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Shelburne to Middlebury: Cows, Creemees and Otter Creek

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Mt. Philo summit - CAROLYN FOX
  • Carolyn Fox
  • Mt. Philo summit
The Burlington to Shelburne stretch of Route 7, crammed with an abundance of chain stores and traffic lights, looks more like New Jersey than Vermont. Cruise on past all of that to find the picturesque farmland, mountain views and mom-and-pop shops you’d expect in the Green Mountain State, as well as a quintessential New England college town.

Attractions

1. Shelburne Farms

Shelburne Farms
  • Shelburne Farms
Animal lovers can commune with adorable goats and sheep, milk a Brown Swiss cow, pick up a chicken and play in the children’s farmyard at this 1,400-acre working farm established by Dr. William Seward and Lila Vanderbilt Webb. Older kids and parents might enjoy a guided tour — landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted designed the grounds. The courtyard farm cart serves up tasty grilled cheeses (with cheddar and bread made on the premises). For an elegant, but kid-appropriate, brunch and a stroll through the formal gardens, head to the Inn. $$
Location Details Shelburne Farms
1611 Harbor Rd.
Chittenden
Shelburne, VT
802-985-8686

2. Shelburne Museum

A variety of historical buildings house Electra Havemeyer Webb’s astounding collection of American folk art. The younger set will go gaga for carousel rides, blacksmith demos, the opportunity to explore a landlocked steamboat and the Owl Cottage, a playroom of kids’ dreams. Eat at the on-site cafe or bring a picnic. $$$
Location Details Shelburne Museum
Shelburne Museum
6000 Shelburne Rd.
Chittenden
Shelburne, VT
802-985-3346, ext. 3395
Historic Sites, Museums and Visual Arts
maple_landmark_woodcraft.png

3. Maple Landmark Woodcraft

This local manufacturer makes high-quality, built-to-last wooden toys like magnetic name trains, spinning tops and mustaches on a stick. A $4 tour gives visitors a peek at the toy-making process in action, Monday through Friday at 10 a.m. or 1 p.m. $
Location Details Maple Landmark Woodcraft
1297 Exchange Street
Addison
Middlebury, VT
802-388-0627
Toys

4. Otter Creek and Middlebury Falls

Middlebury Falls - JEB WALLACE-BRODEUR
  • Jeb Wallace-Brodeur
  • Middlebury Falls
Kids will enjoy playing on the big rocks and slabs of marble on the banks of Otter Creek right off the college town’s main drag. A quick stroll through nearby MIddlebury College might spark conversations about higher education. It’s never too early, right? 
Location Details Middlebury Falls
7 Frog Hollow Alley
Addison
Middlebury, VT
Outdoors & Wildlife

5. Junebug

Junebug
  • Junebug
This nonprofit resale shop is the perfect place to stock up on summer play clothes like sun hats, bathing suits and rompers. 
Location Details Junebug Mother and Child
5 Park Street
Addison
Middlebury, VT
802-388-1055
Baby Clothes and Consignment

Food & Drink

6. Vermont Cookie Love

Vermont Cookie Love - CALEB KENNA
  • Caleb Kenna
  • Vermont Cookie Love
Stop for sweet treats including fresh-baked cookies and coffee-maple twist creemees.
Location Details Vermont Cookie Love
6915 Route 7
Addison
North Ferrisburgh, VT
802-425-8181
Restaurants

7. Otter Creek Bakery

Otter Creek Bakery - CALEB KENNA
  • Caleb Kenna
  • Otter Creek Bakery
This downtown Middlebury bakery turns out delicious olive twists and honeybuns, plus sandwiches and salads. 
Location Details Otter Creek Bakery
14 College St.
Addison
Middlebury, VT
802-388-3371
Restaurants

Family-Friendly Hikes

8. Mount Philo State Park

Arguably the most kid-friendly peak in the state, Mount Philo provides families with young children a chance to conquer a (small) mountain. The hike is 1.9 miles round trip, and a road to the summit is open from late May until Labor Day. Picnic tables and Adirondack chairs at the top are the perfect place to eat a snack and enjoy the view. $
Location Details Mount Philo State Park
Mount Philo State Park
5425 Mount Philo Road
Chittenden
Charlotte, VT
802-425-2390
Parks, Outdoors & Wildlife and Hiking

9. Robert Frost Interpretive Trail

Robert Frost Interpretive Trail - MEGAN JAMES
  • Megan James
  • Robert Frost Interpretive Trail
This one-mile loop is dedicated to the poet’s words and the landscape that inspired them. The trail winds over rivers and streams and through blueberry patches and leaning birch trees. Frost’s poems and other quotations adorn plaques throughout the woods. 
Location Details Robert Frost Trail
Robert Frost Trail
Addison
Ripton, VT
Paths & Trails

Detour

Peel off Route 7 onto Route 22A in Vergennes for more family fun.

10. Vergennes Laundry

Vergennes Laundry
  • Vergennes Laundry
Snag a killer latte or gourmet meal in a stylish atmosphere at this downtown café. 
Location Details Vergennes Laundry
247 Main St.
Addison
Vergennes, VT
802-870-7157
Restaurants

11. Lake Champlain Maritime Museum

Lake Champlain Maritime Museum
  • Lake Champlain Maritime Museum
Walk from building to building at this open-air museum devoted to preserving and sharing the history of Lake Champlain. Learn about the lives of Native Americans and early French explorers, check out bark canoes and rowing skiffs at the Hazelett Watercraft Center, and climb aboard a replica of the 1776 gunboat Philadelphia II on the lakefront. $$
Location Details Lake Champlain Maritime Museum
Lake Champlain Maritime Museum
4472 Basin Harbor Rd.
Addison
Vergennes, VT
802-475-2022
Historic Sites, Outdoors & Wildlife, Museums, Science / Nature and Adventure

12. Button Bay State Park

There’s no beach at this lakefront park, but a public outdoor swimming pool — with a slide — beckons, along with hiking trails. $
Button Bay State Park
  • Button Bay State Park
Location Details Button Bay State Park
118 Button Bay State Park Road
Addison
Ferrisburgh, VT
802-475-2377
Parks, Outdoors & Wildlife, Paths & Trails, Hiking, Swimming and Bike Paths

13. Basin Harbor Club’s Red Mill Restaurant

Basin Harbor Club’s Red Mill Restaurant
  • Basin Harbor Club’s Red Mill Restaurant
Stop in for lunch or dinner to try hearty specialties like chicken and waffles and cheddar ale soup. There’s a robust kids’ menu and little ones can play on an expansive outdoor play structure or watch small planes take off from the adjacent grass airstrip. 
Location Details Basin Harbor Club
4800 Basin Harbor Road
Addison
Vergennes, VT
802-475-2311
Resorts & Getaways

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