The Upper Valley’s Prettiest Scenic Overlooks

 

The Upper Valley’s Prettiest Scenic Overlooks

Photo of a Scenic Overlook at SunsetA common mid-day activity for visiting nature enthusiasts here in the Upper Valley is the unending search for the prettiest scenic overlook. Depending on where you live, you might call it a “vista point,” “scenic lookout,” or “scenic point.” Regardless, the Upper Valley is home to dozens of majestic mountaintop overlooks, most of which require a mile or two of hiking (or snowshoeing in the wintertime). The majority of folks who plan a stay at historic Norwich Inn explore the region’s craft beer trail with stops at several picturesque covered bridges and spectacular Artisans Park. But the adventurer inside us all calls us into the wild where curious animals roam through dense forestry and alongside rushing rivers.

The Top 5 Scenic Overlooks Near Norwich, VT

Locating a hiking trail in this peaceful land is as easy as throwing a dart a map while blindfolded. However, only five such trails feature a genuinely jaw-dropping scenic overlook. Even in today’s modern world, one cannot simply search for a “scenic lookout near me” and find an overabundance of useful results. Therefore, we’ve pieced together this handy list of scenic overlooks that are within 45 minutes of Dartmouth College.

Photo of a Scenic Overlook in AutumnGile Mountain

Gile Mountain, like all five of these scenic overlooks, is particularly stunning during autumn’s peak as the forestry transforms from dark green to vibrant hues of marigold, kelly green, crimson, and amber. This 1.4-mile, out-and-back trail is perfect for all ages as there’s less than 400 feet of elevation gain. Climb the fire tower at the summit to obtain a bird’s-eye view of the sprawling Upper Valley.

Holt’s Ledge

We have mixed feelings about divulging insider information about Holt’s Ledge, one of the Upper Valley’s last-remaining hidden gems. The trail features dramatic cliffs, long-forgotten log shelters, and occasionally curious woodland critters to go along with a heart-stopping overlook of the dense mountain range.

Photo of a Scenic Overlook at Sunset in AutumnQuechee Gorge

It’s unlikely that Quechee Gorge would show up in a search for a “scenic lookout near me” as it’s more of a roadside attraction than a dramatic overlook. That being said, the gorge itself is known as “Vermont’s Grand Canyon” because of the 165-foot drop from the Quechee George Bridge down to the rushing Ottauquechee River.

Wright’s Mountain

It’s not often that you discover a scenic overlook that features a covered barn-like structure at the peak. The faraway mountains at this sequestered yet incredibly gorgeous destination aren’t as jagged as other nearby lookouts. In fact, the mountains resemble the rolling hills that you might find in New York or Pennsylvania.

Mount Cardigan

Cardigan Mountain State Park remains one of the best adult playgrounds in New Hampshire, thanks to 5,655 acres of preserved glory. The Mount Cardigan loop, in particular, is our favorite place (in the Upper Valley) to unplug and reflect. Pack a picnic for this journey as the peak features ample rock space to lay down a blanket.

Historic Boutique Hotels in Vermont

Instead of searching aimlessly for a “scenic lookout near me” this spring, simply favorite this article for further usage. You can also ask a member of our team, upon arrival, about our personal favorites. The Norwich Inn itself, which was established in 1797, is equal parts boutique hotel, craft brewery, fine restaurant, and historical landmark. We’re a short drive or bicycle ride from King Arthur Flour, Dartmouth College, and the beautiful Connecticut River. To learn more about our particularly elegant slice of the Upper Valley, please give us a call today at 802-649-1143 (or check availability online).

