Another trip to Vermont has come and gone without the opportunity to ski! This may seem odd, since this post is coming after the East Coast was slammed with a massive blizzard, but the weekend before Christmas the slopes had barely any snow on them. Since we had planned on skiing during our travels to Vermont this time around, the lack of open slopes had us really discouraged. Luckily, we found some awesome things to do in the neighboring towns that we hadn’t seen yet. If you find your trip to Vermont ski-less, here are some great places to go and fun things to see instead!
Waterbury is just a little over an hour from Killington, which is where we stay every year. Waterbury is a cute little town in central Vermont, alongside the Green Mountains (yes, like the coffee!). The Green Mountain Byway provides a gorgeous scenic drive that runs through Waterbury to the nearby town of Stowe.
Even more notably, Waterbury is home to the Ben & Jerry’s ice cream factory! Make sure you stop by to get a tour tour of the production process, it’s actually really fun. We got to go behind the scenes to see how the ice cream is made, and we even got free samples at the end. Have you ever tried a Ben & Jerry’s banana split? I have. And let me tell you, no regrets… not one. Another cool part of visiting Ben & Jerry’s was getting to see the Flavor Graveyard, where the flavors that didn’t do so well lay to rest.
Check out some of the other big name shops located in Waterbury, like the Cabot Cheese store where you can sample tons of different cheeses (which may even lead you to skip lunch). In the same lot is Lake Champlain Chocolates, which had tons of different sweet treats to indulge in and makes the perfect gift to bring back to your friends and family.
From Waterbury, hit the road for another hour and a half and head to Burlington. Burlington was definitely my favorite place we saw during the whole trip. Home to the University of Vermont, the town has a very chill vibe. The main spot to see in Burlington is the Church Street Marketplace, the main option for shopping in Burlington. We were there just in time for dusk, which was absolutely beautiful with the twinkling lights shining around the town. Not to mention, they had a big, gorgeous Christmas tree lit up!
In Burlington, we checked out all the stores and did our shopping before heading down to Lake Champlain. It was pretty dark and very chilly down by the water, so it wasn’t the best opportunity for photos, but it was definitely worth the walk down from Church St. to the Lake.
There’s tons of great options for dinner in Burlington, but we had a great time at Sweetwaters. Originally built in the 1880s, the building was beautiful and the food was amazing. We had some of the best calamari we’ve had yet (and we get it just about everywhere we eat out!) and there was a wide selection of both warm and cold signature cocktails. A perfect day out in Vermont had the perfect ending with this meal!