Montpelier is Vermont's charming capital city, home to beautiful historic state government buildings such as the 1859 Vermont State House, which showcases Greek Revival-style architecture and a spectacular gold dome topping. Visitors can explore delightful cultural attractions such as the Vermont History Museum, which showcases exhibits on the region's social and cultural history dating back to its indigenous and Revolutionary War days. Lovely Hubbard Park is home to a National Register of Historic Places-listed observation tower, which provides unparalleled views of the region's skyline. Visitors can also enjoy opportunities to try a plethora of authentic Vermont foodie favorites, including 100% pure maple syrup.
We recommend that you call the attractions and restaurants ahead of your visit to confirm current opening times.
1.Bragg Farm Sugar House and Gift Shop, Montpelier, Vermont
Bragg Farm Sugar House and Gift Shop is an award-winning maple syrup farm that has been in operation for more than eight generations, receiving major awards from national competitions such as the Vermont Maple Festival for its high-quality authentic maple syrup. All syrup is prepared according to traditional practices, using buckets and a wood-fired evaporator. Visitors can explore the farm's facilities and sugarhouse as part of guided tours throughout the year and view more than 2,000 traditional sap buckets used to create 100% pure maple syrup. A short educational documentary shown in the facility's gift shop highlights the process of creating maple syrup from scratch. In addition to syrups, a variety of local Vermont goods are sold at the gift shop, ranging from artisan pieces to Vermont specialty foods and cheeses.
1005 VT-14, East Montpelier, VT 05651, Phone: 802-223-5757
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2.The Vermont State House, Montpelier, Vermont
The Vermont State House serves as Vermont's state capitol building, home to the legislative bodies of the Vermont General Assembly. The lovely Greek Revival structure is the third State House building to stand on the same location, in operation since 1859 and anchoring today's Montpelier Historic District. Beautiful Neoclassical design elements flank the building's exterior, which was carefully restored to its historic condition in the 1980s. Inside, beautiful Renaissance Revival, American Empire, and Rococo Revival design elements take center stage, with many rooms restored to their 19th-century Aesthetic Movement decor style. Visitors can explore the building throughout the year and view unique architectural elements like the building's gilded dome, topped by a status of the Roman goddess of agriculture. An annual concert series is presented on the building's lawn, showcasing performances by the Vermont Symphony Orchestra.
115 State St, Montpelier, VT 05633
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3.The Vermont Historical Society Museum, Montpelier, VT
The Vermont Historical Society Museum showcases the rich cultural and social heritage of the New England state, operated as a nonprofit extension of the Vermont Historical Society. The museum strives to educate Vermont residents and tourists alike, showcasing exhibits detailing the state's history from the 17th century to the present day. Its core interactive Exhibit, Freedom and Unity: One Ideal, Many Stories outlines the state's chronological history, detailing its most important figures and events. A local history gallery is also highlight, featuring a variety of Vermont-related artifacts, including the historic document that admitted Vermont into the Union, signed by Thomas Jefferson. Revolutionary War artifacts are also showcased, along with items connected to the region's indigenous Abenaki people. The museum's beautiful Salute to Vermont mural, painted by artist Paul Sample, depicts three centuries of state history.
109 State St, Montpelier, VT 05609, Phone: 802-828-2291
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4.Hubbard Park, Montpelier, Vermont
Hubbard Park is a charming 194-acre public park located just north of the Vermont State House, originally established at the turn of the 20th century after land donations by John Erastus Hubbard. The park is home to an iconic 54-foot observation tower that was constructed between 1915 and 1930, listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1990. As the park's highest point, the tower offers a stunning view of the skyline of Vermont's capital city, with picnic tables and benches available for visitor use near its base. Seven miles of hiking and winter skiing trails are also offered, along with various public sporting courts, a sledding hill, and an historic shelter pavilion.
