July 20, 2024
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The Town of Middlebury, Vermont: Rich in History and Natural Beauty

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1 Welcome to Middlebury, Vermont!

Welcome to Middlebury, Vermont!

Nestled in the heart of Addison County, Middlebury, Vermont is home to Middlebury College and offers an idyllic setting for students and visitors alike. With its quaint downtown, historic sites, outdoor recreation opportunities, and cultural offerings, Middlebury is the perfect destination for those seeking a unique travel experience.

Town of Middlebury, Vermont Key Takeaways

  • Middlebury is a picturesque college town in Vermont that is rich in history and natural beauty.
  • The town boasts a charming downtown and numerous historic sites that are worth exploring.
  • Outdoor enthusiasts will love Middlebury's scenic landscape and many recreation opportunities.
  • Middlebury's cultural and artistic scene is vibrant and engaging.
  • The town is conveniently located and offers many options for travel and lodging.

Exploring Middlebury's Charming Downtown

Middlebury Village Historic District

When we think of quintessential New England towns, Middlebury, Vermont, immediately comes to mind. Its charming downtown area and historic attractions make it a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to the region.

The heart of Middlebury is its downtown area, where visitors can explore unique shops, cafes, and restaurants in a picturesque setting. The streets are lined with historic buildings, and the town's Main Street is a designated historic district. Chartered in 1761, the iconic main street in Middlebury harkens back to times when Vermont was coming of age. Locally owned businesses still carry on the traditions of those who came before them as Vermonters did throughout the past.

The town's Main Street is a major attraction, featuring notable sites such as the Henry Sheldon Museum of Vermont History, the historic Town Hall Theater, and the Middlebury Inn, a classic New England hotel. Visitors can take a stroll down Main Street and enjoy the beautiful architecture and small-town charm.

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AttractionDescription
Henry Sheldon Museum of Vermont HistoryA museum that showcases the rich history of the region, including exhibits on the American Revolution and the Civil War.
Town Hall TheaterA historic theater that hosts a variety of performances, including plays, musicals, and concerts.
Middlebury InnA classic New England hotel that has been welcoming guests since 1827. The inn features beautiful guest rooms and a renowned restaurant.
Middlebury College Campus

Another northeast historic site worth visiting is the Middlebury College campus, which is located just a short walk from downtown. The campus boasts stunning architecture and a beautiful setting, making it a great place to take a leisurely stroll.

Town of Middlebury, Vermont's Charming Downtown and Historic Sites

Overall, Middlebury's downtown area and historic sites offer a unique and charming experience that is not to be missed. Whether you're interested in historic architecture, local culture, or just taking a relaxing stroll, Middlebury has something for everyone. Strolling around Middlebury, you'll notice that the town has a charm all of it's own. Every street in Middlebury and the town green is Vermont's footbridge to quintessential New England scenes.

Middlebury College

A Prestigious Liberal Arts Institution and Campus

MIddlebury VT - College Library

As we explore Middlebury, we cannot miss the incredible presence of Middlebury College. This prestigious liberal arts institution is situated on a stunning campus and has been an integral part of the town's identity since its establishment.

The college was founded in 1800 and has since become one of the top liberal arts colleges in the United States. Its campus is home to a range of impressive academic programs and state-of-the-art facilities, including a renowned language school and environmental studies program.

Walking around the campus, visitors will be in awe of the beautiful architecture and natural surroundings. The campus features over 350 acres of land, including a 200-acre organic farm, an 18-hole golf course, and numerous athletic fields. The college's commitment to sustainability is evident throughout the campus, providing a model for environmentally conscious institutions across the country.

One of the most notable features of Middlebury College is the breathtaking Bread Loaf campus. This picturesque location in the Green Mountains has been a long-standing home for the renowned Bread Loaf Writers' Conference and numerous summer programs.

Whether you are a prospective student or simply an admirer of beautiful campuses, Middlebury College's campus is a must-visit location when exploring the town of Middlebury. With its unique programs and stunning surroundings, Middlebury College has cemented its place as a top liberal arts institution in the northeastern United States.

The Breadloaf Writer's Conference Sponsored by Middlebury College

Founded in 1926, it has been called by The New Yorker “the oldest and most prestigious writers' conference in the country.”

