Things to Do in and Around the Mad River Valley

Steve
Things to Do in and Around the Mad River Valley

Food scene

Yes, the first place on my list is not even in Waitsfield – but this is my favorite place to eat in all of New England. Anyone I’ve taken there has loved it as well. Whether for barbecue, duck fat fries. Mac n cheese or 4 incredible hamburger – not to mention the best beer selection just about anywhere – the Pro Pig is a really, really fun time. They also have a brewery next door and make some really great beers.
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Prohibition Pig
23 S Main St
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Yes, the first place on my list is not even in Waitsfield – but this is my favorite place to eat in all of New England. Anyone I’ve taken there has loved it as well. Whether for barbecue, duck fat fries. Mac n cheese or 4 incredible hamburger – not to mention the best beer selection just about anywhere – the Pro Pig is a really, really fun time. They also have a brewery next door and make some really great beers.
I have a feeling that if you polled the locals and those who frequent the area, Mad Taco would probably take the prize as the favorite spot to grab a bite and a beer
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The Mad Taco
5101 Main Street
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I have a feeling that if you polled the locals and those who frequent the area, Mad Taco would probably take the prize as the favorite spot to grab a bite and a beer
Before you write it off by thinking “Oh, I know American Flatbread – that’s a franchise... I’m all set...” .. This is the ORIGINAL American Flatbread, opened in 1985. The insides have an incredible warm and welcoming vibe, with the fire and hearth of the pizza oven the centerpiece for the space. The pizza is delicious, and you can expect to see some pretty incredible beers on tap.
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American Flatbread
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Before you write it off by thinking “Oh, I know American Flatbread – that’s a franchise... I’m all set...” .. This is the ORIGINAL American Flatbread, opened in 1985. The insides have an incredible warm and welcoming vibe, with the fire and hearth of the pizza oven the centerpiece for the space. The pizza is delicious, and you can expect to see some pretty incredible beers on tap.
If I had a“goto”when I first came to Waitsfield, it would probably be Blue Stone. I’ve taken visiting friends here as well as settled in at the bar after the drive up from Massachusetts. Great pizza, great beer and all an all around quality time. They also do take-out if eating at the house makes more sense..
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The Blue Stone
5351 Main St
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If I had a“goto”when I first came to Waitsfield, it would probably be Blue Stone. I’ve taken visiting friends here as well as settled in at the bar after the drive up from Massachusetts. Great pizza, great beer and all an all around quality time. They also do take-out if eating at the house makes more sense..
Located in Waterbury on the far side of 89, this is a “cool vibe” kind of spot with live music a number of days a week. Definitely check their website and see if anything good is on the calendar.
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ZenBarn
179 Guptil Rd
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Located in Waterbury on the far side of 89, this is a “cool vibe” kind of spot with live music a number of days a week. Definitely check their website and see if anything good is on the calendar.
If you're thinking of making the 35 minute drive over to Stowe, Idletyme is perhaps my favorite place to grab a beer and some comfort food... They also have an outdoor sitting area with heat lamps and fire pits..
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Idletyme Brewing Company
1859 Mountain Road
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If you're thinking of making the 35 minute drive over to Stowe, Idletyme is perhaps my favorite place to grab a beer and some comfort food... They also have an outdoor sitting area with heat lamps and fire pits..
A curated experience where visitors can learn about, sample and purchase food and beverages made in the Mad River region and all corners of Vermont.
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Mad River Taste Place
89 Mad River Green
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A curated experience where visitors can learn about, sample and purchase food and beverages made in the Mad River region and all corners of Vermont.
Despite the no-frills appearance, a surprising amount of quality foods can be found at the valley's most popular grocery store.
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Mehuron's Supermarket
5121 Main Street
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Despite the no-frills appearance, a surprising amount of quality foods can be found at the valley's most popular grocery store.
When I lived in Waitsfield for a year in the heart of the pandemic, Pizza Soul was my go-to for when I wanted to treat myself.. Love this place.
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Pizza Soul
76 Sugarbush Village Dr
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When I lived in Waitsfield for a year in the heart of the pandemic, Pizza Soul was my go-to for when I wanted to treat myself.. Love this place.
If you need some essentials after hours, or if you dig being able to walk through a beer-fridge to pick out some good local Vermont finds, this is the place for you.
Village Grocery
4348 Main Street
If you need some essentials after hours, or if you dig being able to walk through a beer-fridge to pick out some good local Vermont finds, this is the place for you.
Not only does the valley take great pride in Lawson's, but it really is one of, if not the best breweries to actually hang out at and spend an hour or two. A beautiful building, good music, good vibes and great beer.
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Lawson’s Finest Liquids
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Not only does the valley take great pride in Lawson's, but it really is one of, if not the best breweries to actually hang out at and spend an hour or two. A beautiful building, good music, good vibes and great beer.
If you have in your mind's eye a small Vermont farm-based market, this is it and you won't be disappointed. The best and freshest Vermont food that I have seen anywhere in the area if not the state - check their hours to make sure they're open - but definitely consider making the 15-20 minute drive.
The Roots Farm Market
903 US-2
If you have in your mind's eye a small Vermont farm-based market, this is it and you won't be disappointed. The best and freshest Vermont food that I have seen anywhere in the area if not the state - check their hours to make sure they're open - but definitely consider making the 15-20 minute drive.
Someone remarked about this place "the best bread this side of the Atlantic Ocean". It's probably not an exaggeration. Also they have sandwiches and great coffee.... One of my friends makes a point to stop here on the way to Montreal after first experiencing it as a guest at the house...
Red Hen Bakery
Someone remarked about this place "the best bread this side of the Atlantic Ocean". It's probably not an exaggeration. Also they have sandwiches and great coffee.... One of my friends makes a point to stop here on the way to Montreal after first experiencing it as a guest at the house...
This place is so good that i almost don't want to tell anyone about it. It's kind of like going to a spartan yet impeccable brewery - albeit with the best coffee or hot drinks you may have had in a long time.
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Vermont Artisan Coffee & Tea
11 Cabin Ln
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This place is so good that i almost don't want to tell anyone about it. It's kind of like going to a spartan yet impeccable brewery - albeit with the best coffee or hot drinks you may have had in a long time.
This is another great vibe place. Some good food and snacks, and tremendous views of the Green Mountains.
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East Warren Community Market
42 Roxbury Mountain Road
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This is another great vibe place. Some good food and snacks, and tremendous views of the Green Mountains.
Does someone want ice cream?? Or some flavorful food?? Then Canteen is the place! They spin records from their LP collection while serving up some of the most popular food in the valley.
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Canteen Creemee Company
5123 Main St
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Does someone want ice cream?? Or some flavorful food?? Then Canteen is the place! They spin records from their LP collection while serving up some of the most popular food in the valley.
Looking for breakfast? Then this is the place! Food is really, really good - and they have ample outdoor seating. For those who would like to take back to the house, they have a good online ordering setup..
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Toast and Eggs
4752 Main St
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Looking for breakfast? Then this is the place! Food is really, really good - and they have ample outdoor seating. For those who would like to take back to the house, they have a good online ordering setup..

