Travel Guide

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.

Spend a Day at Artisans Park in Windsor, VT

 

Spend a Day at Artisans Park in Windsor, VT

artisans parkAs summer subtly transforms into autumn here in historic Norwich, VT, we welcome thousands of “leaf peepers” to our beautiful slice of New England. While most couples and families will spend their afternoons searching for the region’s most vibrant colors, we typically recommend visiting the nearby Artisans Park in Windsor, VT. Artisans Park is just a swift, 16-mile drive from The Norwich Inn, one of the only historic hotels near Dartmouth College. This multi-purpose park is home to eight unique, thriving businesses, including a distillery, cheese market, and adventure outfitter. When you’re not sipping on a Jasper Murdock Ale, dining on gourmet cuisine, and lounging in a historic suite, make sure to visit Artisans Park for a distinctive “taste” of Vermont.

Path of Life Sculpture Garden

Before or after a brief shopping spree, stroll along the Path of Life Sculpture Garden to soak up some of the largest pieces of art in Vermont. As with any art collective, the Path of Life is still expanding. Yes, the art is quite beautiful and thought-provoking, but the sheer beauty of the landscape is the main attraction for many—and don’t forget to snap photos of the vibrant fall colors. The hemlock maze, much like the one seen in Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, is an absolute marvel. If you’re hoping to savor lunch in the park, remember to pack a picnic and enjoy it near the maze or by the lake; otherwise, Artisans Park has two on-site dining options.

Glass Art and Tasty Treats

The Upper Valley continues to witness an uptick in Vermont tourism thanks to our growing artisanal shops, including Simon Pearce, Blake Hill Preserves, and the Vermont Farmstead Cheese Company. Purchase a dazzling piece of glass art, a couple jars of infused jams, and a block of small-batch cheese before returning to The Norwich Inn. While not a “shop,” Great River Outfitters also operates inside Artisans Park. This wildly-popular, adventure-based outfitter provides travelers with inexpensive yet impressive guided trips during all four seasons.

Food and Drinks at Artisans Park

artisans parkPerhaps our favorite aspect of Artisans Park is its dual-headed adult-beverage staples: Harpoon Brewery and SILO Distillery. Harpoon has, of course, become a leader in the New England beer scene, but don’t forget about SILO’s balanced, palatable spirits—we’re partial to their barrel-aged gin and spiced whiskey. If you’re feeling hungry, both Harpoon and Artisan Eats have classic American fare, such as burgers, brats, grilled cheese, and much more!

Best Places to Visit in Vermont: The Norwich Inn

The historic Norwich Inn is the perfect escape for your next Vermont vacation as we not only have an on-site brewery, fine dining, and lavish suites, but we’re minutes away from Artisans Park, Dartmouth College, and Whaleback Mountain. Don’t forget to browse through our upcoming specials to enhance your visit—we’re on the heels of NanoFest, King Arthur Flour’s Harvest Conference, and the “Run the Witch” 50K. So, give us a call today at 802-649-1143, or visit us online to book a quintessential New England getaway.

Plan a Visit to the Vermont Brewfest in Tunbridge

 

Plan a Visit to the Vermont Brewfest in Tunbridge

vermont brewfestWe’re on the heels of New England’s best-kept secret: the Vermont NanoFest in Tunbridge. This annual, six-hour Central Vermont brewfest is hosted by our good friends at Brocklebank Craft Brewing on the site of the Tunbridge World’s Fair. And The Norwich Inn is proud to be this year’s official lodging sponsor! In fact, we’re offering an out-of-this-world Vermont brewfest package that includes luxury lodging, free entry, a welcome pint from Jasper Murdock Ales, and so much more! Keep reading to learn more about NanoFest, which is widely considered the premier Vermont beer festival by returning guests.

