Plan a Visit to Vermont in the Fall: Upper Valley Edition

 

Plan a Visit to Vermont in the Fall: Upper Valley Edition

Photo of a Barn in Southcentral Vermont in the Fall.Leaf peeping in Vermont’s Upper Valley remains a classic New England “rite of passage.” As summer gradually converts to autumn, the Upper Valley’s diverse forestry magnificently transforms from various hues of green into a colorful, eye-popping meld of marigold, amber, crimson, and kelly. Amateur photographers, honeymooners, and nature enthusiasts alike cannot resist Norwich’s allure. Visiting Southcentral Vermont in the fall is just what the doctor ordered, especially if you’ve been feeling cooped up this summer. An idyllic place to start and finish each day of heart-warming New England foliage is The Norwich Inn, a historical landmark, craft brewery, and fine eatery.

15 Ways to Embrace Vermont in the Fall

There are literally hundreds of ways to embrace Southcentral Vermont in the fall, especially if you have a fleet of eager kiddos who can find pleasure in just about anything outdoors-related. However, there’s ample sophistication, solitude, and nostalgia around every corner of this sprawling, rolling landscape. In particular, the Upper Valley is a sublime destination for couples with a penchant for absorbing history, artisanal delights, and bales of natural beauty.

If you plan to visit Vermont in the fall, we highly recommend bookmarking this makeshift “bucket list.” Some things simply cannot be overlooked, especially during the most colorful of seasons.

  1. Aerial View of Southcentral Vermont in the Fall.Snap photos of several covered bridges, all of which are surrounded by lush, vibrant foliage.
  2. Spend an afternoon at Artisans Park, home to the 14-acre Path of Life Sculpture Garden.
  3. Browse through the local farmers market, and return home with some unique goodies.
  4. Hop into the car and just drive.
  5. Embark on a self-guided Upper Valley brewery tour, where Oktoberfest lagers and pumpkin ales are abundant.
  6. Hike to the top of a jaw-dropping overlook, such as Gile Mountain’s fire tower.
  7. Book the “Great Outdoors” package, which includes hiking, biking, a 20 percent off lodging discount, and a $25 gift card to King Arthur Flour.
  8. Go “waterfalling” in search of true tranquility.
  9. Taste-test an assortment of seasonally-inspired, fall-flavored cuisines at Jasper Murdock’s Alehouse (and wash it down with an annual Oktoberfest märzen).
  10. Survive a wacky, themed corn maze.
  11. Fill a 10-pound peck with scrumptious apples at a nearby orchard.
  12. Stroll through a pumpkin patch in search of “the one.”
  13. Enjoy a picnic at King Arthur Flour’s flagship campus, which happens to feature a bevy of towering, colorful trees.
  14. Paddle down the Connecticut River in a canoe or kayak.
  15. From barn to bottle: Spend a few hours at Silo Distillery’s farmstead.

Classic New England Vacations and Vermont Fall Colors

We sincerely hope that this list of classic autumn activities inspires you to visit Southcentral Vermont in the fall. With September rapidly approaching, please don’t miss out on a romantic getaway to The Norwich Inn. As one of the top-rated hotels near Dartmouth College, our 1797 estate grows quite busy during peak seasons (such as fall). When you’re not picking apples, photographing covered bridges, hiking to summits, and shopping artisanal crafts, The Norwich Inn is the perfect place to unwind, relax, and recharge. Please give us a call today at 802-649-1143 (or check availability online) to book a well-deserved escape into Vermont’s vibrant Upper Valey.

Plan a Visit to the Norwich Farmers Market

 

Plan a Visit to the Norwich Farmers Market

Since 1977, New Englanders have been flocking to the eclectic, undeniably cheery Norwich Farmers Market, a Saturday morning tradition for locals and repeat travelers alike. Many folks combine an hour at the Farmers Market with a stop at King Arthur Flour’s flagship campus and Windsor’s Artisans Park. Vermont’s Upper Valley is chockful of artisanal and culinary surprises, including historic Norwich Inn, home to Jasper Murdock Ales. The rousing Norwich Farmers Market plays an integral role in this region’s weekend tourism scene, particularly for those with a penchant for fresh-picked produce, handcrafted goods, and, yes, a wide variety of locally-sourced meats and cheeses.

