September 15th – 17th, 2023
After traveling frequently to see family this summer my husband and I wanted to take a little getaway with our 7-month old son, Jackson. Woodstock, Vermont was the perfect choice! Located only about a 4 1⁄2 hour drive from New York City, it was short enough for a long weekend (and about the limit for Jackson to be in the car) and a nice getaway from the city.
Chartered in 1761, the small idyllic town is filled with East Coast charm complete with a main street lined with shops. As a bonus there are four picturesque covered bridges in the area. Vermont is famous for its production of maple sugar. I think I ate every maple-flavored item in the state including maple creemees, maple lattes and maple candies.
While mid-September was on the early side for peak fall foliage, the air was crisp and seasonal decor was up all over town. I enjoy going to hotspots slightly off season because you get many of the perks without the overcrowding created by other sightseers.
28 Central St, Woodstock, VT 05091 | monvertcafe.com/
If you’re looking for a good coffee in the area, this is the spot! Apart from your standard lattes, there is also a seasonal menu including a maple spice latte, pumpkin spice or “butterqueer” with spiced brown sugar syrup and caramel drizzle. For breakfast I ordered the “homies in a blanket” made with home fries, ham, scrambled eggs, Cabot cheddar cheese (another Vermont-based company!) and avocado with chipotle aioli on a pressed whole wheat wrap.
18 Elm St #1, Woodstock, VT 05091 | thevillagebutchervt.com/
Part butcher shop part sandwich shop and gourmet grocer, the Village Butcher was the perfect stop to quickly grab a bite when we got into town. The Italian grinder made with salami, mortadella, ham and provolone is a staple on their menu while the roast beef and Cheddar on a hard roll was a must order. I like splitting a cold sandwich and a hot to get the best of both worlds.
442 Woodstock Rd, Woodstock, VT 05091 | worthyvermont.com/
We met up with my aunt who lives in Burlington, VT at Worthy Kitchen for lunch. While it fills up and reservations are recommended, it’s a more casual counter service farm-to-table place with local Vermont craft beers. You place your order at the counter, and it is brought to you at your table. I’m a sucker for buffalo wings, especially in the fall during football season, so I split that and the blue cheese smash burger (with truffle parmesan fries) with Aaron.
61 Central St, Woodstock, VT 05091 | santewoodstock.com/
I had been looking for reservations at another restaurant that had been recommended to me, Mangalitsa, which has unfortunately been closed for a few years now. It just so happened we stumbled into another restaurant from the same group, Sante, and they had an available table.
While dinners can be difficult when accompanied by a small child trying to tear everything off the table, we loved every dish. The restaurant features farm to table fare and changes seasonally. We started with lard cornbread with honey truffle butter followed by ham and cheddar croquettes with a maple seed aioli. My main course was seared scallops served on cooked cabbage and shredded carrots, with lime, peanuts, nuoc cham (a Vietnamese fish sauce-based dipping sauce), and puréed green curry sauce. We opted to skip desert in favor of more maple creemees at Woodstock Scoops.
4778 S Rd, South Woodstock, VT 05071 | kedronvalleyinn.com
The restaurant is at the Kedron Valley Inn where we stayed, which made it the perfect choice for dinner. The tavern is located inside the original inn building, built in 1822, known for their wood fired pizzas. My favorite was the “old orchard” pie made with caramelized onions, alehouse Cheddar cheese, bacon lardons, arugula and grilled apples.
20 Central St, Woodstock, VT 05091 | woodstockscoops.com/
Maple creemee – Vermont’s version of soft serve made with local ingredients and of course high-quality Vermont maple syrup. My personal favorite way to eat it is in a waffle cone topped off by maple sprinkles, small pieces of maple candy. Maple creemees are made with higher fat content than typical soft serve. They are pumped with air to give it stiff signature peaks and silky texture.
