the marble sidewalks of Marlboro and enjoy boutique shopping; ride a zip line at Bromley Mountain; take in a play; or jump in a cool swimming hole carved from an old quarry.
870 Williston Road
Burlington, VT, 05403
Sheraton Burlington is your launch pad for vacation fun aside Lake Champlain
The list of great things to do around Burlington feels as long as the glacial lake that gleams aside this hilltop city. Outdoor people can revel in walking, biking riding, water sports. Everyone enjoys the culinary works of Vermont chefs. Families can start with ECHO Lahey Center for Lake Champlain, which plays with nature from mud to snowflakes. The Sheraton Burlington Hotel is your launch pad for a fun vacation or staycation. Get energized for the day at G’s Restaurant then head out for the ski mountains (stocked with walking trails and outdoor adventure in summer), shopping, or the fabulous Shelburne Museum. At the hotel, an indoor pool, fitness center, and the Tuckaway Pub add to the comforts of spacious guest rooms and suites.
103 U.S. Route 4
Mendon-Killington, VT, 05751
Enjoy a personal tune up in the Green Mountains!
Now here’s a great concept – a Hiking Spa! Enjoy the fresh mountain air and scenery while you get fit, lose weight, eat delicious healthy food and relax in a cozy New England Inn. Perfect! New Life Hiking Spa has programs and activities focused on exercise, yoga and great food to get you back on track physically, de-stress mentally, become fitter and stronger. New Life’s certified staff uses the latest techniques and trends to help you bump up your fitness level and well being. Rooms come with private baths, air conditioning, mini fridge, coffee pot, cable television and computer ports. Get a massage or facial. Take in the Vermont mountainscape or take a nap. Check out their weight loss retreats and mini vacations too. Yodeling lessons not included.
Travel + Leisure's 2016 Pick for an Affordable, Rejuvenating Spa Getaway
4323 Vermont Route 108 South
Smugglers' Notch, VT, 05464
Everything is more fun at Smuggs!
You're guaranteed to have fun during your vacation at Vermont's Smuggler's Notch Resort. There's no shortage of things to do here this summer. We've got a skateboarding park where we offer lessons to both kids and adults, miniature golf, Frisbee golf, mountain biking & hiking, Segway tours, and exciting zipline treks high in the forest canopy. And of course eight great pools and four water slides to help cool off. We've got indoor activities, too -- from arcade games at our FunZone to art classes to karaoke nights and singalongs.
And let's not forget the winter months, when our three big mountains bring the best downhill & cross-country skiing around, along with ice skating, snowshoeing, snowboarding and tubing.
196 Main Street
Windsor, VT, 05089
Where the world’s modern industry began in earnest
This unique museum is housed in the original Robbins & Lawrence Armory where the American System of Manufacturing was developed and formed the foundations of modern industry around the world. You’ll find the largest collection of historically significant machine tools in the nation that made mass production possible. Discover how interchangeable parts came into being, how mass production of rifles, carbine and pistols supplied the union army during the civil war, and how after the War, these tools were adapted to make consumer goods. A working machine shop in operation, and a Learning Lab for kids.
Closed for the season - Please visit us in Spring 2017!
195 Mountain Top Road
Chittenden, VT, 05737
Everything to love in a great mountain resort
With so many activities at this popular year round resort, the challenge is deciding what to do first. It might be hiking, biking or horseback riding on 350 scenic acres overlooking the Green Mountains. Boating, fishing, swimming and paddling await in the 740 acre lake with your own private beach, while cross country skiing, snowshoeing and horse drawn sleigh rides are pleasures of the winter season. You can always relax by the pool or in the brand new spa and you’ll have several choices for classic and luxury lodging and fabulous cuisine in the dining room, tavern or on the terrace. The resort is affordable, family and pet friendly and the perfect escape for a romantic getaway. It's your choice, so go ahead!
