In the Fall issue of Yankee Magazine, there’s a wonderful article on the 85 Best Things to Do in New England. And I was pretty excited to see that 11 of them are within an easy drive of the inn. ELEVEN!
So here they are, with some commentary from me.
#7 Contemplate Utopia in a Shaker Village
The article mentions Sabbathday Lake (Maine) and the Shaker Villages in Pittsfield (Mass) and Canterbury (NH). But it doesn’t mention Enfield Shaker Museum, which is only 30 minutes from the inn and is open for guided tours (advance tickets only). You can view the museum collection, walk through restored shaker buildings, and explore the herb and flower gardens.
#8 Find Shutterbug Nirvana at Sleepy Hollow Farm
You may have seen photos of this spot on Instagram, and it really is lovely. It’s also just 10 minutes from the inn. If you want to get an early morning shot, just let us know. We’ll have go-cups for coffee; hand you a bag with fruit, yogurt, and pastry; and send you on your way. Or heck, sleep in, enjoy our breakfast, and catch the farm at twilight!
#16 Get Away From It All at Saint Gaudens National Historical Park
This is one of the least visited national parks and truly a hidden gem (30 minutes from the inn). The historic house where sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens lived with his wife, artist studios, garden “rooms” with his sculptures, and more. Please note that it’s only open summer and fall, and that inside spaces aren’t open this year due to the pandemic.
#22 Join the Annual Gold Rush to the Sugar Shacks
Sugaring season is late winter/early spring, and several places nearby boil sap daily at that time. But if you’re here in the summer or fall, we encourage you to go see our friends at Sugarbush Farm (3 miles). You can see the machine they use to make syrup, learn about the process, and sample the four grades of syrup they sell. We serve their “Dark Color Robust Taste” here at Applebutter. It’s incredibly good.
#31 Make Like an Ivy Leaguer
This item touts the brick filled campuses of Harvard, Brown, Yale, and Dartmouth. Less than 30 minutes from the inn, the Dartmouth campus is definitely worth a walk around. It’s located right in downtown Hanover where there are plenty of shops and restaurants. Hanover is also home to the Hood Art Museum, which houses a fantastic collection and is free to the public (currently closed but hopefully opening soon).
#41 Have an Anti-Amazon Retail Experience in Weston, VT
A pretty hour or so drive on back roads takes you from the inn to the Vermont Country Store. From the candy in the front to kitchen items, clothing, and a bunch of stuff you didn’t know you needed, you’ll find yourself wandering for longer than you intended. A fun and unique shopping experience that’s worth the drive.
#51 Eat Your Way Through an Economy-Size Block of Vermont Cheddar
Well, we’ll leave the amount up to you, but there is some fantastic cheese here, for sure. The Cabot Cheese store is a few miles away in Quechee, a few miles in the other direction is Gillingham’s Country Store with a good selection of local cheese, and a few miles beyond that is the Holy Grail of cheese and other local products: The Woodstock Farmer’s Market (a gourmet food store, not an outdoor market). If you want to go straight to the source, we recommend Plymouth Artisan Cheese company, which makes cheese on premise (30 minutes from the inn). We’re very fond of their Hunter, which tastes like a cross between cheddar and parmesan.
#55 Bliss Out With a Maple Creemee
It’s soft serve, but a bit creamier and made with real maple syrup. We like Mac’s Maple just over the border in Plainfield, NH. A dairy and farm store, Mac’s has wonderful products and top-notch creemees.
#60 Be Romanced By a Covered Bridge
There are a plethora of covered bridges in this neck of the woods, starting with our own red Taftsville Bridge. A few miles east is the Quechee Bridge, a few miles west is Woodstock’s Middle Bridge. And one of the longest covered bridges in the country runs over the Connecticut River between Cornish and Windsor (about 20 minutes from the inn; not super picturesque but still cool).
#72 Make a Pilgrimage to the Ben & Jerry’s Factory
Mecca for ice cream lovers, this factory tour is fun and ends with an ice cream sample. Then buy a cone and visit the Flavor Graveyard. It’s a little over an hour drive from the inn on the highway, or take the scenic back road for about double that.
#78 Foliage DriveThe Yankee article mentions Smuggler’s Notch and the Kancamagus Highway. Both are gorgeous, and they’re each doable on a day trip from here. However, there are plenty of wow-factor drives closer to the inn that will let you enjoy the beauty without the crowds and tour buses. We’ve got a few drives mapped out and ready to hand to you when you arrive, or ask us to create a custom drive just for you.