The small village of Quechee in the heart of the Vermont countryside is packed with character and appeal and is a great place to take the family for a low-key rural getaway. She of the great things to do and see in Quechee Vermont include visiting the famous Quechee VT Gorge, the Quechee State Park and the Vermont Antique Mall. Other notable Quechee VT attractions include the Simon Pearce Quechee VT flagship store and the Quechee Covered Bridge. There are also plenty of things to do near Quechee VT such as one of Vermont’s prettiest towns, Woodstock.
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Things to Do in Quechee Vermont
For things to do, Quechee VT activities mainly revolve around the fabulous natural location of the town on the Eastern border of Vermont. Surrounded by Vermont’s Green Mountains, one of the must-see places in New England, Quechee Vermont is beautiful all season but especially resplendent in its fall colors.
Vermont Institute of Natural Science (VINS)
Vermont takes great pride in its abundant natural environment. VINS started in 1972 when a local group undertook to clean up the dirty Ottauquechee River. After the clean-up, the mission came to be to educate people on the importance of taking care of the environment. The 47 acre VINS nature center was opened in 2004 and now 200,000 people visit annually!
At VINS, there are many ways to explore nature that would be fun for adults and kids alike:
- Take an elevated canopy walk among the tops of the trees.
- Visit the raptor rehab and learn more during the Live Raptor Programs.
- Listen to the songbirds in their aviaries.
- Explore millions of years of avian evolution at the “Birds are Dinosaurs” exhibit.
- Explore the forest yourself on one of the many nature trails.
VINS also runs a popular summer camp for children from the age of 4 years old.
Quechee Gorge Trail
The easy version of the Quechee Gorge trail offers unique vantage points of Quechee Gorge. From the park’s visitors’ center, you hike upstream towards the Quechee Gorge along a paved path.
Formed 13,000 years ago, the Vermont Quechee Gorge is Vermont’s deepest gorge descending down 165 feet deep. It was caused by changes in the Earth’s climate nearly 100,000 years ago during the Ice Age. You can see why its nicknamed Vermont’s Little Grand Canyon.
Other Quechee Gorge trail offshoots lead to waterfalls as well as beyond into the lakes, meadows and forest. The Quechee VT Gorge is a popular tourist spot.
Quechee State Park
The nearly 700 acre Quechee State Park also offers more fun things to do in Quechee, Vt. The park’s location on U.S. Route 6 makes it super convenient to visit.
Besides being home to the Quechee Gorge trails, in the summer months enjoy a shaded picnic area or go swimming and rafting in the river. Fishing for trout in the river is also popular.
During the winter, Quechee State Park is popular with cross-country skiers.
The Quechee State Park is located on the land of what used to be a very sucessful wool mill. The mill even used to make some of the uniforms for the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees! When the mill relocated in 1952, the US Army Corps of Engineers took over the land to help address some of the flooding issues in the area.
The Army Corps created the Hartland Dam. In 1965, the State of Vermont leased the land from the Army Corps to provide a recreational area.
The Quechee State Park has 45 RV or tent campsites as well as seven lean-to sites. There are also two bathrooms with flush toilets and running water as well as coin-operated hot showers.
Quechee Covered Bridge
One of Vermont’s most charming, covered bridges leads the way into Quechee’s downtown over the Ottauquechee River.
The original Quechee Covered bridge was tragically destroyed during Hurricane Irene in 2011. You can see photos of the damage in the lower lever of Simon Pearce glass center nearby. Luckily, the Quechee Covered Bridge was rebuilt to be nearly identical to the original in 2012.
The picturesque covered bridge is 85-feet long and has two lanes for cars and a pedestrian walkway. In the winter, the bridge is especially postcard-perfect with snow on its roof, a holly wreath above the entrance, and the semi-frozen river below.
Simon Pearce Quechee VT
A legend in the glassblowing artistry field, Simon Pearce designs are beautiful and timeless in their elegance. With studios all across New England, the Simon Pearce Quechee VT factory is the flagship store. It is located on the site of the old Quechee Mill that produced some of the best baby flannel in the USA in the 19th century.
Sitting on the banks of the Ottauquechee River, the factory at the Simon Pearce flagship store is turbine powered. The furnace heats to 2000 degrees!
