48 Hours in Addison County for Charm Seekers
From the sparkling snow to the extended twilight hour that paints everything a magical shade of purple-blue, there are so many things to love about winter in Vermont. So if you’re looking for a charming weekend away in one of the best places to experience this special season, look no further. Follow along for a 48-hour guide to make the most of winter in charming Addison County, Vermont.
Vermont Bed and Breakfast at the Russell Young Farm and Shoreham Inn both offer gorgeous views, comfortable rooms, and delicious food. What more could you ask for? Built in 1870 and recently renovated by an incredibly welcoming young family, Russell Young Farm boasts all the charm of an old VT farmhouse and all the luxuries you want in an inn. Enjoy their thoughtful amenities (heated towels!) and cozy up by the rustic stone fireplace with a book for the ideal evening in. Nestled between Lake Champlain and the Green Mountain Forest, Shoreham Inn has been welcoming guests for over 200 years. Their beautiful location is perfect for hiking, bird-watching, and more, and the ground floor’s rustic pub is the perfect place to unwind after a long day’s travels. Heaping with hospitality and rich history, both of these lovely spots are sure to provide your quintessential Vermont inn experience.
6:30 pm: Dinner at Fire and Ice
Start your weekend in Addison County at one of its most famously charming spots, Fire and Ice Restaurant. Celebrated for its warm, inviting atmosphere and family-owned hospitality, its vast menu has something to offer any diner. We highly recommend the Woodchuck Salad (with Woodchuck Cider-based vinaigrette) or Moose Pub Wings before an entree of their famous slow-roasted prime rib “...while it lasts!” And don’t miss dessert: with their Maple Créme Brulee, you’ll be sure to know you’re in Vermont.
9 am: Breakfast at Vergennes Laundry
Kick your weekend off with breakfast in the state’s oldest city (and one of the smallest in the country!). Sprinkled with historic buildings and classic New England charm, Main Street in Vergennes is a wonderful place to take in the scenery and fuel up for the day. With a French-inspired menu featuring delicate pastries, Turkish Eggs, and Kimchi Grilled Cheese (among other tasty treats), Vergennes Laundry offers fresh, unique dishes and a tasteful, trendy interior perfect for book-reading and picture-taking.
10:30 am: Go skating at Veterans’ Memorial Park Ice Rink
What more picturesque way to spend your first morning in VT than on Vergennes’ scenic outdoor ice rink? Pack your skates (and your knee pads) and hit the ice for a fun, active way to enjoy the beauty of the outdoors.
12pm: Stock up at Vermont Flannel Company
When in Vermont – especially at this time of year – Vermont Flannel Company is an essential stop. A family-owned business for over 25 years, this wonderful company hand-cuts and sews their double-brushed, 100% cotton Vermont Flannel™ in the USA, guaranteeing a soft and durable investment to last a lifetime. A VT staple, this adorable shop will have you bundled up and looking like a local in no time. Grab a classic flannel shirt to stay warm during your weekend in Addison County, and stock up on blankets, pajamas, and more for family and friends back home.
1 pm: Lunch at 3 Squares Café
While in Vergennes, warm up at the delicious 3 Squares Café. Let the cozy interior beckon you in, and sip on hot cocoa or coffee while you pick which dish you’re craving. With a diverse menu filled with countless tasty options, 3 Squares Café has something for every diner under the sun. Salad-lovers should try the Kale Caesar or Quinoa Tabbouleh (featuring an incredible lemon-dill vinaigrette). Those who are looking for a heartier meal should explore their wide selection of hot sandwiches – the classic Tuna Melt or the creative Fried Chicken Cobb Sandwich are sure to recharge you for the busy afternoon ahead. And there’s no wrong time for dessert, so don’t forget to snag one of their “tree-to-bar” artisan chocolate bars, organic and made of 70% Dominican Cacao.
2 pm: Shop through Bristol (& beyond)
Next, take a trip to Bristol to stock up on goodies for friends and family back home and support local artists and crafters in the process. If you’re visiting in December, this is the perfect time to check off any boxes on your holiday shopping list. Goldenrod and Jasper offers stunning, one-of-a-kind pottery and fiber arts for the art appreciators in your life (or to add some touches of Vermont to your own home). If you’re interested in other types of art, explore the diverse and unique collection of work across mediums from over 70 Vermont artists at Art on Main. Founded in 2001, this non-profit artist-cooperative gallery has been supporting local artists for over twenty years – pick up some pieces there, and you can, too. After all your gifts are bought, treat yourself to a shop well done at Farmhouse Chocolate. With creative confections made of organic, non-GMO, and soy- and corn-free ingredients and packaged right in beautiful Bristol, Farmhouse Chocolates are one sweet treat you can feel good about eating.
