A Visitor’s Guide to the Upper Valley

 

A Visitor’s Guide to the Upper Valley

Upper ValleyThe Upper Valley, which covers acreage in both Vermont and neighboring New Hampshire, remains a historical, adventurous, and undeniably charming four-season destination. Travelers return time and time again to bask in the natural beauty, indulge in the sophistication, and learn more about the region’s absorbing historical significance. And the most desirable location to start and finish each day is right here at The Norwich Inn, one of the top-reviewed hotels near Dartmouth College. Where else can you stay on a 200-year-old property that features elegant guest rooms, fine dining, and an award-winning craft brewery?

15 Reasons to Visit the Upper Valley

The Upper Valley requires repeat visits as each season is unique. Summer is bustling with outdoor adventurers. Fall hosts a wide variety of leaf peepers. Winter ushers in hundreds of couples in need of an extended break from the city. And spring breathes new life into the Upper Valley’s shops, restaurants, and, of course, nearby wilderness. To ensure that your next visit to The Norwich Inn is nothing short of flawless, we’ve compiled 15 unique reasons to visit Norwich this year (regardless of the season).

  1. Tour Dartmouth College, with a Stop at the Hood Museum of Art
  2. Pose Next to the Prettiest Covered Bridges in the Upper Valley
  3. Spend a Day at Artisans Park in Nearby Windsor; the Path of Life Sculpture Garden Is a Revelation
  4. Upper ValleyEnroll in Baking School at King Arthur Flour’s Flagship Campus
  5. Attend Vermont NanoFest, New England’s Premier Beer Festival
  6. Plan a Stay During the Annual Upper Valley Restaurant Week
  7. Bask in the Upper Valley’s Jaw-Dropping Fall Colors
  8. Learn, Shop, and Dine at Simon Pearce’s Flagship Location (as seen in the photo above)
  9. Treat the Kids to an Afternoon at the Montshire Museum of Science
  10. Hike to the Top of Gile Mountain, Home to the Upper Valley’s Best Vantage Point
  11. Shop ‘Til You Drop in Norwich, Hanover, and Artisans Park
  12. A Weekend of Craft Beer at Jasper Murdock Ales, Our On-Site Brewery
  13. Paddle down the Connecticut River via Canoe, Kayak, or Paddleboard
  14. Farm to Barn to Bottle: Join a Silo Distillery Tour
  15. Plan a Picturesque Wedding at The Barn at Happy Hill, a Rustic Fairytale Come to Life

Upper ValleyHistoric Hotels in Norwich, VT

Whether you plan to visit Dartmouth College, explore the Green Mountain State, or relax here at The Norwich Inn, you quickly fall in love with this region’s unique blend of history, adventure, and refinement. And don’t forget that both the Ivy Lodge and Walker House boast some of the prettiest Upper Valley rentals, all of which are just a short drive (or walk) from the city’s best attractions. Please give us a call today at 802-649-1143, or visit our specials page, to book a well-deserved escape into the heart of New England.

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.

 

The 9 Prettiest Covered Bridges in Vermont

 

The 9 Prettiest Covered Bridges in Vermont

Vermont is brimming with history as its statehood was granted all the way back in 1791. And in the late 1830s, covered bridges began to “pop up” in various regions, most notably in the densely-forested Upper Valley. There’s something magically romantic and undeniably picturesque about a century-old covered bridge. A large number of the prettiest covered bridges in Vermont are within 60 minutes of The Norwich Inn, effectively drawing thousands of travelers each year to our charming Connecticut River community.

The Best Covered Bridges in Vermont

If you’ve ever taken a peek at a detailed map of the covered bridges in Vermont, you already know that they’re around nearly every bend in the road. To ensure that your next relaxing, romantic Upper Valley escape is nothing short of flawless, we’ve pieced together a handy list of our favorite covered bridges. Many of these beauties have been restored or reconstructed in the last decade due to Hurricane Irene. But, thankfully, each bridge has regained its former beauty.

Covered Bridges in Vermont1. Taftsville Covered Bridge – Woodstock

Built: 1836
Length: 189 feet (two spans)
Description: Taftsville’s crimson beauty sits above the serene Ottauquechee River. It remains the oldest covered bridge in Vermont—it’s a genuine timeless wonder. No covered bridge driving tour is complete without a stop at Taftsville.

2. Quechee Covered Bridge – Quechee

Built: 1970 (rebuilt in 2012)
Length: 70 feet
Description: Quechee’s original structure was unfortunately washed away by Hurricane Irene in 2011. But the nearly-identical 2012 version still provides jaw-dropping Ottauquechee River gorge views. And it’s steps from Simon Pearce’s turbine-powered glassblowing studio and fine riverfront restaurant.

3. Union Village Covered Bridge – East Thetford

Built: 1867
Length: 113 feet
Description: For whatever reason, Thetford’s Union Village never ranks among the best covered bridges in Vermont—until today. The surrounding beauty and handcrafted interior amplify the experience. Oh, and it’s just six miles north of The Norwich Inn.

Covered Bridges in Vermont4. Middle Covered Bridge – Woodstock

Built: 1968 (rehabilitated in 1976)
Length: 124 feet
Description: A fire nearly engulfed Middle Covered Bridge in the mid-1970s, but, thankfully, she survived. This bridge is particularly fun because it has a safe walking path along the edge where visitors can closely observe the craftsmanship.

5. Moseley Covered Bridge – Northfield

Built: 1899
Length: 39 feet
Description: Although small, Moseley remains one of the most picturesque covered bridges in Vermont thanks to its vivid red hue. It sits along a quiet, countryside road near the small town of Northfield.

6. The Vermont Country Store Kissing Bridge – Rockingham

Built: 1870 (dismantled in 1959, rebuilt in 1967)
Length: 160 feet
Description: While “The Kissing Bridge” isn’t among the prettiest covered bridges in Vermont, tourists (especially couples) flock to this unique destination to pose for a kiss. The Vermont Country Store, meanwhile, is a compelling draw as their homemade goods are quite splendid.

Covered Bridges in Vermont7. Lincoln Covered Bridge – Woodstock

Built: 1877 (rehabilitated in 1989)
Length: 129
Description: Locating a covered bridge in Woodstock, Vermont, isn’t challenging—there are several. Lincoln doesn’t get a ton of love, but the riverside vantage points are stellar.

8. Worrall Covered Bridge – Rockingham

Built: 1868
Length: 83 feet
Description: The lush, towering hillside creates an idyllic atmosphere at Worrall Covered Bridge, one of the least-visited Southern Vermont bridges. It’s undergone a handful of restorations, but it’s never looked more visually striking than today.

9. Mill Covered Bridge – Tunbridge

Built: 1883 (rebuilt in 2000)
Length: 73 feet
Description: Technically, Mill Covered Bridge is a replica of the original 1883 marvel. But it still exudes beauty and simplicity. The shallow, rocky White River is a great place to skip stones, snap photos, and enjoy a picnic.

Historic Hotels in Norwich, VT

After visiting some of the prettiest covered bridges in Southern Vermont, retreat to The Norwich Inn for an evening of award-winning craft beer, fine dining, and a dash of sophistication. Browse through our elegant, romantic guest rooms to find one that perfectly suits your style and budget. The Norwich Inn’s history dates all the way back to 1797, so your well-deserved Upper Valley getaway certainly won’t be short on historical significance. Give us a call today at 802-649-1143 to learn more about our lovely inn (or check availability online).