The Bread Loaf Writers' Conference and its connections to Middlebury, Vermont and Robert Frost:

  • The Bread Loaf Writers' Conference is an annual summer writers' conference held at the Bread Loaf Inn near Ripton, Vermont. It is sponsored by Middlebury College.
  • The conference was founded in 1926 by Professor John Farrar of Middlebury College and author Gertrude Battles Lane. It was held at the Bread Loaf Inn, which is located near the college's Bread Loaf campus in the Green Mountains.
  • The name “Bread Loaf” comes from a nearby mountain peak called Bread Loaf Mountain. The Native American name for the mountain was Namaos Zo meaning “twin loaves of bread”.
  • Notable speakers and staff over the years have included Robert Frost, Ralph Ellison, Robert Penn Warren, Eudora Welty, John Irving, and Joyce Carol Oates among others.
  • Robert Frost had a long history with Bread Loaf and Middlebury College. He owned a farm nearby in Ripton, Vermont and was involved with the conference from the start, teaching and giving readings. Frost also spent most of his academic career teaching at Middlebury College from 1921 until his death in 1963.
  • Today, the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference continues to connect emerging writers with distinguished faculty each summer at the Bread Loaf Inn. It maintains close ties to Middlebury College.

In summary, the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference has its roots in Middlebury College and the Green Mountains of Vermont where Robert Frost lived and worked. It provides aspiring writers a chance to learn from established authors in Frost's old stomping grounds.

Enjoying Outdoor Recreation in Middlebury

Vermont's Otter Creek, Geography and Scenic Landscape

When it comes to outdoor recreation, Middlebury offers a diverse range of options to suit any adventurer's interests. The town is located amidst the stunning Green Mountains and is home to the scenic Otter Creek, providing ample opportunities for hiking, biking, and water activities.

The nearby Green Mountain National Forest is a must-visit for nature lovers, with its extensive trail system leading to breathtaking mountain vistas and tranquil waterfalls. One of the most popular trails in the area is the Robert Frost Interpretive Trail, named after the famed poet who lived in Middlebury for many years and wrote extensively about the landscape.

For those seeking a more challenging hike, the nearby Moosalamoo National Recreation Area boasts several steep ascents and stunning views of the surrounding wilderness. Meanwhile, the Otter Creek Gorge Preserve offers a more relaxed hiking experience, with easy trails that wind through picturesque forest and alongside the titular creek.

LocationTrail Name
Green Mountain National ForestRobert Frost Interpretive Trail
Moosalamoo National Recreation AreaVarious trails
Otter Creek Gorge PreserveVarious trails

If you're a fan of water activities, the Otter Creek is ideal for kayaking or canoeing. The renowned Middlebury College Outdoor Programs also offer guided trips along the creek for those seeking a more structured experience.

Overall, Middlebury's natural beauty and outdoor recreation opportunities make it a must-visit destination for any nature enthusiast.

Uncovering Middlebury, Vermont's Rich VT History and Cultural Heritage

Middlebury, Vermont is a town steeped in rich history and cultural heritage. One notable historical figure is John Swift, who settled in the area in the late 18th century. Visitors can still see his original homestead and mill, which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Another famous figure associated with Middlebury is poet Robert Frost, who spent summers teaching at the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference held annually in the town. Frost is also the namesake of the Robert Frost Wayside Trail, which takes visitors through the stunning countryside that inspired his poetry.

The town's connection to the Champlain Valley is also significant. The valley was a major transportation route for Native Americans long before European settlers arrived, and Middlebury later became a key stop on the Underground Railroad. Visitors can explore the area's history through the numerous historic sites and museums in town.

“Middlebury's rich history is palpable as you walk down Main Street. The buildings and landmarks tell a story of the town's growth and importance in the region over the centuries.”

Notable sites:John Swift Homestead and MillRobert Frost Wayside TrailNational Museum of the Morgan Horse
Location:Route 7 SouthRipton RoadMain Street
Description:A historic mill and homestead dating back to the late 1700sA scenic trail named after famous poet Robert FrostA museum dedicated to the Morgan horse, a breed developed in the region

Whether you're interested in exploring Middlebury's historic sites or simply soaking in the town's rich cultural heritage, there's something for everyone to enjoy.

