Middlebury is the lovely county seat of Addison County, originally chartered in 1761 prior to the American Revolutionary War. Today, it has become a favorite New England getaway town, located within the foothills of the beautiful Green Mountains just to its eastern border. Gorgeous waterfalls line the city's downtown district, meandering along Otter Creek's route. Renowned liberal arts university Middlebury College, established in 1800, is home to visitor attractions such as the Middlebury College Museum of Art and the Mahaney Arts Center. Visitors can also sample delicious wines and beers from area craft microbreweries and wineries, stock up on naturally-produced Vermont soaps, and visit one of the country's most prominent breeding farms for prestigious Morgan horses. Certain attractions may be temporarily closed or require advance reservations. Some restaurants are currently offering pickup only. Hours/availability may have changed.
© Middlebury College
Middlebury College was Vermont's first institution of higher learning at its founding in 1880, operated as an all-male university until 1883 at its integration as one of New England's first coeducational institutions. The private liberal arts college also holds the distinction as one of the first American educational institutions to offer bachelor's degrees to African-Americans, graduating Alexander Twilight, the country's first African-American to be elected to public office, in 1823. It is known as one of the nation's best liberal arts colleges today, offering graduate and undergraduate degrees in the arts, humanities, literature, and social and natural sciences. Beautiful open spaces populate the college's campus, offering stunning views of the nearby Green and Adirondack Mountains. Visitors can explore public attractions on campus such as the Middlebury College Museum of Art, which showcases impressive collections of Ancient, Asian, American, and European artwork.
14 Old Chapel Rd, Middlebury, VT 05753, Phone: 802-443-5000
2.Lincoln Peak Vineyard
© Lincoln Peak Vineyard
Lincoln Peak Vineyard was founded in 2006 by Chris Granstrom, producing more than 25,000 bottles of wine each year from grapes grown directly on its farm vineyards. The winery has received several gold, double gold, and best in show awards from the International Cold-Climate Wine Competition, producing delicious wines with grape varieties cultivated by the University of Minnesota's grape breeding program for survival in freezing temperatures. Delicious red and white varietals and blends are sold at the company's cozy tasting room, which offers wine tastings in souvenir wine glasses for a nominal fee. Wines include delicious varietals like La Crescent and Marquette, along with signature blends like the company's Ragtime Red, which highlights ripe blackberry notes.
142 River Rd, New Haven, VT 05472, Phone: 802-388-7368
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3.Otter Creek Brewing Company, Middlebury, Vermont
© Otter Creek Brewing Company
Otter Creek Brewing Company has been one of Vermont's premiere small-batch microbreweries for nearly three decades, opened in Middlebury in 1991. Today, the company's hop-forward brews are available throughout New England and the mid-Atlantic, known for their funky flavors and innovative brewing styles. Since 2016, the brewery has been housed within a gorgeous 9,000-square-foot facility featuring a 120-barrel brewhouse, offering tastings and tours throughout the week. Year-round flagship brews include the company's Free Flow and Daily Dose IPAs and All Souls Lager. Seasonal varieties and limited releases range from rich and aromatic Drip Drop Coffee Stout to the company's OCD CBD Peach Selter, infused with cannabis derivatives. Delicious fare served up at the company's tap room throughout the week includes locally-sourced craft hot dogs, Carolina pork sandwiches, and loaded nachos.
793 Exchange St, Middlebury, VT 05753, Phone: 802-388-0727
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4.UVM Morgan Horse Farm
© UVM Morgan Horse Farm
UVM Morgan Horse Farm is America's oldest continually-operating Morgan horse breeding program, originally established in 1878. The farm cares for more than 40 Morgan horses throughout the year, known as one of the earliest types of horse breeds developed in the United States, which have had an extensive history as racing horses, coach horses, and cavalry horses during the American Civil War. It has been under the stewardship of the University of Vermont since 1951, formerly operated as a United States Government Cavalry Remount Station. Visitors can enjoy guided tours of the farm May through October each year and learn about Vermont's state animal from experienced tour guides. A gift shop is also offered onsite, along with art exhibits and areas for picnics.
74 Battell Dr, Weybridge, VT 05753, Phone: 802-388-2011
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5.Mahaney Arts Center, Middlebury, VT
Mahaney Arts Center was opened in 1992 as the Middlebury College Center for the Arts, presenting more than 300 public arts events each year now for both the on-campus and off-campus communities in the region. The visual and performing arts center is home to a variety of facilities for the college's dance, theater, music, and art history departments, along with the beautiful Seeler Studio Theatre and Olin C. Robison Concert Hall, which host multidisciplinary events throughout the year. Visitors can attend a plethora of live performances at the center throughout the year, including theatrical, dance, and music concerts and productions. Half of the center's annual events are free, making it a great choice for visitors looking for cultural experiences on a budget.
