It’s not the destination that matters most, but rather the journeys we take to get there. With so many beautiful, historical and cultural places, there are many, many road trips in Vermont to experience the things we love. With the nice weather upon us, it’s time to start exploring some great places, and to take the guess work out of where to go, we’ve picked some of our favorite spots. All you need to do is hop in the car and go. Happy traveling!
1. Bennington, Shaftsbury, Arlington and the Kelley Stand Road.
1. Enjoy the history of the Battle of Bennington. 2. Visit the Robert Frost House in Shaftsbury. 3. The Sugar Shack in Arlington has a wonderful Norman Rockwell exhibit at this VT specialty store.
4. Travel along the Kelley Stand Road, where in 1909 James P. Taylor thought of the idea of a "footpath in the wilderness," now known as the Long Trail. 5. Make your way back toward the start of your journey through the Grout Pond Recreation Area, a 1,600-acre portion of the Green Mountain National Forest.
2. Brattleboro and the charming towns along the West River Valley.
1. Start your day in Brattleboro, a wonderful town with first rate book stores, restaurant, galleries and shops. 2. Travel to West Dummerston and see the longest covered bridge entirely in the state of Vermont which is 280 feet long. 3. Head to the charming village of Newfane, all of which is on the National Register of Historic Places. 4. Head to Townsend and check out the Scott Bridge circa 1870. After checking out the bridge cool down at the nearby Townsend Lake Recreational Area.
5. Enjoy the famously beautiful route 100 to Londonderry, be sure to stop off at the local shops. 6. Continue through town of Chester, which was built with local materials, skilled craftsman and pure good taste creating an amazing architectural display. 7. Be sure to stop in Grafton to sample some incredible cheddar cheese! 8. Continuing on route 121 through Bellows Falls while on your way back to the start of this road trip.
3. Rutland, Windsor, the Western Lakes and the Green Mountain Gaps.
1. Start your day with a stroll of the handsome array of Victorian homes that stretch along North Main Street in Rutland before heading toward Proctor to visit the Wilson Castle. 2. Head through Castleton and take in the views of Lake Bomoseen. 3. Take the route through Sudbury, Whiting, and head toward the Green Mountain National Forest and find the beautiful waterfall the Falls of Lana.
4. While passing through East Middlebury, take a look at the Waybury Inn, which served as the exterior for television's 1980s Bob Newhart Show. (It’s now a historic green.) 5. Visit the Robert Frost Cabin in Ripton and channel your inner prose. 6. Travel past the Middlebury College Snow Bowl and the Middlebury gap where the Long Trail crosses and climbs into the Breadloaf Wilderness and make your way to the spectacular Texas Falls. 7. Round out this road trip through Goshen, Brandon and head toward Pittsfield. Visit the New England Maple Museum, along with the four different covered bridges.
4. Explore Lamoille County and Beyond.
1. Begin the day by exploring the state capital of Vermont. 2. Head up to Waterbury and take a tour at Ben & Jerry's and have a cider donut at the Cold Hollow Cider Mill. 3. Cruise over to Stowe and see the Von Trapp Family Lodge. Enjoy the quaint town, the award winning bike path or take a Gondola to the top of Mount Mansfield.
4. Navigate through the windy roads of Smugglers Notch and be sure to stop at one of the many pull offs to the side to explore the waterfalls and trails. 5. Continue through Lowell, Irasburg and Albany to Craftsbury Common, some of the loveliest villages in Vermont.
5. The Champlain Islands and surrounding area.
1. Begin with a visit to the Sand Bar State
Park and check out one of Vermont’s best swimming beaches. 2. Head to South Hero and try to spot a few of Harry Barber's miniature castles as well as the hundreds of brightly colored bird houses. 3. You can't miss an island tour without stopping at the Snow Farm Vineyard and Winery.
4. See the wonderful lighthouses on Lake Champlain. 5. Drive on Main Street in North Hero… Which is also its only street! 6. The 2 by 5 mile Isle La Motte boats the impressive Saint Anne Shrine. 7. End the day with a drive in movie at the nearby Sunset Drive In Movie theater in nearby Colchester.
6. Lake Champlain, Middlebury and the Lincoln Gap.
1. Shelburne Farms in Shelburne is an impressive model farm, agricultural education center and cheese making operation on a stunning estate. 2. The Shelburne Museum, a 45-acre museum with 37 different buildings, is a must see! 3. Continue south on Route 7 and enjoy the beautiful views in Charlotte. 4. Learn about Lake Champlain history at the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum in Vergennes. Also take a peek at the lovely Basin Harbor Club.
5. Enjoy the stately buildings of Middlebury College and take a tour of the Henry Sheldon Museum of Vermont History. 6. From Bristol, take the Lincoln Gap Road which twists and turns alongside the New Haven River and decends through the New Haven River Gorge in a series of rapids, cascades and waterfalls.
7. Woodstock, Route 100 and the White River Valley.
1. The breathtaking Quechee Gorge can be viewed from above on the bridge, or from below after a hike down to the bottom. 2. Head to the Quechee Village and see the beautiful glass work by Simon Pearse. 3. After walking around nearby downtown Woodstock, visit a working farm at the Billings farm and museum. 4. Travel to Bridgewater corners and watch the craft beer being brewed at the Long Trail Brewing Company.
5. Travel the beautiful route 100 to the Calvin Coolidge State Historic Site in Plymouth. 6. In Killington, zip up the gondola for a view from Vermont’s second highest peak. 7. Continue to Bethel and keep an eye out for the White River National Fish Hatchery. 8. End the day at the Silver Lake State Park and jump off the dam which makes a great diving board.
8. Northern Vermont Lakes.
1. Gaze at the Lake Memphremagog from St. Mary, Star of the Sea Roman Catholic Church which is perched on a hilltop in Newport. 2. Head to Derby and spot the elk at the Cowtown Elk Ranch. 3. Take in the tiny town of Morgan and head to Seymour Lake.
4. Stop at the public beach at the Willoughby State Forest. 5. For spectacular views, plan a hike up Mount Pisgah. 6. Head toward Barton and visit Chrystal Lake and the Chrystal Lake State Park. 7. Visit the Old Stone House Museum in Brownington.
It has been said that the meaning of life is to enjoy the passage of time. If this is true, then these are a few good ways to do it!