Norwich’s Vermont Brewfest Special

Act fast, because our Central Vermont brewfest special is nearly booked! Not only will guests get free entry to this year’s festival, but you’ll have the pleasure of lodging at one of the most historic hotels near Dartmouth College. After savoring craft ales from some of the best breweries in Vermont, return to The Norwich Inn for fine dining, shared stories of the day’s best samples on our private patio, and utter relaxation inside your lavish guest suite. For just $279, based on double occupancy, the NanoFest special includes (for each guest):

  • One-night lodging at the Main Inn
  • Free Vermont brewfest entry
  • 12-ounce NanoFest tasting glass
  • Welcome pint from Jasper Murdock Ales, our on-site brewery
  • A free appetizer in the Jasper Murdock’s Alehouse
  • A 22-ounce bottle of Jasper Murdock to go

Participating Breweries

Twelve of the best breweries in Vermont will be participating in this year’s NanoFest, including Jasper Murdock Ales and hosts Brocklebank Craft Brewing. One of the best aspects of this event is that it brings the brewing community together in an effort to share inventive creations with the fine folks of New England. The craft brewing industry relies heavily on healthy competition, occasional collaboration, and, of course, delicious ales! Don’t forget to bring your appetite, because some of the best food trucks in the state will be serving smoked BBQ, tacos, woodfired pizza, and grilled bratwurst. Here are this year’s 12 participating breweries, who will all be slinging staples, trendy styles, and festival-only specialty beers.

Historic Hotels in Norwich, VT

The third Saturday in August is one of the most popular weekends of the year because of the annual Vermont brewfest. Beer aficionados from across New England flock to our historic Connecticut River town to taste some of the best regional beers from a wide variety of breweries, ranging from local staples to recent startups. Before retiring to your suite, don’t forget to enjoy a grass-fed filet mignon on our peaceful patio, savor a pint of approachable Whistling Pig Red Ale, and gather with friends new and old near our stone fireplace as the sun drips below the trees. To learn more about our Vermont brewfest package, please call us directly today at 1-802-649-1143.

An Upper Valley Shopping Guide

 

An Upper Valley Shopping Guide

hanover nh shoppingWith the unofficial start to summer only days away, thousands of couples, groups, and families are finalizing their mid-summer vacation plans to New England’s Upper Valley. Nestled in a quiet neighborhood across the Connecticut River from Dartmouth College rests The Norwich Inn, a charming, historical trip back in time. The Norwich Inn is home to one of the best breweries in Vermont (Jasper Murdock Ales), a top-rated restaurant, and Victorian-style accommodations. If you’re looking for a leisurely summertime activity during your stay, we recommend spending a couple of hours shopping in Norwich VT and Hanover NH. The streets in these two historic cities feature an eclectic mix of shops, galleries, and farm stands. Hanover NH shopping, in particular, is a popular mid-day activity as the best stores are just a short walk from Dartmouth College.

Norwich VT Shopping

Let’s start our shopping tour right here in Norwich VT, the proud home of world-famous King Arthur Flour. Whether you’re searching for fresh produce or a gripping new novel, you’ll find a place to spend a couple of bucks in our lovely riverside community.

  • hanover nh shoppingKing Arthur Flour – If you’re only planning on making one stop in the Upper Valley, we highly recommend choosing King Arthur Flour. We’ve collaborated with their excellent team for many events over the years. Browse through The Baker’s Store, enjoy a fresh-baked pastry, or join a hands-on baking class.
  • The Norwich Bookstore – You’d be hardpressed to find another small, independently-owned bookstore that cares as much as about the written word then the folks at The Norwich Bookstore. Find out what to read next, discover rare signed copies, and take a seat during an author’s reading.
  • Crossroad Farm Stand – Crossroad’s stand on Route 5 is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Many of our guests purchase bags full of fresh produce before returning home to Boston, Worcester, Springfield, and beyond.
  • Pompanoosuc Mills – While technically not a part of the Norwich VT or Hanover NH shopping scene, “Pompy” is an excellent hand-crafted furniture destination north of town. Their woodworks have been turning heads since 1978.

