Woodstock, Vermont is such a quaint and picturesque little New England town that everyone should visit. Woodstock not only has a great walkable downtown area with shops but it also has a covered bridge and river that you can access. Several of the Bed & Breakfasts in town have Adirondack chairs that you can sit in and enjoy the river.
When you think of autumn in New England, you are picturing Woodstock, Vermont.
There is also a lovely town green with picnic tables for you to enjoy. The town also uses the green for Holiday Fairs and farmer’s markets. If you are lucky enough to time your visit during a fair, make sure to stroll the booths, you will not be disappointed.
There is plenty to explore in the area as well. With Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historic Park, several farms, a nature center, and natural gorge, several artisan studios, and even a brewery. Woodstock and the surrounding area has lots to see and do for the whole family.
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Downtown Woodstock, Vermont
If you enjoy strolling small-town shops and country stores you will love Woodstock, Vermont. One of my favorite stores is the Yankee Bookstore. This bookstore opened in 1935 and is the oldest independent bookstore in Vermont. I love searching bookstores like this one for uncommon books. The ones you don’t find in the big-box bookstores. I’ve found some amazing kid’s books here that my kids love.
Another shop I love is Unicorn, a very unique shop with an eclectic mix of items for sale. I love to see what new interesting items they have. They carry everything from kid toys to metal puzzles to handmade knives. They also carry jewelry made by local artists as well as handmade cards.
And I can get lost in F.H. Gillingham & Sons General Store. Not only does it have all your typical general store items but they have clothing, local specialty foods, kid’s games, and toys as well as a great wine selection. I do spend a lot of time there whenever we go. Don’t miss this shop whatever you do.
The Woodstock Town Hall Theater hosts live music, theater, and movies to see. Check out Pentangle Arts for a schedule of what’s playing. The town hall building itself is beautiful and worth a walk by just the architecture alone.
The Norman Williams Public Library is right in downtown Woodstock and has some beautiful architecture. Yes, I studied architecture in college. But honestly, I think you will appreciate this building as well. Not only the stonework outside with its three arches but also the inside with its beautiful woodwork.
Covered Bridges in Woodstock
Don’t miss the covered bridge downtown, there is a walking lane through it so you can stroll without worry. If you would like to check out more covered bridges in the area, here is a road trip map and post just for that.
Restaurants in Woodstock
Mountain Creamery ice cream is not just an ice cream shop but a dinner as well serving up some delicious Vermont grown food. For a cafe try either Mon Vert Cafe or Soulfully Good Cafe which both do really nice sandwiches and salads. Evelyn was able to get a toasted bread sandwich at Soulfully Good that she really enjoyed if you are looking for a gluten-free option.
However, if you’re looking for a more upscale meal try either the Red Rooster at The Woodstock Inn or The Lincoln’s Inn in West Woodstock. If you like a more romantic evening try The Prince & The Pauper and for a cozy lounge don’t miss Richardson’s Tavern.
There are many more options outside of downtown Woodstock from farmer’s markets to general stores to fish fries and barbecue joints. The list is essentially endless.
Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historic Park in Woodstock
Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historic Park is the only National Park that is dedicated to “conservation history and the evolving nature of land stewardship in America.” The Marsh-Billings Farm and Museum are across the road and were set up to continue the work being done by the three founders of this National Park.
The kids can earn their Junior Ranger badge as well. Here is even more info about Junior Ranger badges at our National Parks. The activities for this badge all center around conservation. You hike through the woods and find different locations and learn about them. I think my kids enjoyed learning about the composting heap the most. For me, I enjoyed seeing all the new saplings that were planted.
The farm was established in 1983 and is a true working dairy farm. The museum depicts rural farm life in Vermont and its history. The farm has cows, steer & oxen, draft horses, sheep, chickens, pigs, and goats. In the summer the animals are in the pasture but in the winter, you can visit the animals in their barns.
The gardens are the farm are very special too. They grow heirloom vegetables and herbs, sunflowers, pollinator plants, and apples. The ‘coolest’ garden, in my opinion, of course, is the pizza garden. Yes, I said a pizza garden. They grow everything you need to make pizza. From the tomatoes right down to the wheat for the crust. Pretty cool, right?
Don’t leave the farm without stopping by the museum shop & diary bar. The farm produces its own ice cream, cheddar cheese, milk as well as hot and cold drinks. Make sure to get a snack while you are there and buy some for home. The museum shop offers some old-time children’s games and books and also unique locally made items.
Sugarbush Farm is a working maple syrup and cheese farm in Woodstock. Visit all the different areas of this family-run farm from the sugar room to the cheese room but don’t forget the animals. The maple syrup season is in March and April and the cheese-making is mostly during the late spring. However, you can sample their cheese at any time.
While at the farm take time to enjoy their nature trails through their many maple trees. See if you can find their chapel in the woods. The family built this chapel for weddings but also to give visitors a place of peace.
If you visit in spring you get to see all the new babies on the farm. The farm has horses, goats, pigs, chickens, rabbits, and of course cows who produce the milk for all the cheese produced on site. No matter when you visit Sugarbush Farm you will enjoy what they have to offer.