Middlebury's Connection to the Newhart TV Show

Did you know that the Stratford Inn from the show was inspired by a real inn in Vermont? The exteriors of the Stratford Inn were filmed at the historic Waybury Inn in East Middlebury, Vermont. This charming inn, with a rich history spanning over 200 years, has welcomed guests and captivated visitors with its New England charm.

Indulging in Middlebury, Vermont Culinary Delights

Restaurant Scene and Cozy Lodging

If you're looking for a town that offers more than just natural beauty and history, Middlebury has got you covered! We've got plenty of options for indulging in culinary delights and cozy lodging that will make your visit extra special.

Restaurant/Inn/Bakery NameDescription
Swift House InnIf you're looking for an upscale lodging option with a fantastic restaurant, look no further than the Swift House Inn. This historic inn features elegant rooms and suites, and their on-site restaurant offers a fine dining experience that is not to be missed.
The Co-opIf you're looking for a more community-oriented dining experience, head to the Co-op for fresh, local, and organic food. This shop has a wide selection of products and a seating area to enjoy a quick bite or a full meal.
Sweet Cecily BakeryFor a sweet treat, stop by Sweet Cecily Bakery, where you can indulge in fresh pastries, cakes, and cookies. Their homemade ice cream is also a must-try for a hot summer day.
Places to Stay in Middlebury

If you're looking for a cozy place to rest your head, Middlebury has plenty of options to choose from.

Hotel/Inn NameDescription
Swift House InnAs mentioned before, The Swift House Inn is a fantastic option for those seeking an upscale and historic experience. Their cozy rooms and suites are equipped with all the necessities for a comfortable stay.
The Middlebury InnThis charming and historic inn is located in the heart of downtown Middlebury, allowing easy access to all that the town has to offer. Their spacious rooms and warm ambiance will make you feel right at home.
Courtyard MiddleburyIf you prefer a more modern accommodation, the Courtyard Middlebury is the perfect option for you. Their spacious and contemporary rooms come with all the amenities you need for a comfortable stay.
Weekend Getaway at Middlebury, Vermont?

With so many delicious dining and cozy lodging options, Middlebury is the ideal destination for a weekend getaway or longer stay. Book your trip today and experience the best of what Vermont has to offer!

Frog Hollow stone mill

Green Mountain Cultural and Artistic Offerings in Middlebury, Vermont

As we've explored Middlebury, Vermont, we've come to appreciate its rich culture and artistic offerings. The town boasts a vibrant arts scene, with its renowned Town Hall Theater and prestigious Bread Loaf Writers' Conference.

The Town Hall Theater is a must-visit attraction for any lover of performing arts. Located in the heart of downtown Middlebury, the theater offers a wide variety of performances, including music, theater, dance, and film. The venue has been a vital part of the community for more than a century and continues to host events that showcase the town's talent and creativity.

The Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, held annually in Middlebury, is a gathering of some of the country's most accomplished writers. Attendees come from all over the world to participate in workshops, lectures, readings, and other events. The conference has been a staple of the town's cultural scene for almost a hundred years and has been the launching pad for many successful writers.

Language schools are another hallmark of Middlebury's cultural offerings. Middlebury College hosts several language schools, including programs for learning Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish. These programs are intensive and immersive, allowing students to fully immerse themselves in the language and culture they are studying.

Whether you're a lover of music, theater, literature, or language, Middlebury has something to offer. Be sure to check out the Town Hall Theater, attend a performance or workshop at the Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, or enroll in a language school to fully experience the town's vibrant cultural scene.

Exploring Middlebury, Vermont Surroundings: Addison County and Champlain Valley

While Middlebury is a charming town with plenty to explore, it’s worth venturing beyond its borders to experience the stunning surroundings of Addison County and the Champlain Valley.

The geography of the area is unique, with the Otter Creek running through Middlebury on its way to Lake Champlain. Just a short drive from town, you can visit the spectacular Otter Creek Falls, a beautiful natural wonder well worth the trip. If you're looking for a mountain view, you'll be a sone's throw away from the stunning Adirondack views!