1 Rotarian Place
Waterbury, VT, 05676
One of a kind destination with a flavorful history
Have your first and next cup of coffee at this tastefully restored train station and visitor’s center. Set in Waterbury VT and built in 1875 with beautiful Victorian Italianate features, this stop has become a favorite New England destination with a global flavor and world-wide impact. Along with delicious cups and bags of great Green Mountain Coffee, Keurig brewers and accessories, you’ll find artisanal handicrafts, and unique items from coffee growing communities. Interactive displays and videos tell the Green Mountain Story and the café invites you to try a daily variety of free coffee samples, specialty drinks, locally made baked goods and light fare. Green Mountain Coffee is freshly brewed every day with a passion for "source to cup" authenticity.
175 Tyler Place
Highgate Springs, VT, 05460
Bet you can't do just one
The only question here is not what to do but how to fit it all in one vacation. All inclusive means endless activity for every age. With a recreation center, 6 playgrounds, a soccer field, boating, fishing, basketball, volleyball and 6 tennis courts, an archery range, driving range and miniature golf, mountain and road biking, indoor and outdoor heated pools, field house gym and exercise and fitness center, arts and crafts studio, climbing walls and rope courses – well, you get the picture. 70 family cottages and suites, and a rambling, country Inn with a separate sleeping wing Three healthy meals daily, the Fireplace Lounge and Bar for Mom and Dad, and the age staggered children’s programs and you have one great resort to do great things. Lots of them!
750 Pine Street
Burlington, VT, 05401
Come see where chocolate is made!
Take the sweetest tour in town at our Factory Store! Learn all about how chocolate is made and take in the aromas and sights — not to mention free samples, of a real chocolate factory. Watch us craft truffles, caramels, almond butter crunch and more. You might even see a giant bunny or a flock of chocolate turkeys being hatched. The through-the window tour is free, lasts about 30 minutes and is appropriate for ages 7 and older. Tours begin on the hour Monday-Friday, 11am-2pm. Self-guided tours are available after 3pm and before 10am. Saturdays and Sundays, drop in for a free chocolate tasting where you will discover the flavor profiles of four chocolates with a chocolate tasting guide.
1 Clubhouse Road
Fairlee, VT, 05045
Two sides to a great Vermont vacation
Summer and winter at Lake Morey Resort provide endless activity in a magnificent natural setting. In summer, there’s a peaceful 600 acre lake for circumnavigating on foot or by bike. Swimming, canoeing and kayaking, water skiing and 18 holes of championship golf. In winter, the snow, ice, and open space invite you to a Nordic trail system and pond hockey, snowshoeing and ice fishing and a 4.5 mile loop around the lake on the longest ice skating trail in the United States. Minutes away is downhill skiing. There are supervised children's programs, an indoor pool, health club, tennis and basketball courts. There are charming towns, farms, shopping and more to explore on self guided day tours. And just a short hike, drive or bike ride away, more vacation experiences to last a lifetime.
1281 Waterbury Stowe Road
Great Ice Cream with and a great story
Here it is - the original Ben & Jerry’s factory in Waterbury, Vermont. You’ll sample great ice cream and take some home but you can also take a 30-minute guided tour and learn about these most interesting fellows who became leaders in socially responsible businesses. And you’ll discover how the company sources the finest ingredients to produces its popular flavors. Come by any day but during the week you’ll also see the production team in action. Before leaving, you’ll enjoy a generous sample of the flavor of the day and stop in at the scoop shop to savor your favorite flavors or try a new one in a cup, cone, or milkshake and if you dare, take on the Vermonster!
6655 Shelburne Road
Shelburne, VT, 05482
Bears, Factory Tours and Adventures – Oh, My!
Ever wonder how Vermont Teddy Bears are made? Come visit us at our factory and Bear Store and see how our Bears come to life! Watch as our Bears take shape with sewing, stitching and stuffing. All tours are led by our knowledgeable Bear Ambassadors, and kids get to decode a secret Bear message along the way. End your tour with a visit to our Bear Shop where you can choose a new favorite Bear or make one of your own, and don’t forget to shop for pajamas and jeans at our summer tent sale. All tour and store information is available on our website.