Sightseeing

11 trails over 35 kilometers, some sheltered, some in wide open meadows with open views. Complete ski and snowshoe lessons are available.
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Blueberry Lake Cross Country
424 Plunkton Rd
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11 trails over 35 kilometers, some sheltered, some in wide open meadows with open views. Complete ski and snowshoe lessons are available.
Packed/groom snow on 30 miles of trails, with rentals available on a first come/first serve basis. Half of trails are in open fields and half in forest. https://www.olesxc.com/
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Ole's Cross Country Center
2355 Airport Road
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Packed/groom snow on 30 miles of trails, with rentals available on a first come/first serve basis. Half of trails are in open fields and half in forest. https://www.olesxc.com/
You really want to stop here! A Vermont Cooperative featuring the work of 175 artists from throughout the state and run by five local artists. Many beautiful and unique things to be found here.
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Artisans' Gallery
20 Bridge St
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You really want to stop here! A Vermont Cooperative featuring the work of 175 artists from throughout the state and run by five local artists. Many beautiful and unique things to be found here.
Located on 245 acres of meadows, mountains and ponds, the Round Barn is home to year-round Vermont activities, arts, culture, and a warm and welcoming community near the Sugarbush and Stowe ski areas.
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The Inn at the Round Barn Farm
1661 East Warren Road
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Located on 245 acres of meadows, mountains and ponds, the Round Barn is home to year-round Vermont activities, arts, culture, and a warm and welcoming community near the Sugarbush and Stowe ski areas.
More than anything, its a distinct Vermont vibe. Ostensibly a place for provisions serving Warren Village, you can feel the unique energy as soon as you walk through the doors. Known all around for the quality of their sandwiches, there is also good beer always to be found in the fridge. Also a surprisingly good clothing, etc shop on the 2nd floor. Definitely check out the bridge next door if you stop in.
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Warren Store
284 Main Street
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More than anything, its a distinct Vermont vibe. Ostensibly a place for provisions serving Warren Village, you can feel the unique energy as soon as you walk through the doors. Known all around for the quality of their sandwiches, there is also good beer always to be found in the fridge. Also a surprisingly good clothing, etc shop on the 2nd floor. Definitely check out the bridge next door if you stop in.
For a couple years Alchemist’s Heady Topper held down the ranking of number one beer in the world per Beer Advocate. It used to be that the beer was next to impossible to find, and Alchemist had no brewery to visit after being washed away from its Waterbury, VT site during Hurricane Irene in 2011. Now, however, Alchemist has a fully operational brewery in Stowe where Heady Topper and other great beers can be sampled and purchased daily.
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The Alchemist Stowe
100 Cottage Club Road
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For a couple years Alchemist’s Heady Topper held down the ranking of number one beer in the world per Beer Advocate. It used to be that the beer was next to impossible to find, and Alchemist had no brewery to visit after being washed away from its Waterbury, VT site during Hurricane Irene in 2011. Now, however, Alchemist has a fully operational brewery in Stowe where Heady Topper and other great beers can be sampled and purchased daily.
If you love beer, you may want to consider making the 90 minute drive. It's almost something akin to a pilgrimage. Hill Farmstead has been awarded "Best Brewery in the World" a number of times, and the land on which it sits has a certain energy that you'll appreciate if you go there.
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Hill Farmstead Brewery
403 Hill Road
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If you love beer, you may want to consider making the 90 minute drive. It's almost something akin to a pilgrimage. Hill Farmstead has been awarded "Best Brewery in the World" a number of times, and the land on which it sits has a certain energy that you'll appreciate if you go there.
Just drive this road. If you make 25 minutes for anything during your stay, drive up to Common Road and take it for 10-15 minutes until you hit East Warren. And if the farm store is open, you just might want to pop in.
Von Trapp Farm
251 Common Rd
Just drive this road. If you make 25 minutes for anything during your stay, drive up to Common Road and take it for 10-15 minutes until you hit East Warren. And if the farm store is open, you just might want to pop in.
There's only like 3 parking spots, but it's less than a 5 minute drive from the house and its such a good hiking trail! Once you're in the woods, you'd never suspect that civilization is anywhere nearby. A great, great place to hike.
Wu Ledges Town Forest - Parking
There's only like 3 parking spots, but it's less than a 5 minute drive from the house and its such a good hiking trail! Once you're in the woods, you'd never suspect that civilization is anywhere nearby. A great, great place to hike.
This is a fantastic place for hiking and/or mountain biking. And don't let the mountain bikes dissuade you from going for a wonderful walk in the woods - pick any of the colored trails for a 15, 30, or hour plus walk amongst beautiful trails.
