• Your Guide to a Summer Vermont Trip

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    Sometimes, you just need to get away. While most of us don’t think to escape to New England until the fall — just in time for the leaf-peeping season — or winter {for skiing and snowboarding season} — summer can be the perfect time to venture up North and take in all that the Green Mountain State has to offer.

    Vermont is a bit of a drive {anywhere from four to six hours, depending on where you go} but with green mountains galore and tons of fun activities to do in the summer, it might just be at the top of your list for your next vacation destination. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about a weekend getaway to Vermont in New England. 

    vermont weekend getaway

    {Photo credit: @vermonttourism}

    Where to Stay

    bromley mountain vt

    {Photo credit: @bromleymountain}

    Visitors’ best bet to lodging in Vermont is an Airbnb. Staying at a lodge can be expensive, but it’s a must, check out Bromley {3984 Vermont Route 11}. It’s a two-in-one deal because not only can guests stay at Bromley’s Resort, but the ski slope destination is open all summer long with fun events and activities for kids and adults.

    Bromley is home to the Alpine Slides {guests take the ski lifts up to the top, then sit on a small craft as they slide down the mountain}, as well as zip-lining, the giant swings, the Sun Mountain Flyer, and a small water park.

    See More: Your Guide to a Nashville, Tennessee Getaway

    What to Do

    Most people might think of Vermont as a winter destination, but skiing isn’t the only thing this state has to offer. For those who are even remotely adventurous or into outdoor activities, then they’ll love all the hiking, sight-seeing, and outdoor activities rampant in nearly every Vermont town.

    Hike the Quechee Gorge

    vermont gorge hike

    The Quechee Gorge is called “Vermont’s Little Grand Canyon” for a reason. It’s the deepest gorge in Vermont, coming in at 165 feet deep. Sometime long ago — about 13,000 years ago — North America was covered by a glacier during the Ice Age. As the glacier receded, the waters melted and cut away the bedrock ridge known today as the Quechee Gorge.

    But don’t worry — the hike isn’t that bad. In fact, it’s perfect for both beginners and expert hikers. From the starting point at the Quechee Gorge Visiting Center, it’s only about a half-mile down to the water, the part of the Gorge where people often go swimming, take their dogs, or set up a picnic. Prepare to have to hike the half-mile back to get to the car, resulting in a total hike of one mile.

    If one mile doesn’t sound like enough physical activity for, rest assured: The hike to the Gorge is on a total decline. Meaning on the way back up, hikers will burn some serious calories as they hike back up the incline.

    Check Out Quechee Glass Blowing at Simon Pierce {1760 Quechee Main Street}

    While in the tiny town of Quechee, stop by Simon Pierce, a turbine-powered glass-blowing studio that lets guests watch the artisans take on their latest creative glass-blowing endeavor.

    Located on Main Street, visitors can watch the artisans as they make glassware, vases, pitchers, bowls, platters, trays, and more. There’s also a farm-to-table restaurant on-site and shop where visitors can purchase the glass and pottery designs they watched them make.

    Tour Ben + Jerry’s Flagship Factory {1281 Waterbury-Stowe Road,  Waterbury}

    If you’ve ever eaten a pint of Ben + Jerry’s ice cream after a break-up {or hey — just for fun!} then it is your moral obligation to check out B+J at their flagship factory in Waterbury, VT.

    For just $4, visitors can tour the factory, which includes a brief video about the inception of Ben + Jerry’s ice cream {Hint: The company was started by two Long Islanders who rented space at a Vermont gas station}, a tour of where the ice cream-making magic happens, and a sampling of the day’s flavor.

    In short, the tour is delicious… and of course, full of cow puns.

    Oh, and guests won’t want to miss the factory’s Flavor Graveyard. Walk around the graveyard, where discontinued flavors that didn’t make the cut are honored with hilarious, often-rhyming epitaphs.