400 Parkway St, Montpelier, VT 05602, Phone: 802-223-7335
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5.The Pavilion, Montpelier, Vermont
The Pavilion houses the primary offices of Vermont's state governor, along with the offices of the Vermont Attorney General and the Vermont State Treasurer. The building is a reconstruction of the 1876 regional hotel of the same name, which was colloquially referred to as Vermont's "third house" for its extensive intertwining with Vermont's political history, including its use as a housing facility for many of the state's legislators. Today, the building showcases gorgeous French Second Empire-style architecture and is home to some of the state's most iconic government spaces, including its press briefing room and governor's living apartments. The building is also home to the Vermont Historical Society Museum, which showcases a plethora of exhibits connected to the state's history and offers guided tours throughout the year.
109 State St, Montpelier, VT 05609
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6.Vermont College of Fine Arts, Montpelier, Vermont
© Vermont College of Fine Arts
Vermont College of Fine Arts is a prestigious graduate-level fine arts institution in Montpelier, offering a fully residential degree program and low-residency degrees for art students in a variety of media. It is housed within a gorgeous National Register of Historic Places-listed building constructed in 1872, which showcases a two-story chapel and an historic pipe organ dating back to the late 19th century. Students can earn degrees in writing, visual art, music composition, film, and graphic design, taking classes taught by Pulitzer Prize finalists, National Book Award winners, and Newbery Medal honorees. Hundreds of public special events are hosted at the facility throughout the year, including intensive conferences and symposia dedicated to a variety of arts-related topics. Visiting artist presentations are also offered, along with open gallery exhibits and an annual concert series.
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7.The Coburn Covered Bridge, Montpelier, Vermont
The Coburn Covered Bridge is an historic covered bridge stretching over the Winooski River, listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1974. The 1840s-era bridge, which was originally constructed in 1851, spans across Coburn Road and is the only surviving 19th-century covered bridge in the Montpelier region. Though many covered bridges of its kind once popped up all over the state between 1820 and 1900, less than 100 remain in operating condition today, preserved according to Vermont law as historic structures. It stretches for 69.5 feet and is constructed in a queenpost construction style, featuring excellently-preserved wood trusses and newly-fortified steel beams and concrete elements. It is named in honor of area resident Larned Coburn, who donated the bridge to the town in exchange for changing the road's route to pass by his house.
Coburn Rd, East Montpelier, VT 05651
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8.T.W. Wood Gallery and Arts Center, Montpelier, VT
© T.W. Wood Gallery and Arts Center
T.W. Wood Gallery and Arts Center preserves the artistic heritage of the Central Vermont region, highlighting the Montpelier area's top working artists in a variety of media. The gallery, which dates back to 1895, was originally deeded in honor of area artist Thomas Waterman Wood, its namesake. 42 lovely paintings by the artist formed the crux of the gallery's original collection, including watercolor paintings and etchings. Wood was known for his paintings of African American area residents, one of the first 19th-century artists to regularly depict former freed slaves as people with ordinary lives. In addition to gallery exhibits showcasing his works and career, visitors can view pieces held within the Works Progress Administration Artwork Gallery, which serves as the state's sole repository for Great Depression-era pieces, including social resistance artwork. Changing exhibits in the gallery's contemporary room rotate on a bimonthly basis.
46 Barre St, Montpelier, VT 05602, Phone: 802-262-6035
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9.Things to Do in Montpelier, Vermont: Kismet Kitchen
© Stepanek Photography/stock.adobe.com
Kismet Kitchen was opened by restaurateur and chef Crystal Madeira in 2007, named after the common expression meaning fate or good karma. The lovely farm-to-table restaurant crafts all of its dishes by hand, focusing on transforming produce from nearby organic farms into warm, comforting entrees. Brunch and dinner are served up throughout the week from the restaurant's kitchen, showcasing elegant entree selections like butter-basted halibut with lemon confit and roasted tomato, bone-in pork chops prepared in smoked cider, and baked tortelloni stuffed with roasted pumpkin and sage cream. Menus reflect seasonally-available ingredients, highlighting heartier fare in the cooler months and light, vibrant concoctions during the spring and summer.