97 Depot Street
Manchester Center, VT, 05255
A classic New England village for an out of the ordinary shopping experience
Any shopping experience is improved in a classic and historic New England village. Unique to Vermont is Manchester and its designer outlet shopping. The town also swells with cozy inns, world class restaurants, and unrivaled tourist attractions. The MDO provides a special collection of luxury stores touting designer name brands like Armani, Eileen Fisher, Michael Kors, Ralph Lauren, Kate Spade New York, J. Crew, Tumi outlet, Eddie Bauer and New Balance. The picturesque surroundings make your shopping experience more than a day spent in retail, discounted though it may be. Here you’re close to everything in the northeast with all the right amenities to address the creature comforts while you allow the great outdoors and mountain air to both feed and soothe the beast in you. Shop til you……relax.
Un-Bearable Lovable Teddies
Way back in 1902, when the Teddy Bear got its name from U.S. president Theodore “Teddy” Roosevelt, the loveable stuffed animal quickly became every child’s favorite toy. A century later, the Teddy Bear is still a staple of growing up. See where the magic happens in Shelburne, Vermont at the Vermont Teddy Bear Company
, the largest maker of hand-crafted, American-made Teddy Bears in the country. Watch the little fur balls turn into bears, and learn how they are delivered worldwide. You can even create your own Teddy when you participate in the “Make a Friend for Life” program. Phone: 802-244-7964.
Useful and Beautiful and Hand Made in America
Owned and curated by artists, Stowe Craft Gallery
at 55 Mountain Road in Stowe
presents truly original designs in jewelry, artwork, gifts and functional home decor. This nationally recognized shop sells contemporary crafts direct from more than 300 artists, all of whom works independently in studios in Vermont or elsewhere in the united States. It was voted "2015 Best of Stowe" Art Gallery, Jewelry Store, and #1 Gift Shop. A great place to find a timeless gift or keepsake.Open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily, 802-253-4693.
Stone House Antique Center Never Disappoints
, just a short drive from Okemo and Mount Snow and the town of Manchester, packs a lot of appeal into a small place of just 3,000 residents. The town on the on the National Register of Historic Places and it includes a historic "stone village,” with several pre-Civil War houses of stone from local quarries. It’s also a great place to shop for antiques. At 557 VT Route 103 South you will find the Stone House Antique Center
, a brightly lit and friendly place with 90 dealers showing their goods in 20,000 square feet of space. On Dealer Day, the first Tuesday of every month, many dealers are on hand, offering one-day sales. The day is also a potluck of tasty food brought by the dealers. Come early, and come hungry! Phone: 802-875-4477.
Vermont’s History Through Tools, Arts, and Stories
The Vermont History Museum
at 109 State Street in Montpelier
, next to the gold-domed Statehouse, is open year-round to display the old and new stories of this rugged, independent little state. The permanent exhibit, “Freedom and Unity: One Ideal, Many Stories,” describes the state’s history from 1600 to the present. Visitors see a full-sized Abenaki wigwam, a re-creation of the Catamount Tavern where Ethan Allen's Green Mountain Boys gathered, a railroad station with a working telegraph, and a WWII-era parlor with period music and magazines. Other exhibits teach about old-time baseball, the messages from old signage, glorious quilts, and samples of ceramics, furniture, glass, pewter, broadsides and maps. Meet the people that made Vermont what it is, through their daily tools and creative works.
Open year-round; call for hours. 802- 828-2291.
Stowe Offers a Triumvirate of Great Country Stores
With the motto “Helping Vermonters Survive in Style Since 1895,” Shaw’s General Store
on Main Street in Stowe
covers most of the essentials, in products with quality and deep Vermont flavor. The Heritage Collection of rugged clothing brands includes Vermont’s Darn Tough socks. Also, you’ll find maple syrup and candies, skin care, toys, small tools, and books (802-253-4040). The Country Store
opened in the historic Lackey Building on Maine Street in mid-2016 after a careful restoration of the old general store. More arty than Shaw’s, this is a great resource for pretty, artisan-made gifts. Stowe Mercantile
, in the old Depot Building on Main Street, could be some version of a 1900 department store: food, beer, wine, maple, clothing, gifts, and baking and cooking gear (802-253-7653). For your needs to all kinds on a Stowe vacation or back at home, the wonderfully named Mercantile has you covered.
