Opinions on Vermont

My wife and I have only been to Vermont on short, summer visits, each time for only a few days, but I've kept track of where we stayed, ate, as well as some of the sights we've seen there.

For information on Vermont, including lodging, have a look at Vermont Living. Some information on Vermont State Parks is available on the web, too.


I won't stay in a room without a private bath, so assume all rooms in a place have one if I don't mention it specifically.

At the Junction EconoLodgeExit 11 of I-91, left onto 5 south, White River Junction, VT, 802-295-3015, 800-780-7234, $72, 7/08. Rm 235 was decent & the place was practically deserted, therefore quiet. Rm 231 faced the parking lot, but was surprisingly free of annoying noise. Rm 118 was also decent, but on ground level, so sliders can't be left open at night, while rms 126 & 128 are (amazingly) on 2nd floor & in all respects the best rooms we've had there.

Best Western New Englander Motor Inn.Bennington, VT, 802-442-6311, 800-780-7234, $78, 7/95. Stayed in room 176, which was quiet and had a relatively private view. Room 178 is on the end, so it might be better. There are rooms above for smokers, but they weren't too noisy while we were there.

Burlington Hilton. Battery St, Burlington, VT, $88 at the corporate rate + $6 for parking. Rm 311 faced the lake (not the garage with the noisy ventilator), with 2 beds. This is a well built place with all of the amenities.

Commodore's Inn. Stowe, VT, 7/95. Looked like a decent motor lodge. Try for a room facing away from the main drag and parking areas.

Darling Kelly's. Bennington, VT, 7/95. Ordinary motel where the room windows face the parking area and passersby. They won't cancel without 3 days notice, which is a ridiculous policy during July, when they aren't that busy.

Four Chimneys Inn. Bennington, VT, 7/95. Didn't stay here; didn't like the host; thought the rooms were rather dowdy given the high price they charge. (Note: just heard from the new owner, Bill Lamb, 4/97. He agrees with my assessment, but suggests that their recent changes make another look worthwhile. Aren't search engines amazing?)

Four Columns Inn. Newfane, VT, $120, 7/93. Old inn on quiet square of picturesque, if dull, town. Not the best beds and no hot food at breakfast. I would just stop by for dinner, which was very good.

Four Winds Country Motel. Manchester Center, 802-362-1105, 3 day cancellation, $109, 7/08. Modest but decent motel rooms with little back porches. On-site coin laundry. Rm 17 is a typical room near the farther from the office, with 2 beds.

Gables Inn. Rt 108, Stowe, VT, 7/95. Cramped rooms with low clearances.

The Hampton Inn. Rt 5 just south of I-89 exit for White River Junction, VT, $80, 7/01. Right next to the Best Western, it's 3 stories, so it's pretty solid. Rm 321 has a king-size bed. The window is small and faces the entrance for the interstate, but, remarkably, the view from the bed is pleasant and the construction is solid enough for it to be quiet. The exercise room is very small, but adequate for my purposes; the indoor pool is of a decent size. The free continental breakfast is no big deal but still popular enough that seating in the lobby can fill up, so bring down the tray from the room in case you end up wanting to go back to the room to eat.

The Inn at Marshland Farm. Quechee, VT, ag 2/96. It looks nice from the outside, but I'm told the rooms are run down and the food is bad. Since dinner is included, and you really should eat at Simon Pearce when in Quechee, there's no reason to stay here.

The Inn at the Mountain. Mountain Rd, Stowe, VT, 800-253-4754, 802-253-3000, $98, 7/07. Rm 25 was downstairs, had a queen bed, and was, overall a nice room with a limited but pleasant view. Since upstairs is the parking-lot level, downstairs is actually quieter in the morning, when there's a lot of action up there.

Notch Brook Resort. Notch Brook Rd (off Mountain Rd), Stowe, VT, 800-253-4882, 7/95-7/98. Modern, concrete condos located a mile up a side road. Low on charm, but the view is pretty good. As of 2004, they no longer do their own renting, letting local rental agents handle it, and their 1-time cleaning fee jacks up the cost so much that 1 & 2 day stays don't make sense anymore.

Nutmeg Inn. Wilmington, VT, 5/94-7/01. Quirky inn on main road, but upstairs rooms facing back are fine. Rm 9 has a king-size bed and small fireplace tucked into a corner ($140). Rm 6 ($99) has a queen-size bed but only a small window with frosted glass, so it's kinda claustrophobic and it's on the main hall downstairs. The included breakfast is decent. The hosts are new as of 7/01 and I don't much like them. They're not exactly rude, but they have something inadequate about their manor, as though they're not entirely comformtable dealing directly with people. It would be fine if they were operating a motel, but not a country inn.

