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.