Happy Happy Huskies
Looking for a unique, thrilling, and hands-on outdoor adventure? A dog sledding adventure with 34 pure bred Siberian Huskies is one
answer! Braeburn Siberians
is in the Connecticut River Valley in Windsor
, a stone’s throw from New Hampshire. Braeburn offers two-hour excursions and 45-minnute rides by dog sled. There are few things more exhilarating and therapeutic than riding behind a team of healthy Huskies on a pristine winter day. Read the Braeburn website or phone to learn details. Rides are offered December through March. Phone: 802-738-8337.
Kingdom Trails Open All Year to Skiers, Bikers, You Name It
One of the top-rated regions in the country for mountain biking can be found at and around Burke Mountain and Darling Hill near East Burke. Kingdom Trails
is 110 miles of recreational, non-motorized trails through farmland and forest for bicycling and cross-country skiing, designed for people of all levels of ability. In snowy months, bring your cross-country skis or snowshoes and have at it. Fatbiking is big, too! Open year-round but call ahead for temporary restrictions between seasons, when trails are protected. Phone: 802-626-0737.
We All Scream for Ice Cream
We all have some level of acquaintance (adoration?) with Ben & Jerry’s
ice creams, so a trip into northern Vermont practically begs for a visit to the factory store at 1281 Waterbury-Stowe Road in Waterbury
. If you are on a family vacation -- with year-round activities and events -- at nearby Stowe ski area and want to venture on a short day trip, a visit to Ben and Jerry's is a winner. Don’t miss the guided factory tour of the ice cream production process. It starts in the Cow Over the Moon Theater with a movie, followed by a tour of the factory floor and then a stop in the FlavoRoom for tasting. 802-882-1240.
Indoor Golf Is the Solution to Winter Handicap
Did you think you couldn't play golf in New England when there's a foot of snow on the ground? Au contraire. At the Okemo Valley Indoor Golf Training Center
at Okemo Mountain Resort in Ludlow
, your clubs won't get rusty, and neither will your golf skills. In fact, you may just be able to knock a few strokes off your handicap with the instructional programs and clinics offered at Okemo. Hourly rates are available for the Academy's Swing Stations, Computerized Golf Simulator and 700-square-foot Practice Putting Green, or ask about packages. Phone: 800-78-OKEMO.
Bennington Potters Can Stock Your Kitchen
on County Street in Bennington
has been making beautiful, durable, and functional handmade stoneware pottery since 1948. A special highlight this year is the stoneware dinnerware collection and the stoneware pottery bakeware, mixing bowls, and batterbowl. Come visit and shop at Potters Yard in Bennington and take a tour of the factory the next time you’re looking for afternoon activities. Hours: Monday-Saturday, 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m. and Sunday, 10 a.m. -5 p.m. Phone: 800-205-8033.
The Key to Adventure
Escape rooms are the perfect place for parties, team building excursions, or just some weekend fun. Escape Room 60
is Vermont’s premiere gaming attraction of its kind. Enter a room filled with concealed clues and hidden puzzles and work with your team to solve the mysteries and exit the room. Crack the codes in one hour or less and you win! The themed rooms include “Taken,” where you must find the road to a local kidnapper’s lair; “Pirate Plunder,” where you will be lead by clues to a pirate’s hidden treasure; and “Mystery Room”, the latest and coming soon. Ages 6 and up, kids under 14 must be accompanied by an parent or guardian. Phone: 802-782-4442
Pewter Conveys Quiet New England Beauty
With its modest beauty, pewter is the perfect fine metal for New England craftsmen. Danforth Pewter’s Workshop and Store
, at 52 Seymour Street in Middlebury,
features a gallery of one-of-a-kind pieces, a history wall with antique Danforth pieces, and viewing windows into the workshop. The Middlebury store proves to be a great attraction and has a complete line of pewter oil lamps, jewelry, key rings, holiday ornaments, and picture frames. The workshop and store is a short distance from Main Street, Middlebury College, and some of Middlebury's finest inns, making it an easy choice when you are looking for things to do. Open Monday-Saturday 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Sunday, 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Other Danforth retail stores are in Waterbury, Quechee, and Burlington. Phone: 802-388-0098.