A Beer Lover’s Bucket List: 6 Must-Visit Vermont Breweries

 

A Beer Lover’s Bucket List: 6 Must-Visit Vermont Breweries

Photo of Beer Bottles at One of the Best Vermont BreweriesDespite showcasing only 66 taprooms, Vermont has the most breweries per capita in America, according to the Brewers Association. So, it should come as no surprise that the Green Mountain State also produces the largest amount of craft beer per adult, which, in turn, had the second-best economic impact in the country. Simply put, we love craft beer. Not only does it taste good, but it brings people together, sustains the economy, and creates thousands of jobs. Yes, The Norwich Inn is the proud home to one of the oldest breweries in New England, but that doesn’t mean we cannot also appreciate the competition. To ensure that your upcoming visit to the Upper Valley is nothing short of flawless, we’ve compiled a meticulously-curated list of our six favorite Vermont breweries.

The Locals

Incredibly, four of the top 50 breweries in America are located in Vermont, according to Untappd’s thirsty community. One such brewery rests in the quiet village of White River Junction, which we’ll get to here in a minute. First, let’s start the list with one of the coziest Vermont breweries located just across the Connecticut River from Dartmouth College.

Photo of Jasper Murdock's Taproom, One of the Best Vermont BreweriesJasper Murdock Ales – Norwich

We’re all about craft beer here at The Norwich Inn, home to Jasper Murdock Ales, one of the longest-standing Vermont breweries. While it’s rumored that “Ma” Walker began bootlegging from the basement during Prohibition, we didn’t start brewing English-style ales until 1993. Our Whistling Pig Red Ale remains a New England staple, which pairs perfectly with the brand new Jasper Murdock Whistling Pig Ale Cheddar.

River Roost Brewery – White River Junction

Approximately five miles down the Connecticut River lies an unpretentious yet earnest operation known as River Roost Brewery, which ranks among the 50 best breweries in the U.S., according to Untappd. Unlike all other Vermont breweries on this list, River Roost lacks a true taproom. But beer lovers are urged to make a quick pit stop at this undersized industrial facility because the Mas Verde, Sound the Horns, and League of Shadows are all world-class.

Long Trail Brewing Co. – Bridgewater Corners

Every self-guided Vermont brewery tour must include a stop at Long Trail Brewing. While the beer quality doesn’t match the likes of River Roost, The Alchemist, or Hill Farmstead, this gorgeous hillside facility is well worth the journey. Long Trail was founded inside the Bridgewater Woolen Mill’s basement in 1989 and has since blossomed into a New England staple. After savoring a farmhouse sampler, go for a stroll in the backyard along the tranquil Ottauquechee River.

The Day Trips

Photo of Four People Toasting at One of the Best Vermont Breweries

Many of the top Vermont breweries are approximately 90 minutes from The Norwich Inn. So, a scenic day trip is required to cross them off of your craft brewery bucket list. If you’ve had your pulse on the New England beer scene over the past few years, you likely already know all about these three microbreweries.

House of Fermentology – Burlington

Nearly every brew that’s concocted inside this small oak barrel “fermentory” turns heads. The House of Fermentology is widely considered one of the 10 best breweries in America (alongside The Alchemist, as seen below). Fans of wild, unfiltered ales will unquestionably fall in love with the Fermentology’s many palatable ales. Oddly enough, visitors are urged to enjoy their newly-purchased bottles of beer at nearby Foam Brewers, an institution in itself.

The Alchemist – Stowe

The Alchemist, widely known as the birthplace of the New England-style IPA, recently opened a new, sleek brewing facility in Stowe. Most beer aficionados consider this trend-setting company the premier microbrewery in Vermont. We recommend hopping aboard the $10 brewery tour, which includes samples, a souvenir glass, and a behind-the-scenes look at this sparkling facility.

Photo of Hops at One of the Best Vermont BreweriesHill Farmstead Brewery – Greensboro Bend

Hill Farmstead Brewery is perhaps the best summertime destination in the Green Mountains. Unlike most Vermont breweries, this jaw-dropping operation rests on a beautiful, secluded farm in the middle of nowhere. The rural ambiance and gorgeous architecture, combined with their fine ales, makes for a true one-of-a-kind experience.