The Norwich Farmers Market: A Saturday Morning Delight

Photo of a Man Selling Produce at the Norwich Farmers Market.

Unlike most like gatherings, the Norwich Farmers Market runs throughout the year. The “Summer Market” extends from early May through October off Route 5, just south of town—you cannot miss it. Meanwhile, the “Winter Market” takes place inside downtown’s Tracy Hall, a 450-foot walk from The Norwich Inn. New Englanders gather to mingle with local agronomists, craftspeople, and botanists, as well as listen to live musicians and experience the undeniably affable culture. Before we dive into the various vendors that frequent the Norwich Farmers Market, it’s important to note that all rooms inside the Ivy Lodge have refrigerators for those who need to keep their haul crisp and cool.

Vendors Galore!

It’s easy to draw tourists to the Norwich Farmers Market because you can practically smell the mouthwatering delicacies and hear the sounds of jubilance from miles away. Several vendors offer fresh goods, such as hot coffee, warm soups, breakfast sandwiches, and juicy burgers, just in case the aromas get the better of you. With more than a hundred different fruits, vegetables, dairy products, meats, plants, and flowers, you’ll undoubtedly leave the Norwich Farmers Market with quite the haul. Some of our favorite finds include basil, broccoli rabe, peaches, radishes, summer squash, and cherry tomatoes. This helpful guide illustrates the fruit and vegetable calendar.

Travelers also cannot resist the urge to purchase a dollop of goat or sheep cheese. A wide variety of smoked meats are available via several vendors. Oh, and don’t forget to peruse the beeswax candles, heavenly soaps, and dazzling jewelry. We’ve linked to 10 of our favorite vendors below for your viewing pleasure. And please remember to read the market’s COVID-19 preparedness guidelines

Historic Places to Stay in Norwich, VT

Photo of the Inn's Porch, Just a Short Walk from the Norwich Farmers Market.

After a full day of shopping, scenic overlooks, covered bridges, and craft beer, return to The Norwich Inn for a night of casual dining, local vino, and sheer relaxation inside our 1797 inn. Greet dusk in a handcrafted rocking chair, near our vegetable garden, or inside our Victorian-style Main Inn. As one of the most beloved romantic getaways in Vermont, we’re in the midst of yet another summer of love here in the Upper Valley. And remember: The perfect complement to your well-deserved Vermont vacation is a meticulously-curated special package. Book directly now to save bundles and avoid hidden, third-party fees.

Mountain Biking in Vermont’s Upper Valley

 

Mountain Biking in Vermont’s Upper Valley

Photo of a Man Mountain Biking in Vermont's Backcountry.As we enthusiastically greet summer’s long-awaited arrival, it’s impossible not to ponder the many wondrous outdoor adventures readily available in the Upper Valley, Vermont’s idyllic gully of romance. With operations gradually returning to semi-normalcy, we expect an influx of nature enthusiasts in the coming months who value the valley’s sprawling natural beauty. The region itself is known for its picturesque covered bridges, serene waterfalls, jaw-dropping scenic overlooks, and glorious Artisans Park. And one of the most common thrill-based exploratory activities is mountain biking (or, to a small sect, cycling). Mountain biking in Vermont’s Upper Valley is a visual, muscle-building treat that very few undertake. Thus, the trails near The Norwich Inn are never crowded.

Mountain Biking in Vermont: 10 Upper Valley Trails

It’s no secret that New Englanders cannot resist the call of Vermont’s rolling mountain ranges, particularly during summer’s lush and autumn’s peak. The allure of Norwich, in comparison to other neighboring destinations, is its proximity to everything, including a prestigious Ivy League institution, some of the country’s finest breweries, a bevy of historical landmarks, and, yes, King Arthur Flour’s flagship campus. There’s a lot to love about this densely-thicketed, riverside community. And perhaps the cherry on top is the area’s growing trail network. When examined as a collective whole, this network of singletrack provides some of the most enticing mountain biking in Vermont. So, without further ado, here are 10 distinct trails near modern Upper Valley rentals:

