Woodstock Vermont Area Activities & Attractions
Vermont is renown worldwide for fall colors. That time of year when Vermont’s extensive hardwood forests turn into blazing swaths of oranges, reds, and yellows. As with most things involving nature, finding “peak”, when the majority of trees in any particular area are at their most colorful, is illusive. Color change begins about mid-September and runs through the first two or three weeks of October and varies by elevation, progressing from north to south and higher to lower elevations during the course of the season. However, in the Woodstock area, the Columbus Day weekend holiday period has proven to be a good bet for finding excellent color. Be sure and make reservations far in advance. The best way to find that breath-taking view is to drive around. Vermont contains a whole network of lightly traveled country roads that wind up and down among the hill farms and river valleys. We have found certain local routes that often produce stunning displays, and we are happy to share them with you.
Famous world-wide as the quintessential New England Village, Woodstock, Vermont has been described as “The Prettiest Small Town in America” by Ladies Home Journal magazine. Vermont’s historic downtowns are recognized by the World Travel and Tourism Council as a premiere vacation destination because of Vermont’s appreciation for the unique local businesses, historic architecture, rich cultural and social activities, and strong sense of community found in the state’s downtowns, and for Vermont’s efforts to help preserve the traditional settlement patterns, quality farmland, and the natural and cultural landscapes. In the downtown Woodstock area you’ll find quaint shops and galleries, up and down staircases, in alleys and along hidden side streets. A ride through the surrounding countryside is filled with surprises around every turn; wonderful farm scenes, historic inns and country stores where traditional hospitality is still an everyday practice.
Complete Winter and Summer Resort facilities, including: skiing, golf, alpine slides and mini-golf, and Adventure Center, mountain biking rentals and trails, zip-line, hiking, and much more!
Beer Here Now—it’s just across the street. Drop by for some free samples of the various seasonal brews (ask the bartender to set you up), buy a six-pack or T-shirt for the road at the small gift shop, and pick out something tasty from the pub menu, the many varieties of craft brews and spread out on the patio alongside the Ottauquechee River with its woodsy views. The surrounding hillsides are especially beautiful in autumn and winter.
CALVIN COOLIDGE HISTORIC SITE
Vermont boasts a rich historical heritage. Ranging from precontact encampments, to pivotal Revolutionary War sites, to the private homesteads of U.S. Presidents. The birthplace of Calvin Coolidge is one such historic site. Ten historic buildings are open in this village where, in 1872, our 30th President was born and grew up. In 1923 he was sworn in as President by his father in the sitting room of the family homestead. The President and his wife Grace are buried in the Notch Cemetery with neighbors and friends, and beside seven generations of his family.
This remarkable working farm offers a striking glimpse of a grander era, as well as an introduction to the oddly interesting history of scientific farming. This extraordinary spot was the creation of Frederick Billings, who is credited with completing the Northern Pacific Railroad. (Billings, Montana, is named after him.) The 19th-century dairy farm was once renowned for its scientific breeding of Jersey cows and its fine architecture, especially the gabled 1890 Victorian farmhouse. A tour includes hands-on demonstrations of farm activities, exhibits of farm life, a look at an heirloom kitchen garden, and a visit to active milking barns.
Visitors can tour the elaborate Victorian mansion, walk the graceful carriage roads surrounding Mount Tom, and view one of the oldest professionally managed woodlands in the nation. Mansion tours accommodate only a limited number of people; advance reservations are recommended.
Quechee Gorge is a venerable attraction that has reliably awed viewers for decades. The sheer power of the glacial runoff that carved the 165-foot gorge some 13,000 years ago must have been dramatic. Equally impressive is its engineering history: The chasm was spanned in 1875 by a wooden rail trestle.
Watch traditional teams of glassblowers and potters create a line of original designs for tabletop from start to finish. Facility includes a restaurant, a retail store, easy parking, free admission.
The Montshire Museum of Science is a hands-on museum offering dozens of exciting exhibits relating to the natural and physical sciences, ecology, and technology. The building is located on a 110-acre site near the Connecticut River, and the Museums’ outdoor environment is a large part of the visitor experience. Science Park is a two-acre exhibit area in a beautiful, park-like setting. Also outside is a network of easy-to-moderate walking trails for visitors of all ages and fitness levels.
Birders and other wildlife aficionados will enjoy a trip to VINS, newly relocated to Quechee and home to some two dozen species of birds of prey that have been injured and can no longer survive in the wild. The winged residents typically include bald eagles, great horned owls, peregrine falcons, saw-whet owls, and an array of hawks.
