If you follow me on my Instagram, then you know that we spent Thursday and Friday on a little family get-away to New Hampshire and Vermont (but mostly Vermont). You’ll also know that I was completely in awe of Vermont the entire time we were there. We have traveled to many states in our 4.5 years of marriage (thank you US Army), but Vermont is hands down the favorite state we have visited and I highly recommend making a trip.
We started our trip about 7 am since the kids all wake up early and we wanted to explore as much as possible. Thankfully we were heading opposite all the Boston traffic, so we made good time to our first National Park in New Hampshire. This was the only location in New Hampshire, but it was on the NH/VT border, so we’ll count it in our Vermont “to do” list. Saint-Gaudens is a blog post on it’s own, so check back tomorrow for that!
After the the park, we drove across the river via the cutest covered bridge, and headed to look for a place to eat. We headed towards Woodstock, and settled on Pizza Chef because we were hungry and wanted a place big enough to accommodate two high chairs and an energetic toddler. The pizza was good, but it was also a chain, so I’d recommend finding a local place if you’re going. However, we were thankful we chose Pizza Chef because immediately across the street was the visitor center for Quechee Gorge. This was not originally on our “to visit” list, but we crossed the gorge on the way to lunch and we wanted to get a better look. It’s know as the “Little Grand Canyon” and it did NOT disappoint.
There are two ways to visit the Gorge from the visitor’s center. 1) cross the very busy street, go down about 15 steps, boom – you’re on the trail or 2) take the gently winding 2/10th mile path from the back of the visitor’s center. The path is through the woods and goes under the bridge so no heavy traffic. It’s also what we chose to do since we had a double stroller that doesn’t do steps so well! Once we got on the trail, we could either head upstream to the dam or downstream to the bottom of the gorge. Both ways are a pretty steep climb/descent so make sure you are prepared. We ended up going about halfway downstream to a little lookout point. We didn’t want to venture too much further down because we knew the incline was steep and Don was pushing 50+ pounds in the stroller while I was carrying 20 extra. We still had a beautiful view of the gorge. When we got back to the trail head, Don run up the steps to the bridge to take some more pictures from above. There is a high fence on the bridge, but they do have one section without it so you can get unobstructed views.
After the our unplanned visit to Quechee Gorge, we headed to Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historic Park (which will also get a blog post of its own). The park shares a parking lot with the Billings Farm and Museum and we had to drag Elizabeth away from watching the cows in open pasture. We were debating between taking a mansion tour at the National Park or getting admission to the Billings Farm, but we ultimately chose the farm because we thought Elizabeth would like the farm better and we weren’t sure about accessibility with the stroller. We are SO glad we chose the farm.
Don got in for free because he was military, Elizabeth was free being under 3, and my ticket was $14 – so not a bad price to pay. Our entrance fee included access to all the buildings on the farm – including the animals, the museum, and a tour of the farmhouse. The farm is actually a working dairy farm with jersey cows, and they were just about to start milking when we arrived. What an experience that was to watch! Growing up in Wisconsin, I’ve seen more cows being milked than I can count, but Don had never seen it before and obviously it was Elizabeth’s first time. It was so cool that we could get so up close to see it happening, and we got to see the calves as well! After the milking, we saw the sheep, the horses, and the chickens – but the cows were by far the best part. We spent some time in the “activity barn” where they had a ton of pumpkins and a little farm stand with crocheted pumpkins and apples. E didn’t want to leave her land of make believe, so Don and I took turns walking through the museum on our own. We could have probably stayed another hour at least, but we still had an 1.5 hours to drive before we got to our hotel, so we strolled around the grounds a bit and then headed for the car.
We decided to stay in Burlington, VT for the night since it was close-ish to Friday’s activities. Both boys passed out in the car and slept until 5:30, so when we got to the hotel and started deciding on dinner, we made the joint decision to throw caution (and bedtimes) to the wind and go out for a nice sit-down dinner instead of opting for fast food. Just one parking lot over was the Windjammer Restaurant and their menu boasted Lobster Mac and Cheese – oh my gosh, how can you turn that down? (I know technically I should have since I’m in the re-introduction phase of Whole30, but I took a chance because this was definitely a special occasion – and well worth it!) All three kids behaved really well at the restaurant, and we had a really great meal in a nice restaurant for the first time in a while.
Thank you for reading this far! I had intended for this to be one post, but it’s already getting long and there’s so much more to share. As you can tell, we absolutely loved Vermont and I cannot recommend it enough to anyone who is interested!
Pin this post for later, because Vermont is definitely not a place you’ll want to miss visiting!
Have you traveled to Vermont? What places did we miss?