Quality Inn at Quechee Gorge. Quechee, VT, 802-295-7600, 800-228-5151, 7/95. Just an ordinary motel; the best situation is probably in the rooms in the 2-story structure, 2nd floor, facing away from the road. Acceptably clean and maintained; quiet enough; within walking distance of the gorge. Non-smoking rooms available, so count on smoking rooms being thoroughly polluted.

Quechee Bed & Breakfast. Quechee, VT, 5/94. Didn't stay here, but looked through it. Nice, but close to the main drag. Rooms facing the back should be fine. Not sure about private baths.

Red Roof Inn Rt 4/7, Rutland, VT, $72, 7/07. Modern, solid, 2-story building in good condition, with good sound isolation from the heavy traffic on the big road out front. Rm 247 was at the far end, facing the side; there was no sense of being so close to a major thoroughfare. Rm 248 might be even better, since it doesn't face any parking area.

Viking Guest House. Londonderry, VT, 5/94. My wife found just a quick look depressing. Probably no reason to stay there unless you want to ski their trails.


Alldays and Onions. 519 Main St, Bennington, VT, 802-447-0043 rn, * 7/95, neat, cards, $9-20. Roast chicken w/ligonberries. OK: grilled chicken w/2 mayos.

Anthony's Diner. Rt 5, St Johnsbury, VT, * rpk 7/04, ns3. Tuna sandwich, tuna melt.

Backstreet Cafe. Brattleboro, VT, fair 7/93, casual. OK: turkey w/avocado melt on croissant.

Barn, The. Rt 30 N of jct Rt 133, Pawlet, VT, * 7/95, neat, cards. Baked stuffed chicken, teriyaki shrimp.

Battery Bay Market & Cafe. Battery St @College St, Burlington, VT, * rpk 6/08. Ice cream: Vermont maple, chocolate supreme.

Ben & Jerry's. Church St, Burlington, dull rpk 6/08. Dull: vanilla Heathbar crunch, strawberry.

Bennington Station. 150 Depot St, Bennington, VT, 802-447-1080.

Blanche and Bill's Pancake House. Rt 4 just e of Rt 100, Bridgewater Corners, VT, 802-422-3816, ea 9/97, W-Sa 7AM-2PM, MC V, $3-5. Pancakes.

Blue Moon Cafe. 35 School St, Stowe, VT, 802-253-7006 rn, * 7/95, neat, cards. Yellowfin tuna w/tropical fruit relish. OK: bass.

Bradford Mini-Mart Diner. Rt 5 @rt 25, Bradford, VT, * rpk 7/05. Eggs, toast, blueberry pancake, baked goods, ice cream.

Brantley's. Woodstock, VT, * 7/93-5/94, casual, cards. Potato soup, cold sirloin & brie, ice cream.

Candeleros. Rt 7A, Manchester Center, VT, fair rpk 7/05-7/08. Roast pork chimichanga, house margarita on the rocks. OK: steak fajita, guacamole. Avoid: taco salad.

Curtis's All American Bar-B-Q. Rt 5 at entrance to I-91 north, Putney, VT, fair 5/94-7/95, W-Su 10AM-dark, casual, no cards, $2-10. Choppped pork sandwich, bbqed chicken. OK: chicken sandwich, beans w/sauce. Avoid: slaw.

Diner at Quechee Gorge Antiques Mall. Rt 4, Quechee, VT, * rpk 7/05. Tuna sandwich, grilled ham & cheese (if you like a piece of ham steak in there).

Fairlee Diner. Rt 5 north of I-91 interchange, Fairlee, VT, * 10/96-7/99, daily, ns3. Eggs, sausage patties, home fries, grilled ham & cheese, tuna sandwich. Eh: bacon. NB: can be very slow getting seated and served on weekends.

Farina Family Diner. Marketplace, Quechee, VT, fair rpk 7/99, ns3. Meatloaf. OK: chicken fried steak, frappe.

Fire Stones. Waterman Place, next to Antique Collaborative, Quechee, VT, 802-295-1600, fair rpk 7/04, casual. Garden salad, chicken sandwich, prime rib.

Four Columns Inn. Newfane, VT, * 7/93, D Tu-Sa, neat, cards, $18-24. Crab cakes, mountain trout, chocolate w/fruit & puddle, house white. OK: venison.

Harvest Cafe. 4940 Main St (Rt 7A), Manchester Center, VT, 802-362-1550, * rpk 7/06-7/08, ns3, $7-15. Honey Glazed pork tenderloin, roast chicken w/bbq sauce glaze, Otter Creek lager, chicken parm, bacon cheeseburger, cheesecake w/strawberries. OK: grilled chicken Caesar salad. Hunh?: (cheap, frozen) regular (crinkle cut) fries.

Gables Inn. Rt 108, Stowe, VT, fair 7/95, casual, cards. French toast. Avoid: sausage.