  1. Blue Ribbon
  2. Brookemeade Main Loop
  3. The Rollercoaster
  4. Noodle’s Revenge
  5. French’s Ledges
  6. Fusters Trail
  7. Parcel 5
  8. Boston Lot 3
  9. Heyl-Dothan Connector
  10. Hardwoods

Alternative Routes: Roads and Rails

You’ll notice from the list above that Pittsfield, a nearby community, has a thriving network of mountainside trails. It’s not overly common to discover such magical mountain biking in Vermont near a village of fewer than 550 residents. It’s worth noting that cycling in Vermont is also subtly growing in popularity. The glory of cycling is that the backcountry is your oyster; there’s seemingly no cap on adventure in the countryside. And the Northern Rail Trail is, without a doubt, the prettiest route in the Upper Valley. This mostly-flat, 58-mile path spans two counties, making it the longest rail-trail conversion in the state. Most cyclists pick up the route near Lebanon. It goes without saying that the leaf-peeping on this trek is undeniably awe-inspiring.

Historic Hotels near Hanover, NH

Photo of People Dining at Norwich Inn After a Day of Mountain Biking in Vermont.

A common gathering place following a full day of mountain biking in Vermont’s glorious backcountry is Jasper Murdock’s Alehouse, a cozy, familiar slice of the past. As one of the premier restaurants in Norwich, we’ve expanded the alehouse throughout the decades. Patio seating is a hot commodity during peak seasons, so please arrive early to nab a table. The Norwich Inn provides an idyllic combination of history, gourmet cuisine, fine ales, and outrageous specials and packages. For updates on lodging, dining, and capacity, please bookmark this link (or follow us on our social media channels).

The Norwich Inn: An Idyllic Wellness Retreat in New England

 

The Norwich Inn: An Idyllic Wellness Retreat in New England

Photo of Young Woman Practiving Yoga During a Wellness Retreat in New England.Researching, planning, and executing a wellness retreat in New England takes years of experience and practice. However, the friendly folks here at The Norwich Inn are here to help piece together a healthy, thoughtful getaway into Vermont’s sprawling Upper Valley. The Upper Valley itself is known for its breweries, beauty, and history (as well as Dartmouth College and King Arthur Flour). The current state of the world, however, has many prospective travelers thinking outside the box. Naturally, as millions of New Englanders rediscover their passion for the outdoors, the population begins to appreciate the allure of wellness travel, a rising American trend.

Plan a Wellness Retreat in New England’s Upper Valley

The Norwich Inn, established in 1797, remains an enticing mental wellness retreat in New England, primarily because of our old-world charm, proximity to nature, and money-saving specials. The Upper Valley innately boasts a seemingly endless wilderness that entirely encloses dozens of quintessential small towns, including Norwich, Woodstock, and neighboring Hanover. To ensure that your next retreat to the Connecticut River is nothing short of flawless, we’ve compiled 10 unique activities to try this summer.

  1. Obtain your daily dose of inner peace at Upper Valley Yoga in nearby White River Junction.
  2. Plan a digital detox. Take an extended break from television, email, and social media by exploring everything that the Upper Valley has to offer.
  3. Indulge in an exclusive package or special to enhance your Vermont-style wellness retreat.
  4. Photo of a Woman Forest Bathing During a Wellness Retreat in New England.Spend an afternoon at Artisans Park in Windsor to support local businesses and frolic through the glorious Path of Life Sculpture Garden.
  5. Search for the Upper Valley’s most breathtaking waterfalls in an effort to unearth tranquility amid Mother Nature’s isolated embrace.
  6. Try a new, unique form of exploration, such as forest bathing, Geocaching, or birdwatching.
  7. Bask in the historical significance and sophistication of your relaxing guest room.
  8. Enjoy a mid-day picnic at a scenic overlook, surrounded by nothing but fresh mountain air, dense forestry, and the soothing sounds of nature.
  9. Pose in front of the Upper Valley’s prettiest covered bridges—please admire, don’t touch.
  10. Savor gourmet cuisine and fine wine on Jasper Murdock’s Alehouse’s outdoor patio.

Historic Places to Stay in Norwich, VT

Photo of The Norwich Inn, an Idyllic Wellness Retreat in New England.

