Waterbury, Vermont is a gem of a town in northern Vermont. Waterbury is a great base for visited a lot of northern Vermont as it is central to many popular places to visit. Before we visited Waterbury, I had a hard time finding a list of things to do in Waterbury, so to guide you in your journey of visiting Vermont, I have created an itinerary for you (the same that we created and followed during our visit)!
We visited in the winter and all of these places are open year round, so while this is technically a winter itinerary, you could use this itinerary any time of year.
Also, this itinerary goes very close to Stowe, Vermont, even though Stowe is not explicitly mentioned in the itinerary, but it would also be very doable if you were staying in Stowe during your trip.
The full itinerary on Google Maps: https://goo.gl/maps/QW8cq6QGGYGeSECRA
The Waterbury, Vermont Itinerary
1. PK Coffee for Breakfast
PK Coffee is an adorable local coffee shop in downtown Waterbury. There are many different coffee and tea choices. They also have a wide variety of pastries, including options for those that have dietary restrictions. There are many seats inside for chilling and enjoying your drinks. In the warmer months, it appears that they have outdoor seating options as well. One whole wall of the coffee shop inside is a gorgeous mural depicting local elements including giant cows (pictured below). Also, their coffee cups are super cute with drawings of local activities. This coffee shop is a great little find.
2. Hike a local trail
There are many trails surrounding Waterbury, including one of my favorites at Camel’s Hump State Park. (read my full post on how to hike Camel’s Hump in the winter for more info on Camel’s Hump). Some other trails near Waterbury are the Duxberry Window Viewpoint (5.1 miles round trip), Mount Hunger via Waterbury Trail (3.7 miles round trip), and Libby’s Look Loop (2.4 miles round trip).
See my Post: Hiking Camel’s Hump in Winter
3. Gold Brook Covered Bridge
There are many covered bridges throughout the northeast, but Gold Brook Covered Bridge is surrounded by local legend in addition to being a nice covered bridge. It was built in 1844 and is currently on the National Register of Historic Places. It is nicknamed “Emily’s Bridge” due to the local story that a girl named Emily jumped off the bridge and died after her lover did not meet her there to run away to get married. Legend says that her ghost haunts the bridge at night.
Regardless of the story, the bridge is beautiful covered bridge. The road is not heavily traveled, so you can easily pull off the road to get out and take pictures of the bridge if you wish. You can even drive through the bridge if you want!
4. Vermont Artisan Coffee & Tea
This place wasn’t originally in our plan of stops, but when we drove by and saw the huge red building and accompanying silo with “COFFEE” on the side, I knew we must stop and I am so glad that we did. The Vermont Artisan Coffee & Tea is a company that roasts coffees and curates teas. It was even voted the best coffee roaster in Vermont! They roast their coffee onsite and host many coffee and tea classes. We visited their café which is located at the back of the building.
When we visited in the winter, they had cozy fire pits lit outside that you could sit around with your coffee. Inside their cafe they have many different coffee items for purchase including whole bean coffee roasted onsite that they will grind to your desired size. Not only did I enjoy the latte I got while I was there, I brought some of their whole bean coffee home to enjoy and it was so delicious. I really recommend stopping here if you like coffee or tea.
5. Cold Hollow Cider Mill
Cold Hollow Cider Mill is right down the road, only a few minutes away. As soon as you walk in the door, you smell the sweet smell of apples and apple cider donuts. They have a large store filled both with products they make onsite, as well as other local products such as maple syrup.
If you visit on the weekday, you can even watch them making their cider! Since we visited on a Saturday, we were unable to see them making the apple cider, but we were still able to taste the cider. They have free apple cider to taste any day you visit! We also loved their apple cider donuts which you could watch being made fresh. They have other snack options available, or an entire restaurant next door.
***If you’re like me and not from the northeast, apple cider donuts are very popular up here! They are usually apple-cinnamon flavored donuts that are sometimes coated in cinnamon sugar. They are best served hot and are especially popular in the fall.
6. Cabot Farmer’s Store
Cabot Farmer’s Store is the next stop along your way. It is the storefront for Cabot, a cheese company based in Vermont. They have a ton of different cheeses and in the past had free cheese samples. In addition to cheeses, they have many local Vermont products. We tried some amazing locally-made alcohol-free ciders and seltzers here. If you are looking for dairy products or local food-related gifts, Cabot Farmer’s Store is your place.
7. Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory
Next stop on your way is the Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory. The Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory in Waterbury is the first Ben and Jerry’s factory and they still make over 350,000 pints of ice cream every day! Currently they are not open for tours, but their website states that they plan on reopening to tours in 2022. Check their website periodically to see if they are open again to tours.
Even with the factory being closed to visitors, you can stop by the Scoop Shop for their ice cream where they have the latest flavors (we were able to try a flavor that was released the day we were there!). Outside, they have a “Flavor Graveyard” where you can check out some different flavors that were at one time a flavor, but are no longer. The “Flavor Graveyard” is up on the hill behind the large parking lot and has signs pointing in it’s direction. The Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory is definitely worth a stop on your trip to Waterbury.
8. Morse Family Maple Syrup Farm
Morse Family Maple Syrup Farm is close to Waterbury, but not actually part of Waterbury. It is one of the closest maple syrup farms to Waterbury. To get to Morse Family Farm, you will actually go through the state capital of Vermont, Montpellier. Montpellier is the smallest state capital in the United States!
Right outside of Montpellier is Morse Family Farm. The Morse Family Maple Syrup Farm has a super cute shop with all different types of maple syrup for purchase. You can also visit the “Sugar Shack” where they make their maple syrup. Maple syrup is typically made in the spring, so when we visited in January, they hadn’t started making this year’s maple syrup yet. Even though they weren’t making the maple syrup, they had different infographics on how they make the syrup and what all goes into one bottle of maple syrup. We definitely got our maple syrup fix here and brought a bottle home with us. If you have the time to drive a little out of your way to go here, it is definitely worth it.
Morse Family Farm Address: 1168 County Rd, Montpelier, VT 05602
9. Prohibition Pig for Dinner
End your day around Waterbury by stopping at the Prohibition Pig for dinner. Prohibition Pig is a local favorite. They have AMAZING smoked meats. I tried their smoked chicken and barbeque and loved it. All the dishes I saw at the tables around us also looked super good. In addition to the great food, the vibes here are nice. It is very cozy inside.
If visiting for dinner on the weekend, be prepared to wait for a table as it is not huge inside. Once we were seated, service was super quick and everyone was super nice. There is street parking, but also a pay-per-hour parking lot across the main street from the restaurant. Prohibition Pig is definitely a great way to end your day in Waterbury.
Other Possible Stops
We visited Waterbury, Vermont in the winter which is a great time of year to enjoy many activities with less crowds. Although it was less crowded compared to the summer, there are some things that we missed out on due to the time of year. If you visit in the summer, some things to see that we didn’t include in this list include Smuggler’s Notch, Mount Mansfield, a walk around Stowe, and Sterling Gorge Falls.
Visiting Waterbury, Vermont Tips
1. Make sure to check closing times as many places in Vermont close early
One thing that has continually surprised us about Vermont is how everything seems to close much earlier in the day or be open at unexpected hours compared to New York. If there is somewhere you insist on visiting and would be disappointed if it was closed, really be sure to check their hours before going. If you follow the itinerary I lay out above, especially on a weekend, you should not run into problems with closing times, but double check before your trip to avoid disappointment.
2. If visiting in the winter, be prepared to possibly drive on slippery road conditions.
Northern Vermont gets a lot of snow throughout winter, so be prepared to drive on possibly icy roads. Vermont does a great job of clearing the roads, but it could very possibly be snowing while you’re driving (as was the case with us for most of the weekend we visited).
3. In the crowded months (especially fall when the leaves are pretty) plan on arriving early to places or wait for parking.
While we didn’t have much of an issue parking in the middle of winter on a very cold day, word is that summer and fall are super crowded and that it can be difficult to find parking. Keep that in mind if planning a trip to Waterbury and the locations mentioned within this article during the busy months.
Overall, we loved our visit to Waterbury and were impressed with all that this area had to offer. I hope this itinerary helps you in planning your trip to Waterbury, Vermont.
Is there anything I am missing in Waterbury? Leave your comments and questions in the comments down below!
Thanks for reading!