Middlebury College, 72 Porter Field Rd, Middlebury, VT 05753, Phone: 802-443-3168
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6.The Pulp Mill Covered Bridge
The Pulp Mill Covered Bridge, also known as the Paper Mill Covered Bridge, is a lovely National Register of Historic Places-listed bridge crossing over Otter Creek between the cities of Middlebury and Weybridge, traveling along Seymour Street. The bridge, which was constructed in 1820, is one of only six remaining bridges of its kind in the United States and is Vermont's oldest preserved covered bridge, showcasing a unique Burr arch design and two lanes of three spans. It was restored to its historic condition in 2012 for the second time, featuring King posts with Burr arch design. Today, it is the only bridge of its kind still carrying regular traffic and carries the distinction of being one of the United States' oldest bridges. Visitors can drive past and through the bridge throughout the year and enjoy excellent opportunities for historic architecture photography.
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7.Town Hall Theater, Middlebury, VT
Town Hall Theater is one of Middlebury's most beautiful historic buildings, reopened in 2008 following major restorations. The theater presents a full slate of live performances throughout the year, including musicals, dramas, comedies, and other theatrical programs featuring local performance groups. Pop and classical music concerts are also showcased throughout the year, along with broadcasts of operas and other performances by the Metropolitan Opera in Manhattan. Other unique performances include magic shows and one-man comedy evenings. Visitors can enjoy delicious drinks from the theater's THT Bar, including locally-produced beers, wines, and hard ciders. A variety of performance classes are offered throughout the year for area residents and non-residents, including child and adult dance classes.
68 S Pleasant St, Middlebury, VT 05753, Phone: 802-382-9222
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8.Henry Sheldon Museum of Vermont History
© Henry Sheldon Museum of Vermont History
Henry Sheldon Museum of Vermont History, commonly referred to as the Sheldon Museum, is a lovely history museum in Middlebury, housed within the gorgeous three-story Federal-style Judd-Harris House, constructed in 1829. The museum, which was founded by Henry Sheldon in 1882, showcases a splendid collection of historic furniture, art, and artifacts, including items from Sheldon's private collections. Exhibits showcase artifacts related to the history of the state of Vermont, structured in exhibits meant to recreate typical small-town life in 19th-century Vermont. Visitors can explore the house as part of self-guided tours throughout the year and learn about the region's industries, pioneer settlement, and former inhabitants. Public programming at the museum throughout the year includes a Holiday Open House event and an outdoor classical concert series.
1 Park St, Middlebury, VT 05753, Phone: 802-388-2117
9.Drop-In Brewing Company
© Drop-In Brewing Company
Drop-In Brewing Company is a delicious microbrewery in Middlebury that was founded by American Brewers Guild owners Christine Mckeever-Parks and Steve Parks in 2012. The company serves as the permanent home today for the Guild, offering craft brewing courses for professional brewers. Year-round flagship brews produced by the company include its signature Sunshine and Hoppiness Belgian Gold Ale, which is produced with Weyermann's malt sourced from Germany, and its Heart of Lothian Scottish Shilling Ale, brewed with Scottish Golden Promise barley. Visitors can stop in at the company's tasting room throughout the week and enjoy pints of the company's ales or take out cans or growlers to enjoy at home. Next door to the brewery, the Grapevine Grille allows carry-over of beer pints, serving up delicious American-style fare.
610 US-7, Middlebury, VT 05753, Phone: 802-989-7414
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10.Vermont Soap, Middlebury, VT
© Vermont Soap
Vermont Soap is a natural apothecary company that has been producing natural formulations of handmade soaps since 1992. The company has grown to become North America's largest manufacturer of handmade natural soaps throughout the past several decades, producing all its products from organic herbs and oils. All soaps are 100% natural and certified organic, based from organic plant seed oils like olive and coconut. Fragrances range from essential oils scents like lavender and orange to earthy varieties like oatmeal, pine, and organic aloe. Visitors can explore the company's factory outlet store and museum, located in Middlebury, and stock up on their favorite natural soap products, which are also sold in more than 43 countries under over three dozen private labels.
616 Exchange St, Middlebury, VT 05753, Phone: 802-388-4302
11.Vermont Folklife Center, Middlebury, Vermont
© Vermont Folklife Center
Vermont Folklife Center was founded in 1984 as a folklife educational organization based in the practice of ethnography, which studies cultural experience through interviews, observation, and participation. The center strives to strengthen Vermont's cultural and social fabric, highlighting diverse communities and serving as a stop on the Vermont African American Heritage Trail. A variety of cultural exhibits are presented at the center throughout the year, including exhibits produced as part of the center's unique Vision and Voice Exhibits program. Educational programming presented by the center throughout the year includes its New Neighbors Music Project, which explores and shares New England's musical traditions. A Legends and Lore marker program places cultural plaques around the United States with connections to Vermont culture.
