If someone gave you a paintbrush and told you to paint the most idyllic village you could imagine, it would look exactly like Grafton, Vermont. There is a general store, a small brick post office and an old tavern. Then add a sheep meadow, a covered bridge spanning a river and of course some happy clouds.
Grafton, Vermont makes you feel as if you have traveled back in time. A time when things were simpler. A place where you walk to the general store for the paper in the morning and sip coffee in a rocking chair on the front porch. Remember the Chevy Chase movie Money Pit? That was filmed in Grafton.
The best things to do in Grafton, Vermont
1. Stay at the historic Grafton Inn
The Grafton Inn opened it’s doors in 1801 and has been welcoming guests ever since. It is a landmark in the center of the village. With individually appointed rooms, no two are alike.
James and I were married at the Inn in 2010 and came back several times a year. It is our favorite place to relax.
There are two restaurants at the Inn. Enjoy fine dining in the main dining room or walk over to the Phelps Barn for a more casual atmosphere.
2. Have dinner & listen to good music in the Phelps Barn
Whether you stay at the Inn or not, dinner at the Phelps Barn is a must. The Phelps Barn provides such a cozy atmosphere. There are big wooden tables and a roaring fire place. I am always blown away by that talent that they bring in for music. I could sit there all night sipping my favorite white wine sangria.
3. Grafton Trails & Outdoor Center
You will find something for everyone at this outdoor recreation center. In summer, the trail system is used for mountain biking and hiking. In the winter, the trails are used for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, tubing, fat biking and sleigh rides. Check out their events schedule, as there is almost always something going on.
Grafton Trails & Outdoor Center is our favorite place to go tubing in the winter. You have to walk up a steep hill, but the ride down is exhilarating. Head into the cabin for hot chocolate and sit by the fire to warm up.
4. The Nature Museum
This small nature museum might be small in size but the programs that they produce are grand. Inside the Nature Museum, kids can crawl through tunnels and learn about the local wildlife.
Our favorite event is the Fairy Festival which happens each fall. The whole town comes together to create fairy scenes which are then placed throughout the forest.
The Nature Museum is currently working on a natural playscape that looks like it is going to be amazing. Visit their website to view their progress.
MKT is so much more than a general store. It is a place for community to gather, sip coffee and talk about the news of the day. It is a place that serves farm to table meals, good wine, craft beer and any other basic provision you might need.
If you need to find a special gift to bring home for someone, this is the place to buy it. Don’t miss getting a maple creemee, which is Vermont’s version of soft serve.
6. Stroll the village trail
There is nothing I like more than simply strolling through the village with my dog. It is a small, walk-able village with lots to see. Our favorite route to take is down Main Street from the Grafton Inn to MKT. Walk to the back of the MKT parking lot and there will be a foot path connecting you to the community garden.
From there, pass Grafton Forge and let the kids burn off some steam at the playground. You will notice a dirt trail at the back corner of the playground that leads down to the fish pond. This is a favorite spot of ours.
Follow the foot path straight through the barn down to a bridge. The trail will lead to a covered bridge and end at Grafton Village Cheese. This is where I turn around and head back.
I usually walk Townshend Road back to see if the goats are out. You will end up back at the Grafton Inn. There is also a second covered bridge down Kidder Hill Road if you want to walk some more.
Map of Grafton, Vermont
7. Grafton Forge
Watch a blacksmith demonstration or purchase high quality ironware. Grafton Forge also has a collection of historic tools and artifacts.
Open Thursday to Monday 10 – 4. Demonstrations 11- 12 and 2- 3.
8. Plummer’s Sugarhouse
Just three miles south of Grafton village you will find the Plummer’s Sugarhouse. This family farm produces and sells pure Vermont maple syrup and maple candies. They offer free tours with any purchase. Seeing the whole process to make maple syrup is really interesting.
9. Jud Hartmann Gallery
This fine art gallery is well known for their unique bronze sculptures entitled “The Woodland Tribes of the Northeast” as well as watercolors and oils by various artists. It is a small intimate space where visitors are warmly welcomed.
If you want to go treasure hunting, have a look around Dover House Antiques. They feature a variety of American antiques made prior to 1840.
At the front of the building, you will find the Mercantile. They sell a variety of gifts and home goods.
11. Mountain Mind and Movement
This yoga studio focuses on restoring balance to both body and mind. It is located on the grounds of The Grafton Inn. I have really enjoyed candle lit yoga classes. On warmer days, we have practiced on a patio overlooking a field. Visit the Mountain Mind and Movement website for a class schedule.
12. Village Park
This pretty park has a steep open field with a gazebo on top. At the top of the hill, a trail network leads through a hemlock grove to the Nature Museum. It’s a great place to take a hike.
13. Hike to Creature Rock
This short but steep hike is only a half a mile long. Kids are especially impressed with the giant rock formations and have so much fun climbing over them and crawling through the caves.
The physical address of the trailhead is 758 Ledge Rd, Grafton, Vermont.
14. Vermont Museum of Mining and Minerals
Learn about Vermont’s rich mining and mineral industries through displays on talc, soapstone, and the world-famous Vermont marble, granite and slate. Visit their website for their hours.
There is so much to do in the picturesque village of Grafton, Vermont. What I love is that it is also the perfect place to do absolutely nothing. Just sit in a rocking chair on the front porch with a glass of wine. My kids could throw rocks in the river for hours. Grafton is the perfect place to reconnect with nature and just be with family.
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