3 pm: Take in some local history at the Henry Sheldon Museum
Warm up and learn about Vermont’s rich history at one of America’s first history museums and the oldest community-based museum in the country. Welcoming visitors since 1884 in the heart of downtown Middlebury, the Henry Sheldon Museum is filled with countless years of Vermont history and continues to grow its collections today. Tour the lovely Judd-Harris House, built by local marble merchants in 1829 and decorated with centuries-old artifacts. Make sure to explore the current exhibits and browse through the Museum Shop to bring home a piece of VT history with you. Still looking for the perfect souvenir? Donate a brick to Sheldon Garden’s renovation and bring home a personalized souvenir brick to remind you of your visit.
6 pm: Dinner at Cubbers
Cubbers’ homey, inviting interior and comforting food makes for the perfect place to round out your first full day in Addison County. With a wide variety of house pizzas, salads, and subs and the slogan, “Pizza, Love, and Harmony,” every diner is sure to feel welcome. Pick one of their signature pizzas for the authentic Cubbers experience: The Junebug Pie (with wheat crust, pesto sauce, spinach, feta cheese, sausage, artichoke hearts, portobello mushrooms, and garlic – yum) is a fan favorite, but Ben’s Fried Chicken Pizza is hard to beat (or to find anywhere else). Our Greek Salad or the Italian Sub are perfectly satisfying options if you’re craving something lighter. No matter what you order, a night at Cubbers will have you feeling right at home in no time.
10 am: Brunch at Snap’s
Sleep in a little (you’re on vacation!) and head to Snap’s in the heart of Bristol. Located on picturesque Main Street, you’ll love watching the morning snow sparkle outside from the comfort of one of their cozy wood booths. They offer many standard breakfast staples, tasty twists on classics (cinnamon french toast, bacon apple pancakes), and eight variations of Eggs Benedict, but our recommended menu section is “Local Favorites.” Meat-eaters must try the Snap’s Corned Beef Hash, lightly sweetened with maple syrup, while vegetarians should opt for the fresh and flavorful Spinach and Herb Scramble.
12 pm: Pickup sandwiches for later at Otter Creek Bakery and Deli
With a busy afternoon ahead, you won’t have time to stop for a late lunch/early dinner later, so now’s the time to stock up. Locally beloved Otter Creek Bakery and Deli has subs, paninis, salads, and pastries to satisfy all your cravings – now and later. Try the East Coaster sandwich with crab meat salad if you’re into seafood. If you’re more into cold cuts, the West Coaster’s filled with tasty smoked turkey, avocado, sun-dried tomatoes, and more. And if you want to feel like a local, the Vermonter with Vermont chèvre, honey mustard, lettuce, tomato, and watercress will do the trick. Don’t forget to grab a cookie (or six) for the road.
2 pm: Snowshoe at Rikert Nordic Center
Step into Vermont’s stunning winter for an invigorating snowshoe through Rikert’s 55+ kilometers of meticulously maintained trails. You’ll find lovely forests and fields, babbling (or frozen) brooks, stone walls, and even poet Robert Frost’s summer cabin throughout the gorgeous terrain. Though Vermont’s winter cold deters some, those who can embrace it have the chance to experience our state at some of its best – so bundle up and bring your camera.
4 pm: Enjoy views and poetry at the Robert Frost Interpretive Trail
If you’re still up for more activity, this easy loop is just under a mile and is a wonderful, immersive way to experience Robert Frost’s poetry. Located in Ripton, where Frost taught poetry at Middlebury College’s Breadloaf School of English for forty-two years, you’ll get to enjoy his work where much of it began. Several of Frost’s poems are scattered along the trail, with the first 0.3 miles being handicap accessible and leading across a beaver pond to Middlebury River’s beautiful South Branch (find more accessible outdoor winter activities here). Make sure to follow the Leave No Trace principles to keep the trail as beautiful as you found it.
Winter is a special season no matter where you are, but Vermont truly does it best. Make plans to visit Addison County today if you’re ready to experience winter charm unlike any other!
This campaign is a product of the Addison County Marketing Partnership, including the Addison County Chamber of Commerce, Addison County Economic Development Corporation, Better Middlebury Partnership, Vergennes Partnership, and Bristol CORE, with support from a Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing, Tourism & Recovery Grant.