Vermont is known as a winter playground. People come from far and wide to enjoy the prime skiing, sledding, and other winter time sports. However, there is another time of year that brings people to the state.
As summer fades into fall, the air becomes crisper, and the leaves begin to change from green to brilliant reds, oranges and yellows. So many people travel to areas in Vermont to catch a peek at the amazing foliage that the locals have given them a nick name, leaf peepers. When most towns are coming down from their busy tourist season, small towns throughout Vermont are gearing up for a second wind. One would think the first weekend of fall was a holiday weekend. For Vermonters, in a way it is.
One area in particular that gets visitors year round is Waterbury . With its convenient location off of Interstate 89 and proximity to Stowe, Montpelier, Burlington, and the Mad River Valley it is the perfect place to stay while you experience Vermont. Waterbury’s location offers short drives to many different attractions, but the little town boasts a few of its own as well.
Right in town you can start your morning at Cold Hollow Cider Mill. On weekdays you can see the old fashioned rack and cloth press in action making their delicious fresh cider! Don’t forget to try a sample and maybe buy some to take home! Their shop offers many different and unique Vermont made food and products. And you can’t forget about the Cider donuts made fresh throughout the day at the mill, these can’t be missed!
The other major attraction of Waterbury that draws visitors in from near and far throughout the year is the Ben & Jerry’s Factory. This is great for families with kids of all ages. It is even fun for adults who simply love Ben & Jerry’s ice cream! Take the 30-minute tour and learn how Ben & Jerry’s got started, if you are lucky you can see the factory come alive while the workers make the delicious flavors. Try a free sample, then head to the gift shop for ice cream and Vermont themed merchandise. Don’t forget to head up to the Flavor Graveyard before you leave!
Waterbury has a wide variety of restaurant options for the weary traveler as well. From fine dining to southern barbecue to a place that has thirty-seven beers on tap, there is something for everyone! A few places in particular stand out. For a casual and intimate meal try Maxi’s, be prepared to wait for a table as it seems to be a local favorite. But, with local ingredients and friendly staff it’s worth the wait! If good old, fairly genuine southern barbecue is what you are craving head over to the Cider House BBQ & Pub. The Cider House has down home favorites such as, pulled pork and brisket as well as seasonal options like, pumpkin bisque. They also offer a wide variety of hard ciders on tap, why not try a sampler? Lastly, if you want to experience the local pub environment with good food and plenty of beer choices, go to The Reservoir. Their claim to fame is the thirty-seven beers they have on tap, it’s the more than any other place in the state! Many of these are made in Vermont. The options are constantly changing, so don’t forget to check out their current beer list. They also offer great pub food options, like cheese burgers and cheddar ale steak! Try their wings grilled instead of fried if you want a taste you will remember!
The main type of lodging you’ll find in Vermont is the quaint bed and breakfast. Now, there are a lot of stereotypes about B&B’s that tend to scare people off. Some of those are probably true. But one place in particular that, other than having a terrific breakfast every morning, doesn’t live up to any of them is the Grunberg Haus. This quaint inn is set off Route 100. Up on a hill and in the trees, one can forget that the road is a mere 600 feet away. The Grunberg Haus is an Austrian style inn that has nine rooms, two suites, and three Vermont forest cabins. The inn is open year round, but the cabins are only open from late May to the end of October. This inn is perfect for a romantic and relaxing time away from everyday life.
The small town of Waterbury is located close by to many different places, but just staying in town can make for a great weekend getaway. Next time you get the hankering to visit the Vermont area, keep it in mind! You’ll find its fun for the whole family!