There are so many things to love about Vermont- pretty drives, apple orchards, cider, cheese, maple syrup, covered bridges, ice cream and locally sourced everything. I’ve never been a big ice cream fan, but I ended up having ice cream on 3 occasions in just a few days. Ben n Jerry’s just tasted better there.
Here are my top 5 places to visit in Vermont:
Champlain Orchards– this is a little off the beaten path, but just a short detour if you are driving to Burlington from New York. They sell an assortment of fruits, dairy products, apple cider donuts, and tons of hard cider varieties. The staff was super friendly and let me try several different ciders.
Burlington- it reminds me of a smaller Portland or Austin, but a ski-town version. Quirky and fun. Lots of fun, tasty food options. The top tourist area is Church street, a pedestrian only shopping strip with the original Ben & Jerry’s and lots of other cool shops, including Fjallraven, a Swedish outdoor gear and backpack store.
Waterbury- east of Burlington about 30 minutes and home to a cluster of tasty stops- Ben n Jerry’s factory tour & store, Cold Hollow Cider Mill and Luncheonnette, Cabot factory store (free cheese tastings!), and Green Mountain Coffee Cafe. The Ben n Jerry’s factory was super crowded when I went, so I would avoid going in the summer if possible. Or, just make sure to be prepared to wait in a long line for ice cream.
Middlebury- a super cute college town worth checking out for a few hours. I really enjoyed looking around the shops on Main St. and browsing the Middlebury Food Co-op. They even have Kombucha on tap! If you are staying overnight, I recommend the historic Middlebury Inn, mainly for their afternoon tea (and cookies).
Tour of covered bridges- I’ve been a huge fan of cover bridges since reading and seeing the Bridges of Madison County. You can find a map of the bridges online or at most tourist info centers.
Dinner at Hen of the Wood in Burlington- We got lucky and snagged a few spots at the bar, but since this is a popular restaurant it’s best to make a reservation well in advance. The grilled octopus was awesome.
Mushroom toast with poached egg and house bacon
Ben n Jerry’s Factory Tour- the tour lasts about 30 minutes and is worth checking out since it’s close to several attractions in Waterbury. The tour is more fun if the factory is making ice cream that day, so check their website for the manufacturing schedule.
Green Mountain Coffee cafe- I had the best coffee drink here called the Cafe Vermont- a double shot of espresso, maple syrup and steamed cream, then topped with whipped cream. Nom.
Cold Hollow Cider Mill- this place has tons of souvenirs and all the food goodies like jams, maple syrups, apple cider donuts, apple cider, spices, etc.
Cold Hollow Luncheonette- the “Vermont to the Core” panini was delicious! Bacon, Cabot cheddar, cider jelly, and apple slices on sourdough bread.