Craft Beverage Trail Is at Your Service
area of Vermont is so gung-ho about its talented beverage producers -- vintners, brewers, distillers, cider-makers – that is has created a self-guided tasting tour
to make sure you don’t miss anything important. The tour takes you to two Stowe area breweries, a winery, a cider house, and two distilleries. Here's how it works: Stop by the Visitor’s Information Center at 51 Main Street in Stowe to pick up your very own Stowe Craft Bev Trail Tour Kit for only $10. The kit includes your map & tour ticket, a corkscrew, sunglasses for your designated driver, and a free chocolate voucher. The tour touches down at Boyden Valley Winery, Green Mountain Distillers, Idletyme Brewing Company, Smugglers’ Notch Distillery, Stowe Cider, von Trapp Brewing, and Laughing Moon Chocolates. Tastings and lots of free treats and mementos.
Blades in Motion at Lake Morey
Managers of Lake Morey Resort
, on Clubhouse Road in Fairlee
, realized about a decade ago that climate shifts were bringing less snow, even as the ice on the lake stayed strong and long. So the resort shifted into a major hub for ice skating and speed skating, an attraction open to anyone from newbies to champion speed skaters. The Lake Morey Resort maintains the longest skating trail in the United States, a 4.5-mile loop around the lake. Directly in front of the resort are smaller rinks for skating and pick-up hockey games. The Skate Shack is open to the public on weekends from 10 a.m.- 4pm. Rental costs are $30 for Nordic skates and $5 for hockey and figure skates. Phone: 802-333-4311.
Reconstituted General Store Covers the Essentials & More
J.J. Hapgood General Store & Eatery
J.J. Hapgood General Store at 305 Main Street in Peru
is a contemporary re-creation of that most essential of Vermont institutions: the local general store. Hapgood is one of the oldest in the state, supplying essential needs – include company and conversation – for many decades. After a top-to-toe restoration in 2013, the owners now continue the tradition, purveying basic provisions, dry goods, local produce, meat and dairy, cheese and meats, wood-fired pizzas, prepared meals, penny candy, wine and beer. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served daily with après ski, outdoor dining and a special blend of coffee. Come visit this refreshed outpost of Vermont values: practical, sociable, and kind to the Earth. Open daily. Phone: 802-824-4800.
Arts With Zest in the Vermont Heartland
Studio Place Art
is a vibrant community center for the visual arts and an attraction offering workshops, classes, and a gallery of changing exhibits that is open to the public. The gallery is housed in a restored historic building on North Main Street in Barre. The geography and culture of central Vermont are integral to the art shown here. To see art that expresses the heart of central Vermont and for a great thing to do on your next family vacation, visit here. Hours: Year-round, Tuesday-Saturday. Phone: 802-479-7069.
Independent Bookseller Welcomes Book-Loving Folks
Bear Pond Books
on Main Street in Montpelier
presents a slogan “Celebrating 35 years of independent book selling in central Vermont,” and it takes pride in every word. The business opened in 1973 and has endured flooding, a major move to a beautiful historic building, and other ups and down. It offers customers a well-read staff, events such as public readings by authors, a communal gathering place, a resource for children’s literacy, and a useful website. Book lovers looking for things to do who are in or near Montpelier really must visit the store; you will feel right at home. Open daily. Phone: 802-229-0774
Montshire Encourages You to Dig Into Science
The 100-acre Montshire Museum of Science
at 1 Montshire Road in Norwich really means it when it calls itself a hands-on museum, so bring those kids who cannot keep their hands (or curiosity) to themselves. The spacious and light-filled building on the Connecticut River holds both permanent exhibits and featured exhibitions with enticing names like Air and Weather; Creatures; Light and Sight; Native Plants and the Environment; Puzzles, Shapes, and Things that Move; Sounds and Hearing;
The Earth and Astronomy; and Water and How It Moves. The museum’s outdoor property is as important as the indoor exhibits. Visitors can explore a science park, woodland garden, and nature trails along the river. Exhibits change often; there is always something new to entice kids and parents. 802-649-2200.