Hanover NH Shopping

Some of the best stores in the region lie in downtown Hanover NH. In fact, Hanover NH shopping has become one of the top summertime activities among couples and groups. Here’s a short list of our favorite Hanover NH shopping destinations:

  • Farmhouse Pottery – Book a “Clay Date” this summer, where you’ll have the rare opportunity to work alongside a master potter before crafting your own artisan souvenir.
  • My Brigadeiro – Don’t forget to pick up some fresh-baked cookies, cupcakes, and Brazilian-style brigadeiros during your Upper Valley getaway. Enjoy these sweets in the comfort of your elegant suite.
  • League of N.H. Craftsmen Gallery – Some of New England’s best potters, artists, and craftspeople display their award-winning work at this beautiful gallery along Lebanon Street.

Artisans Park

There are myriad shops and attractions at Artisans Park in nearby Windsor VT. You’ll discover eight businesses in all, highlighted by Silo Distillery, Vermont Farmstead Cheese Company, and Simon Pearce. You can also stroll through a sculpture garden, savor a craft beer, and indulge in artisan eats. Artisans Park is a must-visit destination for those who enjoy hand-crafted, locally-sourced, and artisan products from talented craftspeople.

hanover nh shoppingHistoric Hotels near Hanover NH

The perfect way to cap off a full day of Hanover NH shopping is with fine dining, housemade craft ales, and sophisticated relaxation right here at The Norwich Inn. We’re one of the only hotels near Dartmouth College that provides specialized vacation packages for a variety of local events ranging from nano brewery festivals to 50k races. To book a well-deserved summertime escape to New England’s Upper Valley, please give us a call today at 1-802-649-1143.

Romantic Getaways in Vermont: The Norwich Inn

 

 

Romantic Getaways in Vermont: The Norwich Inn

romantic getaways in vermontNew England’s Upper Valley is filled with absorbing history, awe-inspiring natural beauty, and undeniably romantic inns, which is why couples from across the region flock to the neighboring riverfront communities of Norwich and Hanover for well-deserved romantic getaways in Vermont. Nestled in the heart of Norwich, VT, rests The Norwich Inn, one of the most romantic hotels near Dartmouth College. The Norwich Inn is immersed in history and elegance as it was established in 1797 by Dartmouth graduate Colonel Jasper Murdock. Our alluring Vermont inn not only features three properties highlighted by dozens of visually-striking guest rooms, but you and your sweetheart can also enjoy refreshing housemade Jasper Murdock Ales and fine on-site dining.

Romantic Getaways in Vermont

The Norwich Inn remains one of the only romantic getaways in Vermont that’s within 1.3 miles of an Ivy League school, a popular recreational body of water, and one of the premier staples in the baking industry: King Arthur Flour. Whether you’re hoping to bake with the pros at world-famous King Arthur Flour, paddle through the tranquil Connecticut River, or embark on a tour of Dartmouth College, The Norwich Inn is the ideal “home base” for your romantic escape to the Upper Valley.

Couples-Friendly Activities

For those who’re looking for a “taste” of adventure during your visit to the Upper Valley, we recommend kayaking along the Connecticut River, rock climbing in the Green Mountains, and hiking on the Gile Mountain Trail. Enroll in King Arthur Flour’s baking school, stroll through the Norwich Farmers Market in search of fresh vegetables, unique crafts, and gorgeous flowers, and observe award-winning artworks at the Hood Museum of Art before retreating to The Norwich Inn for dinner, craft beer, and sophisticated relaxation.

Fine Dining and Housemade Craft Beer

romantic getaways in vermontChoose between a romantic, elegant experience inside The Dining Room or a casual yet scenic meal on The Patio to commemorate your anniversary, engagement, honeymoon, or spontaneous escape. There’s something for every palate here at The Norwich Inn thanks to Executive Chef Scott Liberty’s creative, newly-transformed menu, which is highlighted by a 100 percent grass-fed filet mignon and fresh-caught Faroe Island salmon. Take a step back in time inside our subtly-luxurious yet old-world Dining Room before slipping over to The Pub for a pint of award-winning craft beer, most notably the “Whistling Pig Red Ale,” our game-changing Irish classic. Visit this website for an up-date tap list. You never know what our talented brewers are whipping together on a given day, but fans of experimental IPAs, malty Scottish ales, and robust stouts are in for a real treat!