88 Main St, Middlebury, VT 05753, Phone: 802-388-4964
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© American Flatbread
American Flatbread is a delicious Middlebury eatery that was founded in 1985 by George Schenk, centered around the philosophy of good food and good community. The restaurant, which originated in nearby Waitsfield, is housed within a gorgeous marble-block building, showcasing a bustling full-service bar and a blazing fireplace to keep diners warm throughout the winter months. Custom-made flatbreads are produced with locally-sourced organic cheeses, meat, and produced, served up at dinner nightly. All flatbreads are crafted on 100% organic wheat milled into restored wheat germ flour. Popular artisanal varieties include the Dancing Heart, topped with toasted sesame seeds and grana padano cheese, and the New Vermont Sausage, crafted with maple fennel sausage and sun-dried tomatoes. Create-your-own flatbreads are also served up, along with delicious shareables like garlic-rosemary white bean dip and a selection of Vermont microbrews. Live music performances on the second Saturday of each month highlight regional bands and artists.
137 Maple St, Middlebury, VT 05753, Phone: 802-388-3300
13.Jessica's Restaurant at the Swift House Inn
© Jessica's Restaurant at the Swift House Inn
Jessica's Restaurant at the Swift House Inn is the onsite restaurant of Middlebury's Swift House Inn, constructed in 1814 and operated as a Governor's house throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. The inn, which has been in operation since 1983, is owned by Dan and Michele Brown and offers luxurious accommodations in traditional New England country style. Its kitchen is helmed by executive chef Rob Fenn, serving up hearty, inventive fare in three beautiful dining room spaces, including an intimate library and indoor porch area. Diners can enjoy delicious favorites at dinner throughout the week like sauteed wild mushroom gnocchi in Chardonnay butter sauce, Long Island duckling two ways in Port wine gastrique, and bone-in pork chops drenched in maple bourbon barbecue sauce.
25 Stewart Ln, Middlebury, VT 05753, Phone: 802-388-9925
© Rosie's Restaurant
Rosie's Restaurant is a delicious family-style restaurant serving up authentic home cooking for more than 30 years in the former building of 1950s-era Palmer's Dairy Bar. The restaurant has been known for its delicious breakfast, lunch, and dinner offerings since 1978, serving up classic diner favorites in a beautiful rustic Vermont dining room. Old-fashioned service and style takes center stage, complementing giant menus with options to please all diners' tastes. Diners can choose from homestyle entree options like pulled roast turkey platters, classic chicken and biscuits, three-cheese mac and cheese bowls, and clam strip rolls stuffed with New England seafood. Burgers and sandwiches are also offered, along with excellent pasta selections and shareables like fried shrimp and boneless buffalo wings. Green Mountain coffees are served up from the restaurant's coffee shop counter, along with homemade desserts like apple crumb pie.
Route 7 South, Middlebury, VT 05753, Phone: 802-388-7052
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Tourterelle is a reimagining of popular New Haven restaurant Roland's Place, changed to its current name in 2009 after its purchase by married duo Christine and Bill Snell. The romantic restaurant, located just a short drive from Middlebury, crafts classic French dishes reflecting the seasonal bounty of the Champlain Valley, produced from local Vermont meats and produce. Market-driven cuisine puts new twists on French fare such as bouillabaisse, tartiflette, and moules frites, along with delicious sweet and savory crêpe offerings stuffed with ingredients like butternut squash, local brie cheese, and cayenne maple syrup. Daily house specialties include fresh-cut tagliolini pasta entrees, local meat cuts, and Wood Mountain fish catches. After dining at the restaurant, diners can stay in their choice of three lovely country inn rooms with modern amenities.
3629 Ethan Allen Hwy, New Haven, VT 05472, Phone: 802-453-6309
15 Best Things to Do in Middlebury, VT
- Middlebury College, Photo: Middlebury College
- Lincoln Peak Vineyard, Photo: Lincoln Peak Vineyard
- Otter Creek Brewing Company, Middlebury, Vermont, Photo: Otter Creek Brewing Company
- UVM Morgan Horse Farm, Photo: UVM Morgan Horse Farm
- Mahaney Arts Center, Middlebury, VT, Photo: dsalmo/stock.adobe.com
- The Pulp Mill Covered Bridge, Photo: Bram/stock.adobe.com
- Town Hall Theater, Middlebury, VT, Photo: trodler1/stock.adobe.com
- Henry Sheldon Museum of Vermont History, Photo: Henry Sheldon Museum of Vermont History
- Drop-In Brewing Company, Photo: Drop-In Brewing Company
- Vermont Soap, Middlebury, VT, Photo: Vermont Soap
- Vermont Folklife Center, Middlebury, Vermont, Photo: Vermont Folklife Center
- American Flatbread, Photo: American Flatbread
- Jessica's Restaurant at the Swift House Inn, Photo: Jessica's Restaurant at the Swift House Inn
- Rosie's Restaurant, Photo: Rosie's Restaurant
- Tourterelle, Photo: Tourterelle
- Cover Photo: pegase1972/stock.adobe.com
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