Vermont is all about warm welcomes, intimacy, and homegrown pride. The stunning countryside, a cozy bed and breakfast, local farm fresh food, and a few drams will make for a restoring and relaxing adult weekend away. Before you go, reserve a private tasting and tour with Duncʼs Mill for Sunday.
Grab your favorite weekender bag and cruise up to Montpelier. Settle in at the Hill High Inn and turn your cell phone off. Walk around downtown Montpelier, the only US capital city to not have a McDonaldʼs, and browse music stores, like Guitar Sam!, and bookshops, like Rivendell Books. The Skinny Pancake offers up local ingredients in hearty dishes with sweet crepes for dessert and, most importantly, the coveted Heady Topper beer.
After a slow and peaceful morning and organic breakfast at the B&B, get back on the road and drive one hour North to the Vermont region referred to as “The Kingdom.” Caledonia Spirits awaits, and this place requires the entire morning. I highly recommend booking a tour. The crew here is passionate and dedicated to their spirits, each other, and the local faming community. They make farms run by not just preaching, but also truly utilizing local products and teaching about the importance of agro and dram tourism. They use raw organic honey in their vodka. They also incorporate honey into their gin, a whisper in the botanical blend.
Are you blissed out yet? Well, get ready for the best pizza of your life. Agnus in the tasting room of Caledonia, who also happens to be a forest ranger on the side, gave me directions to Parker Pie. Located in West Glover, in the back of a convenience store, is the hidden gems of hidden gems. You can get some killer slices as well as Hill Farmstead beer on tap. (If you wanted this beer on a Saturday at the brewery, youʼd be waiting in line for 2 hours.)
After that overwhelming sensory experience, itʼs time to go for a walk in nature, because, well, itʼs Vermont. Hope over to Barr Hill and take a leisurely hour to walk the soft, winding trail.
I recommend Airbnb in this area; itʼs prevalent and convenient and you can really live like a local, which of course befits the region’s vibe. There are lots of great options, and Caledonia vouches for two on their website, both very nice. They will run you about $70-80.
Head over to Willeyʼs Store in Greensboro. They have prepared items, fresh fruit, drinks, and venison jerky to pick up for your afternoon picnic later in the day.
Drive on down the road to Duncʼs Mill in St. Johnsbury for your tasting and tour. Sample their elderflower rum made with fresh-picked local elderflowers, and their maple rum made with local maple syrup and sugarcane. Backwoods Reserve is their rum made from molasses and cane, then aged in Hungarian oak to give it a cedar and cigar-box tone. The crew here is dedicated to truly crafting everything from scratch and, again, a love-for-local philosophy permeates the entire project.
Head back south by way of the White Mountains and find a cozy spot along the road to take in their overwhelming beauty and have your picnic. Savor these last few hours of your getaway weekend in peace and quiet. Want a short hike? The Basin-Cascades trail is just off of I-93 and is 2 miles, taking 60-90 minutes; itʼs a very scenic segment of the Appalachian Trail. Access it at The Basin parking lots.
This weekend is a great introduction to the culture of Vermont distilling, and will make you want to come back for more, of which there is plenty.
High Hill Inn
265 Green Road
East Montpelier, VT 05651
Price: $100, including organic breakfast for 2
89 Main St
Montpelier, VT 05602
Hours: Sun-Thur 8 am-8 pm, Fri-Sat 8 am-9 pm
Price: Heady Topper $7, Dishes $10-15
46 Buffalo Mountain Commons Dr.
Hardwick, VT 05843
Hours: Mon- Sat 10am-5pm, Sunday 11am-3pm (July-Dec)
161 County Road
West Glover, VT 05875
Hours: Tue-Thur 11am-9pm, Fri-Sat 11am-10pm, Closed Monday
Price: Pints of Hill Farmstead $6, Dishes $10-20
7 Breezy Ave
Hours: Mon-Fri 7am-8pm, Sat-Sun 8am-8pm
622 Keyser Hill Rd.
St. Johnsbury, VT 05819
Hours: By appointment
From the Greensboro Town Hall take Lauredon Avenue 0.6 miles to Bar Hill Road and take a left at the fork. Drive 1 mile and look for the nature area sign. 0.6 miles farther is the trailhead parking lot and a sign for the nature trail.
Easy 0.7 mile loop, 1hr at a leisurely pace