Charming Accommodations

romantic getaways in vermontOne of the most important aspects of a romantic getaway, especially to a historic, serene city such as Norwich, VT, is the overnight lodging. Luckily for you, all other romantic getaways in Vermont cannot match our historic charm, on-site amenities, and lavish, visually-appealing guest rooms. Choose between our 129-year-old Main Inn, pet-friendly Ivy Lodge, and newly-renovated Walker House, and simply sit back, relax, and bask in the old-world charm. We provide the allure of a top-rated bed-and-breakfast, the on-site amenities of a five-star resort, and the service of an award-winning hotel. Browse through our specialty packages to book an all-inclusive package that includes a dinner for two, champagne, chocolate-covered strawberries, and so much more!

3 Exciting Outdoor Summer Activities in the Upper Valley

 

3 Exciting Outdoor Summer Activities in the Upper Valley

hotels near dartmouth collegeSpring has officially arrived here in the blooming Upper Valley, signifying that it’s time to start planning your upcoming summertime escape to The Norwich Inn, one of the top-rated hotels near Dartmouth College. In a matter of weeks, the Upper Valley will once again be a lush, kelly green wilderness filled with seemingly endless outdoor adventure possibilities. We welcome all sorts of guests here in Norwich, VT, during the summertime, many of which are self-proclaimed outdoor enthusiasts who explore our glorious mountain ranges in a wide variety of ways. When they’re not sipping on one of our award-winning Jasper Murdock Ales, touring Dartmouth College, or savoring a freshly-baked pastry at King Arthur Flour, they’re found deep in the heart of the Upper Valley on a kayaking, hiking, or rock climbing expedition. To ensure that your stay with us is picture-perfect, we’ve compiled three of our guests’ favorite summer activities.

Hiking

Vermont and New Hampshire are known for offering outdoor enthusiasts a wide variety of summer activities, most notably hiking. The Norwich Inn, home to one of the best breweries in Vermont, is minutes away from mountain hikes, lakeside strolls, and the famous Appalachian Trail. Our favorite local hike is the Gile Mountain Trail, located six miles north of our historic Vermont Inn on Turnpike Road. The Gile Mountain Trail is an easy 1.4-mile, out-and-back hike to the summit, which provides visitors with panoramic views of the glorious Upper Valley on top of the Fire Tower. The trail itself is quite easy, but to reach the Fire Tower’s peak, you must trek up 324 stairs – it’s unquestionably worth the journey!

Nearby Boston Lot Lake is the perfect daytime stroll for dog walkers, families with young children, or couples looking for a romantic, secluded space for a picnic. This 2.4-mile loop is flat, scenic, and moderately popular among locals. We recommend parking in the lot along Main Street in West Lebanon, NH. Arguably our favorite Appalachian Trail hike is Holts Ledge in nearby Lyme, NH – it’s more challenging than Gile Mountain and Boston Lot but undeniably rewarding and beautiful.

Kayaking, Canoeing, or SUPing

hotels near dartmouth collegeThe tranquil Connecticut River, which separates Norwich, VT, and Hanover, NH, transforms into an outdoor enthusiast’s playground during the summer months. Canoeing is easily one of the top three summer activities here in the Upper Valley, especially along the Connecticut River. The Ledyard Canoe Club provides visitors with canoe, kayak, and SUP rentals at a fantastic price point. Despite being quite wide, the Connecticut River’s flow is slowed by strategically-placed dams which create watercraft-friendly basins. Paddlers of all skill levels will have no issues traversing these slow-moving currents. The river gorge itself is fully-enclosed by towering forestry. If you’re looking for a lazier but equally beautiful canoe trip, we recommend Storrs Pond Recreation Area.

Rock Climbing

The sport of rock climbing certainly isn’t for everyone, but for those who enjoy scaling natural rock walls or those who’re searching for a new challenge, please give Vermont Adventure Tours a call! Vermont Adventure Tours has a team of skilled, professional guides that lead tours into the heart of the Upper Valley. One of their locations rests in nearby Quechee, VT, which is only a short drive from The Norwich Inn, one of the only luxury hotels near Dartmouth College. Vermont Adventure Tours also offers rappelling, paddling, caving, and hiking expeditions.

