Traveling has always been one of my passions. It exposes us to new cultures and experiences and makes the world a more tolerant place.
Weston, Vermont, is one of those quaint, charming communities that just oozes with character. It’s quiet, picturesque, and—for such a small community—has a lot to offer visitors both in Weston proper and the surrounding communities.
We spent a week there in late September to early October, just as the foliage was starting to turn the green mountains of southern Vermont into a kaleidoscope of color. As part of an annual family reunion, we were drawn to southern Vermont looking for a peaceful gathering place with plenty of outdoor activities.
An Outdoor Enthusiast's Paradise
This region of Vermont has a lot of activities for outdoor enthusiasts. The rolling hills of the Green Mountains offer a beautiful landscape with hiking, skiing, and leaf-peeping all much sought-after activities for visitors.
Throw in lots of local farms, markets, cheese, and pottery, and it makes a nice destination whether you are visiting for just a day or an extended stay.
1. The Vermont Country Store
Weston is home to the Vermont Country Store. They have two locations, one in Bellows Falls, Vermont, and one smack in the center of Weston.
Started in 1946 by the Orton family, these stores have evolved over the decades to offer pretty much everything and anything you could possibly need or want. They offer clothing, housewares, bedding, books, have a large candy section, games—old and new, puzzles, toys, and lots of uniquely Vermont items found nowhere else that bring people from near and far to shop.
The stores are large, stocked to the rafters, and are a big hit with visitors who love shopping for those hard-to-find items from days gone by.
2. Weston Center
While the Country Store is the main attraction in Weston, there are plenty of other interesting things to see including the Weston Playhouse, the Weston Mill Museum, the Weston Village Store, the Farrar-Mansur House, and the JBM Sugar Shack that makes pure Vermont Maple Syrup right here in their own newly built shack. Stop by and visit the three friends who run the business and know everything there is to know about maple syrup.
The Mill Museum and the Farrar-Mansur House showcase the history of Weston and offer visitors a glimpse of life here during the 18th and 19th centuries. The playhouse is the longest-running theatre in Vermont and has been in operation for over 80 years.
Weston is otherwise a pretty quiet place. It’s a beautiful area for a morning walk or run, and you will most likely see cows out grazing in the fields and wild turkeys rummaging for breakfast. The nearby Terrible Mountain, at almost 2,700 feet, provides a scenic backdrop for the community and in the fall, it provides a blanket of color that makes this a prime leaf-peeping area.
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Located just a few minutes south of Weston in Londonderry is the D. Lasser Ceramics Studio. If you like pottery, this is a must-visit. Everything is made right on-site by very talented artists who craft everything from dinnerware to unique and colorful sculptures and garden pieces.
The grounds are ablaze with a sampling of their beautiful creations, and when you venture into their showroom, you’ll be met with a rainbow of colorful pottery pieces. The staff is very friendly and eager to converse with you and answer any questions you may have. We were so enthralled with the place that we visited twice.
D. Lasser Ceramics
6405 Rt. 100
Londonderry, VT 05148
Southern Vermont is cheese country, and many of the local farms produce their own cheese. In the Weston area, there are a few cheesemakers that we visited, and I’ll list them here. Feel free to stop in, learn about cheesemaking in Vermont, and of course sample some locally made cheese.
- Taylor Farm (Londonderry): Family-owned farm with a herd of 50 Jersey and Holstein Cows. Taylor farm has been in operation for over 180 years. Watch for the friendly free-roaming chickens and turkeys.
- Crowley Cheese (Mt Holly): They’ve been making cheese at their historic cheese factory in Vermont since 1824.
- Woodcock Farm (Weston): A small family-owned farm that makes over 10 varieties of cheese from the milk of their sheep herd.
- West River Creamy (Londonderry): Artisan cheesemaker located at Middletown Farm. The three family-owned business produces sheep, goat, and cow milk cheeses.
5. Pure Vermont Maple Syrup
There are plenty of places to get pure Vermont-made maple syrup, and it’s all good. But if you want the best of the best, then stop by the JBM sugar shack located on Route 100 in Weston.
