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Are you heading to Vermont? You’ll want to make sure you stop in Montpelier, Vermont! As Vermont’s capital city, there are tons of great things to do in Montpelier that make it well worth a visit.
Not only is it home to the beautiful Vermont State House, but there are many historical museums and excellent places to eat here. What’s not to love?
By the end of this article, your Montpelier itinerary will be fully packed. Below, find all of the best things to do in Montpelier VT!
Visit the Vermont State House.
If you only have time to cross one of these attractions off your list while visiting Montpelier, then visit the Vermont State House! Set against beautiful trees and featuring a golden dome, this is one of the top places to visit in the whole state.
The Vermont State House was built in the mid-nineteenth century and is beautiful architecturally. Free guided tours are available to guests during the warmer months of the year so that you can get a unique look inside the statehouse. Almost all Vermonters have been to the capitol at least once on a school trip!
Walk around Hubbard Park.
Hubbard Park is a huge green space located in Montpelier. It covers almost 200 acres and was first opened to the public back in 1899. It’s not that far from the Vermont State House, so both could easily be explored in the same afternoon.
Within the park, be sure to be on the lookout for the Hubbard Park Tower. It’s located on top of a hill, and there’s a great trail that leads up to it. The whole park is beautiful, and you could easily spend an hour or two here and get lost in the woods (in a good way)!
Learn at the Vermont Historical Society Museum.
The Vermont Historical Society Museum is one of the best educational things to do in Montpelier. The museum is located inside a gorgeous mansion and also has a gift shop so that you can pick up a souvenir to remember your fantastic trip to northern Vermont.
Inside the museum, which was only recently established in 2002, you’ll find lots of artifacts, exhibits, and pieces of art showcasing Vermont. The museum also often hosts events, so be sure to see if there’s one going on during your visit.
Have fun at the North Branch Vineyards.
This family-owned vineyard opened in 2007, and though it’s a small winery, it’s a favorite of locals in Montpelier. In the warmer parts of the year, visitors are welcome to head to the tasting room in the afternoon to try out many of the wine flavors.
If you are visiting in the winter, don’t worry! A lot of the local shops and festivals will sell North Branch Vineyards’ drinks. Just stop by Hunger Mountain Co-Op or head to the Royal Orchard or Main Street Bar and Grill restaurants. Some of the flavors the winery sells include Miss Maeve, Frontenac Gris, and Seyval Blanc.
Try VT maple syrup at the Bragg Farm Sugar House.
The Bragg Farm Sugar House is the perfect place to go if you want to learn more about Vermont maple syrup. It is what the state is most well-known for! Well, besides Ben & Jerry’s, of course, which is a great place to stop in Waterbury if you happen to be road-tripping through the state.
This sugar house is family-run. The family has been making maple syrup and selling it here for eight generations and counting. The gift shop is filled with tons of maple treats. Be sure to try maple candy for a delicious sweet!
Attend a pottery class at Montpelier Mud.
There are lots of artists in Vermont, and Montpelier is no exception. If you’ve always wanted to learn pottery from a master, make your way to Montpelier Mud. They offer classes throughout the year so that people can bring home their own piece of pottery!
They have different classes throughout the year at various times. The best class for beginners to attend is the Wheel Throwing Class which costs $230 a person. The classes are usually offered in the early morning and then again late at night, so you can pick a time that best works with your schedule.
See a show at the Capitol Theater.
Capitol Theater is a historic movie theater in Montpelier. It’s genuinely one of the best things to do in Montpelier. There are only a few movies ever showing at a time. For a discount, be sure to see a movie on Tuesday for just $5!
For a fun time, you can combine your movie show with a reservation at J. Morgan’s Steakhouse. This is one of the top-rated places to eat in Montpelier, and the food is superb. However, prices are mid-range to high depending on what kind of meals you like to eat.
Take a photo at the Coburn Covered Bridge.
Vermont, in general, is known for its covered bridges, and there’s one right in Montpelier! The Coburn Covered Bridge is easily one of the most picturesque covered bridges in the state. While it’s not painted red like many other bridges in the state, the dark wood is a beautiful contrast against the surrounding forestry, especially in the warmer months.
This bridge was officially built in 1851 and has been open to the public ever since. Traditionally, Montpelier did have multiple covered bridges. Unfortunately, this is the only one that has survived. If you’re visiting with a car, you can still drive the covered bridge, too, for a fun experience!
Peruse art at the T.W. Wood Gallery and Arts Center.
The T.W. Wood Gallery and Arts Center is the top art center in Montpelier. It’s located near the water and is filled with lots of great galleries and exhibits. A lot of the paintings inside are from local artists, which only adds to its allure.
The art gallery is named after none other than Thomas Waterman Wood. He was an artist himself up until 1903, when he unfortunately passed. However, his paintings inspired many people in Montpelier who thought that an art gallery named after him would help bring the love of art to the rest of the city.
Eat at Kismet Kitchen.
Kismet Kitchen, while pricy, offers some of the best luxury food that you could want in Montpelier. It’s the perfect place for a romantic night out. You can find tasteful wines and meals on the menu, including salads and steaks, among other things.
The restaurant was founded by a chef named Julie, who was a personal chef for many years. She likes to use a lot of local ingredients in her food and loves homemade things. Because she experiments a lot with her dishes, you can often find some unique dishes on the menu.
Go for a hike on Camel’s Hump.
Camel’s Hump is said to be one of the top trails to hike in all of Vermont. It’s also one of the highest summits in the state, so it’s not the easiest hike to do. Parts of the hike are deemed difficult, but the top’s views make it well worth it.
The trail is about 18.7 miles long if you choose to take the long hike. A lot of the peak is underdeveloped, which is why it’s difficult at times. The best time to do the hike is in the fall because you can catch the breathtaking foliage.
Learn at the Vermont Granite Museum.
Did you know that Vermont is known for its granite? It’s true! There are many different granite quarries throughout the state. You can learn all about the state’s history with granite at the Vermont Granite Museum in nearby Barre. It opened in the nineteenth century.
The museum was opened to teach others about granite because it’s a huge part of Vermont’s heritage. The museum often hosts events throughout the year, so check their schedule to see if they have one during your visit for an even more memorable trip.
Attend a local farmer’s market.
There’s no better way to support the locals than by going to a farmer’s market! They are often held on the weekends in Montpelier. In addition to fresh produce, vendors often sell different meals and fun crafts to take home as a souvenir.
The Capital City Farmer’s Market is the top farmer’s market held in Montpelier. It’s held right in front of the Vermont State House and is an event that brings together all of the locals and visitors in the area!
Try the ice cream at Wayside Restaurant, Bakery, and Creamery.
Last but not least is one of the best things to do in Montpelier if you’re looking for a great meal! Make your way to the Wayside Restaurant, Bakery, and Creamery. This restaurant opened in 1918 and has been a local staple ever since.
You’ll often find that the restaurant is packed, so be prepared to wait in line just for a little bit before a table becomes available. After your meal, you’ll want to get some of the excellent ice cream or try something from their bakery. You won’t regret it!
Hopefully, this post has convinced you to visit the fantastic city of Montpelier. As a Vermonter myself, I can guarantee that you will have a fantastic experience here no matter what time of year you visit.
Read these next:
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- Top Things to Do in Woodstock VT: The Perfect New England Experience
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Krystianna is a recent college grad who is the founder of Volumes & Voyages, a blog devoted to books and travel. After studying abroad in Dublin for a semester, she got bit by the travel bug and has been chasing her wanderlust ever since.