It’s easy to get into a routine where you do the same things and go to the same places, but sometimes it’s nice to try something new. There are plenty of covered bridges and cows to be found, the sporting industry wildly advertises the many outdoor activities online, and what’s left can be found on a brochure in any of the tourist and travel agencies. But what about the things that slip through the cracks? How can you find cool things you haven’t done before?
Well, if you’re looking for things that are unique, unusual and a bit off the beaten path, then this is the right article for you to be reading. Whether you’re a local or visiting Vermont, here are 12 things that are so unique that they simply must be seen.
1. Bellows Falls Petroglyphs
Bellows Falls is home to two clusters of petroglyphs and their origin is unknown. Various hypotheses place them at anywhere from 300-3,000 years old and many believe the Abenaki are responsible for putting the faces there, because their legends say that when a person dies, their soul travels west, and these would provide useful markers for the spirits to know they were headed in the right direction.
2. Forgotten Village of Greenbank's Hollow
On December 14, 1885, a fire raged through this prosperous town and destroyed the five-story woolen mill, store, several residences and covered bridge. The village was abandoned to rebuild elsewhere, and thanks to the Danville Historical Society and several local supporters, the site of the village at Greenbank’s Hollow has been restored as a historical park.
3. Ben & Jerry's Flavor Graveyard
There are cemeteries all over, but none quite like this. This graveyard for expired flavors is at the Ben & Jerry's factory in Waterbury. Death has never been so sweet!
4. Museum of Everyday Life
This self serve museum is truly one-of-a-kind. The exhibits are, you guessed it, things you find in everyday life. From toothbrushes, to match sticks, to the current exhibition which is dust, this is sure to be a unique experience!
5. Woodstock Town Crier
With websites, emails and texting taking over, it's nice to read the town happenings old school style. While wandering the charming downtown of Woodstock, take a look at the chalkboard to see what local happenings abound. It's a great old fashioned way to communicate in a small town. They sure don't make them like this anymore!
6. The Old Round Church in Richmond
This is one of the few round churches standing. When it was built in 1813, Richmond was home to Baptists, Christians, Congregationalists, Methodists, and Universalists, and the church was created as a way of bringing them together under a shared house of worship. Its round (technically a 16-sided polygon) design is said to keep the devil away because without corners he has nowhere to hide. More realistically, the architect William Rhodes admired the design of the round church that already existed in his hometown.
7. American Precision Museum
Pictured is an old four-spindle lathe at the American Precision Museum in Windsor. Here you'll find a collection of machining tools, geared contraptions, and other underappreciated items which show the history of the United States' devotion to quality through detail
8. Knight's Spider Web Farm
Knight's Spider Web Farm is an art studio, retail outlet and residence owned by Will Knight, an artist who uses spider webs to produce art. It is located in Williamstown, Vermont. Knight calls his farm "The Original Web Site." Will Knight is a character and a natural story teller. Check out this video to meet him and see how the webs are created.
9. Haskell Free Library and Opera House
Haskell just may be the most unique library in the world. The building housing the library lies on the international border, and half is in Derby Line, Vermont and the other half is in Stanstead, Quebec. It was intentionally built this way and we're thankful for the unique opportunity to see it!
10. Hope Cemetery
You'll find more than typical gravestones at the Hope Cemetery in Barre. These monuments are works of art and are admired by all who visit.
11. Brookfield Floating Bridge
This floating bridge in Brookfield has been repaired and reopened as a pedestrian footbridge. For an added unique touch, look for the nearby statue of a mother and baby hippo.
12. The Dog Chapel on Dog Mountain
Vermonters love their dogs, so it's not surprising that there is a dog chapel. Dog Mountain is set on 150 acres on a mountain top location in St. Johnsbury, Vermont. The grounds are always open so grab your best four legged friend and go explore the chapel and more at this beautiful location.
What are your favorite unique places in Vermont? Like this post if you enjoy bringing out your inner explorer!