Vermont Weekend Getaway: 14 Places to Visit
I escaped to my happy place for a couple days, leaving the world behind and stepped back into a slower, simpler time.
While I really only spent one full day in Vermont (and two half days), it was absolutely glorious. Some people like the beach and others like the mountains. I’m a mountain girl and my favorite place- hands down- is Vermont.
When I was 21, I moved to Vermont for a job in radio and ended up staying for a couple years. I learned to work hard and play hard and I learned what true, lasting friendships are all about. Leaving was the hardest thing I’ve ever done and I try to visit as often as I can.
If you’re thinking of taking a long weekend to visit Vermont (it’s only five hours away) and are looking for some neat places to visit, here are my favorite:
1. The Vermont Veterans Memorial Cemetery – Randolph, VT
I know, it seems strange to recommend visiting a cemetery, but this is one of two you must visit if you travel to Vermont. The cemetery sits back from the rest of the world and offers spectacular mountain views. It really is God’s country. To see the perfectly lined white stones bearing the names of the brave men and women who gave of their lives is humbling to say the least. Say a prayer in the chapel, walk the grounds and feel the serenity and reverence of this solitary place.
To say that Adamant is a town is pretty much not true. This “town” consists of a couple of house, a general store, a post office and some really big ponds. But I’ll tell you what, it’s one of the most beautiful little hideaways in all of Vermont.
3. Morse Farm Maple Sugarworks – Montpelier, VT
Have you ever had a maple creemee? No, I mean a REAL maple creemee made from maple taken from trees on-site? If the answer is no, then you’ve probably never been to Morse Farm. The Morse family cultivate maple trees and make all their own maple syrup, which is some of the best I’ve ever had. And inside their gift shop, they sell maple creemees as well as the most delicious maple kettle corn I’ve EVER had. Plus while you visit, check out the amazing carvings inside the little cabins on the property and grab a swing and forget about your worries for a bit.
4. C P Dudley General Store– East Montpelier, VT
If you’re expecting something massive like the Vermont Country Store, Dudley isn’t for you. Dudley is an adorable old general store on the way to my friend’s grave so I pop in each time I visit the cemetery for a cup of coffee and to check out the goods. Where else can you get a sticker book, wrapping paper, nails and rain boots all in the same isle?
5. Barre, VT
Barre is where I first lived when I moved to Vermont and is the self proclaimed “Granite Capital of the World.” Main Street in Barre is filled with quaint shops and there’s a town square with a park and some pretty cool statutes too.
6. Vermont State House – Montpelier, VT
Because it sits in front of the mountains, the Vermont State House is one of the most beautiful in the country. Granite from Barre was used in the construction of the State House and the top is covered in gold. It’s a sight to see for sure!
7. The Cabot Annex Store – Waterbury, VT
If you’re a cheese lover like I am, there is no better cheese than Cabot and when you visit the annex store in Waterbury, you’ll have the chance to sample many different kinds before deciding which you want to buy.
8. Ben and Jerry’s – Waterbury, VT
Just down the road from the Cabot Annex Store is the world famous Ben and Jerry’s- the location where it all began. Take a tour, shop and sample some of the best ice cream on earth.
9. Cold Hollow Cider Mill – Waterbury Center, VT
Cold Hollow is filled with so many wonders. In addition to quaint general store type things, Cold Hollow makes delicious, warm apple cider donuts. They’ve got a room where you can watch as they make apple juice from apples grown in their orchard or you can sit on the porch swing as you enjoy one of their many apple treats. And if you like wine, there’s a small winery on the grounds as well.
10. Trapp Family Lodge – Stowe, VT
This is hands down my favorite place to visit in all of Vermont. At one time, this was home to the Von Trapp family- as in the family that the Sound of Music was written after. Now, the grounds feature adorable chalets and walking and hiking trails and a main lodge that serves up mouth watering foods. But those aren’t my favorite things. My favorite thing is to walk out into the field surrounded by mountains on all sides and to stretch out my arms and twirl and sing “the hills are alive with the sound of music.” I spent about two hours sitting in this field on Sunday-just sitting, taking in the beauty.
11. Green Mountain Coffee Roasters – Waterbury, VT
Two words: pumpkin spice. That is all.
12. Ladder 1 Grill – Barre, VT
Ladder 1 Grill is housed inside the old firehouse in Barre and comes complete with a fireman’s pole, a red phone booth and more fire memorabilia than you could ever look at in one night. The atmosphere is friendly and the people are great.
13. Gusto’s Gin Mill – Barre, VT
Gusto’s used to be my hangout. I spent most Friday and Saturday nights there listening to bands, playing horseshoes, dancing and catching up with friends. At Gusto’s, you’ll find a genuine small town gin mill complete with horseshoe pits, fire pits, a basketball area, and even an outdoor bar area. Gusto’s is a fun place to meet people while enjoying great music and a cold drink. And if you look at the bar near the band stage, you might even spot my name carved into the wood.
14. Whale Tails- South Burlington, VT
This isn’t really a place to visit, but it is something to look for as you drive down the road headed into Burlington. Up out of the road are two whale tails. And yes, it’s completely random and strange. The whale tails can be seen on I-89 northbound between exits 12 and 13. Rumor has it the sculpture is meant to depicts two tails of whales diving into a sea of grass to symbolize the fragility of the planet.
If you’ve been thinking about visiting Vermont to check out fall foliage, you might not want to wait too long. The leaves have already started to change color and my friends tell me that the hotels and motels are starting to get booked.