Gourmet Cafe. Rt 7A, Manchester Center, VT, * rpk 7/05-7/08. Scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, cinnamon-raisin French toast, home fries, coffee, turkey-bacon-cheese wrap, iced tea, lemonade, eggs over easy.

McCarthy's. Baggy Knees Center, Mountain Rd, Stowe, VT, * rpk 7/98-7/04, ns3. Twice as Good w/blueberry pancakes, eggs & bacon. OK: breakfast burrito.

Mad Batter. Siebeness Inn, Mountain Rd, Stowe, VT, ** rpk 7/04, casual. Try: stuffed French toast (highly recommended by guy eating there). Mad Batter platter.

Madison Brewing Company. 428 Main St, Bennington, VT, 802-442-7397.

Mary's Cafe, Rt 4A, West Rutland, VT, * rpk 7/07-7/08. Grilled ham & cheese sandwich, tuna salad sandwich, bacon & eggs over easy. Avoid: (cheap, blah) cherry pie.

Miguel's Mexican. Mountain Rd, Stowe, VT, fair rpk 7/04. Beef fajitas. OK; chocolate ice cream. Avoid: beef chimichanga.

Mountain Creamery. Rt 4, Woodstock, VT, * 7/01. Chocolate malted frappe(!), (Kosher) hot dog. OK: tuna melt.

Mountain Road Mart. Stowe, VT, * rpk 7/98. Mocha thick shake.

Mrs Murphy's Donuts. Rt 11, Manchester, VT, 802-362-1874, * rpk 7/06-7/08. Cinnamon roll w/nuts, raised cinnamon donut, old fashioned donut, apple-cider donut(!), honey dew donut.

Olive's. 1056 Mountain Rd, Stowe, 802-253-2033, * rpk 7/04, neat. Garden salad w/gorgonzola, lamb w/peppercorns, chicken Portuguese(!).

Ott-Dog Quechee Gorge Snack Bar. Rt 4, Quechee, VT, * rpk 7/06-6/08. Coffee ice cream (although a bit weak on flavor), deer tracks (coffee heath bar) esp. in thick shake, black raspberry.

Paradise Restaurant. 141 W Main, Bennington, VT, 802-442-5418.

Penny Cluse. Cherry St, Burlington, VT, fair rpk 6/08. I know they mean well, but the stuff just comes off as unsuccessful; maybe egg dishes are so foolproof that they're worth a shot. Bacon, coffee. OK: sourdough French toast w/fruit, buckwheat pancakes w/blueberries.

Pie in the Sky. 492 Mountain Rd (Rt 108), Stowe, VT, 802-253-5100, ** 7/95-7/98, casual. Pepperoni pizza w/regular crust (not whole wheat) well done, minestrone, Greek salad, green salad, Ben & Jerry's ice cream.

Poncho's Wreck. near the library, Wilmington, VT, fair 7/01. OK: enchillada plate. Avoid: chimichangas.

River Run. 3 Main St, Plainfield, VT, 802-454-1246, ea 9/97, W-F 6AM-3PM, Sa-Su 7-3, no cards, $5-6. Pancakes.

Simon Pearce. Quechee, VT, 802-295-1470 rn, ** 7/93-7/08, L&D daily, neat, cards, $20-26. Chicken w/berry vinegar sauce & mesclun, duck w/mango chutney, filet w/garlic fritter, chocolate tart, Kahlua pot creme, house Pinot Noir. OK: (bland, slightly overcooked) terrace steak, (slightly dull) crab cakes. Avoid: mojito (no lime juice).

Sirloin Saloon. Depot St, Manchester Center, VT, eh rpk 7/05. Salad bar. OK: (cooling) wood-fire grilled chicken & sirloin w/(cool, limp) steak fries. Avoid: (tough) Andirondack steak.

Smokejacks. Church St @Main St, Burlington, VT, fair rpk 6/08. Burgers. OK: green salad (but they forgot the goat cheese and didn't offer anything other than a little plate of goat cheese that, by that time, would have accompanied my burger, to rectify the error; such a deal). Avoid: (negligible) cod cakes.

Sonny's Blue Benn Diner. Rt 7, Bennington, VT, 802-442-5140.

Sonny's Cup n' Saucer. 159 Rt 100 N, Wilmington, VT, 802-464-5813, ea 9/97, Sa-Th 6AM-2:30PM, F -6, MC V D, $3-4. Pancakes.

Spiral Press Cafe Ice Cream. Manchester Center at Dorset Rd, VT, * rpk 7/08. Mocha, black raspberry.

Sweetwaters. 120 Church St, Burlington, VT, * rpk 6/08. Beef fajitas, chicken Caesar salad, apple crisp w/vanilla ice cream.