These three friends have built their very own sugar shack and do their own boiling and bottling right here. We met one of the owners on our visit, and it’s clear that they are passionate about their maple syrup. They have created a wonderful little establishment here.
If you’re looking for Pure Maple Syrup, then pay them a visit—you may even learn a thing or two about maple syrup and the process for making it.
6. Farmers Market
We spent one morning at the Dorset Farmers Market, which is about 30 minutes from Weston. The market is open on Sundays from 10 am until 2 pm. This is a great way to spend a few hours shopping for locally grown fruits, vegetables, homemade bread and pastries, locally made cheese and wine, and plenty of arts, crafts, and hot prepared foods.
The farmers market is located on the grounds adjacent to the H.N. Williams General Store, which is a destination itself. It’s a wonderful way to spend a Sunday morning in Vermont.
More Nearby Farmers Markets
There are many other farmers markets in the Weston area including the West River Farmers Market in nearby Londonderry and the Ludlow Farmers Market north of Weston in Ludlow. Find one that fits your schedule and enjoy.
Another quaint village worth exploring is the community of Chester. It’s located just 15 minutes east of Weston on Route 11. Known for its Stone Village Historic District where most of the homes are made from local granite, Chester has a nice town center and green, lined with interesting shops and restaurants.
Across the street from the town green is the Chester Historical Society and the historic Brookside Cemetery that dates to the 18th century. Known as one of the best antiquing towns in New England, Chester has a quiet, artsy vibe to it.
There is a fascinating memorial on the town green commemorating the life of Major General Merritt Austin Edson. If you read the entire Memorial, you’ll come away amazed at how much one man can accomplish in a lifetime.
If you’re visiting the area to take in the fall colors, then you have come to a fantastic place to view the foliage. Just driving the roads of southern Vermont gives you wonderful views of the mountains.
If you’re looking for an aerial view of the colors, head 15 minutes north of Weston to the Okemo Mountain Resort. Best known as a major ski area, you can take the lift to the top of the mountain to hike around and enjoy the beautiful fall colors of Vermont. Further north is the Killington Ski Resort and to the south is the Mount Snow Ski Resort. Both also offer chair lift rides to the summit for leaf-peeping.
9. Hiking and Waterfalls
We did a few hikes while in the Weston area and while I won’t attempt to list or describe all of the available trails, suffice to say that there are many options.
Lowell Lake Trail
The one longer hike that we did was the Lowell Lake Trail, which takes hikers on a 3.5-mile loop completely around Lowell Lake. The trail is rated as moderate, but we had no difficulty and found it to be of good footing and relatively flat. In the fall, the scenic views of the foliage across the lake are spectacular.
The one other very short hike we did was to view the Buttermilk Falls in the Okemo State Forest. The three waterfalls, upper, middle, and lower, are all beautiful and have swimming holes that are no doubt popular during the summer months. The trail is only about a half-mile, but you’ll spend more time enjoying the view than actually hiking. This is definitely worth a stop.
10. Weston Priory
Located in Weston just a few miles north of the town center is the Weston Priory. Established in 1953, the beautiful grounds of the priory offer visitors a tranquil atmosphere to roam, reflect, and enjoy the beauty of nature.
Visitors can join the Benedictine monks in their daily prayer in the stone chapel or plan an overnight or multi-day retreat.
Southern Vermont Is a Treat in Any Season
I hope you enjoyed this little tour of southern Vermont. The Green Mountains provide a playground for the outdoor enthusiast no matter what the time of year.
We are fortunate that we are only an hour from the Vermont border and can make a day trip whenever the mood strikes. With so much to do in southern Vermont, it’s become one of our favorite local destinations.
- Lasser Ceramics
- Vermont Cheese Council – Dedicated to the production and advancement of Vermont cheese
- The Benedictine Monks of Weston Priory, Vermont
Weston Priory is a Vermont Benedictine Monastery offering sanctuary, retreats, music, common prayer
- The Vermont Country Store | General Store | Classic Products
Shop sleepwear, apparel, bedding and food at The Vermont Country Store. Discover our general store with top quality classic products.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2021 Bill De Giulio