Explore the Upper Valley: Top 3 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
As 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.