Explore the machinery and tools that changed the world. Precision manufacturing touches us all. Without it, we would not have the mass communication, rapid transportation, modern standards of sanitation and medical care, abundant food and clothing, or the leisure for universal education. The tools and the methods which make mass production possible were pioneered at the Robbins & Lawrence Armory in Windsor, Vermont. Using precision metal and wood cutting machines and high standards of accuracy, Robbins & Lawrence proved the effectiveness of a new type of manufacturing that would soon be known as the American System. Across America, a powerful machine tool industry grew up, flourishing especially in New England and the northern Midwest. Today, even in the age of plastics and microprocessors, the concept of precision manufacturing provides the foundation for modern industry around the world.
VERMONT’S SCENIC BYWAYS
October Country Inn is located at the heart of where the Route 4 and Route 100 scenic byways intersect. Called the “Crossroad of Vermont Byway,” the east-west Route 4 scenic byway offers our guests a unique glimpse into the many qualities that define Vermont including hundreds of scenic views, recreational opportunities, and rich example’s of the state’s industrial history in marble and milling. Crossing Route 4, the north-south Vermont Route 100 Scenic Byway follows the edge of the Green Mountains where these impressive mountains meet the serene river valleys, lakes, and meadows below. This unique corridor also provides a wealth of recreational and scenic opportunities, particularly during the fall foliage season.
Nestled in the heart of the Green Mountains, guided factory tours are both fun and educational. Guests will learn about the ice cream production process and how the Company’s 3-part mission statement is incorporated into day-to-day business decisions.
Like cheese? The Vermont Cheese Trail is a collection of 41 Vermont cheese makers, scattered throughout the state, producing over 150 varieties of award winning artisan and farmstead cheese. Locally, the Thistle Hill Farm, Plymouth Artisan Cheese, Crowley Cheese, Jericho Hill Farm, Cobb Hill Farm, Springbrook Farm, and the Woodcock Farm are part of the Vermont Cheese Trail.
KING ARTHUR BAKING CLASSES
Learn baking tips and techniques from a pro. Nearby King Arthur Flour Baking Education Center offers a variety of one day introductory baking demonstrations or classes for children, or adults that are yearning to bake their first loaf of bread, or learn the secret to tender, flaky pie crust. For more serious bakers, intensive week-long courses are offered. Or, just visit their store if you need baking supplies, kitchen equipment, or educational materials.
Short, long, red, white, brown, open, closed, with windows or without, there are covered bridges throughout Vermont. They are among our most popular attractions. Bridges were covered for protection from the elements. Not for the people crossing them, but for the bridges themselves. The easily replaced enclosures provided protection for the structural members and roadbed. America’s longest covered bridge, spanning the Connecticut River, is in nearby Windsor. Additionally, there’s one in Quechee, two in Hartland, three in West Windsor, and four in Woodstock. List of Covered Bridges in Vermont.
All aboard! A train excursion operated by Green Mountain Railways leaves the station at White River Junction and makes an exclusive stop at the Montshire Museum. During the Fall, the Flyer will usually operate three trips to the Museum each Saturday and Sunday. Check with Green Mountain Railways for schedule. Experience foliage season on the train!
Vermont is home to some of the finest crafts people in the country. It has more artisans and artists per capita than any other state. The unusual beauty of Vermont’s countryside and the solitude and peace found here nurture the creative spirit. Vermont’s community of 1500 professional crafts people includes quilters, printmakers, potters, furniture makers, metal workers, weavers, and glassblowers. There are many local artisans to visit.
The Hood Museum of Art is one of the oldest and largest college museums in the country. Located on the Dartmouth campus in nearby Hanover, NH, this 40,000 square foot post-modern building includes ten main galleries. Nearby, one of the greatest treasures of the Dartmouth College collection is found painted on the walls of the downstairs reserve corridor in the Baker Library. The ambitious mural The Epic of American Civilization, painted by the Mexican artist Jose Orozco between 1932 and 1934, consists of 24 independent panels covering 3,200 square feet.
Visit the Rock of Ages granite quarry. This granite quarry is known the world over for the durability and beauty of Barre granite and the quality of craftsmanship that goes into producing granite products. Tour the world’s largest deep-hole granite quarry, nearly 600 feet deep, and the factory. Afterwards, visit the nearby Hope Cemetery where master Italian artisans, who immigrated to Barre in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, worked the gray granite blocks into poignant memorial designs.
One of the nation’s most eclectic museums of art, Americana, architecture, and artifacts. Thirty-nine galleries and exhibition structures display over 150,000 objects spanning four centuries. Outstanding collections of folk art, decorative arts, tools, toys, textiles, and transportation vehicles are exhibited in tandem with paintings by artists such as Monet, Manet, Cassatt, Degas, Andrew Wyeth, Thomas Cole, Winslow Homer, Grandma Moses, and many others. The museum’s 25 19th-century structures include a covered bridge, a round barn, a lighthouse, and a 220-foot restored steamboat that is a National Historic Landmark.