You can watch glass-blowing demonstrations and the artisans are really good at explaining what they are doing. Watching a lump turn into a beautiful glass creation is one of the best things things to do in Quechee VT.
The farm-to-table restaurant has a lovely view of the Quechee Covered Bridge. The bar is also a cozy spot for having a sip and quick snack. The Simon Pearce retail store has rooms of glass creations for sale as well as near-perfect seconds.
Not to confused with Quechee Gorge Village, Quechee Village is very much blink-and-you-miss-it. Along Quechee Main Street, there’s Quechee Green, the Simon Pearce store, the Quechee Covered Bridge, a village library, post office etc.
Quechee Gorge Village
There are plenty of locally owned businesses to support at the Quechee Gorge Village.
The Vermont Antique Mall is a massive antique warehouse where you can get lost browsing for hours.
You can’t miss the chance to taste small-batch artisanal spirits at Vermont Spirits Distilling Company. They distill bourbon, vodka, and gin from locally sourced ingredients, and they have won multiple awards for their bespoke products.
Nearby Putney Mountain Winery and Spirits has a tasting center in the Cabot Cheese Store in the Quechee General Store in Quechee Gorge Village. Sounds like a Russian doll doesn’t it??
Putney Mountain sells fruit wines (e.g., apple maple, cranberry and rhubarb) and liqueurs, such as honey, ginger, chocolate, cassis (Blackcurrant) and maple. This being New England, Putney also sells apple cider but with a twist. Putney Bubbly is a sparkling cider perfect for a champagne alternative.
While you are there, check out the Cabot Cheese Shop at the Quechee General Store if you want to try some Vermont cheeses. The Quechee General Store has lots of great gifts to take back home such as Vermont maple syrup, Vermont Coffee Company beans and Vermont craft beers and wines.
Another unique stop is the Vermont Alpaca Store selling handmade alpaca wool products from Peru and the USA. You can also visit their friendly herd of alpaca outside the store.
Tired of walking? Take a Quechee Segway Tour around Quechee. It lasts around 1.5 hours and provides a guided overview of the area.
Above the Quechee Antique Mall, make sure to visit the Vermont Toy and Train Museum for a blast from the past. There are hundreds of vintage toys on display, going as far back as the early 1900s. It’s interesting to see the development of board games and how politically incorrect some of the vintage toys were.
Kids will be mesmerised by the working model train that weaves along on tracks. Adults will chuckle over the collection of vintage lunchboxes. I spotted a few I owned as a child (yes, I had a Donny and Marie Osmond lunchbox).
Not as well known as other ski destinations in Vermont (such as nearby Killington) or winter getaways in New Hampshire, Quechee ski opportunities are small but great for a weekend trip.
There are a 100 skiable acres for Alpine skiing with 3 lifts and mostly intermediate lifts. There are about 10 miles of Nordic skiing available too. Other winter activities include sleigh rides and ice-skating.
Quechee ski is located at the Quechee Club, a popular private club with tennis courts and a golf course during the summer months in nearby Quechee Lakes in the town of Hartford. The golf course just converts to Nordic skiing during the winter months.
Quechee Hot Air Balloon Festival
Every Father’s Day weekend in June, the Quechee Hot Air Balloon Festival has approximately 20 hot air balloons floating across the Vermont sky.
The 42nd annual Quechee Hot Air Balloon Festival will take place on June 19-19, 2022.
This family friendly event takes place at the Quechee Village green. It has music, entertainment, craft stalls, food stalls and a beer and wine garden. You can book a ride in a hot air balloon and there will be a half-inflated balloon for kids to explore.
Restaurants in Quechee VT
At the Simon Pearce glass blowing factory, you should sit down and take in the scenery at The Mill restaurant. The quaint view of the covered bridge is the perfect backdrop for an elegant Vermont lunch at one of the best restaurants in Quechee VT.
The Simon Pearce restaurant offers dishes like Confit Duck Open Ravioli or the Tamarack Farms Lamb Burger. Just leave room for their famous Maple Crème Brûlée!
Quechee Vt restaurants offer more casual fare as well. Check out the Nostalgia cafe across from the Quechee Gorge Visitor Center. The cozy little café has full cottage core attic space as well as great coffee and freshly baked goods, and hearty soups. And, randomly, a great selection of Mexican dishes.
