Central Vermont

We’ve compiled the best of the best in Central Vermont - browse our top choices for the top things to see or do during your stay.

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  • 1. Montshire Museum of Science

    Numerous hands-on exhibits at this 100-acre science museum explore nature and technology. Kids can make giant bubbles, watch marine life swim in aquariums, construct working hot air balloons, and explore a maze of outdoor trails by the river. Adults will happily join the fun. An ideal destination for a rainy day, this is one of the finest museums in New England.

    1 Montshire Rd., Norwich, Vermont, 05055, USA

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: $18
  • 2. Simon Pearce

    A restored woolen mill by a waterfall holds Quechee's main attraction: this marvelous glassblowing factory, store, and restaurant. Water power still drives the factory's furnace. Take a free self-guided tour of the downstairs factory floor, and see the amazing glassblowers at work. The store sells beautifully crafted contemporary glass and ceramic tableware. An excellent, sophisticated restaurant with outstanding views of the falls uses Simon Pearce glassware and is justifiably popular.

    1760 Quechee Main St., Quechee, Vermont, 05059, USA
  • 3. Billings Farm and Museum

    Founded by Frederick H. Billings in 1871, this is one of the oldest operating dairy farms in the country. In addition to watching the herds of Jersey cows, horses, and other farm animals at work and play, you can tour the restored 1890 farmhouse, and in the adjacent barns learn about 19th-century farming and domestic life. The biggest takeaway, however, is a renewed belief in sustainable agriculture and stewardship of the land. Pick up some raw-milk cheddar while you're here.

    69 Old River Rd., Woodstock, Vermont, 05091, USA

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: $17
  • 4. Brandon Artists Guild

    The guild exhibits and sells affordable paintings, sculpture, and pottery by more than 30 local member artists.

    7 Center St., Brandon, Vermont, 05733, USA

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Free, Closed Mon. Dec.–Apr.
  • 5. Brandon Museum at the Stephen A. Douglas Birthplace

    The famous statesman was born in this house in 1813. He left 20 years later to establish himself as a lawyer, becoming a three-time U.S. senator and arguing more cases before the U.S. Supreme Court than anyone else. This museum recounts the early Douglas years, early town history, and the antislavery movement in Vermont, the first state to abolish slavery.

    4 Grove St., Brandon, Vermont, 05733, USA

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Free, Closed Sun. and mid-Oct.–mid-May
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  • 6. Edgewater Gallery

    This gallery sits alongside picturesque Otter Creek, and the paintings, jewelry, ceramics, and pieces of furniture inside are just as arresting. Exhibitions in the bright, airy space change regularly, demonstrating the owner's ambition to be more gallery than shop, though all pieces are for sale. A second gallery is across the creek in the Battell Building.

    1 Mill St., Middlebury, Vermont, 05753, USA

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Free
  • 7. Foley Brothers Brewery

    Though this is a bare bones tasting room—no food, no tours, just glass pours and growlers—we argue that it has great charm, unique Vermont personality, and some of the best beer in the state. There is space to sit outside in the summer months in a nearby field with beautiful views, and the brewery's golden retriever is locally beloved.

    79 Stone Mill Dam Rd., Brandon, Vermont, 05733, USA

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Mon. and Tues., and Sun. Jan.–May
  • 8. Fort Ticonderoga Ferry

    Established in 1759, the Fort Ti cable ferry crosses Lake Champlain between Shoreham and Fort Ticonderoga, New York, at one of the oldest ferry crossings in North America. The trip takes seven minutes.

    4831 Rte. 74 W, Shoreham, Vermont, 05770, USA

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Cars $12, bicycles $5, pedestrians $4, Closed Nov.–Apr.
  • 9. Lincoln Peak Vineyard

    Named “Winery of the Year” at the International Cold Climate Wine Competition in 2016, this vineyard —now owned by nearby Shelburne Vineyard— is enjoying the fruits of its labor, with an increase in traffic to its tasting room and shop. Enjoy the Frontenac, La Crescent, and Marquette varieties from both vineyards on the postcard-pretty porch overlooking a small pond.

    142 River Rd., Middlebury, Vermont, 05472, USA

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Mon. and Tues. late Oct.–Dec.; Mon.–Thurs. Jan.–late May
  • 10. Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park

    Vermont's only national park is the nation's first to focus on conserving natural resources. The pristine 555-acre spread includes the mansion, gardens, and carriage roads of Frederick H. Billings (1823–90), a financier and the president of the Northern Pacific Railway. The entire property was the gift of Laurance S. Rockefeller (1910–2004), who lived here with his wife, Mary (Billings's granddaughter). You can learn more at the visitor center, tour the residential complex with a guide every hour on the hour, and explore the 20 miles of trails and old carriage roads that climb Mt. Tom.

