Ryan and I enjoyed a spectacular and greatly needed weekend getaway to Vermont last weekend. As per our usual style of procrastination and indecisiveness, this vacation was largely unplanned. We basically decided for sure on Thursday evening to leave town on Friday, which resulted in frantic search for a place to stay and an itinerary for the weekend. Here is a little glimpse of our weekend and some recommendations if you are planning a weekend getaway.
1:30 PM: Dentist to Cambridge Hospital ER
As always, things never go as planned. Ryan had a dentist appointment early Friday afternoon, and we intended on leaving immediately after. However, Ryan had a little “incident” at the dentist’s office. After he was all done, he fainted and hit his head. I arrived at the scene to find an ambulance, a firetruck, and a police car at the scene. Of course, I freaked out a little. He’s okay and handled the situation so well! Going back to the hospital where I work was not something I intended on doing during vacation, but three stitches later and the man was all set to go.
10:15 PM: Waterbury, Vermont
After our little detour, we left a little later than expected. We arrived at our amazing Airbnb. We highly recommend staying with Pat and Dennis in Waterbury, Vermont. Their home is stunning and simply a masterpiece. See the listing and our review here. We arrived pretty late in the night and our day was already so eventful and exhausting that we didn’t have plans to go out. Luckily, our hosts were unbelievably hospitable and had heady topper and a pork sandwich waiting for us! How amazing is that? We nibbled in our beautiful room complete with a ladder leading to a loft.
8AM: Morning Run
Even though we are on vacation, we don’t like to skip our usual exercise regimes. It makes us feel less guilty indulging in all the local foods and drinks throughout the day. We did a very scenic, but extremely hilly (aka mountainous) 6-mile run right outside the airbnb we stayed at.
11:00AM: Farmer’s market, Burlington, VT
After our run, we headed straight to Burlington. The first place we checked out was the farmer’s market. Going to a city’s farmer’s market is a great way to check out the local foods and flavors of a city. Vermont takes there markets seriously! There were so many vendors and everything looked so delicious. We nibbled on samples and made sure to purchase some maple syrup to take home. Note: There’s $3 all day parking nearby so don’t bother with street parking.
12:30PM: Brunch at Magnolia’s Bistro
We got brunch at a popular bistro right in the heart of Burlington. Check out my Yelp review here. Overall, I was underwhelmed, but it is a good place if you are dining with a vegan or someone with a food allergy.
Huevos del Sol and Peanut Coconut Tofu Scramble
2:00PM: Church Street Marketplace
Church street marketplace is a definite must-see. It is a 4-block outdoor pedestrian shopping mall. It is a mix of local shops and more mainstream commercial shops. However, some of the shops are quite touristy and pricey.
4:00PM: Farmhouse Tap and Grill
We worked up quite the appetite with all the walking, so headed to Farmhouse for a quick snack. Check out my review here. We got one of the best veggie burgers I’ve ever eaten. It was so flavorful and I didn’t miss the meat at all. Fries were delectable as well. We washed it all down with some Hill Farmstead beers, which were phenomenal. Vermont does not play around when it comes to beer.
5:00PM: Lake Champlain
Walk to Lake Champlain and enjoy the beautiful view.
6:00PM: Couple’s Massage
We got our first couple’s massage at Absolute Wellness and Healing Spa. The ambiance was soothing. The massages were reasonably priced. With Ryan training for a marathon and me just being a resident, we definitely needed some R&R and this provided just that.
8:00PM: Prohibition Pig
Nicknamed “Pro Pig”, this hip joint is probably the main attraction of Waterbury. You can get extraordinary Vermont beers on tap and Heady Topper here. Also, their barbecue is delicious (although I think Ryan makes a better pulled pork himself). We weren’t very hungry, so we shared an entree, but when we saw the server passing by us with other people’s orders of mac and cheese, we knew we had to get one for ourselves.
10:30AM: Cold Hollow Cider Mill
Head here for a quick snack or breakfast. Nothing says fall like apple cider doughnuts! This place sells apple in every form, including donuts, cider, mustard, butter, and candles. They have cute swinging benches outside to enjoy your goodies.
11:00AM: Cabot Cheese and Lake Champlain Chocolates
The Cabot Annex Store and the Lake Champlain chocolate store are adjacent to one another. We nibbled on free samples at the annex and got “factory seconds” at Lake Champlain. As we were exiting the area, an elderly woman got hit by a car backing out of a parking spot! I never know how to react in these situations, but of course being a doctor, I responded to the scene. She was doing okay and we sent her off with the ambulance.
12:00PM: Ben and Jerry’s Factory
After responding to that accident, we felt like we deserved even more treats than we already had. A trip to Vermont isn’t complete without having Ben and Jerry’s ice cream (even though we can get their ice cream at any grocery store in New England). We skipped on the tour and just shared an ice cream cone of “coffee buzz buzz”.
1:00PM: McCarthy’s Restaurant in Stowe, Vermont
Because Ryan is training for a marathon, his appetite is basically insatiable. He was still hungry! Our hosts recommended McCarthy’s. This place has been serving residents and guests to the area for 40 years! They do a fantastic job at diner fare and their food is extremely affordable.
2:00PM: Hiking at Smuggler’s Notch
We really needed to walk off all the calories we just consumed, so we decided to go for an impromptu hike to Sterling Pond. People told us the hike was “easy”, and while the hike was only 2.2 miles, it definitely was wetter and steeper than we thought it would be! We were inappropriately dressed in jeans and our running sneakers, so I would definitely recommend proper gear to do the Sterling Pond Trail. Nonetheless, the hike was beautiful replete with scenic autumn views. Ryan got a little cranky at some points, but I’d think he’d agree that the view at the top of the hike was worth it!
4:00PM: Drive home =(
This was our itinerary when we went to Vermont. If we had more time, we could have easily spent another day or two in the area, and we probably would have made a trip to this brewery. We are planning on returning very soon. Have you been to Vermont? If so, any recommendations on what we should do next in the area?
PS. Did you know Vermont is the state with the least number of Starbucks? It only has 2 in the entire state!