The Foothills of the Green Mountains are also nearby, offering breathtaking views and endless outdoor recreation opportunities, including hiking, skiing, and mountain biking.

Addison CountyChamplain Valley
Make sure to visit the charming towns of Bristol and Vergennes located in Addison County, both offering their own unique blend of history and local culture.No trip to the Champlain Valley is complete without exploring the area's agricultural heritage. Take a scenic drive and stop at one of the many local farms for fresh produce or delicious dairy products.
For a glimpse into the past, a visit to the historic Fort Ticonderoga is a must-see. It's just a short drive across the Champlain Bridge into New York state.Outdoor enthusiasts will love the many opportunities for water activities, such as kayaking, fishing, and boating, all available on Lake Champlain.
Seeking Adventure in Vermont?

Exploring the area surrounding Middlebury adds a whole new dimension to your trip. Whether you’re seeking adventure or relaxation, Addison County and the Champlain Valley won’t disappoint.

Traveling to Middlebury, Vermont: Convenient Ways to Reach the Town

Getting to Middlebury is simple thanks to several convenient transportation options. If you're planning to travel by rail, you can take Amtrak's Ethan Allen Express, which runs daily between New York City and Rutland, Vermont. From there, you can easily transfer to a bus or taxi for the short journey to Middlebury. Get started with your Green Mountain adventure!

Another option is to fly into Burlington International Airport, which is served by several major airlines. From there, you can rent a car or take a shuttle service to Middlebury, which is about an hour's drive away.

For those traveling by car, Middlebury is conveniently located off Route 7, which runs north-south through western Vermont. The town is also just a short drive from Lake Champlain and the northeastern United States, making it an ideal destination for those exploring the New England region.

No matter how you choose to travel, we can assure you that the journey to Middlebury will be worth it for the unforgettable experience awaiting you in this charming New England college town.

The Egyptian Mummy Buried in Middlebury, Vermont

The town of Middlebury, VT’s West Cemetery is the final resting place of an Egyptian Prince’s Mummy!

Middlebury VT Mummy

The last place you would ever expect to find an 8000 year old mummy is within the rolling hills of Vermont. Middlebury, VT’s West Cemetery is the final resting place of an Egyptian Mummy. This topic has sparked a wave of intrigue as experts scramble to uncover the origins of this ancient artifact.

Planning Your Visit to Middlebury, Vermont: Recommendations, Inns and Tips

Now that you're excited to visit Middlebury, we have some recommendations and tips to make the most of your trip. First of all, plan to spend at least a couple of days in this charming town to fully experience all that it has to offer.

Lodging Recommendations

For lodging, we suggest checking out the Swift House Inn which is located in the heart of town and offers a luxurious and cozy stay. If you prefer something more budget-friendly, the Middlebury Inn is a great option with its historic charm and convenient location.

Vermont Tourism Suggestions

When it comes to tourism, we highly recommend taking a stroll through the historic downtown area and visiting the many unique shops and restaurants. A visit to the Vermont Coffee Company and Sweet Cecily Bakery is a must for coffee and pastry lovers.

You can also explore the many outdoor recreation opportunities in the area such as hiking along the trails of the Green Mountain Foothills and taking a dip at Otter Creek Falls. Don't forget to check out the Middlebury Farmers Market for some fresh and delicious local produce. Take a day hike adventure along the Otter Creek, explore the vibrant restaurant scene in downtown Middlebury and stay at a beautiful, local inn!

The Middlebury Snow Bowl – Great Winter Skiing

The Middlebury Snow Bowl is a beloved ski resort, locally grown and nestled in the Green Mountains of Vermont. Located just 10 miles from Middlebury, VT, the Snow Bowl offers excellent skiing and snowboarding for all ability levels.

With a vertical drop of 1300 feet and over 100 acres of skiable terrain, the Middlebury Snow Bowl is the perfect place for skiers and riders to challenge themselves on the slopes. The mountain has 24 trails accessed by 2 chairlifts and 1 surface lift. The trails are evenly divided between beginner, intermediate and advanced runs, so everyone can find terrain suited for their skills.