Confectionary Filled With Mother’s Best
Usher the sweet tooth in your life (or in your head) to Mother Myrick’s Confectionary
at 4367 Main Street in Manchester
for a cozy time browsing and selecting from among the best candies and confections to be found anywhere. Specialties of the house are the Buttercrunch and the Lemon LuLu, but don’t feel that you need to stop there. Plunge on into chocolates and other good tastes. The shop offers gluten-free candies and confections, too. 802-362-1560.
Mad River Antler – How Wild Does That Sound?
Mad River Antler – How Wild Does That Sound?
If you want to go home from your Vermont vacation with a really
Vermont-y artifact, consider at chandelier, table or floor lamp, candle holders or wine rack or sconce made from antler of moose, elk or deer. The artists of Mad River Antler
hastily note that that antlers used in these artworks re shed naturally the animal and later retrieved from the forest floor. And the artworks are, indeed, beautiful. Come tour the retail space at Bridge Street Trading Co., 40 Bridge Street in Waitsfield
to enjoy this melding of nature and the hand of an artist.
Get Fired Up with Glassblowing
If you enjoy beautiful, hand-made works of art and would like to see how it’s made, head down to Robert DuGrenier’s Glass Art Gallery
at 1096 Vermont Route 30 in Townshend
. In addition to the exquisite display of glass pieces, weekly glassblowing demonstrations take place to show patrons the techniques used in this unique process. Robert DuGrenier himself pioneers the demonstrations; his work has been commissioned for hotels, restaurants, aquariums and private homes around the world. You will surely find a gorgeous piece that is also practical at this studio, as DuGrenier delights in creating objects of beauty and functionality. Workshops and classes are available to teach you how to create these masterpieces like a professional! Phone: 802-365-4400
Tasteful, and We Do Mean “Full”
The folks who own and run Eden Specialty Ciders
at 150 Main Street in Newport
want you to learn to love sparkling hard cider and ice cider, a sweet yet sophisticated dessert wine made from apples, developed over the past decade in southern Quebec. Even better
, Eden Specialty Ciders has collaborated with other Northeast Kingdom food artists to create the Northeast Kingdom Tasting Center
(at the same address), where visitors can taste local wine, mead, spirits, and cheeses along with delicacies made by the Brown Dog Bistro, Jocelyn & Cinta’s Bake Shop, Butternut Mountain Maple, and Brown Dog Butcher Shop. Besides tasting these local foods, you can grab a meal at the Newport Ciderhouse Bar & Grill. Buy a cider books and accessories to remember this experience of great taste in the Vermont mountains. Tasting Bar is open daily, but hours vary. Phone: 802-334-1808.
Cookery Store Welcomes Vacationers
You may not have to cook while you’re on vacation, but that doesn’t mean you cannot think about it. J.K. Adams Kitchen Store
on Route 30 in Dorset
is a three-level cornucopia of tools and resources for the home chef. The staff of 12 people can tell you anything you want to know about cheeses from the neighboring farms to the intricacies of the newest coffee brewer. Throughout the year, J.K. Adams offers events and things to do such as tastings of products and demonstrations of the latest gadgets. From time to time, the store sponsors themed cooking workshops offering techniques for home cooks. During the cold months, the Dorset Farmers Market operates an indoor market in this store’s facilities. Phone: 866-362-4422.
Fun with a Water Monster at Champ Lane
, a new and brilliant play space for kids age 6 and younger, opened in February 2016 at ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center on Lake Champlain in Burlington
. In addition to a fabulous indoor tree house (move over, Tarzan), Champ Lane has a deluxe water table, puppet theater, multilevel boat, play café, and mini French market named after Marché Atwater in Montréal. A book nook offers space for quiet reading, nursing and relaxing. There's also a classroom and lab that will be used to teach about animals and scientific inquiry. Fun for every style of kid. Open daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Phone: 802-864-1848.
