This past weekend Jay and I took a day off work and road tripped to Vermont! We spent two days in Montpelier and one day in Burlington before returning home. Vermont is such a peaceful, relaxing destination and we took advantage of that atmosphere by keeping our plans fairly simple. Check out my full recap below! (I realized it’s been almost a year since my last regular trip recap – San Francisco!). Time to get some more vacations on the calendar : )
Since we left home before noon, we arrived in Montpelier just in time for dinner. First though, we had to check out our AirBnB! This was our first experience with staying in someone’s home, so I’ll admit to being a bit nervous about how it would play out. We booked a stay in a beautiful Victorian house. The entire second floor was ours to use and included two bedrooms, a bathroom, and a living room with a mini kitchenette. Ironically, the owners also scheduled a vacation so they were gone both days we stayed.
The house is located in a quaint neighborhood within walking distance of downtown Montpelier. I just love walking to and from the main street rather than getting in a car and driving. It hopefully helps with all the Mexican food and pizza we ate too!
Although it’s not exactly large, Montpelier’s downtown district is full of charming shops and restaurants. Our first night we stopped at Julio’s Cantina for margaritas, beer, and tacos. Sitting outside enjoying our dinner was the perfect way to relax after a long drive.
The following morning brought a steady rain, so we drove out to Cabot, Vermont for an (indoor!) tour of the Cabot Cheese Factory. For $3 a person, you get a very informative and fascinating look at the cheese making process. They were making Pepperjack Chedder Cheese when we visited, so we actually got to view the start to finish process.
By the time we got back to Montpelier, the rain tapered off so we searched for a lunch spot. Thanks to a well placed sign, we found Philamena’s. It is a tiny restaurant that serves made from scratch food. We split a delicious Mozzarella, Tomato, Pesto Panini and an omelette. Afterward I wanted to check out the shops along Main St and State St. In particular, the book stores and kitchen store caught my eye : ) I’ll admit I’m spoiled from my library book sales, though. When you’re used to spending $1-$2 per book, everything priced at $7 or more seems quite pricey! I still walked away with a few treasures, of course. Some habits never die.
We killed some time enjoying cable TV at the house before heading back into town for drinks at the Three Penny Taproom. Their selection of draft and bottled beers is impressive. I enjoyed both my hard cider and pilsner. Since drinking and pizza go so well together, we ate dinner at The Blue Stone pizzeria. It seems every restaurant uses fresh, local ingredients and I swear you can tell the difference. Everything we ate tasted amazing!
Ben & Jerry’s + Hiking
Saturday morning started with a trip to the Ben & Jerry’s factory!!! This was my primary reason for wanting to visit Vermont : ) $4 gets you through the factory doors and on a half hour long tour that ends with a sizable ice cream sample! Lucky for us, the flavor of the day was Milk and Cookies. Sooo goood. I literally bought a pint of it as soon as we got home on Sunday. (Ok ok, it was on sale at my grocery store so I couldn’t resist!) We stopped in Waterbury for a quick brunch before heading out to Camel Hump Park.
Part of the reason we waited until summer to visit Vermont was the availability of hiking. During the off-season, lots of trails and access points are closed. From the main trail head at Camel’s Hump it’s a 3 mile fairly difficult hike to the peak. We ended up turning around after a mile and a half since we were planning to drive out to Burlington. I would love to return some day and plan to do the entire trail. I’m sure the views are stunning.
Our first stop in Burlington was the Lake Champlain Chocolate factory. I’m sure you’ve realized by now there were lots of food related stops on this vacation. Shouldn’t surprise you one bit! Throughout the week you can see their chocolate making in progress, but on Saturdays and Sundays they just offer free samples : ) It was a cute display and we tried four different types of chocolate – all delicious!
Afterward we drove a few miles up the road to check out downtown Burlington. To our surprise, Burlington has a whole pedestrian only street lined with restaurants and boutique shops. I also love that there’s outdoor seating everywhere! Of course we found a bookstore, where I picked up yet another book. We took advantage of the lovely weather and sat outside at a pizza place for drinks, appetizers, and ultimately dinner. Check out the size of that bowl of cheese sauce!! I seriously considered taking the rest of it home with us hehe.
The next morning featured delicious cinnamon buns at our hotel’s free breakfast! One of the few benefits of staying at a Holiday Inn Express. Since we had a long drive home, we got on the road early and set off for home. That concludes another fun weekend getaway!