What makes the Snow Bowl truly special is its charming, old-school New England vibe. As one of the oldest ski areas in Vermont, the Snow Bowl has retained its authentic ski lodge experience. You won't find fancy high-speed quads or an enormous base lodge here. Instead, skiers are treated to stunning Green Mountain views and a comfortable lodge to warm up with hot chocolate or VT maple coffee by the fireplace.

Night skiing is also very popular at the Middlebury Snow Bowl. Skiing under the lights opens up the mountain for 16 additional skiing hours per week during prime season. Night passes are very affordable, making the Snow Bowl a convenient after-work option for locals.

The Snow Bowl is known for having excellent ski instructors, so it's a terrific place for kids and beginners to learn on gradual slopes. Private and group lessons are available to suit all learning styles. Seasonal programs like Nancy's Camp for young skiers builds skills progressively.

With great skiing, breathtaking Vermont scenery, and a welcoming community vibe, the Middlebury Snow Bowl is a beloved ski destination. Locals and visitors alike flock each winter to this hidden gem nestled in the Green Mountain National Forest.

Visiting Middlebury, Vermont in the Off-Season

If you're planning to visit Middlebury in the off-season, keep in mind that some businesses and attractions may have limited hours or be closed altogether. However, this can also be a great time to enjoy the town's peaceful and cozy atmosphere without the crowds.

Town of Middlebury Travel Tips

When it comes to travel, Middlebury is easily accessible by car or train. The closest major airport is Burlington International Airport, which is about an hour's drive away. Another option is to take the scenic route and drive up along the beautiful Lake Champlain where you'll be treated to views of the Adirondacks in New York as well as the Green Mountains.

Lastly, make sure to dress appropriately for the weather, especially during the winter months, as temperatures can drop quite low. We recommend bringing layers to stay warm and comfortable during your visit.

Conclusion

We hope this article has given you a glimpse into the charming town of Middlebury, Vermont. With its rich history, natural beauty, and vibrant community, Middlebury offers a unique and unforgettable travel experience. Whether you're exploring the downtown area and its historic sites, hiking its scenic trails and mountains, indulging in its culinary delights, or immersing yourself in its cultural and artistic scene, Middlebury has something for everyone.

And don't forget about the surrounding Addison County and Champlain Valley, offering even more opportunities for adventure and exploration. So start planning your trip to Middlebury today and discover for yourself why this quaint New England college town is a hidden gem waiting to be uncovered.

FAQ

Q: What makes Middlebury, Vermont a unique college town?

A: Middlebury, Vermont is known for its rich history and natural beauty, making it a picturesque college town unlike any other.

Q: What are some of the historic attractions in downtown Middlebury?

A: Downtown Middlebury is full of charm and features historic sites such as Main Street, which is a must-visit attraction for visitors.

Q: What is Middlebury College known for?

A: Middlebury College is a prestigious liberal arts institution with a beautiful campus that adds to the town's identity.

Q: Are there outdoor recreation opportunities in Middlebury?

A: Absolutely! Middlebury offers a scenic landscape perfect for outdoor activities like hiking, mountain biking, and exploring trails.

Q: What is the historical significance of Middlebury?

A: Middlebury has a rich history, with notable figures like John Swift and historic mills. It is even home to the famous poet Robert Frost.

Q: What culinary delights can be found in Middlebury?

A: Middlebury boasts a variety of culinary options, including local restaurants, bakeries, and the renowned Swift House Inn and Sweet Cecily. Fire & Ice is also one of the most popular restaurants in Middlebury.

Q: What cultural and artistic offerings does Middlebury have?

A: Middlebury is known for its vibrant cultural scene, including the Town Hall Theater, Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, and language schools.

Q: What are the surrounding areas of Middlebury like?

A: Middlebury is surrounded by beautiful landscapes in Addison County and the Champlain Valley, with attractions like Otter Creek Falls and the Green Mountains. The Adirondacks scenic views lurk in the distance.

Q: How can I reach Middlebury?

A: Middlebury is easily accessible, with convenient transportation options such as rail and its proximity to Lake Champlain and the northeastern U.S.

Q: Do you have any recommendations for planning a visit to Middlebury?

A: Absolutely! We suggest looking into hotels, exploring the town's tourism offerings, and taking our recommendations to enhance your overall experience in Middlebury.

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