Nestled in the picturesque valley of Southern Vermont lies the charming town of Wilmington, a hidden gem that beckons travelers with its idyllic landscapes and vibrant local culture. From scenic lake adventures to indulgent bakery delights, Wilmington offers an array of experiences that will leave you enchanted. Whether you're planning a weekend getaway or a leisurely road trip, our ultimate guide to Wilmington, Vermont, is your passport to uncovering the best this town has to offer. Let's embark on a journey through the heart of Wilmington, exploring the must-visit attractions, savoring local flavors, and immersing ourselves in the unique charm of this Vermont gem.
1. Stop at Hogback Mountain for the 100-mile view and country store
Visiting Hogback Mountain's scenic overlook and the Hogback Mountain Country Store right on the border of Wilmington and Marlboro, is a two-fold experience that captures the breathtaking beauty of the Green Mountains and offers a taste of Vermont's warm hospitality. The scenic overlook, situated atop Hogback Mountain, provides panoramic views of the surrounding valleys and mountains, making it a prime spot for capturing stunning photographs and immersing oneself in Vermont's natural splendor. The changing seasons add a touch of magic to the landscape, with vibrant autumn foliage and snow-capped peaks in winter.
After taking in the awe-inspiring views, visitors can into the Hogback Mountain Country Store, a quaint and charming establishment that reflects the essence of a classic Vermont country store. Here, guests can explore a delightful selection of locally made crafts, artisanal goods, and Vermont's renowned maple products. The store's warm and welcoming ambiance invites visitors to indulge in delicious treats, including fresh-baked goods and Vermont-made cheeses. A visit to Hogback Mountain scenic overlook and the Hogback Mountain Country Store is a quintessential Vermont experience that offers a perfect blend of natural beauty and authentic charm.
2. Drink like a local at Beer Naked Brewery, Metcalfe’s Distillery, or Snow Republic Brewery
Getting a drink at Beer Naked Brewery, Metcalfe's Distillery, and Snow Republic Brewery in Wilmington, Vermont, promises a delightful journey through the region's vibrant craft beverage scene. Beer Naked Brewery invites visitors to savor a variety of handcrafted beers, each brewed with creativity and passion, in a friendly and laid-back atmosphere. For those seeking a taste of Vermont's artisanal spirits, Metcalfe's Distillery offers a unique selection of small-batch whiskeys and other crafted spirits, distilled on-site with locally sourced grains. Snow Republic Brewery, known for its commitment to sustainability and eco-friendly practices, offers a range of beers that pay homage to Vermont's natural beauty. Each of these establishments provides a distinct and authentic Vermont experience, with a focus on high-quality ingredients and genuine hospitality. Whether you're a beer aficionado, a whiskey connoisseur, or simply looking to explore Vermont's craft beverage culture, a visit to these three esteemed establishments in Wilmington is a must for any beverage enthusiast.
3. Learn something new at the Southern Vermont Natural History Museum
Visiting the Southern Vermont Natural History Museum in Marlboro, Vermont (right on the border of Wilmington), is a captivating journey into the region's diverse and fascinating natural world. This museum offers an immersive and educational experience for visitors of all ages. The museum's extensive collection of exhibits showcases Vermont's rich biodiversity, from the intricate ecosystems of its forests to the intricate details of its wildlife. Whether you're marveling at the impressive displays of native birds, examining ancient fossils, or learning about the unique geology of the area, the museum's interactive exhibits provide a captivating and informative experience.
In addition to its indoor displays, the museum offers guided nature walks and outdoor programs, allowing visitors to explore the surrounding wilderness and discover the wonders of Vermont's great outdoors. A visit to the Southern Vermont Natural History Museum is a wonderful opportunity to gain a deeper appreciation for the region's natural beauty and the importance of conservation efforts, making it a must-visit destination for anyone seeking to connect with nature and the fascinating world around us.