    54 Elm St., Woodstock, Vermont, 05091, USA

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Tour $9
  • 11. Middlebury College

    Founded in 1800, this college was conceived as a more godly alternative to the worldly University of Vermont, though it has no religious affiliation today. The postmodern architecture of the Mahaney Center for the Arts, which offers music, theater, and dance performances throughout the year, stands in provocative contrast to the early-19th-century stone buildings in the middle of town.

    131 College St., Middlebury, Vermont, 05753, USA
  • 12. Moosalamoo National Recreation Area

    Covering nearly 16,000 acres of the Green Mountain National Forest, this area northeast of Brandon attracts hikers, mountain bikers, and cross-country skiers who enjoy the 70-plus miles of trails through wondrous terrain. If there is anywhere to stop and smell the flowers in Vermont, this is it.

    Off Rtes. 53 and 73, Brandon, Vermont, 05733, USA
  • 13. Mt. Independence State Historic Site

    Mt. Independence is one of the nation's most revered Revolutionary War sites, documenting the efforts to defend New York, New England, and the battle for American liberty. This key defensive position gained its name between 1776 and 1777, when the barely dried ink of the Declaration of Independence was read to United States soldiers assembled on the rugged peninsula east of Lake Champlain. Annual events include guided nature and history hikes on the site’s 6 miles of hiking trails; historical lectures; archaeological investigations; a "Soldiers Atop the Mount" living history weekend; and a yearly reading of the Declaration of Independence.

    497 Mt. Independence Rd., Orwell, Vermont, 05760, USA
  • 14. Red Clover Ale

    Red Clover Ale opened in Brandon's tiny town center under the reigns of two brothers and a brother-in-law. The family trio focuses on creative ales alongside skilled representations of the classics, like their pitch-perfect pilsners and stouts. Their ongoing IPA series is as special as the birds they're named after, like American Redstart and Yellow Warbler. Excellent pop-up food vendors are occasionally found on-site—otherwise, a corkboard near the entrance is covered in local takeout menus for perusing to one's liking.

    43 Center St., Brandon, Vermont, 05733, USA

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Closed Mon.–Wed.
  • 15. Robert Frost Interpretive Trail

    Plaques along this easy 1.2-mile wooded trail bear quotations from Frost's poems. A picnic area is across the road from the trailhead.

    Trailhead on Rte. 125, Middlebury, Vermont, USA
  • 16. Silver Lake

    Vermont lakes don't get more picturesque than this gem across the street from the Barnard General Store. Plus, it's open for swimming, boating, fishing, and camping.

    20 State Park Beach Rd., Barnard, Vermont, 05031, USA
  • 17. University of Vermont Morgan Horse Farm

    The Morgan horse, Vermont's official state animal, has an even temper, high stamina, and slightly truncated legs in proportion to its body. This farm, about 2½ miles west of Middlebury, is a breeding and training center where in summer you can tour the stables and paddocks.

    74 Battell Dr., Weybridge, Vermont, 05753, USA

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: $8, Closed late Oct.–Apr.
  • 18. Vermont Folklife Center

    The redbrick center's exhibits include photography, antiques, folk paintings, manuscripts, and other artifacts and contemporary works that examine various facets of Vermont life.

    88 Main St., Middlebury, Vermont, 05753, USA

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: Donations accepted, Closed Sun. and Mon.
  • 19. Vermont Institute of Natural Science Nature Center

    Next to Quechee Gorge, this science center has 17 raptor exhibits, including bald eagles, peregrine falcons, and owls. All caged birds were found injured and are unable to survive in the wild. In summer, experience "Raptors Up Close," a 30-minute live bird program that happens three times a day.

    149 Natures Way, Quechee, Vermont, 05059, USA

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: $18
  • 20. Wilson Castle

    Completed in 1867, this 32-room mansion was built over the course of eight years by a Vermonter who married a British aristocrat. Within the opulent setting are 84 stained-glass windows (one inset with 32 Australian opals), hand-painted Italian frescoes, and 13 fireplaces. The place is magnificently furnished with European and Asian objets d'art. October evenings bring haunted castle tours.

    2708 West St., Proctor, Vermont, 05765, USA

    Sight Details

    Rate Includes: $12

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