Historic Hotels near Dartmouth College

hotels near dartmouth college

After exploring the jaw-dropping Upper Valley’s natural beauty through a variety of exciting summer activities, retreat to The Norwich Inn for refreshing craft beer, fine dining, and a sunset stroll along our colorfully-landscaped grounds. Pair your grass-fed filet mignon or parmesan risotto with a traditional English-style cask ale on our outdoor patio. Our instant-classic Whistling Pig Red Ale satisfies all beer palettes. To learn more about our historic inn or to book a well-deserved summertime getaway to Norwich, VT, please give us a call today at 1-802-649-1143, or simply visit NorwichInn.com.

So Near, Yet So Far

 

So Near, Yet So Far

vermont innSo Near everything in the Upper Valley…..So Far from the routine chain experience

Spring “college visit” season is upon us. Whether you’re planning to tour the Dartmouth College campus, visit your favorite college student, or simply explore what Norwich and nearby Hanover have to offer, you’ll discover a one-of-a-kind historic Vermont inn just one mile from campus. Here are five reasons to stay at The Norwich Inn for your Dartmouth College visit:

vermont inn1. Location, Location, Location!

The Norwich Inn’s proximity to the area’s top attractions makes our Vermont inn your ideal “home base,” regardless of the season. We’re less than a mile from the world-famous King Arthur Flour, approximately one mile from Dartmouth College, four miles from Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, and less than 30 minutes from Woodstock, a quintessential Vermont village. Our historic Vermont inn is only a minute from the New Hampshire border, the serene Connecticut River, and Interstate 91 – you’ll always be in the midst of what’s happening in the Upper Valley.

2. New Chef, New Menu, New Dining Room

Experience our dining room’s recent restoration as well as the fare of new Executive Chef Scott Liberty. Enjoy a culinary journey inside our cozy, historic dining room or the bustling Pub where our Jasper Murdock Ales are piped to the taps directly from our on-site brewery. Indulge in grilled grass-fed filet mignon, a grilled Faroe Island salmon fillet, succulent prime rib, or the wicked Whistling Pig Ale Cheddar Burger.

3. The New England Experience

Steeped in history, The Norwich Inn captures the essence of the region. Dartmouth graduate, Colonel Jasper Murdock originally built the Inn in 1797. After a devastating fire, the historic Vermont inn was rebuilt 129 years ago in 1890. The inn still exudes its original Victorian charm to go along with new lodging buildings, the Walker House and Ivy Lodge.

4. The Brewery

The Norwich Inn is home to Jasper Murdock Ales, one of the oldest Vermont breweries. Whether you’re a craft beer aficionado or just curious about the brewery’s operations, you’ll find an ale that perfectly befits your palette. You’ll also discover a wide variety of rotating taps, including a traditional English style cask ale. Each beer has its own story; many of which were first brewed for special events!

5. Free, Free, Free, Free!

We provide our guests with free Wi-Fi, parking, exercise room, and phone calls to U.S. and Canada!

Our Historic Vermont Inn

Make The Norwich Inn your college visit headquarters by giving us a call today at 1-802-649-1143 or visiting us online at NorwichInn.com. We also recommend browsing through our Vermont getaway specials, which includes the popular “Visit Dartmouth College Special.”

An Enhanced Dining Experience at The Norwich Inn – New Dining Room, New Chef, New Menu

An Enhanced Dining Experience at The Norwich Inn – New Dining Room, New Chef, New Menu

New Dining Room

norwich restaurantsThe Norwich Inn, one of the oldest inns and breweries in Vermont, recently launched locally-inspired Dining Room renovations. The Inn received a complete restoration and redecoration last year. The Dining Room provides a quiet, polished, and romantic fine dining setting, and it’s one of the closest Norwich restaurants to Dartmouth College. You’ll notice the repurposed wood tables, hand-crafted hanging lights, and old-world art – a simplistic yet stylish ode to the Inn’s beginnings in 1797.