4. Hike to the Mount Olga Fire Lookout Tower
Hiking to the Mount Olga Fire Lookout Tower is an exhilarating adventure that rewards hikers with breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes. Located within the Molly Stark State Park, the trail meanders through lush forests, offering a serene and peaceful experience immersed in Vermont's natural beauty. As hikers ascend toward the tower, the trail becomes steeper, adding a touch of excitement and challenge to the journey. Upon reaching the summit, the fire lookout tower stands tall, providing an unparalleled vantage point to admire the Green Mountains, valleys, and nearby lakes. The expansive views make it a popular spot for photographers, nature enthusiasts, and those seeking a tranquil escape into the wilderness. Whether you're an experienced hiker or just starting your outdoor adventures, the hike to the Mount Olga Fire Lookout Tower offers an unforgettable experience and a sense of accomplishment, making it a must-do activity for anyone exploring the captivating landscapes of Wilmington, Vermont.
5. Rent boats at High Country Marine
High Country Marine in Wilmington, Vermont, is your gateway to an unforgettable boating experience on the scenic Lake Whitingham. Nestled in the heart of the Green Mountains, this premier boat rental destination offers a fleet of top-quality watercraft, providing the perfect opportunity to explore the pristine waters of the lake. Whether you're seeking a leisurely cruise, a thrilling watersport adventure, or a peaceful day of fishing, High Country Marine has the ideal boat to suit your needs. Their knowledgeable and friendly staff are ready to assist with all your boating requirements, ensuring a safe and enjoyable outing on the lake. With its breathtaking mountain views and crystal-clear waters, renting a boat from High Country Marine promises an idyllic day of relaxation and adventure amidst the beauty of Vermont's natural splendor.
6. Pick your own produce at Boyd Family Farm
Visiting Boyd Family Farm is a delightful escape into the heart of Vermont's agricultural heritage. This family-owned farm, established in 1923, welcomes visitors with open arms to experience a genuine slice of country life. Set against the backdrop of the majestic Green Mountains, the farm offers a serene and picturesque setting to explore. From wandering through vibrant flower gardens to picking your own fresh produce, such as strawberries and pumpkins, Boyd Family Farm offers a hands-on experience for visitors of all ages. A visit to Boyd Family Farm is a true celebration of Vermont's agricultural traditions, showcasing the beauty of the countryside and the warmth of a family-run farm that welcomes guests as if they were part of their own family.
7. Swim at The Ledges
Swimming at The Ledges in Wilmington, Vermont, on Lake Whitingham is an invigorating and refreshing experience that promises to create lasting memories. This popular swimming spot, nestled along the shores of the pristine Lake Whitingham, offers crystal-clear waters and a picturesque setting surrounded by lush woods. The Ledges' natural rocky outcroppings provide ideal spots for sunbathing and picnicking, making it a perfect destination for a day of relaxation and fun with family and friends. Whether you're diving into the cool waters, floating on an inflatable raft, or simply wading along the shoreline, swimming at The Ledges offers a serene and idyllic escape into Vermont's natural splendor. With its peaceful ambiance and panoramic views of the lake, The Ledges is a must-visit destination for anyone seeking a quintessential Vermont summer experience.
8. Load up on fresh baked breads, cookies, bagels, and brownies at Butter Mountain Bakery
Butter Mountain Bakery in Wilmington, Vermont, is a hidden gem that delights locals and visitors alike with its delectable treats and warm, inviting atmosphere. This charming bakery is a haven for food enthusiasts seeking artisanal baked goods made with love and care. From flaky croissants to mouthwatering pies and a variety of handcrafted pastries, every item at Butter Mountain Bakery is a culinary delight that captures the essence of Vermont's farm-to-table ethos.
The bakery's commitment to using locally sourced and organic ingredients ensures that each bite is a taste of the region's natural bounty. With its rustic and cozy ambiance, complete with reclaimed wood decor and the aroma of freshly baked goods, Butter Mountain Bakery provides the perfect spot to enjoy a leisurely morning coffee or to pick up a delightful treat to savor on your outdoor adventures. A visit to Butter Mountain Bakery is a celebration of Vermont's culinary traditions and a memorable experience that leaves visitors craving for more of their delectable creations.