Swisspot. Rt 100 @ School St, Stowe, VT, * 7/95. Apple pie (beg them to heat in oven) a la mode.

Tinmouth Snack Bar. Tinmouth, VT, * 7/95, come-as-you-are. Meatball parmesan grinder, fries, black raspberry ice cream, mint chocolate chip. OK: Seward coffee ice cream, chocolate.

Uncommon Grounds. Church St, Burlington, VT, ** rpk 7/08. Breve latte, cappuccino. OK: cinnamon swirl bun, raspberry muffin. Try: apple cider doughnut (when they have them).

Vermont Pub & Brewery. 144 College St, Burlington, VT, * rpk 6/08. Chicken Victoria sandwich, turkey sandwich.

Wasp's Snack Bar. 67 Pleasant St, Woodstock, VT, 802-457-9805.

Wayside Restaurant & Bakery. Rt 302 between Barre & Montpelier, VT, 802-223-6611, ea 9/97, daily 6:30AM-9:30PM, cards, $3-5. Pancakes.

West Mountain Inn. Arlington, VT, 802-375-6516.

Wildflowers. Quality Inn, Quechee, VT, fair 5/94-7/95, daily, casual. OK: bagel.


Cady's Falls. 1 mile south of Morrisville, which is about 5 miles north of Stowe. From Rt 100 take Morristown Corners Rd to Stagecoach Rd. Go north on that for about 1/2 mile. Park on the left & walk through the woods about 1/2 mile. Well worth the time.

Dorset Quarry. On rt 30 as you enter Dorset from Manchester. Abandoned marble quarry that is used much like the town's local swimming pool. The water is chilly enough that people don't linger in it, but warm enough to allow you to stay in for a good long swim, if you really want to.

Hildene. Manchester Village, VT. The home of Lincoln's son, and a very nice one at that, with nice grounds and expansive views of the area. Worth a visit, once, if you are in the area and like checking out old houses of relatives of the rich and famous.

The Ledges. The clothing optional (as they say, but it's really just plain nudist) beach on the Harriman Resevoir near Wilmington is a rocky ledge where folks sun themselves between dips in the resevoir. The water is pleasantly warm even in early July. The downside is that motor boats and jet skis buzzed around quite a lot while I was there, which was a Saturday. Maybe it's less of a problem on regular week days.

Mount Mansfield. Stowe, VT. Took the gondola up it, then walked down the trails open to mountain bikes. The climb up to the Chin looked too serious. Just going down the trails was hard enough. Maybe walking up would have been easier on the knees, but the thought of trudging all the way up seemed too much like work.

Quechee Gorge. Quechee, VT. You can just look at it from the bridge, but it's best to walk down the trail and out over the rocks, to sit right by the water & dip a toe in. The trail back the other way, around the resevoir, is worth skipping, as is the extended trail off through the marshy area to the left of the gorge.

Rock of Ages. Barre, VT. You ride (or drive, depending on the time of year) up to the top of their quarry and look down into it. Don't bother unless you are a serious rock hound who just has to see what a big, active quarry looks like.

Secret Waterfall. Middleton Springs, VT. From the town square, go east on Rt 140. At the top of the first hill, make a right onto an unmarked road. At the T intersection, go left. The road soon peters out to just a path, so park. There is a foot path nearby on the left. Use bug repellant, especially if biking.

Shelburne Museum. Shelburne, VT. A quirky collection of little buildings and houses that contain a variety of mildly pleasant bits of art and such. There's a big steamer ship in the middle of the lawn, and that's fun to climb on. It's an easy was to kill a few hours, especially with kids, but no big deal.

Smuggler's Notch. Stowe, VT. There's a waterfall soon after passing through the notch, heading north. It's on the west side, facing northeast, so you have to look back over your left shoulder to catch a glimpse of it.

Sterling Mills Gorge. Stowe, VT. Go 0.8 miles N on Rt 100; left onto West Hill Rd. Go 1.9 miles, then around a bend. After 0.3 more miles, turn right onto a dirt rd. After 2.2 miles turn left at the T. Go 1.9 miles and park on the right in the lot before the wooden bridge. The trail starts on the other side of the bridge. The trail is short but the falls and the area are worth seeing.

Stowe Pinnacle. 1-1/2 miles S of Stowe, on Rt 100, east onto Gold Brook Rd opposite the Nichols Farm Lodge, left at 1st intersection, right after 1.8 miles, parking lot on left in about 1/2 mile. Susan & I didn't get to the top, just to the overlook point about 25 minutes short of the peak. That was nice but not entirely worth the effort. Maybe the peak is worth it, but not to us.

Stowe Recreational Path. This is a hiking/biking/skating path more or less parallel to Mountain Rd. It wanders through fields & meadows, much of it next to a nice stream.

The opinions expressed in this guide were provided by myself and: ag - Andrew Grier.