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Blueberry Lake
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This is a fantastic place for hiking and/or mountain biking. And don't let the mountain bikes dissuade you from going for a wonderful walk in the woods - pick any of the colored trails for a 15, 30, or hour plus walk amongst beautiful trails.
If you'd like to hike a mountain during your trip to the area, Camel's Hump is probably the one. An iconic Vermont mountain and also a 4000 footer, with spectacular views to the Adirondacks, Lake Champlain and back to the valley. Just be sure to treat it with respect - as it is much more than a casual stroll. There are two ways to ascend Camel's Hump - the Monroe Trail (6 miles) Huntington, Vermont (longer) or
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Camel's Hump
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If you'd like to hike a mountain during your trip to the area, Camel's Hump is probably the one. An iconic Vermont mountain and also a 4000 footer, with spectacular views to the Adirondacks, Lake Champlain and back to the valley. Just be sure to treat it with respect - as it is much more than a casual stroll. There are two ways to ascend Camel's Hump - the Monroe Trail (6 miles) Huntington, Vermont (longer) or
My favorite place to rent a kayak in Vermont. Direct launch right onto Lake Champlain, and absolutely gorgeous views of the Adirondacks, Burlington and beyond..
PaddleSurf Champlain
1 Flynn Ave
My favorite place to rent a kayak in Vermont. Direct launch right onto Lake Champlain, and absolutely gorgeous views of the Adirondacks, Burlington and beyond..
Hike one of Vermont's 4000 footers via a trailhead about 15 minutes from the house. An equally challenging and rewarding hike with beautiful views at the top.
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Mount Abraham
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Hike one of Vermont's 4000 footers via a trailhead about 15 minutes from the house. An equally challenging and rewarding hike with beautiful views at the top.
A beautiful hike that will make you spent half a day out in the woods even though its a relatively short hike. As the name suggests - gorgeous at sunset with its west facing views, but a worthwhile hike any time of day.
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Sunset Ledge Trail Head
3573 Lincoln Gap Rd
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A beautiful hike that will make you spent half a day out in the woods even though its a relatively short hike. As the name suggests - gorgeous at sunset with its west facing views, but a worthwhile hike any time of day.
You do NOT want to miss this! Arguably one of the best farmer's markets you will ever see... Expect people, dogs, music and great local Vermont vendors offering more things than you might imagine...
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Waitsfield Farmers Market
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You do NOT want to miss this! Arguably one of the best farmer's markets you will ever see... Expect people, dogs, music and great local Vermont vendors offering more things than you might imagine...
While not a 4000 footer, this is a great hike with even better views at the top. Not a far drive to the trailhead from the house, either. It's basically off of Route 100 on the Waterbury\Stowe line. The hike is pretty steep, but not something that most people who are familiar with hiking can't handle. Just take your time, pace yourself and prepare for you expectations to be exceeded when you get to the top. People love hiking Camel's Hump and Mansfield, which is understandable, but this is a very solid mountain to consider.
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Mount Hunger
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While not a 4000 footer, this is a great hike with even better views at the top. Not a far drive to the trailhead from the house, either. It's basically off of Route 100 on the Waterbury\Stowe line. The hike is pretty steep, but not something that most people who are familiar with hiking can't handle. Just take your time, pace yourself and prepare for you expectations to be exceeded when you get to the top. People love hiking Camel's Hump and Mansfield, which is understandable, but this is a very solid mountain to consider.
Did you know that you can climb a mountain whose trailhead is 10 minutes or less from the house? Scrag Mountain is visible from Route 100 as you make your way through the valley, and occupies a prominent seat in the Northfield Range, which are the mountains facing the Greens, which subsequently make the Mad River Valley. I hiked it solo during the summer and the views weren't totally great, but there were some interesting opening eastward towards the Northeast Kingdom and Montpelier. Not a super strenuous hike, but a legit mountain all the same. If you hike it during the fall or winter, please wear an orange jacket/vest so that hunters can see you. (best to be safe)
Scrag Mountain
Did you know that you can climb a mountain whose trailhead is 10 minutes or less from the house? Scrag Mountain is visible from Route 100 as you make your way through the valley, and occupies a prominent seat in the Northfield Range, which are the mountains facing the Greens, which subsequently make the Mad River Valley. I hiked it solo during the summer and the views weren't totally great, but there were some interesting opening eastward towards the Northeast Kingdom and Montpelier. Not a super strenuous hike, but a legit mountain all the same. If you hike it during the fall or winter, please wear an orange jacket/vest so that hunters can see you. (best to be safe)

