Under an hour or so…
You can get to just about every popular destination in Vermont from Brandon in an hour or so. This makes Brandon ideal as your home base “Hub” for exploring all parts of Vermont in easy day trips.
Your choices below are organized by what is in or near Vermont’s popular cities and towns.
(via Route 7 North thru Shelburne, Charlotte)
This trip highlights mainly what is right on Route 7 between Brandon and Burlington.
Burlington’s Church Street
Pedestrian only shopping area
Lake Champlain Chocolates
Right in Burlington, tours offered
Most items discounted
Frog Hollow Art Center
The state supported shop right on Church Street
Vermont’s most famous museum, so large your admission ticket is valid for 2 days!
On the left just near the museum
Check their web site for public dining times
The Vermont Teddy Bear Company
The home office/factory; tours available
Watch for the sign on the left as you travel through Charlotte, a huge nursery with concentration on landscape plants, shrubs, and trees. Get their catalog
Green Haven Nursery
On the right in New Haven (Rte 7) much smaller than Horsford, but a delightful abundance of common and unusual annuals and perennials
Bacon and hams, maple syrup, good selection of Vermont-theme books; known for their mail order business
Magic Hat Brewing
Watch for the signs as you enter Burlington, one of VT’s premier craft brewers
Essex Outlet Shopping
If you’re in the mood for outlets
Learn the story of the African American experience in VT
Switchback Brewing Co.
You’ll find this brew on tap all over the state, SO good!
(via Route 7 South thru Wallingford, Clarendon Springs, Dorset, and Weston)
This trip south of Brandon on Route 7 to Manchester list includes several stops off the main road, but they are unique and worthy of a visit.
The Hildene Estate
The Lincoln Home in Vt, now an elegant museum
Independent bookseller of the year recently, you must stop here. Books, coffee bar, café, gifts, kids collection, even self-publishing services
An old-style Italian grocery store; makes his own mozzarella every day – just the best in the state
Vermont Kitchen Supply
The parent company of the smaller outlet store here in Brandon. Piles of stuff!
Old local company known for its wood products especially for the cook/kitchen. This is more than an outlet store as it is a terrific kitchen store and even offers classes.
She used to own the Dorset Inn and this little take-out shop offers fine fare and a lovely garden in which to enjoy your lunch. Worth finding.
Handmade in Vermont
On Rte. 7 in Wallingford (on right after the lights) this shop is a magnificent old stone blacksmith building that is a must see; also the largest area showroom for Hubbardton Forge lighting fixtures
First right turn after the lights in Wallingford; the best ham and bacon I’ve ever tasted. Look for the “Better Than Ends” in the freezer case- great for soups and chowders
1820 House of Antiques
In Danby but well worth the detour
Vermont’s famous summer stock playhouse and lucky for you it’s right near the Vermont Country Store, the iconic country store.
Vermont Country Store
Yes, this is the place that the catalog comes from. This is the flagship store and has the most impressive sampling area for shelf stable Vt-made foods and cheeses
Woodstock and Quechee
(via 100South and Killington, Bridgewater)
A trip to Vermont should include a trip to Woodstock. It is an almost perfect small town except that everything is so well maintained that it seems a bit over the top. I call it the “Nantucket of Vermont”
On the way off Route 4; look up and see the ski trails. One of Vermont’s best ski resorts
Long Trail Brewery
On Rte 4 in East Bridgewater. The tour is a bit disappointing, but the restaurant and the beer are not! I love their samplers served with the glasses resting in old muffin tins
Shackleton Furniture/ Miranda Thomas Pottery
True craftsman-made furniture that begs your visit. Located in the old mill building in Bridgewater right on Rte.4.
Calvin Coolige Birthplace
A little bit beyond Woodstock but a fine tribute to Vermont’s president and worth the detour for history buffs.
Billings Farm and Museum
Old established visitor favorite and rich with programming, especially at the holidays
On Rte.4, there is a parking lot just before the gorge. Take the time to walk out on the bridge to get the best view; you can also hike down if you wish
VINS Nature Center
A unique center that cares for injured birds and returns them to the wild.
Simon Pearce Glass
This is wedding gift quality glass! You can watch the glass-blowing and there is a “seconds” store. Great restaurant for lunch too overlooking the river.
Right in downtown Woodstock shopping area; all artisan made; fine work in glass, wood, jewelry, clothing, and more.
The Woodstock Inn
Check out the fireplace and the floor lamps in the lobby. Also a good choice for lunch.
The Vermont Country Store may have the name, but this is the country general store to end all. Travel its maze of rooms and explore its quirky combo of stock; Right downtown across from Bentley’s Restaurant since 1886
Woodstock Farmers’ Market
More of an upscale farmstand, but they have so much and it is so well displayed it’s hard to leave there empty-handed. It’s on the right just before you get into the downtown proper
Scotland by the Yard
I remember stopping here (in the old location) in 1980. All merchandise is Scottish and they still sell tartans by the yard.
King Arthur Flour Factory Store
Located beyond Quechee in Norwich. If you came all the way to Quechee, then you might consider the extra time to take in the King Arthur store. They recently built an even bigger store with bakery, café, kitchen ware and baking tools and supplies- and the largest selection of King Arthur flours and mixes you can imagine.
(via 73West toward New York state)
This is a shorter loop to the west of Brandon toward Lake Champlain and NY. You could combine it with a direct route to Burlington.
Basin Harbor Club
A small private resort with its own fly-in field and golf course that is done in the “genuine Yankee” fashion.. Lunch open to the public
Lake Champlain Maritime Museum
Conveniently located right next to Basin Harbor Club.
Large family-owned orchard that has great apple-picking in Sept/Oct along with a “store”. I may be biased, but they absolutely have the best HoneyCrisp apples ever!
Nearby to Champlain Orchards, smaller, and probably better U-pick pricing
Dead Creek Wildlife Management Area
Famous for its fall gatherings of Canada geese
Across the lake in NY. Take the Fort Ti Ferry (runs 3x/hour) and enjoy. Privately managed with daily programs/reenactments.
Just another great little Vermont town. The oldest “chartered” city in the state. For lunch find your way to the Black Sheep Bistro or The Laundry (really a French bakery/cafe)
(via Route 100 North thru Rochester, Warren, and Waitsfield)
This day trip is one of the best foliage trips as Route 100 has long been considered the best foliage drive. The road travels north/south through the mountains and the mountains and trees rise right next to the road. Midweek it’s not that crowded, but foliage weekends it can be busy.
Good, plain food; soda fountain; attached gift shop. Need I say more
Sandy’s Books and Bakery Café
One of my favorites. New and used books; great bakery(organic)/café; some outside seating in season; pick up a few books to browse while you eat.
Green Mountain Bikes
In business over 25 years and now even making bikes. Rentals and repairs. Ask for Doon, the owner (also a Rochester Select Board member).
Big Town Gallery
You’ll be astonished at the quality in this “small town” gallery.
Warren Country Store
Eclectic mix of merchandise; lunch too.
On Rte100 in Waitsfield. My favorite tabletop shop in VT. Also cookbooks, knives, pots and pans, small appliances, and a beautiful demo kitchen for classes including custom classes.
Right on Route 100, look for their large store and taste Vermont’s most famous and prize-winning cheeses.
Ben and Jerry’s
The most popular tourist destination in Vermont! Enjoy the factory tour with samples of what’s being made that day, but you may have to wait on line a bit.