All Clear for Tubing in Southern Vermont
Vermont is heavily blessed with everything and anything to do with snow sports, and that includes snow tubing, the fast-growing snow sport, with the virtue of being do-able and enjoy-able by almost anyone. Magic Mountain
, at 495 Magic Mountain Access Road in Londonderry
and Mount Snow, at Pisgah Road in West Dover
, both in the southern region of the state, offer plenty of snow tubing. Magic has its Alakazam Tubing Park, open weekends and school vacation periods. (Guests must be at least 44 inches tall to ride the tubes.) AtMount Snow
, tubing is done in the wonderfully named Mixing Bowl. Open daily except Tuesdays and Wednesdays, and on holidays. Enjoy a thrilling ride down and then relax as the Magic Carpet whisks you back to the top.
Foodie Culture is Alive in Burlington
Since its beginnings in 2010, The Farm House
has prided itself on its humble farm-to-table cuisine, including its award-winning burgers and local craft beers. It has three sister restaurants, with one hosting a Taco Tuesday event every week in a beer garden. This lovely spot is constantly spicing things up by holding food-related events all summer long, including a brewer’s fest, a gin-themed evening and a celebration of summer tomatoes. If you find yourself in Vermont this summer, don’t forget to head to this unique establishment. 802-859-0888
Find the Underground Railroad with Vermont’s African American Heritage Trail
African Americans have lived in Vermont for centuries and profoundly affected the state’s agriculture, businesses, and politics. The Vermont African American Heritage Trail
explores their stories. Scores of Vermonters wre involved in the Uniderground Railroad. Today the best documented site –open for visitors – is Rokeby Museum
, where the Vermont African American Heritage Trail begins. Visitors can tour the home and farm of Quaker abolitionists Rowland and Rachel Robinson and the mulitmedia exhibit that introduces two fugitives from slavery who were sheltered at Rokeby in the 1830s. The museum is open from mid-May to late October, daily, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. 802-877-3406
History Walks the Halls of Hildene
A fascinating family saga that includes one of the greatest names in American history awaits visitors year-round at Hildene
, 1005 Hildene Road in Manchester
. It is the home of Robert Todd Lincoln, the only child of President Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln to survive to adulthood. Robert Lincoln built Hildene, a Georgian Revival mansion, in 1905. It was home to Lincoln descendants until 1975. The home and grounds are open to guided and self-guided tours. You can hear the sound of the family’s 1,000-pipe Aeolian organ, and visit the Observatory, the Pullman car Sunbeam, Hildene Farm, and the exhibits. The Hoyt Formal Garden and other gardens are lovely. The property has 12 miles of walking trails, and people are welcome to cross-country ski or snowshoe the trails from December to mid-March. 802-362-1788.
Antiques and More Antiques
at 6931 Woodstock Road in Quechee
is a treasure house for shoppers and browsers who love old, beautiful things. The collaborative is is an upscale multi-dealer antiques and fine art center, just a few minutes’ drive from I-89 and I-91. More than 165 dealer display goods on three floors in a converted farm house, featuring the finest in quality antiques and decorative accessories. New England country furniture is always in stock, along with sterling and coin silver from the 17th century through the Arts and Crafts period. Open year-round, daily, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Phone: 802- 296-5858.
Vermont Celebrates Its Craftspeople
Crafts experts throughout the Green Mountain State are supported in their artistic vision with help from four Vermont State Craft Centers
. The centers present fine crafts ranging from holiday ornaments to knitware, jewelry, home goods, decorative items and furniture. Each center is firmly based in its own community, so they all have their own distinct characters. Artisans Hand Craft Gallery at 89 Main Street in Montpelier
shows and sells hand-painted silk scarves and other wearable fiber, and more. Frog Hollow at 85 Church Street in Burlington
offers traditional and contemporary Vermont art and craft. Gallery at the Vault at 68 Main Street in Springfield
, in the town’s historic 1908 Victorian Bank Block, features pottery, woodenware, blown glass, origami, and books. Northeast Kingdom Artisans Guild at 430 Railroad Avenue in St. Johnsbury
is run by its participating artists and it presents distinctive jewelry, fine art, paper, and photography.
Dog Biscuits for All the Good Sports
The sled dogs at Peace Pups Dog Sledding
on Cross Road in Lake Elmore
are ready to stretch their legs. The dogs will pull you quietly along in a wheeled dog sled. Put on your wool sweater and take a late afternoon ride to enjoy the sunset over the Green Mountains. In fact, Peace Pups offers fun activities with Siberian Husky sled dogs all year around, including dog scooter outings, wheeled dog sled rides, skijoring, and winter dogsled tours. It is a Vermont adventure and a thing to do on vacation that you won’t forget. Phone: 802-888-7733.