Vermont Breweries: High-Calibre, Historic, and Innovative 

As always, please establish a sober ride during your midday beer adventures. And, before returning to Norwich, don’t forget to explore the Upper Valley, visit a museum, and search for covered bridges. While our growing Norwich brewery gets a lot of buzz, it’s important to note that we’re also revered for our fine dining, historic ambiance, and elegant accommodations. To book a well-deserved beer, cheese, and bread vacay to the lush Upper Valley, please give us a call today at 802-649-1143 (or check availability online).

Explore the Upper Valley: Top 3 Museums in Vermont

 

Explore the Upper Valley: Top 3 Museums in Vermont

Museums in Vermont

The state of Vermont was granted statehood in March of 1791, nearly 230 years ago. So, as you can imagine, the Green Mountain State is chock-full of absorbing history, old-world landmarks, and an array of museums. Interestingly enough, The Norwich Inn’s timeline also dates back to the 18th century. Just six short years after Vermont earned statehood, Colonel Jasper Murdock built an elegant inn and stagecoach tavern in the quiet, riverside town of Norwich, VT. Today, Murdock’s name is displayed on every 22-ounce bottle of beer brewed at our on-site brewery. Future guests are urged to read about our historic inn’s story before arrival. And don’t forget that The Norwich Inn is just a short drive from many of the most popular museums in Vermont (and western New Hampshire).

The Best Museums in Vermont

Whether you’re a self-proclaimed aesthete, science buff, or lover of all things nostalgic, you’ll never forget your long-awaited historical journey through the Upper Valley. Three of our favorite museums in Vermont are within 10 miles of our 1890 Main Inn. Let’s start your self-guided museum tour with a one-mile jaunt to Montshire Road, home to the Montshire Museum of Science.

1. Montshire Museum of Science

Museums in VermontAs the top-reviewed science museum in Vermont, Montshire’s dedicated staff and gracious donators continue to help this can’t-miss attraction flourish. The Montshire Museum of Science spans over 100 acres with over 150 exhibits on display. Let your kids splash in the outdoor Science Park, take a stroll into the Woodland Garden, and learn about the wide-ranging world of science, technology, and nature inside. It’s easy to see why Montshire is among TripAdvisor’s top-rated things to do in Norwich, VT. Inside, visitors can solve puzzles, meet aquatic creatures, and observe many of Simon Pearce’s best works of glass art.

2. Vermont Toy Museum

A brief trip to nearby Woodstock should be on the agenda this winter, especially if you have a soft spot for covered bridges, small towns, and rolling hills. On the outskirts of Woodstock, you’ll find an interesting chapter in our state’s history: toys. The Vermont Toy Museum, an eye-catching whirlwind of nostalgia along Woodstock Road, is home to over 100,000 toys. While not all of these toys originate from New England, there’s something heartwarming about meandering alongside thousands of toys, spanning several centuries. The museum, which costs only $4, was created to preserve the region’s toy heritage. During the summer months, visitors can hop aboard a miniature passenger train, Allan Herschell carousel, or Jet Star roller coaster.

3. Hood Museum of Art

While Dartmouth College’s Hood Museum of Art cannot technically be one of the best museums in Vermont (it’s in Hanover, NH, just 1.7 miles from The Norwich Inn), its inclusion was never in doubt. We still classify this underrated Dartmouth attraction as an Upper Valley museum because it’s only a few city blocks from the Connecticut River, and many of the artists on display are from the Green Mountain State. Truth be told, there aren’t many eastern Vermont art museums. And luckily for our guests, the Hood Museum of Art is one of the college’s crowning jewels. The museum was established in 1772, 19 years before statehood. Keep your eyes peeled for works by Pablo Picasso, Pietro Perugino, Luca Giordano, Alfred Sisley, and so many more influential artists.

Bonus Museums: A Day-Trip to Western Vermont

For those looking for a fun day-trip from Norwich, VT, we highly recommend hopping on westbound U.S. 4 en route to three more of the best museums in Vermont. The communities of Pittsford, Proctor, and Rutland, respectively, are among our favorite western Vermont pit stops. Click the links below to learn more about each unique destination.

