72 Hours in Vermont
Vermont is one of the premier outdoor destinations in the United States, thanks to its Green Mountain State identity. But it doesn’t stop at skiing, trails, and fresh air—Vermont also has a vibrant food and drink scene, and plenty of artisanal makers and growers. Here’s how to spend a long weekend in Vermont.
An excellent homebase in non-negotiable, no? There are plenty of charming inns, B&Bs, and farm stays to explore, but if you love a great hotel like we do, book a few nights at Hotel Vermont in downtown Burlington near Lake Champlain. The rooms and suites combine natural textures and charming touches, and the hospitality vibe is all about enjoying the best the state has to offer. And if you really want that on-site morning meal, book the available bed and breakfast package.
Hang around Burlington for dinner, and see how many choices this culinary city has to offer. But we insist that you pop in and see our friends at indie wine shop Dedalus Wine Bar and browse the market, do a tasting, book a table for dinner, and generally soak up the atmosphere of an honestly excellent wine and food merchant.
For many visitors, Vermont equals skiing and that means Stowe Mountain. The first lift started spinning on Mount Mansfield in February 1937, and outdoor enthusiasts still enjoy the heritage of this classic American ski destination.
While in town, you can make an appearance (again) at Dedalus Wine Bar’s location in Stowe (look at you, becoming a regular). Check before you go, but if you’re around at the right time on weekend evenings, do après-ski at Dedalus with Alpine wines, fondue, and warm and cozy dishes.
If you seek an unique ski experience, look into Mad River Glen co-op in Waitsfield, America’s only skier-owned major mountain. Or if you aren’t into skiing at all, spend part of the day at Ben & Jerry’s in Waterbury taking a factory tour—but check the website first; there have been special restrictions during the pandemic. Another option is to grab a beer at The Alchemist in Stowe and just chill for a bit.
For dinner, enjoy Hen of the Wood in Waterbury or the location in Burlington right next to Hotel Vermont. This restaurant highlights local ingredients sourced within a very short distance from the kitchens. They look for growers, artisans, designers, ranchers, bakers, wild crafters, and many more Vermont-based producers to offer the freshest and most interesting experience possible.
Wake up to a brew from The Cosmic Grind in Burlington, where they only source organic and environmentally responsible coffee. It’s located in the Church Street Marketplace where you can also walk, browse, and shop.
Then head south to Vergennes, Vermont's first and smallest city—just two square miles of small town charm. On the way there, stop at Shelburne Farms— if its warm enough, enjoy the walking trails. There’s a seasonal inn, restaurant, and curbside farm market, so call ahead and see if those are open. The farm campus also offers classes, with an up-to-date schedule maintained online.
When you get to Vergennes, grab a bite or an afternoon espresso at Vergennes Laundry where you can also find unique and tasty treasures at the épicerie. Book a table at Black Sheep Bistro where they make the most tempting dishes in a welcoming atmosphere.
It wouldn’t a trip to Vermont without checking out a co-op, and one of our favorites is right in Burlington. City Market Co-op has incredible items for sale and interesting events, and you’ll be sure to head home with some fabulous ideas for your own home kitchen.
On your last day in Vermont, check out the town of Middlebury, which was settled just after the Revolutionary War and boasts a village on the National Register of Historic Places. Here you’ll also find a National Recreation Trail that commemorates Robert Frost’s poetry.
Vermont is esteemed for winter purity, but every season is lovely in the Green Mountain State. You’ll have no shortage of ways to enjoy the setting all year, but always call ahead to get the best experience of what’s offered and available during your visit. Enjoy!