Middlebury was the first town I ever visited in Vermont.
I have a distinct memory of driving west on Route 125 out of town after a tour at the College. I had never seen so many gorgeous rolling hills, glistening with sunlight, in my life. At that point, I knew I would make Vermont home—at least for a short time—if Middlebury College would have me. Now more than 10 years later, I couldn’t imagine being anywhere else.
Middlebury survived being almost entirely destroyed during the Revolutionary War to become the home of Vermont’s original marble quarries, as well as a popular vacation destination, filled with charming country inns. Middlebury offers visitors the opportunity to shop for crafts, folk art and locally grown produce amidst beautiful woods and farmland. The nearby village of Ripton features the Robert Frost Wayside Trail, leading poetry fans through the woods that inspired his most famous poems.
Although I have an on-again, off-again love affair with the town of Middlebury itself, the community is full of supportive, caring people I am grateful to call my neighbors. Some days when I have barely brushed my teeth in the morning, I may (slightly) cringe at the thought of seeing those same people in the Middlebury Co-op, as there’s no such thing as anonymity in our town of 8,500 residents. But then I realize that I’ve made my home here for the accepting community we’ve all contributed to, and the quality of life it offers us all.
Tips for Visiting Middlebury, Vermont
More than ever, Middlebury is becoming a day-trip destination for visitors to the Green Mountain State—and not just those who have a tie to the College. There is a lot to do and see with new businesses popping up regularly, contributing to the growth and prosperity of the town. Here are my top picks for exploring Middlebury like a local, from restaurants to lodging to must-see sights and must-do activities. Have other suggestions to offer? Comment below!