4 Mechanic St, Woodstock, VT 05091 | aucomptoirvt.com/
This romantic cocktail bar just to the side of the Kedron Brook is housed in a white barn looking building perfect for a cocktail and light bites. I am a sucker for any cocktail made with gin and egg whites so the “la vie en rose” caught my eye. It was made with blood orange gin, cava, egg white, fresh lime and elderflower poured in a coupe garnished with rose petals. We ordered the onion dip to hold us over before dinner. The creamy dip came with a drizzle of olive oil and lemon zest served with kettle chips, instantly elevating it from your typical bar snacks.
4778 S Rd, South Woodstock, VT 05071 | kedronvalleyinn.com
The Kedron Valley Inn is located about an 8-minute drive from the center of Woodstock, Vermont. I recommend it if you have a car, but it can be a bit out of the way without one. With some split level rooms, the inn is perfect for anyone traveling with young children. They also have pet-friendly rooms available and a country store and cafe next door.
14 The Grn, Woodstock, VT 05091 | woodstockinn.com
While we didn’t stay here, I know many people who love it. Not only is it gorgeous but the location is perfect, located right in the center of town so everything is walkable. There are also plenty of amenities including a spa.
1837 W Woodstock Rd, Woodstock, VT 05091 | farmhousepottery.com/
One of the reasons I chose Woodstock, Vermont as our weekend destination is because it’s the home of one of my favorite handmade tableware companies, Farmhouse Pottery. The store is expertly curated with natural tablescapes and filled with handcrafted plates, bowls, mugs and more. They also offer pottery classes where you can learn to work the pottery wheel and create a piece yourself.
13 Elm St, Woodstock, VT 05091 | vermontflannel.com/
I recommend picking up some cozy flannels from this local, family-owned business that has been creating flannel products since 1991. The men’s classic flannel is a great option. It comes in a variety of patterns and is made with organic cotton that is tightly woven to prevent shrinkage. Their flannels are incredibly soft and comfortable, and they will keep you warm and cozy all winter long!
12 Central St, Woodstock, VT 05091 | yankeebookshop.com/
I love the smell of bookstores. I could spend hours perusing the aisles and reading the back covers to discover my next read. This independently owned bookstore, which opened in 1935, is Vermont’s oldest continuously operating bookstore. I picked up some board books for my son Jackson.
591 Sugarbush Farm Rd, Woodstock, VT 05091| /sugarbushfarm.com/
Sugarbush Farm is located about a 15-minute drive from the center of Woodstock. It’s worth the scenic drive to the family farm to sample their maple syrup and cheeses alone. Their pure Vermont maple syrup is made from the 6000 maple trees on their farm. It takes about 4½ buckets of maple sap boiled down over a wood fire to make one quart of maple syrup. Learning more about what goes into crafting such a high quality item (free of high fructose corn syrup) makes the higher price point understandable. We picked up a half gallon and got a dispenser from Farmhouse pottery for our kitchen.
Favorites from the tasting included their 3 year aged sharp Cheddar cheese, the jalapeño and cayenne pepper Cheddar and the naturally smoked hickory and maple Gouda cheese. I couldn’t leave without picking up a few of the hand waxed cheeses for future charcuterie boards.
5966 Woodstock Rd White River Junction, VT 05001| vtstateparks.com/quechee
This park in the town of Quechee is on the way from the highway (I-89) and makes for a great stop on the way in or out of Woodstock. Stop for a quick view of the gorge or hike down to the bottom.
Our weekend in Woodstock, Vermont flew by. By the time we were ready to leave, I had fallen in love with this small, picturesque town. It is certainly worth a visit in the fall for the beautiful fall colors, but shines in the spring and summer as well with its rolling green hills. Winter is special with snow capped mountains and nearby alpine and nordic ski areas. And there is plenty to do in Woodstock and the surrounding area. We enjoyed fine dining options both at our hotel and in-town, and in our limited time did some book and pottery shopping and learned about the making of maple syrup. We weren’t able to take advantage of some of the outdoor activities (such as great hiking trails), so I shall have to leave those for another time. I can’t wait to visit again!