9. Find some gems at the Wilmington Antique and Flea Market
Since its establishment in 1983, the Wilmington Antique and Flea Market has been a beloved destination for travelers and local residents alike, boasting over three decades of charm and treasures. Spanning 10 acres, this market offers a delightful array of goods, from antiques and collectibles to jewelry, glassware, furniture, artisan crafts, and even fresh produce and plants. Whether you're on the hunt for a unique vintage find or simply want to soak up the vibrant atmosphere, this market is a must-visit. Operating from mid-May to mid-October, it welcomes visitors every Saturday and Sunday, with special hours on Memorial Day, Labor Day, and Columbus Day. The best part? Admission and parking are free, and there's a food concession on-site to keep you energized during your treasure hunt.
10. Grab lunch at Wahoo's
Eating at Wahoo's Eatery in Wilmington, Vermont, is a delightful culinary experience that offers a diverse menu to satisfy every craving. This beloved eatery, nestled in the heart of town, caters to a variety of tastes with its extensive selection of dishes. Whether you're in the mood for a flavorful wrap filled with fresh ingredients, a juicy and indulgent burger, or a side of crispy fries to complement your meal, Wahoo's has something to please every palate. And for those with a sweet tooth, their selection of 17 flavors of Giffords hard scoop ice cream provides the perfect way to cool off and satisfy dessert cravings. The casual and welcoming atmosphere at Wahoo's Eatery makes it a popular spot for locals and visitors alike, offering a relaxed setting to enjoy delicious food and friendly service. Wahoo's does close down during the winter.
11. Have a picnic at Mt. Mills West Picnic Area
Having a picnic at Mount Mills West Picnic Area on the shores of Lake Whitingham is a picturesque and idyllic way to enjoy the beauty of nature and the serenity of the lake. This scenic picnic spot, nestled amidst the lush landscapes of the Green Mountains, offers a tranquil setting for families, friends, and nature enthusiasts to gather. With its well-maintained picnic tables and grilling facilities, Mount Mills West Picnic Area provides all the amenities needed for a perfect al fresco dining experience. As you spread out your picnic blanket and enjoy your meal, you'll be treated to stunning views of Lake Whitingham's clear waters and the surrounding wooded shoreline. Whether you're indulging in homemade sandwiches, fresh fruit, or local takeout, the ambiance at Mount Mills West Picnic Area creates a memorable and relaxing atmosphere for all to enjoy. After the meal, you can explore the nearby hiking trails or simply bask in the beauty of Vermont's natural splendor, making it a day of cherished memories and peaceful moments spent in the embrace of nature's wonders.
12. Explore some of the local trails
Hiking in Wilmington, Vermont, is an enchanting experience that immerses outdoor enthusiasts in the rugged beauty of the Green Mountains. With its proximity to numerous trails and nature reserves, Wilmington serves as a gateway to a diverse array of hiking adventures suitable for all skill levels. From leisurely walks through scenic forests to challenging ascents up majestic peaks, hikers can choose from a variety of trails that offer breathtaking views, serene landscapes, and a chance to connect with nature. Whether you're exploring the Molly Stark State Park or discovering the serene trails around Lake Whitingham, each hike in Wilmington promises a unique and unforgettable encounter with Vermont's natural splendor.
Here are some of the most popular trails in town:
- Haystack Mountain Trail
- Valley Trail
- Hoot, Toot, and Whistle Trail
- Hogback Mountain Trails
- Catamount Trail
13. Cool down with a creemee from Creemee Stand
Getting a creemee from Creemee Stand in Wilmington, Vermont, is a deliciously nostalgic experience that captures the essence of summer in New England. This beloved ice cream stand, a local favorite for generations, serves up creamy and flavorful soft-serve ice cream that keeps visitors coming back year after year. Creemee Stand offers a delightful treat for every palate whether your crazing chocolate, vanilla, or their legendary Vermont Maple. The Vermont Maple Creemee is homemade and is created using Pure Vermont Maple Syrup produced right in Wilmington, Vermont. Over the years, Creemee Stand’s Vermont Maple Creemee has gained widespread attention, won many awards, and was named the “absolute best Maple Creemee” by Edible Green Mountains Magazine. The friendly staff and cheerful atmosphere add to the charm of the experience, making it the perfect spot to indulge in a sweet treat on a warm summer day or after a day of exploring the nearby hiking trails and outdoor adventures. Whether you choose to enjoy your creemee while taking a leisurely stroll through the charming town of Wilmington or while relaxing by the scenic Lake Whitingham, a visit to Creemee Stand promises a taste of Vermont's cherished ice cream tradition and a moment of pure joy amidst the beauty of the Green Mountains.
