- File: James Buck
- Iapetus wines at Shelburne Vineyard
Every week through mid-October, Seven Days presents "Vermonting," a new column of curated excursions in all corners of our great (but not so large) state. Indeed, Vermont's diminutive size makes a multitude of short trips accessible, whether for a few hours, an overnight or a longer getaway.
Find three sample itineraries below, and read more detailed travelogues here. Before you hit the road for any of these destinations, read up on their current COVID-19 policies. And visit sevendaysvt.com/vermonting-maps to download a map of these locations straight to your mobile device!
Discover the Grandeur of Granite in Barre
- Pamela Polston
- "Culmination" sculpture by Sean Williams
From the downtown Art Stroll to the famous Hope Cemetery, this trip to Barre is rife with granite sculptures. That's no coincidence; in its heyday, the Granite City was considered the granite capital of the world. The 19th- and early 20th-century industry attracted thousands of immigrant stone carvers, primarily from Italy but also from Scotland, Greece, Lebanon, Canada and elsewhere. That influx made Barre Vermont's most diverse city, injected its politics with color and created a community uniquely devoted to visual arts.
Find your bearings downtown on the Art Stroll. This streetscape sculpture walk highlights Barre's granite history and celebrates the talents of its past and present stone carvers. Download a map at studioplacearts.com/art-stroll.
Shop for antiques at Grakles, which has been in business for 18 years. The inventory, mainly from 60 consignors, includes all kinds of old things: tools, books, jewelry, oddities and objets d'art.
Pick up lunchtime provisions at Rickie's Indian Restaurant, a South Barre takeout spot that occupies the back of a Shell gas-station convenience store. Ask for the mango chicken to go, then stop for dessert (chocolate!) at Delicate Decadence.
Picnic at Hope Cemetery, a veritable outdoor museum covering 65 acres and holding more than 10,000 gravestones. They have the pale gray of granite in common, but their styles vary dramatically, from stolid rectangles with elegantly chiseled names to a miniature race car.
Hit the Millstone Trails. This network of recreational trails encompasses 1,500 acres of scenic terrain. Walk or mountain bike among historic quarries, keeping physical distancing in mind.
- File: Jeb Wallace-Brodeur
- The Miranda room at the Reynolds House
Rest your head at the Reynolds House. Staying overnight? This inn has a long history dating back to 1892. Its carefully restored guest rooms merge Victorian-era décor with modern-day comforts.
Be Charmed by the Farm in Shelburne
Those who live in urban Chittenden County don't have to travel far to find grassy expanses — and cows! Just seven miles south of Burlington, Shelburne offers a refreshing taste of small-town life within Vermont's most populous region. Plan your day around a visit to Shelburne Farms. The 1,400-acre working farm, forest and National Historic Landmark has kept its walking trails available to the public, its website states, "as a place to seek solace, comfort, and connection to the natural world."
- Carolyn Fox
- Shelburne Farms
Get out to pasture at Shelburne Farms. Place an order in advance at the Welcome Center for curbside pickup of a few key picnic items: the farm's own cheddars and a rustic loaf from on-site O Bread bakery. Then take your ploughman's lunch out into the field. Ten miles of trails afford views of farm animals and the lake.
View garden-inspired art at Furchgott Sourdiffe Gallery. Kate Longmaid's "Return to the Garden" exhibition, on view through July 10, features gouache garden paintings and floral still lifes. The gallery is open to one party at a time.
Stock up on reading material at the Flying Pig Bookstore. Order some fresh titles in advance, then collect your pages through the indie bookshop's cute pickup window.
Sip wine in the sunshine at Shelburne Vineyard. Make reservations for a patio or lawn seating, then kick back and taste winemaker Ethan Joseph's award-winning ferments, offered by the glass or bottle.
- File: James Buck
- A meal at Peg & Ter's
Share, Graze, Devour and Indulge at Peg & Ter's. The casual restaurant (which divides its menu according to the aforementioned verbs) is open for limited indoor and outdoor seating, as well as takeout. Try a summery watermelon salad and the crispy chicken sammie.
Extend your visit at the Heart of the Village Inn. The top-rated B&B is located in a stately Queen Anne Victorian built in 1886, conveniently located along Route 7.
Connect With History and Nature in Hubbardton
- Pamela Polston
- Taconic Mountains Ramble vista
This journey winds toward the Taconic Mountains Ramble, a newish state park in Hubbardton that's just a hop from the oldish Hubbardton Battlefield. The Ramble became a state park in 2016, a gift from the estate of landowners Carson "Kit" Davidson and his wife, Mickie. The New York City couple ultimately purchased more than 400 acres and devotedly tended the property for 46 years, blazing trails and preserving meadows at the foot of Mount Zion.
Stop for sandwiches at Pratt's Store in Bridport (if traveling from the north). There are more than a dozen specialty sandwiches here, each named for past or current employees. Try the Betty's Bomb: turkey, bacon, avocado, Swiss and pesto on white bread.
Picnic at Hubbardton Battlefield State Historic Site. The monument represents one of the first efforts in the country to establish and preserve a Revolutionary War site as a historic artifact. The June 7, 1777, battle is considered "one of the most successful rear-guard actions in American history," according to a website for state historic sites.
- Pamelia Polston
- Wright Choice Alpacas farm
Wander the trails at Taconic Mountains Ramble. The place feels both Zen-like and agrestal. Explore the hills, ponds and Japanese-inspired garden, and soak up the sun while sitting in an Adirondack chair.
Snuggle a cute camelid at Wright Choice Alpacas in Castleton. The business motto here: "Happiness is a cute alpaca." And it's true. Mingling with these long-necked creatures can make you forget, for a moment, the troubles of our human herd.
Cool off with ice cream from lu•lu in Vergennes. The artisan ice cream shop makes flavors ranging from green tea to salted caramel to curried peanut butter.
Spend the night at the Strong House Inn. Built in 1834, the Vergennes inn is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, noted for its classic and well-preserved New England architecture.