207 Barre St, Montpelier, VT 05602, 802-225-6489
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10.Things to Do in Montpelier, Vermont: The North Branch Cafe
© The North Branch Café
The North Branch Café is a delightful local foodie destination in Montpelier, opened in 2013 by restaurateurs Lauren, Wes, and Becky Parker. The cafe is known for its excellent tea and wine offerings, including more than 80 gourmet international loose-leaf tea selections available for service for one or two. The cafe's wine bar uses the innovative Enomatic service, which allows small glass pours of wine bottles and maintains perfect tasting temperatures. Delicious local Vermont food selections are showcased on the cafe's limited menu, including flatbread wraps with summer sausage and aged cheddar, spinach and onion knishes, and masala roll-ups from local food vendors Sweet Alchemy. Vermont cheeses are also served as part of cheese platters, along with pastries and sweets from Vermont bakers, including gluten-free options.
41 State St, Montpelier, VT 05602, Phone: 802-552-8105
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11.North Branch Nature Center
© North Branch Nature Center
Located only a couple miles from downtown Montpelier, the North Branch Nature Center aims to connect people with community science, natural history, and environmental education. This nature preserve encompasses almost thirty acres of fields and forests, nested in a bend of Vermont's Winooski River. Visitors of all ages can take part in the programming offered by the North Branch Nature Center, which includes festivals, classes, presentations, and outings. These programs are designed to get people outside and immerse themselves in nature. The nature center's grounds also offer a quiet and relaxing plCe to sit, swim, walk, and even ski.
713 Elm St, Montpelier, VT 05602, 802-229-6206
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12.Rabble-Rouser Chocolate and Craft Company
Rabble-Rouser Chocolate and Craft Company in Montpelier, Vermont is a forward-thinking, completely employee-owned, unique business that is known for producing excellent artisan, small batch chocolates and granola products. Its CBD confections, chocolate bars, and famous Vermont Granola, among several other handcrafted products, are distributed to independent grocers and food coops throughout the world. Visitors to its downtown store can indulge in the numerous on-site confections, watch treats being made, and sip on espresso. Using only the best ingredients available, the chocolates made here are created with top quality cacao beans. Fair wages are returned to the farms responsible for growing them.
64 Main St, Montpelier, VT 05602, 802-225-6227
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13.Morse Farm Maple Sugarworks
© Morse Farm Maple Sugarworks
Located just a little under three miles from downtown Montpelier, Vermont, Morse Farm Maple Sugarworks has been run by the Morse family for numerous generations. Their maple experience can be seen by visitors through live presentations and colorful video at the Woodshed Theatre and Sugarhouse on the farm. Guests can also explore the outdoor farm life museum featuring an antique Vermont State House replica, shop at the country store, walk along the nature trail, and enjoy complimentary tastings and sugar house tours. Found throughout the Morse Farm grounds are whimsical carved folklore characters made by Burr Morse.
1168 County Rd, Montpelier, VT 05602, 802-223-2740
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12 Best Things to Do in Montpelier, Vermont
- Bragg Farm Sugar House and Gift Shop, Montpelier, Vermont, Photo: M.studio/stock.adobe.com
- The Vermont State House, Montpelier, Vermont, Photo: SeanPavonePhoto/stock.adobe.com
- The Vermont Historical Society Museum, Montpelier, VT, Photo: Luka/stock.adobe.com
- Hubbard Park, Montpelier, Vermont, Photo: helivideo/stock.adobe.com
- The Pavilion, Montpelier, Vermont, Photo: Photographee.eu/stock.adobe.com
- Vermont College of Fine Arts, Montpelier, Vermont, Photo: Vermont College of Fine Arts
- The Coburn Covered Bridge, Montpelier, Vermont, Photo: Bram/stock.adobe.com
- T.W. Wood Gallery and Arts Center, Montpelier, VT, Photo: T.W. Wood Gallery and Arts Center
- Things to Do in Montpelier, Vermont: Kismet Kitchen, Photo: Stepanek Photography/stock.adobe.com
- Things to Do in Montpelier, Vermont: The North Branch Cafe, Photo: The North Branch Café
- North Branch Nature Center, Photo: North Branch Nature Center
- Rabble-Rouser Chocolate and Craft Company, Photo: dimasobko/stock.adobe.com
- Morse Farm Maple Sugarworks, Photo: Morse Farm Maple Sugarworks
- Cover Photo: haveseen/stock.adobe.com
Attraction Spotlight: Morse Farm Maple Sugarworks
Morse Farm Maple Sugarworks, located in Montpelier, Vermont, is a sugar farm where visitors can see how maple syrup is produced and purchase maple products, candy, Vermont cheese, and other custom gifts.
