When booking weekend getaways, many of us stick to traveling within our own province or state… Sometimes mistaking familiarity with proximity, and as a result, overlooking destinations with so much to offer. With that being said, I ventured to Vermont for a mini weekend adventure and quickly fell in love with the locals and landscapes. I wanted to pass some of that magic forward for planning your perfect Vermont weekend. I’ve assembled some parts of my itinerary during this time to help inspire your next trip to the green mountain state!
The first stop is the Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe. If the winding drive through the woods and mountains doesn’t leave you speechless, the grounds of the resort will. Blooming with wildflowers and friendly faces, the plot of land is surrounded by fields and mountains on every side.
Though booking an overnight stay at the lodge is an option, you can sign up for activities on the grounds as well. With that being said, I would recommend joining the yoga class as early as possible. After all, there’s nothing quite like an outdoor yoga class overlooking stunning scenery after a long drive. After the yoga class, going to see the Highland cows is also really special. Here, a guide walks with you through the fields until you find the cows grazing together.
In the afternoon, drive down to the Waterbury Reservoir and enjoy some time in the water. This is a peaceful place to rest in the sun or swim to your heart’s content! Lastly, although I booked a site at a nearby campground, I would recommend trying to stay at the lodge for one evening! Even if only to watch the Sound of Music in one of the rooms before going to sleep.
On a three-day trip, I usually like to leave the middle section for the most adventurous and strenuous activities. With that being said, Saturdays are for hiking! With an array of towering mountains to choose from, the world’s your oyster in Vermont! I chose to hike Mount Mansfield during my trip, and this is a mountain that I know I will keep coming back to. Although I did not hike the 12.4km loop trail starting near Underhill, this is what I will be doing next time.
Due to a time crunch, I ended up driving up the Auto Toll Road, which takes you up about 3,850 feet. The drive is an adventure in its own right, and after parking your car, you can hike out onto the ridge, where you will find the summit. This is the highest peak in Vermont, and if the hiking doesn’t make your heart skip a beat—the view will. Although hiking up from the bottom would have felt ridiculously exhilarating, hiking different trails along the ridge is incredibly worthwhile and will keep you occupied for hours. I highly recommend exploring Sunset Ridge after hiking along the summit.
After exerting that much energy on the mountain, check out Vermont’s capital, Montpelier, to replenish some nutrients! The blackened tuna tacos at the Three Penny Taproom, in particular, are exquisite.
Having breakfast, coffee and grabbing an on-the-road snack at the Bohemian Bakery in Montpelier is a really great way to begin your last day in Vermont. Seeing locals gather for Sunday brunch is quite lovely, and there are tons of quaint shops to buy a little souvenir for yourself or a loved one.
Lastly, if you want to squeeze in one more hike before you head off, drive to the Middlesex Trail Parking lot to hike the Mount Hunger and Whiterock Mountain Loop. Before getting back in the car for the road trip home, take a refreshing dip in the nearby creeks!
By: Briahna McTigue