14. Dine at the famous Dot’s Diner
Eating at the iconic Dot's Diner in Wilmington, Vermont, is a nostalgic journey back in time and a cherished tradition for locals and visitors alike. Dot's Diner is renowned for its hearty breakfast offerings, from fluffy pancakes and crispy bacon to mouthwatering omelets and steaming cups of coffee. The menu also features classic diner favorites such as burgers, sandwiches, and milkshakes, all prepared with care and served with a side of old-fashioned charm. A visit to Dot's Diner is not just a meal but an experience that celebrates the enduring allure of diners and the warm hospitality that Vermont is known for.
15. Swim and enjoy the views at Green Mountain Beach
Green Mountain Beach on Lake Raponda in Wilmington, Vermont, is a hidden gem that offers a serene and picturesque retreat for locals and visitors alike. This pristine sandy beach, nestled amidst the lush forests of the Green Mountains, provides the perfect setting for a day of relaxation and enjoyment by the water. Whether you're sunbathing on the sandy shores, picnicking under the shade of the trees, or swimming in the clear waters of the lake, Green Mountain Beach offers a variety of activities to suit every taste.
The surrounding natural beauty, with its tranquil waters and verdant landscapes, creates a peaceful and idyllic escape from the bustle of everyday life. Whether you're seeking a refreshing swim, a peaceful lakeside stroll, or simply a moment of tranquility in the embrace of Vermont's nature, Green Mountain Beach on Lake Raponda promises a memorable and rejuvenating experience that captures the essence of Vermont's scenic wonders.
16. Admire the operations of Wheeler Farms
Visiting Wheeler Farm in Wilmington, Vermont, is a delightful experience that offers a glimpse into the charm of a working family dairy farm. Situated on Route 100, this farm is an integral part of the Cabot Coop, contributing to the creation of the renowned cheese products crafted in Cabot, Vermont. The farm stand, open from May through October, is a treasure trove of local goodies, including maple syrup and maple products, along with an assortment of jams and jellies. Throughout the year, each season brings its own unique appeal, whether it's the excitement of maple syrup production in spring, the sight of contented cows grazing on lush pastures in summer, or the breathtaking fall foliage that envelops the farm in autumn. Wheeler Farm is a true Vermont gem for those seeking a genuine taste of rural life.
17. Play a round of golf at the Haystack Golf Course
Playing golf at the Haystack Golf Course in Wilmington, Vermont, is a golfer's dream come true, offering a spectacular blend of challenging play and breathtaking natural beauty. Nestled in the heart of the Green Mountains, this 18-hole championship course is a picturesque oasis that showcases Vermont's stunning landscapes. Golfers of all skill levels are invited to tee off amidst the lush fairways and well-manicured greens, providing a delightful mix of strategic shots and panoramic views. The course's design seamlessly integrates with the surrounding mountains, creating a sense of harmony with nature. After a rewarding round of golf, players can unwind at the clubhouse, where warm hospitality and delicious fare await. Whether you're a seasoned golfer seeking a new challenge or a beginner looking to embrace the joys of the sport, playing golf at Haystack Golf Course promises an unforgettable golfing experience.
As we conclude our tour of Wilmington, Vermont, it becomes evident that this quaint town holds a treasure trove of experiences waiting to be discovered. From the tranquility of boating on sparkling lakes to the thrill of sipping craft brews in local breweries, Wilmington offers something for every traveler. The warmth of its community, the richness of its landscapes, and the flavors of its local cuisine create an unforgettable tapestry of memories. So, whether you're seeking outdoor adventures, culinary delights, or a serene escape into nature, Wilmington stands ready to embrace you with open arms. As you bid farewell to this charming town, carry with you the cherished moments and the promise of returning to explore even more of Wilmington's wonders.