    Where to Eat

    Harpoon Brewery {336 Ruth Carney Drive, Windsor}

    harpoon brewery vermont

    {Photo credit: @harpoonbrewery}

    Beer lovers won’t want to visit VT without hitting up Harpoon Brewery. There’s a second location in Boston, MA, but the Harpoon in Windsor, VT is a sight for sore eyes.

    First of all, there’s so much more to do there than just drink beer. They have an extensive menu of all kinds of choices — try the summer grapefruit salad, it’s delicious — and four beers on tap.

    Aside from the beers and the menu inside of Harpoon, visitors can tour the brewery or tour the grounds. Harpoon is located on a lot with other shops {go to the ice creamery and get some Brown Sugar and Rhubarb soft-serve}, including a distillery. Near the outdoor beer garden area, discover wood-oven pizza made fresh on-site, a badminton court, and corn hole.

    Read More: Weekend Getaway: Elk Lake Lodge, New York 

    DJ’s Restaurant {146 Main Street, Ludlow}

    DJ’s has been at its current location for more than 35 years, and for a reason. It’s kid-friendly and offers an extensive menu of steaks, fresh seafood, poultry, pasta, a salad bar, and more. DJ’s serves huge portions of food, so diners won’t leave feeling unsatisfied.

    Trout River Brewing Company {100 River Street, Springfield}

    trout river brewing vermont

    {Photo credit: @troutriverbrewing}

    For a more local experience, head over to Trout River Brewing in Springfield, Vermont. Located in a quiet little town, find Trout River will be located off of Exit 7.

    When there, ask for Kelen. He’s the owner and he’s more than knowledgable about the tiny town of Springfield. After all, he grew up there. He’ll give visitors a full-blown history lesson on the area while filling up brews. The space itself is cool, too. There’s a large projection screen where guests can watch the game, as well as plenty of tables, cards, board games, and of course, every brewery’s staple game: JENGA.

    Free Range {90 Common Street, Chester}

    free range vermont

    For those looking for delicious food no matter which meal they’re going for, check out Free Range. This locale has an amazing brunch selection, and an amazing dessert called The Happy Camper that should definitely not be passed up.

    The lunch and dinner specials are amazing, too. The restaurant runs out of Victorian home built in 1895 and offers everything from diverse appetizers, soups, salads, sandwiches, local grass-fed burgers, and vegetarian options. Guests will love the quaint atmosphere of the eatery, not to mention the food. And if a guest is looking for a pick-me-up, Free Range has Vermont craft beers on tap, as well as hand-crafted specialty cocktails.

    After the meal, hang a right and walk down to the suspended bridge at the end of the road. It’s a great photo opportunity and the view is spectacular.

    Where to Shop

    Church Street Marketplace {2 Church Street, Burlington}

    “Stay weird” is the motto many see on stickers and t-shirts if they walk through the Church Street Marketplace, an outdoor mall in Burlington, Vermont.

    Church Street Marketplace is a hub of creative murals, street entertainers, year-round festivals, and historic architecture. Not to mention, the place one wants to go to get some shopping done. With over 75 local boutiques, national retailers, and more, visitors will want to check out nearly every shop on the strip {and off of it!}.

    Vermont Country Store {657 Main Street, Weston}

    vermont country store outside

    {Photo credit: @vermontcountrystore}

    Visitors will find the Vermont Country Store just a few miles down the road from Free Range in Chester.

    Here shoppers will find a bunch of amazing gift items, as VCS as everything from toys of the past to fresh fudge on site. They have gadgets for the home, pet supplies, candies from decades prior, and lots of fun, old-timey apparel.

    Make sure to check out the food section where there are free samples galore. Cheese, all kinds of crackers, cookies, jam, and spreads… not to mention, a pick-your-own pickle bucket.

    The Final Verdict

    It might be far, but Vermont is a magical place. It’s the perfect summertime getaway and has so many fun opportunities to shop, eat, and get inspired locally.

    Have a great summer escape you want to share? Let us know in the comments!


    Written by:

    Steph Osmanski is a freelance writer who specializes in sustainability and health and wellness content. She is currently pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing at Stony Brook Southampton.


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