After our stop at the Ben & Jerry’s Factory (read all about it here), we continued the Vermont adventure.
A quick stop at the Ziemke Glassblowing Studio in Waterbury was next. There is a store stocked full of your standard blown glass. We bought a cobalt blue glass globe that’s now hanging above the kitchen sink.
There’s also an area where you can watch the glassblowers work which was really neat. This fun chalkboard drawing explains how it’s all done.
A sign for wine tasting lured us into the Cold Hollow Cider Mill also in Waterbury. There is a cider pressing observation area where you can watch an old-fashioned hydraulic apple press from the 1920’s do it’s thing (or you could take a nap…it’s about the same excitement level).
I quite enjoyed sampling the cider right out of the barrel though. We tried the cider donuts (don’t save up calories to splurge here) and bought some apple butter and habanero jelly (both made in Vermont, of course).
Yes, we did the wine tasting. It seemed like a bargain at $1 per person until we tasted the wines. I ended up with a bottle of Montgomery Cherry wine anyway.
One final stop in the Waterbury area was at the Cabot cheese store. The sampling area was insane and we did our best to politely shove our way to the delightful dairy treats. We picked up with a nice organic baguette from a local bakery and a chunk of spicy cheese and headed to our hotel.
We stayed in a typical B&B. Nothing worthwhile to note about that.
The highlight of the trip for me was going to Burlington for dinner. I had no idea that this was such a great little town! We followed the advice of all the travel reviewers and went to American Flatbread for dinner.
They have a funky little alley with outside seating and a back patio area where a local band was playing. All sorts of little earthy kids and their hippie parents were dancing. Simply charming!
Oh and the food was good! The tamari ginger salad dressing was probably the highlight. Yum!
When walking around downtown after dinner, we stumbled upon a four-block stretch of Church Street that is fantastic. Only pedestrian traffic is allowed and the street is lined with restaurants, outdoor cafes, and shops. There happened to be a the annual Jazz Festival going on at the time so stages and music were sprinkled throughout.
I want to go back to Burlington for a whole weekend!
Ok so on day two of our adventure we drove through the capital of Montpelier. It was a good thing that neither of us blinked because we would have missed it. Despite it’s tiny stature, it’s neat and funky. Plus did you know that Montpelier is the only state capital to not have a McDonalds? You go, Vermonters!
We ran across a flea market at the Quechee Gorge Village in Quechee. I scored some jewelry…yes!
There were also vintage amusements including this carousel, pig, and horse. I HAD to try ’em!
The Quechee Gorge is a stunning natural phenomenon that just can’t be justly captured by a photo. It plunges 165 feet into the Ottauquechee River. Odd thing is that it’s best observed right off the main Highway 4 on a narrow bridge. Watch out for speeding traffic!
If you’re in the market for an $800 glass lamp or just want to check out how that lamp was made, stop by Simon Pearce in Quechee. You can talk with the glassblowers doing their thing and then check out this waterfall that provides hydropower to the building. Pretty cool! Next time we go back I’d like to eat at the Simon Pearce restaurant. It looked wonderful and the dining room overlooks the waterfall.
My conclusion on a Vermont is that it is a fun weekend trip for taking in all kinds of small little finds along the way. It’s perfect for meandering!
Don’t expect to get your socks blown off with any major tourist attractions in the summer (remember that the most popular site is the Ben & Jerry’s factory). However, the winter scene is quite vibrant with the skiing options, so perhaps I’ll go back in a few months to check that out. Killington or bust!