State Parks

A great idea for a day trip. A beautiful, easy walk/hike through the state park with some pretty great glimpses of Lake Champlain. A great way to complement a trip to Burlington with some time in nature.
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Red Rocks Park
Central Avenue
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A great idea for a day trip. A beautiful, easy walk/hike through the state park with some pretty great glimpses of Lake Champlain. A great way to complement a trip to Burlington with some time in nature.
Another great day trip to a state park north or Burlington. Beautiful trails, low complexity and gorgeous views of Lake Champlain. Great when combined with a drive out to the Lake Champlain islands..
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Niquette Bay State Park
274 Raymond Rd
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Another great day trip to a state park north or Burlington. Beautiful trails, low complexity and gorgeous views of Lake Champlain. Great when combined with a drive out to the Lake Champlain islands..

Swimming

A fantastic place for swimming. Also there are changing rooms/bathrooms and I believe some bbq\picnic areas...
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Waterbury Reservoir
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A fantastic place for swimming. Also there are changing rooms/bathrooms and I believe some bbq\picnic areas...
Possibly the best place to go swimming in Vermont. Don't let the secret out!! Parking is somewhat limited, and therefore a great, great time to go (and enjoy more of the lake for yourself) is after 5:00...
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Blueberry Lake
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Possibly the best place to go swimming in Vermont. Don't let the secret out!! Parking is somewhat limited, and therefore a great, great time to go (and enjoy more of the lake for yourself) is after 5:00...
Kids love to swim in the river here along the bridge, and plenty of space to put down a blanket and relax on a summer's day...
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Waitsfield Covered Bridge
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Kids love to swim in the river here along the bridge, and plenty of space to put down a blanket and relax on a summer's day...
This is commonly referred to as the Lareau Swim Hole. A great place to go swimming and unique in that it seems to appeal equally well to kids and adults alike. Basically right across the street from American Flatbread.
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The Lareau Park
6051 VT-100
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This is commonly referred to as the Lareau Swim Hole. A great place to go swimming and unique in that it seems to appeal equally well to kids and adults alike. Basically right across the street from American Flatbread.

Breweries

I can't believe it took me so long to find this place. Incredibly - right on the waterfront of Lake Champlain, walkable to downtown Burlington, and yet has its own distinct and positive vibe. If you happen to go to Burlington, this is well worth checking out.
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Foam Brewers - Burlington Waterfront
112 Lake St
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I can't believe it took me so long to find this place. Incredibly - right on the waterfront of Lake Champlain, walkable to downtown Burlington, and yet has its own distinct and positive vibe. If you happen to go to Burlington, this is well worth checking out.