VINS Nature Center
VINS Nature Center started out as an initiative to clean up the Ottauquechee River that runs from Killington to the Connecticut River at the New Hampshire State line. Back in the 1970s, the river was quite polluted and a group of citizens from Woodstock wanted to change that. They worked diligently and were able to have the first water quality legislation passed in Vermont.
After the legislation, the group continued to educate the local kids on the environment as well as preserve the local forests. From there the organization grew larger. Today the nature center is on a 47-acre lot in Quechee. The center has several birds of prey rehab enclosures as well as 2 songbird aviaries.
On the grounds are a Welcome Center and Nature Store, a center for wild bird rehabilitation, a center for environmental education, and a center for environmental research. The center also has several classrooms, a nature walk with a treetop canopy walk, interactive exhibits, and live birds of prey shows.
Route 4 Activities Near Woodstock
Route 4 is easy to pick up off I-89 in Vermont. It runs east/west across the state and you can even take it into New Hampshire in the east or New York in the west.
All along Route 4, you will find shops to buy pottery, homemade clothes as well as artisans gifts. You will also find the Woodstock Farmer’s Market and many restaurants for your dining pleasure.
Several of our favorites are Andrew Pearce Wooden Bowls and Factory, Long Trail Brewery, Hops Barley liquor store, Farmhouse Pottery, and Sugar & Spice Restaurant.
Quechee which is only 7 miles away from Woodstock has some great places to explore as well. Simone Pearce is a glass shop where you can watch the artisans making their different pieces. You can purchase a wide assortment of plates, bowls, service pieces, glasses, and gifts in their shop. If you are looking for a romantic dinner, dine in their restaurant, The Mill at Simon Pearce. With views of the mountains, river, waterfall, and covered bridge, this spot is hard to beat. Check out Simon Pearce for current dining options.
Quechee also has a state park where you can camp and go hiking. However, just driving through you will pass over the Quechee gorge. Thankfully there is parking both before and after the bridge so get out and take some pictures. It’s quite a sight. If you’d like to walk down to the bottom, you can do it in sneakers very easily. I’ve even seen some people do it in flip-flops.
Of course, if you’d like to explore more of Vermont’s waterfalls you can do that too.
If antiques are your thing then Quechee Gorge Village’s Antique Mall is for you. I’ve found some really fun items here. They have a museum upstairs that has some really cool old lunchboxes and toys. Go show your kid’s toys you used to play with when you were their age.
If cheese is your game, check out the Cabot shop where you can sample their cheeses and buy all these products. In warm weather, there is a carousel and a small train for kids to ride.
Activities around Woodstock
For those wanting winter adventure sports, you have a few ski resorts to choose from. There is Suicide Six right in Woodstock but you also can ski at Quechee Ski Hill. For big mountain skiing, you can go to Okemo Mountain or Killington Mountain both are approximately 35 minutes away from Woodstock.
If you would prefer cross-country skiing or even snowshoeing look no farther than the Woodstock Nordic Center at The Woodstock Inn. They offer 45 km of groomed trails on two different routes, sure not to disappoint.
Spring in my book is dedicated to maple syrup! Of course, there are many maple shacks and farms that make maple syrup but in Woodstock, I’d recommend going to Sugarbush Farm. Maple sap starts to flow as the snow starts to melt. The trees are looking for warmer days. While you are at the farm check out any baby animals and their cheese!
Billings Farm also has great activities in the spring with their baby animals and cheese, however, they do not make maple syrup. Hiking around the nature trails to see the new growth is also super fun at the farm and woods across the street.
Another fun festival is the Quechee Hot Air Balloon Festival which is right around Father’s Day every year.
Mom Tips: Spring in Vermont is known as mud season so make sure to wear appropriate footwear when you are out and about.
Summer is a great time to get out and explore Vermont. The Ottauquechee river which flows through Woodstock can be a nice spot to dip your feet into the river to cool off. Of course, you can get out your reel and try your hand at fishing too.
You can also visit a lake to go swimming. Silver Lake State Park is only 15 minutes from downtown Woodstock and ready for you to enjoy. Hiking, boating, and fishing on this lake are amazing.
If adventure is more your style head on over to Killington Mountain for their adventure park. They offer everything from a high ropes course to a mountain coaster to mountain biking.
Okemo Mountain also offers a mountain coaster as well as disc golf which I would love to try.
Vermont shows her finest in the autumn when the leaves change and the cool air arrives. Looking to enjoy some hiking in the area? Use the AllTrails.com or their App to chart one of the many trails in the area.
A new trail that just opened on Labor Day this year is the Ottaquechee River Tail. This three-mile-long path that meanders along the river will give you great views of Mt. Tom and Mt. Peg along with the river. I can’t wait to take a walk along this new path.
Fall festivals are common throughout the area as well as picking apples at both Sugarbush Farm, Billings Farm, and Top Acres Farm in South Woodstock. Hayrides are offered at both Sugarbush Farm and Billings Farm. However, a corn maze is only at Billings Farm.
Pin for Later
No matter what time of year you visit you will fall in love with Vermont, especially Woodstock and its surrounding areas. I know my family has and we’ve been visiting year after year to continue to enjoy it. Have you been? What is your favorite thing to do in town?