Hotels near Dartmouth College

The perfect place to start and finish each day is right here at The Norwich Inn, one of the longest-running hotels in Norwich, VT. After a full day of adventure, art, and science, retreat to your elegant respite for fine dining, craft beer, and a sophisticated Victorian ambiance. It’s easy to see why The Norwich Inn remains one of the premier romantic getaways in Vermont! Give us a call today at 802-649-1143 to book a well-deserved, long-overdue escape into the mountainous Upper Valley.

 

Vibrant ‘Upper Valley’ Vermont Fall Colors

 

Vibrant ‘Upper Valley’ Vermont Fall Colors

Vermont Fall ColorsWe’re on the heels of yet another glorious fall season here in Norwich, VT. As the Upper Valley’s lush forestry transforms into a jaw-dropping blend of crimson, amber, marigold, and hunter green, The Norwich Inn welcomes hundreds of “leaf peepers” who are aching to become fully immersed in autumn’s beauty. Whether you’re aiming to hike atop a mountain, snap photos of a covered bridge, or visit a rousing fall festival, we’re just a short drive from some of the most vibrant Central Vermont fall colors. As always, don’t forget to take a glimpse at the up-to-date Vermont fall foliage report before departure.

Locate Awe-Inspiring Central Vermont Fall Colors

Many guests, before booking, search “what to do in Vermont in October” to get a better understanding of a potential autumn escape to Norwich, VT. To ensure that your well-deserved fall getaway to the Upper Valley is nothing short of flawless, we’ve pieced together some of our favorite fall activities. If you’re hoping to find a list of quintessential fall drives near The Norwich Inn, we recommend simply hitting the open road and letting this magical landscape surprise you!

The Best Fall Hike and Overlook: Gile Mountain Trail

Even if you’re not a self-proclaimed nature enthusiast, you can probably appreciate an easy-going hike in the crisp, fresh autumn air. The Gile Mountain Trail, located inside the “Norwich Town Forest,” is home to the region’s best valley views. Despite offering a marvelous, sweeping overlook atop a sturdy fire tower and a peaceful backcountry hiking trail, most travelers don’t know about Gile Mountain. The easy-to-moderate 0.7-mile hike atop Gile Mountain features diverse flora, including dense forestry and tall ferns.

The Prettiest Covered Bridge: Quechee Covered Bridge

Vermont Fall ColorsThe Upper Valley is home to dozens of picturesque covered bridges, many of which are within 30 minutes of our historic Norwich, VT, inn. And it’s nearly impossible to top the rustic beauty of the Quechee Covered Bridge, especially when quintessential Central Vermont fall colors surround it. Not only does this 49-year-old, 70-foot-long steel bridge make a perfect postcard photograph, but it’s steps away from The Mill at Simon Pearce, an ultra-popular, turbine-powered glassblowing studio and waterfall-view restaurant.

Woodstock Festivals

As you might expect, there are several family-friendly Central Vermont fall festivals in the region. But we recommend embarking on a short journey to nearby Woodstock, VT, where you’ll discover not one but two mid-October extravaganzas on the same weekend. Woodstock’s Harvest Festival and (take a deep breath) the Apples and Crafts Fair & Food Truck Festival are both worth a visit, even if it’s just for an hour or two. When you’re not sipping on spiced cider and munching on fresh-made doughnuts, join the barn dance, vegetable harvest, or cider pressing.

Best Breweries in Vermont: Jasper Murdock Ales

When you’re not observing and capturing the prettiest Upper Valley Vermont fall colors, don’t forget to slip into The Norwich Inn’s pub for a pint of our microbrewery’s Bavarian märzenbier. This balanced, mildly-sweet Oktoberfest lager is malty yet sessionable. Don’t forget to return home with a growler of this tasty, seasonal brew! The Norwich Inn is not only one of the top-rated hotels near Dartmouth College, but our historical landmark was established back in 1797. Browse through our vacation packages and specials before booking direct at NorwichInn.com.