For those of you who are contemplating a wellness retreat in New England, consider planning your expedition during autumn’s awe-inspiring peak. Whether you aim to plan a solo, romantic, or women’s wellness retreat, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our hospitality team at 802-649-1143. Our history dates all the way back to 1797; thus, we have many stories to tell. For the most part, the inn, grounds, and guest rooms tell the story through their old-world charm and natural beauty. Let us be your summer or fall guide to all things Upper Valley. Remember: We’re always here to help!

The 5 Prettiest Vermont Waterfalls

 

The 5 Prettiest Vermont Waterfalls

Photo of Moss Glen, One of the Prettiest Vermont WaterfallsIt’s no secret that Vermont boasts a gorgeous, biodiverse landscape. Thus, throughout summer and autumn, hundreds of thousands of nature enthusiasts flock into the Upper Valley to explore the region’s dense forestry in search of heart-stopping mountain overlooks, rolling countrysides, hidden covered bridges, and, of course, quintessential Vermont waterfalls. While it won’t be easy to pry yourself from Jasper Murdock’s Alehouse, Dartmouth College’s breathtaking campus, and nearby King Arthur Flour, we highly recommend embarking on a short journey to a couple of often overlooked Vermont waterfalls.

5 Vermont Waterfalls: A Self-Guided Journey to Serenity

Many of these picturesque, freefalling creeks, brooks, and rivers lie in Windsor County, as well as neighboring Orange and Rutland. In fact, the five prettiest Vermont waterfalls, according to our team of self-proclaimed experts, are within an hour of The Norwich Inn—established in 1797. Make sure to dress appropriately for the weather, bring a waterproof camera, and jot down detailed directions to each site.

Old City Falls, Strafford

The 16-mile drive through the heart of Vermont en route to Strafford’s Old City Falls is as peaceful and scenic as it gets. After enjoying a light picnic in the spacious pavilion area, hike down the short, steep path to the creek’s edge. While it’s not well marked, the creekside trail does lead to this dual waterfall. The top fall disappears behind a stack of rocks and eventually spills back into the creek.

Moss Glen Falls, Granville

The state boasts not one but two “Moss Glen Falls.” Today, we’ll only touch on the Granville fall, which, incidentally, remains one of the most oft-photographed natural sites in the state. Moss Glen is approximately an hour’s drive from The Norwich Inn, but this 35-foot marvel is well worth the trip. Adventurous types can get close enough to touch the rushing water as it spills below.

Photo of Thundering Brook, One of the Prettiest Vermont WaterfallsThundering Brook Falls, Killington

Thundering Brook Falls rests along the Appalachian Trail, a 2,200-mile network that spans from Maine down to North Georgia. Pictures don’t do Thundering Brook justice, as it’s hard to decipher the sheer magnitude of this slippery, 125-foot-tall waterfall via photograph. The easy, wheelchair-friendly boardwalk to the main plunge is a nice perk that you won’t find at many neighboring Vermont waterfalls.

Buttermilk Falls, Ludlow

During the summer months, thrillseekers flock to Buttermilk Falls to bathe in the shallow pools near the upper and middle falls. These classic swimming holes are what summertime dreams are made of, especially for those with a penchant for adventure. While the three midsized falls aren’t jaw-droppingly beautiful, the playful ambiance is unbeatable. 

Glen Falls, Fairlee

Fairlee’s Glen Falls is a short, 20-minute drive from the heart of Norwich. This 25-foot plunge remains an Upper Valley hidden gem. Even many locals don’t know if its existence. The short journey to the main plunge is only about half a mile upstream from the trailhead, and it features several picturesque cascades along the way.

Historic Hotels in Norwich, VT

After a full day of hiking near the very best waterfalls in Vermont, return to The Norwich Inn for a balanced, refreshing pint of Whistling Pig Red Ale and pan-seared Faroe Island salmon. As one of the oldest boutique hotels in Vermont, we offer an elegant, historic, and undeniably romantic alternative to a classic lodging experience. Our on-site brewery pairs perfectly with our sumptuous dining experience. And each of our guest rooms is a visual delight, especially for those with a special place in their heart for 19th-century decor. Please give us a call today at 802-649-1143 to book a long-overdue escape into the breathtaking Upper Valley, New England’s last remaining hidden gem.

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.

 

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).

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.