Blown Glass Art By … Me!
Visitors of all ages – including children – can take a stab at making glass art at Manchester Hot Glass
, a glass blowing studio & gallery at 79 Elm Street in Manchester Center
. The shop has a sweet collection of hand-blown glass and jewelry – nice for gift shopping or weddings. Any one age 5 or older can take a class, for example, one that allows you to make a blown glass paperweight. Choose colors, then bend, pull, stretch and mash up molten glass, then shape it to make your own, one-of-a-kind piece of glass art. Reservations are requested, but walk-ins welcome if time allows. Shop hours vary, so call ahead. Phone: 802-362-2227.
Merck Forest Snaps in Winter
Located on top of Rupert Mountain, off Route 315 in Rupert
, Merck Forest and Farmland Center
is thousands of acres of open land available for hikes and other activities. Parts of the property are actively farmed, with concentration on organic, sustainable agriculture. Make no mistake about it: this place jumps with events and things to do in the winter. For snow-bound romance, couples can rent a cabin for a romantic weekend getaway or just spend a day or afternoon doing hiking, snowshoeing, cross country skiing on the many well-managed trails. There will be plenty of hardy people out, doing the same. Wonderful views -- and spectacular sunsets – are in store.
X Is for Cross-Country -- Skis!
One of the top-rated regions in the country for mountain biking can be found at and around Burke Mountain and Darling Hill near East Burke. Kingdom Trails
is 110 miles of recreational, non-motorized trails through farmland and forest for bicycling cross-country skiing activities, designed for people of all levels of ability. Besides Nordic skiing, another up-and-coming winter trail sport is fat biking. Check it out! The Kingdom Trails Welcome Center is behind the Northeast Kingdom Country Store in East Burke
Village, at 478 Route 114. Open year-round. Phone: 802-626-0737.
Hit the Slopes on a Cushion of Air
We didn’t see this coming. At Smugglers’ Notch ski area in northern Vermont, the classic sled, toboggan, flying saucer – pick your favorite – has mutated into an inflated cushion called an airboard
. This A-shaped air cushion – which is steerable – lets you whip down the slope with wild abandon. At Smuggs’, certain trails are reserved for airboarding on weekday afternoons. Airboarding wannabees must be at least 12 years old and must take a short instructional clinic. Who’s up for a new snow thrill?
Glass Art, To Make or to Go
at 485 West River Road in Brattleboro
is your one-stop location for all your glass and ceramic craft needs! Not only are the walls lined with unique artisan work such as tile murals, art glass, jewelry, furniture, lighting, photography, and paintings, but you can learn the making-of with live demonstrations! Watch as the professionals create art before your eyes with glassblowing and ceramic pottery presentations. Custom orders are available, so you can literally create your own! Open Monday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. 802-257-2787
Performance Art Is Alive, Local, and Little at Hooker-Dunham
For a visit to authentic local visual and performance art, visit the Hooker-Dunham Theater & Gallery
at 139 Main Street in Brattleboro
. Located one floor below street level in a former shoe warehouse, the Hooker-Dunham Theater is one of the Brattleboro area's most dynamic centers for arts and culture. An eclectic variety of music, spoken word, and live theater performances are featured year-round. Check out the website for exhibits and performances at this grassroots arts center. 802- 258-1344.
Cake Artisan Gallery of Jewelry, Arts, and Fine Craft
The Putnam Hotel at 103 South Street in Bennington
has a new offering: a gallery promoting the Cake jewelry collection and other art works founded by jewelry designer and Bennington native Meike Williams. The Cake Gallery
presents Williams’s handmade precious and semi-precious jewelry, as well as ceramics, paintings, photography, and upcycled artwork.Williams launched her first retail gallery in West Hollywood, Calif., and in 2007, a second in the Los Feliz section of Los Angeles. Williams later returned to her home state of Vermont and opened a successful pop-up version of the boutique. Fun stuff!