Quechee GorgeAfter doing some research online we found that Quechee Gorge is called the Grand Canyon of the East. And while I've never been to the Grand Canyon, I have seen pictures and sorry to say it just doesn't live up to that moniker. But it's still gorgeous. The picture below is from the bridge above the gorge and after that we took a short 1/2 mile hike over to the damn. The path is an easy trek and very lovely, a perfect way to spend a morning and if you're looking for a short and simple hike through some nature.
Quechee Gorge VillageA quaint collection of shops just down the road from the Gorge, the Quechee Gorge Village is a must-stop! With an Alpaca store and farm--yes, you can see the animals!--, a Vermont gift shop, a Cabot Cheese Creamery, Toy and Train museum, and antique mall, there is plenty to do in this mall of stores. The antique mall was my favorite! I loved looking around at all the booths and seeing what sorts of interesting finds I could discover. I bought an antique globe that I was super excited about! There were also tons of booths with books both new and old in them which is always fun. The Cabot Creamery had more than a dozen of cheese samples to try as well as a market with food to purchase and wine. The fill-your-own-bag and weigh assorted candy table at the Vermont store was a huge hit with me and my family. As was the different kinds of fudge you could buy. Easy to spend an hour or two wandering and partaking in fun trinket shopping! We ate lunch at CJ's Tavern adjacent to the Village and it was a perfect stop for some appetizers, or a full meal, to energize us for some antique shopping. A one room tavern and bar, we ordered loaded nachos and the sampler platter and it was delicious! The service was friendly and the waitress was so helpful when my mom was trying to get wifi to check into her flight which was especially appreciated as unless you are from there and have Verizon you get literally no cell service.
Artisan ParkNot located in Quechee but a 15 minutes drive to Windsor, VT you will find Artisan Park. A collection of various buildings and things to do including Harpoon Brewery, a Sustainable Farm Cheese Shop, the Path of Life Sculpture Garden, a Great River Outfitters, a Simon Pearce Glass & Silo Vodka Distillery. YES, that is all there right next to each other. My favorite part was the Path of Life Sculpture Garden. A spiritual walk taking you through the stages of life with an explanation of each stop on the map. This was the perfect amount of spiritual and introspective thinking without being too over the top. The writing of the stage was lovely, the stages laid out in a beautifully green field the includes a set of rock formations that are so the stones from Outlander, thanks Mom for that observation. Just a super lovely way to spend about 30 min-an hour of your day at a very small cost of $6. We also watched some glass blowers in action at the Simon Pearce Glass store. I've seen this done in Venice twice but it's still amazing no matter where in the world you are. I didn't get a chance to do the brewery or distillery tour but it's definitely on my list to-do!
If you're in the area and looking for fun and local things to do, this should definitely be on your list. I only hope to find more towns like to explore and discover!
What do you think about antique shopping and small town America?
Are there any small towns near you that you think are hidden gems?
Don't forget to post on Instagram with the hashtag #WanderlustWednesday! It can be anything--a throwback travel photo of a place you've been, a Google image of where you want to go, an inspirational quote, a travel themed trinket you have, anything that inspires your wanderlust.