Vermont Route 100 is one of the most beautiful places for a day-long Vermont road trip. There are fun tourist attractions, beautiful waterfalls, and quaint towns. With that much variety, there’s a bit of something for everyone.
During the summer of 2021 we took a road trip through New England that included this beautiful drive through the Green Mountains of Vermont. We had spent the previous night in Burlington, Vermont, and drove from there to Concord, New Hampshire. Below you’ll find some of the attractions we visited along the way, most of which are along Route 100.
Burlington is a great starting point if you want to spend time in a fun city in Vermont. It’s the home of the University of Vermont, so it’s a college town, but has a lot to do for tourists, too. This is where our trip started. We flew into the airport in Burlington and had booked a room at the Hilton Garden Inn. Burlington is easy to get around, and the Hilton Garden Inn is within walking distance to several of the places we wanted to go.
One of the most popular places to spend time is Church Street. This 7-block long street is lined with restaurants, coffee shops, and shops of all kinds. This is where we had planned to eat dinner and let our daughters do some shopping. But mainly we just wanted to walk around, do some people-watching, and get a general vibe of the area.
It was drizzling when we arrived, but we just put on raincoats with hoods and headed out anyway. It’s a very short walk past City Hall to get to Church Street. We walked around for awhile, and did some window shopping – some of the stores were already closed but some were still open. We checked out the Ben & Jerry’s ice cream shop, looked at some of the murals, and basically just hung out for awhile.
We ended up getting dinner at a place called Ri Ra. I’m not sure where the name comes from, but it’s an Irish pub and the cute signs in the window drew us in. I’m so glad it did, because Ri Ra had the best fish and chips I’ve had here in the States! They even had curry sauce for the chips (aka French fries as we call them here). It was AMAZING! They had a great local beer selection, and I chose Second Fiddle by Fiddlehead Brewing Company in nearby Shelburne, VT. My husband had a burger and long-island iced tea, and the girls both got mac ‘n’ cheese, and they were all delicious!
We also found a cute and wonderful-smelling coffee shop called Black Cap Coffee & Beer. Those are two of my favorite things! So the next morning we went back there for breakfast and it was really delicious. And by then the rain had cleared out, so we enjoyed our second walk down Church Street even more.
The other thing we wanted to see in Burlington was Lake Champlain. Supposedly it’s the largest lake in the United States except for the five great lakes. (Apparently there is some debate over this.) We had hoped to catch the sunset there the night before, but the weather kept that from happening. We went there the next day and took a few pictures of the marina and the small lighthouse not far off-shore. We didn’t have time to do much, but at least we got to see it.
World’s Tallest Filing Cabinet
The other thing I wanted to see in Burlington was a cool roadside attraction: the world’s tallest filing cabinet! It was a short drive away from our hotel, so after we checked out, that was the first place we went. It’s a quick visit because it’s literally just a tall set of filing cabinets in the middle of a parking lot.
How tall is the world’s tallest filing cabinet? I’m glad you asked! It’s over 50 feet tall and made of 38 individual filing cabinets. It’s a public art installation whose real name is “File Under So. Co., Waiting for…” and built by Bren Alvarez. If you want to visit it yourself, you can easily find it on iMaps or Google Maps, but the address is 208 Flynn Avenue.
After we left the filing cabinet, it was time to start the actual road trip! We got on Interstate 89 to go to Waterbury, which is where we’d pick up Route 100. There were a couple of things we wanted to see in Waterbury, though, which made it a great start to the day.
Cold Hollow Cider Mills
Our first stop was Cold Hollow Cider Mills. Being from Florida, we don’t get to enjoy the results of the apple-picking season that our northern friends do. We definitely had to try the apple cider and, more importantly, the apple cider donuts! They were both really delicious! The donuts aren’t too sweet, so they offset the sweeter cider really well. Even though it hadn’t been that long since breakfast, it was a wonderful treat.
There’s a small area inside where you can see some of how the cider is made. We enjoyed watching the employees go about their jobs. We also shopped around at the store, which had a lot of cute offerings. We got some different jams, a jar of Alchemist Tipsy Pickles (pickles made with the local Alchemist beer) and a half gallon of apple cider for the road.
It was almost time for Ben and Jerry’s to open, but not quite, so we stopped into the Waterbury location of the Woodstock Farmer’s Market, and got some snacks for the road.
Ben and Jerry’s Factory and Flavor Graveyard
The Ben and Jerry’s factory was one of the main attractions we wanted to see on our trip. The factory itself was closed for renovations, which we fortunately knew ahead of time. But the graveyard was open! I know, that sounds weird. It’s not really a graveyard, there’s no one buried there. Instead, it’s a Flavor Graveyard, with tombstones for all of the discontinued Ben & Jerry’s flavors from years past.
We really wanted to see Schweddy Balls, a flavor that was named after the famous Saturday Night Live skit, and Vermonty Python which features our favorite British comedy troupe. What I hadn’t prepared myself for, was the memory of Wav Gravy! That was my favorite flavor when I was a teenager, and I had completely forgotten about it! There are lots of discontinued flavors and each one has a cute poem about its demise, as well as the “birth” and “death” dates.
