Woodstock Vermont Area Activities & Attractions
VERMONT FALL FOLIAGE
Woodstock Vermont is renown worldwide for fall colors. Hence, Fall is the time of year visitors flock to Vermont. Because, visitors want to see Vermont’s extensive hardwood forests turn into blazing swaths of oranges, reds, and yellows. Moreover, everybody wants to experience “peak,” the moment when the majority of trees in any particular area are at their most colorful. But, as with most things involving nature, finding “peak,” is illusive. The reason it’s illusive is because color change is a moving target. It moves from north to south, and from higher to lower elevations during the season. This progression of color change begins about mid-September and runs through the first two or three weeks of October.
Actually, the Columbus Day weekend is a good time to visit the Woodstock Vermont area. Because this time of year often exhibits excellent fall colors. But be sure and make lodging reservations far in advance. Importantly, apart from the time of year, the best way to find that breath-taking fall colors view is to drive around. Because, Vermont’s priceles scenery surrounds its network of lightly traveled back country roads that wind up and down among the hill farms and river valleys. In addition, we know local routes that produce stunning displays, and we are happy to share them with you.
Woodstock Vermont is the quintessential New England Village. Indeed, the Ladies Home Journal magazine named Woodstock “The Prettiest Small Town in America.” However, Woodstock is but one of Vermont’s historic downtowns cited by the World Travel and Tourism Council as premiere vacation destinations. Woodstock is an example of Vermont’s appreciation for its unique local businesses, historic architecture, rich cultural and social activities, and a strong sense of community. Importantly, Woodstock also showcases Vermont’s efforts to help preserve the traditional settlement patterns, quality farmland, and the natural and cultural landscape .
Hence, Woodstock Vermont welcomes you. Peruse the quaint shops and galleries scattered around downtown Woodstock. Explore the town, go up and down staircases, down alleys, and along hidden side streets. Or, drive through the surrounding countryside. It’s filled with surprise. Because, you find wonderful farm scenes, historic inns and country stores around every corner. Wave to passerbys. Traditional hospitality is still an everyday practice in Woodstock Vermont.
Nearby Killington Resort is an all-season resort. It’s winter activities include skiing, and tubing. While, it’s summer activities include golf, mountain biking, hiking, and the Adventure Center with a zip-line, ropes course, roller coaster, jump tower, and more.
Nearby, the Long Trail Brewery produces a variety of first-class craft brews. Actually, visit the brew pub and take a self-guided tour of the brewery. After that, pick a table on the outside patio alongside the Ottauquechee River. Then order something appealing from the pub menu, and sample some of the many varieties of excellent craft brews. Relax, and soak up Vermont. Watch the world go by. The surrounding hillsides are especially beautiful in autumn. But before leaving, stock up on your favorite brew, and get everybody a T-shirt at the gift shop
CALVIN COOLIDGE HISTORIC SITE
Vermont boasts a rich historical heritage. For example, this heritage ranges from precontact encampments, to pivotal Revolutionary War sites, to the private homesteads of U.S. Presidents. Indeed, one such private homestead is the birthplace of Calvin Coolidge. Actually, you can tour this Plymouth Notch historic village where, in 1872, Calvin Coolidge was born and grew up. He became President of the United States in 1923. Sworn in by his father in the family homestead’s sitting room. Moreover, visit nearby Notch Cemetery. The final resting place for Calvin Coolidge, his wife Grace, and seven generations of his family.
This remarkable Woodstock Vermont working dairy farm reflects a striking glimpse of a grand era. Because, visitors get an introduction to the oddly interesting history of scientific farming. Fredrick Billings created this extraordinary farm. The same man credited with completing the Northern Pacific Railroad. Accordingly, Billings, Montana carries his name. Most importantly, his 19th-century dairy farm employed scientific breeding methods for its Jersey cows. It’s also renown for its fine architecture, especially the gabled 1890 Victorian farmhouse. Hence, a farm tour is a must. In addition to hands-on demonstrations of farm activities, and exhibits of farm life, visit an heirloom kitchen garden, and active milking barns.
Woodstock Vermont visitors line up to tour the elaborate M-BR Victorian mansion. Most importantly, don’t miss these tour. Or, you can just stroll around the network of carriage roads that amble through the forested Park grounds. Either way, Marsh-Billings Rockefeller National Park is a jewel in Woodstock’s crown. Besides, it contains one of the oldest professionally managed woodlands in the nation.
Quechee Gorge is a venerable attraction that has reliably awed viewers for decades. Imagine the sheer power of the glacial runoff that carved the 165-foot gorge some 13,000 years ago. It was dramatic in the extreme. In addition, the engineering of a wooden rail trestle built in 1875 to span the chasm is equally impressive.
Visit the downstairs workshop and watch glassblowers and potters create a line of original designs from start to finish. Additionally, the Simon Pearce glass workshop also includes a restaurant, a retail store, easy parking, and free admission.
The Montshire Museum of Science is hands-on. Specifically, it features dozens of interactive exhibits relating to the natural and physical sciences, ecology, and technology. Moreover, the museum sits on a 110-acre site near the Connecticut River, and its outdoor environment is a large part of the visitor experience. For example, Science Park is a two-acre exhibit area in a beautiful, park-like setting. In addition, the museum’s grounds include a network of easy-to-moderate walking trails for visitors of all ages and fitness levels.