We love the retro charm of diners and the Public House Diner in the Quechee Gorge Village fits the bill. Set in a 1946 rail car from Holyoke Massachusetts, it’s typical diner food.
Things To Do Near Quechee Vermont
Quechee Vermont is well located for a whole host of things to do nearby. There are plenty of nature trails and scenic drives for outdoors lovers in the Quechee area. Woodstock Vermont and nearby is a haven lovers of the arts and culture.
Explore Woodstock Vermont
The nearby town of Woodstock Vermont is the perfect accompanying stop to your visit to Quechee. Only a short drive away, Quechee Vt to Woodstock VT is 7 miles apart.
Downtown Woodstock Vermont is chock full of cafes, restaurants and boutiques. For a small town, there is also plenty happening with lots of arts, music and theater events. It’s been popularly recognised as one of the best small towns in the USA.
There is also plenty of nature to appreciate too with several covered bridges and even more hiking options. Check out the local farms like the Billings Farm (a working dairy farm) or Sugarbush Farm to learn about traditional Vermont farming.
Explore Windsor Vermont
About 30 minutes south of Quechee, Windsor Vermont is another of charming Vermont’s village with no less than 40 historical structures. The town is called “the birthplace of Vermont”, because the old Constitution House is where the constitution of Vermont was signed in 1777.
The Cornish-Windsor Covered Bridge near Windsor is the longest covered bridge in the USA. The two-span timber bridge is more than 150 years old and crosses the Connecticut River.
Drive The Connecticut River Byway
The eastern border of Vermont is carved out by the Connecticut River, along which the state’s only national byway runs. Hop on the byway at White River Junction and drive in either direction to enjoy splendid panoramic views and stops in the welcoming towns along the way.
In Vermont the Connecticut River Byway runs from the Massachusetts border (near Brattleboro Vermont and its charming Creamery Covered Bridge) all the way to the Canadian border.
Drive the Crossroad of Vermont Byway
The Crossroad of Vermont Byway is a 50 mile scenic drive that cuts east-west across the middle of Vermont. Both Quechee and Woodstock are towns on the Crossroad of Vermont Byway.
There are lots of other scenic viewpoints and things to do along the Ottauquechee River as you traverse the Crossroad of Vermont Byway. For example, one of our all-time favourites is to sit by the river with a drink in hand at the Long Trail Brewery. Burn off a few of those calories with an easy hike on the Thundering Brooks Falls trail near Killington Vermont.
The Crossroad of Vermont Byway has one end in rural Vermont by the White River Junction with New Hampshire. The other end is Rutland Vermont with a historic downtown similar to other once-glorious factory towns in the Northeast .
Inns in Quechee VT
There are Quechee Vt hotels suitable for all budgets and tastes, including some that are more cozy inns in Quechee VT than hotel-size.
The Quechee Inn
The Quechee Inn dates back to the late 1700s when it was the home of Vermont’s first lieutenant governor. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the inn has been impeccably renovated to reflect the best in Vermont hospitality and charm.
They have 22 rooms and three suites as well as a fine dining restaurant and a cozy common area. The rooms are adorned with fine antiques and Queen Anne furniture and have plenty of comfortable amenities like air conditioning and private baths.
The Inn at Clearwater Pond
Set on 7 acres, the Inn at Clearwater Pond is a bit of rural paradise in Quechee, VT with beautiful vistas over the surrounding countryside. A luxury bed and breakfast, you can rent an entire cottage or one of the four individual en-suite rooms. One of these rooms is a twin bedder so perfect for a family travelling with kids.
The Inn offers amenities of a much larger place like a gift shop (with maple syrup made at the Inn) fitness room and in-room massages. Thanks to their large backyard they can offer hot air balloon rides directly from the Inn.
You need to get approval for any children and pets you bring with the management. The Inn has its own resident dog.
The Quality Inn
Among the inns in Quechee VT, the Quality Inn offers value for money. With several comfortable room sizes, this Quechee VT hotel is conveniently located opposite Quechee State Park. You can also take advantage of the extra amenities like the fitness center and pool and enjoy the free breakfast included in your stay.
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