Not only do our guests have the opportunity to slumber in one of our historic guest rooms, savor award-winning, house-brewed Jasper Murdock Ales, and attend popular events, but you’ll now have the privilege to indulge in ever-changing New England fare. Our unique Inn is the only restaurant in the Upper Valley region to provide a newly-transformed menu and five unique dining spaces. We’re also only a short drive from Norwich’s King Arthur Flour and steps across the Connecticut River from Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH. Tourists know us as one of the oldest and best breweries in Vermont – now our revamped dining experience is bound to leave a long-lasting impression on hungry patrons.

New Chef

A quick look into the pedigree and philosophy of Scott Liberty, Executive Chef:

What is your background and experience in the culinary world?

norwich restaurantsI started in this industry when I was only 17 in 1990. Like most who aspire to be a Chef, I started in Burlington, Vermont, as a dishwasher/prep cook; first at the Ramada Inn, then at the  Sheraton hotel, and later at Burlington Country Club. Earlier in my life, I actually wanted to be an architect. But I found myself continually being drawn to the culinary arts. At 23, I moved to Arizona to further my interest. I first worked at T-Cooks at the Royal Palms, followed by Lon’s at the Hermosa Inn, Michaels at the Citadel, Rancho Pinot Grill, Nonni’s Kitchen, M Culinary Concepts, Houston’s Too, and Wild Land Fire Catering. I worked my way up the ranks in the kitchens until I felt I had the skills and experience to lead and teach employees what I have learned.

In 2011, I found my way back to Vermont as the Executive Chef for Bloods Catering and then, in 2013, opening Chef for the Worthy Kitchen in Woodstock. In late 2014, I took a break from restaurants and cooking for a time. But I really didn’t: I would help out with events for the Worthy Kitchen and the Norwich Inn. It was nice to be able to come in and get back to my roots of just cooking but the Chef in me could not. I had some unfinished business.

What inspires you today?

I guess it would have to be the challenge of the restaurant, the complexity of moving parts, the food, the team, and the guests.

What’s your culinary philosophy?

Don’t let “good enough” be good enough. Everything can be improved upon – plate presentation, timing, cooking technique, knife skills, etc.

What is your favorite dish?

I get asked that all the time. I don’t have a favorite. The culinary world is constantly changing; food is evolving. One day it could be one dish, the next day it could be another. A better question is: what do I like to eat? Put a board of cured meats, grilled baguettes, foie gras torchon, local cheeses, mostarda, house-made pickles, and a big glass of Bordeaux – now we are talking.

What do you like best about being a Chef?

The opportunity to teach cooks what I have learned over the years, to better prepare them for their next step in this industry. I like to build and grow a team that takes pride in delighting our guests.

Newly-Transformed Menu

If you’ve ever dined at The Norwich Inn, you’ll quickly notice a newly-transformed dinner menu, which is served after 5 p.m. every evening. Executive Chef Liberty has taken classic New England recipes, many with local ingredients, and re-introduced them as pleasing to the eye and the palate. The grilled grass-fed filet mignon is served on a bed of horseradish fingerling potatoes and sauteed baby carrots, smothered in red wine demi-glace, and topped with crispy tobacco onions. Those of you who love fresh-caught fish will fall in love with our grilled Faroe Island salmon fillet, which is served on top of a creamy vegetable chowder. The Inn has also featured many nightly specials, including Half-Price Wine Night, Prime Rib Night, and Flight Night (a sample of our own Jasper Murdock Ales).

norwich restaurantsFive Unique Dining Spaces in Norwich, VT

In addition to the Dining Room, which is quickly becoming the most talked-about space among Norwich restaurants, we have a seasonal outdoor patio, an exclusive Wine Room (for private dining), the bright, casual Terrace Room with expansive windows and a fireplace, and, of course, The Pub. For meetings and banquets, we feature the Wine Cellar and Library.

Premier Norwich Restaurants

There’s never an offseason for high-quality craft beer, inventive fine dining, and luxurious, historic accommodations. Start planning your next Vermont getaway to The Norwich Inn by dialing 1-802-649-1143 or visiting us online at NorwichInn.com.