Do you enjoy wildlife? If yes, then visiting VINS is a must for such Woodstock Vermont visitors. Actually, VINS original mission was to rehabilitate injured raptors. For this reason, VINS houses some two dozen species of birds of prey. These raptors have been injured and rehabilitated, but can no longer survive in the wild. Indeed, the winged residents typically include bald eagles, great horned owls, peregrine falcons, saw-whet owls, and an array of hawks. In addition, walking trails, an elevated forest-canopy platform, and programs about other local wildlife are also featured.
If history fascinates you, learn about the machinery and tools that changed the world. Importantly, precision manufacturing touches us all. Without it, there’d be no mass communication, rapid transportation, modern standards of sanitation and medical care, or abundant food and clothing. And did you know that the tools and the methods which make mass production possible were pioneered at the Robbins & Lawrence Armory in Windsor, Vermont? Actually, Robbins & Lawrence invented a new manufacturing process known as the American System. Therefore, across America, due to this invention, a powerful machine tool industry developed. Hence, even in today’s age of plastics and microprocessors, the precision manufacturing process, invented at Robbins & Lawrence, defines the worldwide foundation for modern industry.
VERMONT’S SCENIC BYWAYS
October Country Inn sits at the heart of where Vermont’s Route 4 and Route 100 scenic byways intersect. Therefore, this intersection is called the “Crossroad of Vermont Byway.” The east-west route, a scenic byway along Route 4, displays a unique glimpse into the many qualities that define Vermont. A drive along this route reveals hundreds of scenic views, including a look into Vermont’s industrial history with marble and milling.
Then, crossing Route 4, the north-south Vermont Route 100 Scenic Byway follows the edge of the Green Mountains. These impressive mountains surround serene river valleys, lakes, and meadows. Not surprisingly, this unique corridor provides a wealth of recreational and scenic opportunities. Consequetly, this is what make’s Woodstock Vermont and surroundings so appealing, particularly during the fall foliage season.
Nestled in the heart of the Green Mountains, Ben and Jerry’s factory tours are fun and educational. Indeed, visitors 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.
Do you like cheese? The Vermont Cheese Trail is a network of 41 Vermont cheese makers, scattered throughout the state. And these cheese makers produce over 150 varieties of award winning artisan and farmstead cheese. For instance, in the Woodstock Vermont area alone, visit the Thistle Hill Farm, Plymouth Artisan Cheese, Crowley Cheese, Cobb Hill Farm, Springbrook Farm, or the Woodcock Farm.
KING ARTHUR BAKING CLASSES
Learn baking tips and techniques from a pro. Nearby King Arthur Flour Baking Education Center offers a variety of baking demonstrations or classes. For example, there are classes for children, or adults that are yearning to bake their first loaf of bread. Or, learn the secret to tender, flaky pie crust. Additionally, 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.
Covered bridges are short, long, red, white, brown, open, closed, with windows or without. And they are scattered throughout Vermont. Importantly, these bridges were covered for protection from the elements. But builders weren’t trying to protect people. They were trying to protect the bridges themselves. Therefore, the easily replaced enclosures protected the more complicated and expensive structural members. Actually, America’s longest covered bridge, spanning the Connecticut River, is in nearby Windsor. Or, locally, Quechee has one, Hartland has two, West Windsor has three, and Woodstock Vermont has four. To find out exactly where these bridges are, see this List of Covered Bridges in Vermont.
All aboard! During the Fall, the Green Mountain Railways operates a train excursion to the Montshire Museum from White River Junction. This excursion, the White River Flyer, makes 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 many of the finest crafts people in the country. Not suprisingly, there are more artisans and artists per capita here than any other state. Maybe, it because the unusual beauty of Vermont’s countryside and the solitude and peace found here nurture the creative spirit. Either way, Vermont’s community of 1500 professional crafts people includes quilters, printmakers, potters, furniture makers, metal workers, weavers, and glassblowers. And Woodstock Vermont has many local artisans to visit.
The Hood Museum of Art is one of the oldest and largest college museums in the country. And it is located on the Dartmouth College campus in nearby Hanover, NH. Impressively, its 40,000 square foot post-modern building includes ten main galleries. Also, one of the greatest treasures of the Dartmouth College collection is found nearby painted on the walls of the downstairs reserve corridor in the Baker Library. This 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. Because, this granite quarry is known worldwide as the source of Barre granite, and for the quality of craftsmanship that goes into producing Barre granite products. Further, 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, unique memorials.
The Shelburn Museum contains one of the nation’s most eclectic collections of art, Americana, architecture, and artifacts. For example, this museum consists of thirty-nine galleries and exhibition structures. On display are over 150,000 objects spanning four centuries. You will find outstanding collections of folk art, decorative arts, tools, toys, textiles, and transportation vehicles. There are also original paintings by artists such as Monet, Manet, Cassatt, Degas, Andrew Wyeth, Thomas Cole, Winslow Homer, Grandma Moses, and many others. Moreover, 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.