The Morse family history dates all the way back 200 years and 8 generations, to the early settlers of Vermont. They were taught how to tap the Maple trees by the Native Americans and became self-sufficient in sugar production. Ben Franklin promoted the Northeast sugar production, making them less dependent on sugar from Britain. When America won their independence and transportation of sugar improved, it no longer had to be boiled, allowing it to remain in the maple syrup stage. Morse Farm continues to produce maple syrup today.
Each maple tree on Morse Farm gives, on average, 10 gallons of sap each year. In order to make 1 gallon of pure maple syrup it takes 40 gallons of maple sap. This means that for every gallon of pure maple syrup it takes 4 maples trees. The trees also are not tapped until they are at least 40 years old. They syrup is derived from 100% treated and heated tree sap at Morse farm and contains no additives, preservatives or artificial sweeteners.
There are 4 different grades of syrup produced at Morse Farm. Grade A-Golden is a Pale syrup that is the finest syrup. Grade A-Amber, is the most popular and has a golden hue. Grade A-dark has a full maple flavor and is richer in flavor. Grade A- Very Dark is full bodied and good for cooking and baking.
Tour the Farm
Morse Farm is open all year round, 7 days per week, but the hours do change seasonally and are updated on their website. They offer free tours of the sugar house with tastings, trails to explore, a museum, wood shed theater, and country store. The grounds are also decorated with carvings and sculptures of tree elves by Burr Morse.
Guided Tours are available for a fee and last 20 minutes with a treat included at the end of the tour.
Motor coach tours are welcome and can be arranged with lectures, guides, and treats. During the fall, reservations are required but are appreciated year-round. Motor coach tours should allow for 1 hour with additional time allotted for shopping in the country store.
Sugar House is where the maple tree sap is treated and turned into syrup.
Woodshed Theater is made from sugar wood and shows a video about the Morse Farm sugaring process. There are also sugaring artifacts, and folk art in the theater.
Nature trails- There are trails through the maple trees for visitors to stroll.
The Outdoor Museum features a Vermont State House antique replica.
Country Store is a big hit for visitors year-round. Visitors can purchase all sorts of Vermont produce, folk art, crafts, and, of course, maple syrup here. There are also homemade jams, pickles, popcorn, Vermont cheese, granulated sugar, bacon, maple candies, gifts and sample boxes, books and much more. The Country Store selection is also available to be shopped online through the Morse Farm website.
The activities that Morse Farm offers vary with the seasons and are updated on their website. Visitors can expect to see many of the same offerings each year as traditions at Morse Farm however.
Winter- Morse Farm opens the Morse Farm Ski Touring Center for cross country and snowshoeing every winter. They also serve breakfast and other snacks, feature a fire place, a deck at the Sugarworks Gift Shop. They offer cross country ski lessons for individuals and groups and rentals of ski equipment.
Spring- March is the beginning of sugaring season and the busiest time for visitors to Morse Farm. Sugar on the Snow tasting happens in March where hot maple guar is poured over shaved ice and turned into taffy. The tasty treat is served with a fresh, homemade donut and visitors line up every year for these treats!
Summer- Morse Farm hosts several arts & crafts fairs, festivals, and local events during the summer which draw large crowds from all over the state and beyond. The farm stand offers fresh produce and lots of organic and locally produced offerings for the community.
Fall- The east coast is known for its amazing fall foliage and Morse Farm is no exception. From the third week of September through Columbus Day, Morse Farm is an ideal location for photographers and fall foliage tours. Maple creemies can be purchased and enjoyed while strolling the nature trails and exploring the museum and theater.
Back to: Best Things to Do in Vermont
1168 County Road Montpelier, VT 05602, Phone: 800-242-2740
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