Then we each got a cone of our favorite current flavors as well. Mine is, of course, Phish Food, named after one of my favorite bands, Phish, who are also from Vermont.
After our activities in Waterbury, we picked up Route 100 and headed south away from the town and further into the Green Mountains
Warren Covered Bridge
We absolute had to see some of the covered bridges along the way, and the first one we came to was the Warren Covered Bridge. It was originally constructed in 1880! We pulled to the side of the road and took a few pictures there.
Not too far past the covered bridge, we pulled into the parking lot for Warren Falls. This is a popular waterfall and swimming hole for locals. Although we did wade into the Mad River above the falls, it was a little bit too cold for our tastes! But we watched a group of about 20 people swimming and even jumping from the cliffs into the water. It looked like a lot of fun (maybe for someone younger than I!) And the river itself is scenic and worth getting pictures of.
Moss Glen Falls
A bit further down Route 100, we could Moss Glen Falls. Now, there’s a weird thing to note here. There is ANOTHER “Moss Glen Falls” further north, in Stowe. So if you’re trying to follow along on a map, and you think I’m telling you to backtrack, you’re probably looking at the wrong location.
This particular Moss Glen Falls is the one with the Granville, Vermont address. It’s only about 10 minutes south of Warren Falls.
This waterfall is much taller and even easier to get to. Just park in the small lot and walk a very short distance down a boardwalk, and the falls are right in front of you. You can see them from the road. They’re very pretty, so this is a quick stop with a big payout in terms of scenery!
After we were done seeing Moss Glen Falls, there was another hour-long drive continuing south on Scenic Route 100. You’ll come across the top of the mountain range, and drive along a river that now flows south (instead of north, as the Mad River did back at Warren.) There are scenic iews of the mountains and valleys, as well as quaint farms and pretty vacation areas.
When we got to Vermont 107, we headed east to continue on to Woodstock. This was the perfect picturesque town, one that I could see us actually moving to! Not too small, not too big. There was an open air farmer’s market that appeared to draw a lot of interest. It was crowded but not unreasonably so.
Taftsville Covered Bridge
Once we got through the main part of town in Woodstock, we came to another pretty covered bridge, the Taftsville bridge. This one is painted red, so it has a nice contrast with the Warren covered bridge. It’s nice if you want to see a variety of different bridge styles and colors. It wasn’t on a busy road, so it was easy to park beside it and take pictures of the outside of the bridge and also from the inside where cars can drive.
Just past the Taftsville covered bridge, we headed up the mountain road toward Sugarbush Farm. This is a working maple syrup and cheese farm that’s open to the public. Inside, you can learn how maple syrup is made, and what the different “grades” of syrup means and how they taste different from each other. They let you sample the syrups from a small paper cup, and taste some varieties of cheese, too.
There’s a store inside, so we bought a maple syrup sampler as well as several kinds of cheese. The mountain jack was my favorite!
You can also take a short hike on a trail up the side of the mountain. There, we were able to see where the maple trees are tapped, and the tubes that allow the sap to flow downhill for collection, before it gets turned into syrup. There’s also a cute little chapel for private events.
Quechee Covered Bridge
After we’d eaten our fill at Sugarbush Farm, we wanted to go to Simon Pearce…more about that in a minute, though, because we parked right by Quechee Covered Bridge, so there’s one more covered bridge to mention! This one is right by a manmade dam and the Mill Pond Falls created by the dam. The back side of the Simon Pearce building backs right up to it, and the whole area is really pretty and makes for a few great pictures.
What’s nice about the Quechee Covered Bridge is that it allows cars, but there’s a separate pedestrian walkway along the side of it. (More photo opps!)
Simon Pearce Glass Blowing
The flagship store for Simon Pearce Glass is located here. So once we finished taking pictures at the bridge, we went inside the store. On the lower floor, there are people who are actively doing glass blowing. It was hot in there, but lots of fun to watch. The glass items in the store above are pricey but really well made, and there’s a lot of variety. I was tempted to buy one of their glass Christmas trees, but then I thought about the hassle of bringing it back on the plane, then trying to keep it safe from the cat every holiday…and decided I’d just rather look and enjoy, than make a purchase!
The last thing to see in Vermont was the Quechee Gorge. It’s also lovingly called the Grand Canyon of the East, because it’s the deepest canyon in Vermont. At the bottom is the Ottauquechee river. We approached the gorge on US Highway 4, and parked just before the bridge. There’s a big parking area with plenty of room to pull off the road. Along Highway 4, there are pedestrian walkways (with tall fences!) on both sides of the road, so you can look out to both the south and the north.
Again, it’s easy to get to, and easy parking and walking, so not much effort for a big payback in terms of the view!
And that about does it for the Vermont portion of our road trip. From Highway 4, we picked up the interstate and headed on into New Hampshire. I have to say that this particular day had the biggest variety of things to do, and the prettiest sights, of our entire trip. If you want to read more about our trip, check out my review of Cap’n Fish’s Puffin Trip, and my 2-Day Itinerary for New York City.