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Thursday, Aug 18, 2022

Staying in Vermont this summer? Here’s our can’t-miss list

In just a couple short weeks, as the semester winds down, some of us will pack up our dorm rooms for the final time, some will go home or jet off to various corners of the world for the summer months, while some won’t go very far at all. As your Local Editor team, we thought we would leave those of you who will be staying on campus or in Vermont this summer with some ideas of things to do when the hubbub of moving out and farewells dies down. So we brainstormed some of our personal favorite events, activities and adventures, as well as those recommended to us by our friends and peers. While this is by no means a comprehensive list of all that Vermont has to offer, we hope you will come across something new and exciting — or maybe even be reminded of some old favorite activities and haunts. We encourage you to use this summer to get off campus and learn more about the state we all live in, even if many of us do so only temporarily.


Campus File Photo/ Ellie Anderson
A nosey cow says hello at Billings Farm in Woodstock, VT.

Check out Billings Farm in Woodstock, or Shelburne Farms off Route 7 to pet some adorable baby animals.

Don’t miss the lively music scene! Be sure to check out the indoor and outdoor concert schedules at Shelburne Farms, Higher Ground and ArtsRiot.

The Middlebury Farmers’ Market; a staple weekend activity right nearby.

Get caffeinated before starting your day at Royal Oak Coffee, Middlebury’s new café!

Check out our creemee roundup to find your favorite soft-serve joint.

Into historical landmarks and beautiful gardens? Check out Hildene, the former summer home of Abraham Lincoln’s son, in Manchester, VT.

Enjoy food trucks and live music on Fridays at Arts Riot!

Looking for a date night spot or a place to bring your parents when they visit? Try Revolution Kitchen.

Over 21? Check out some of VT’s Breweries including: Fiddlehead, Foley Brothers, Switchback, The Alchemist, Long Trail, and Citizen Cider. Or sample them all at the Vermont Brewers Festival in Burlington, where 50 of the state’s best breweries will gather for a weekend.

More into Wine? Visit the local Lincoln Peak Winery: If you’re 21, living in Middlebury and looking for a serene place to drink some wine, drive ten minutes north on Route 7 to Lincoln Peak Winery. You can taste five of their wines for just $5 (this is a steal) and you get to keep the wine glass you use! The winery sits beside a cute little pond, so you can lounge outside on their porch by the water with your glass of wine, or even take a picnic and spread out on the grass among the vines (and eat all the grapes you want). The winery also hosts live music out on their back lawn or porch most Sundays throughout the summer: the Honey Badgers will kick off the season on June 9. Once you get there, try the Ragtime Red 2017— you won’t regret it.


Campus File Photo/ Ellie Anderson
One of many lookouts on Mount Mansfield.

Foodaroo 5 in the Historic Marble Works District:Food trucks, vendors, farms, culinary artisans and beverage producers from all across the Green Mountain State will gather at Marble Works, just a few minute walk from campus, for an evening full of delicious food, live music and dance performances. Come prepared with $5 in hand and a big appetite to indulge in local delicacies! The fifth annual festival, presented by Middlebury UndergrounD (MUD), is slated for Sunday, June 23 from 4:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Cheeseout like our editor did at the 11th Annual Cheesemakers Festival at Shelburne Farms: Sunday, August 11.

Feeling groovy? Listen to the next great musician at the Burlington Jazz Festival from May 31 to June 9.

Not into jazz? Hit up Woodchuck Music Festival (Ciderstock).

It’s not a summer in Vermont without walking with some cows. Head to Brattleboro for the Strolling of the Heifers on the second weekend of June!

Tumble down to Burlington for the annual Tumble Down Festival (feat. The Big Sip)

Or reach for the skies at the Quechee Hot Air Balloon Festival

But you don’t have to go far to have a good time. From July 7th, the town of Middlebury will host a week of free concerts and festivities for its annual Festival on the Green.



Campus File Photo/ Ellie Anderson
Taking in the views at Lincoln Peak Winery.

When the sun gets too hot to take, cool down at one of VT’s many glorious swimming spots including: Dog Team Road, Branbury State Park at Lake Dunmore, Falls of Lana, Bartlett (Bristol) Falls, Warren Falls and the Bolton Potholes.Have an hour? Bike to East Middlebury Gorge for a dip! The Middlebury River in East Middlebury is one of the most accessible swimming spots in the area. In July and August, locals flock to the rocks underneath the Route 125 bridge right before the steep ascent up Middlebury Gap. It’s a 7-mile bike ride from campus: follow Seminary St Extension to Foote St to Cady Rd, all of which have great views of the Western Spine of the Green Mountains. Take a right onto Route 116, which will bring you to East Middlebury. At the light, take a left and follow 125 up to the bridge. East Middlebury Gorge, like many local swimming holes is known for its clear, but very cold, water.

In Burlington for the day? Try biking across Lake Champlain on the causeway and bring a picnic for later.

Some beautiful hikes and walks: Mt. Mansfield, Lone Rock Point, Camel’s Hump, Silver Lake, Hamilton Falls and Otter Creek Park: Need a quick dose of nature? The Otter View Park is located a few hundred feet past Freeman Drive on Weybridge Street and is an ideal spot for getting a nature fix on a tight schedule. Follow the wooden footpath across the marsh to gorgeous views of Otter Creek, or simply admire Middlebury’s native wetlands from one of the park’s many benches. Park regulars include Zeus and Thor, two pugs who frequent the trail with their owner.

If you’re into some thrill seeking, venture up to Bolton for some rock climbing, cliff jump (safely please!) at Red Rocks in South Burlington, zipline at Sugarbush, or visit Get Air Trampoline park in Williston.

For a more relaxed way to spend some quality time outside, take a brunch cruise on Lake Champlain with Spirit of Ethan Allen: The next time you’re trying to find a low-stress activity for a hot summer day, head down to Lake Champlain for a scenic boat tour. Perfect for when relatives come to visit  or just a slow sunny day, the tour offers an hour and a half of historic narration of Lake Champlain, stunning views and both indoor and outdoor seating. It sets sail every two hours from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. all summer and only costs about $22. The company also offers a Sunset Cruise, Champagne on Champlain Brunch Cruise and Lunch on the Lake Cruise, among many other themed rides. These can get a little pricey (though not as bad as you’d expect) so we recommend the classic Scenic Narrated Cruise, and that you order a lemonade and drink it on a bench outside on the bow of the boat. Even on warm days, bring a jacket! It gets breezy.