Shelburne may be small, but don’t let that fool you — this charming town boasts a number of top-notch inns and eateries, plus a great selection of things to do that truly capture the essence of living in Vermont. Here are a few of our favorite things to do in Shelburne, VT, as well as some of our favorite places to dine and stay in the area — all within driving distance of Vermont’s largest city, Burlington, and the lovely shores of Lake Champlain.
Whether it’s to learn about sustainable Vermont farming or simply to take in the stunning natural scenery, visiting Shelburne Farms is well worth your time. The grounds feature miles of walking trails that offer fantastic views of forests, fields, mountains, and Lake Champlain, all the while leading visitors through the farm’s greatest points of interest, like the hands-on Children’s Farmyard, the historic Breeding Barn, and the elegant Inn at Shelburne Farms.
SEE MORE: Shelburne Farms in Shelburne, Vermont | Photographs
The Shelburne Museum is home to an impressively eclectic collection of art, architecture, and artifacts that is best generalized as “Americana” — though even that term doesn’t quite capture all that the museum has to offer. On the Shelburne Museum’s expansive grounds, you’ll find authentic, decades-old buildings that have been relocated to the museum and filled with historical artifacts and art. Of the relocated structures, perhaps most notable are the round barn from the early 1900s, the retired Lake Champlain lighthouse, and the 220-foot Ticonderoga, one of the last surviving steamboats of its kind in the country. In addition to the many American works of art, the museum also exhibits famous Impressionist pieces by European artists like Claude Monet and Edgar Degas. For anyone visiting Shelburne, the Shelburne Museum is without a doubt a must-see.
The Flying Pig is an independent bookstore known for its large selection of books for both children and adults. The bookstore’s knowledgeable staffers are dedicated to keeping the community reading, illustrated by the fact that the Flying Pig regularly hosts book signings and children’s author read-alongs. Buy a book at the Flying Pig and head just up the street to Village Wine and Coffee, where you can enjoy a cappuccino while you thumb through the pages.
For the young and the young at heart, Vermont Teddy Bear is the place where memories are made. Take a tour of the Vermont Teddy Bear facilities to see how each bear is meticulously handcrafted, then design your own teddy for a loved one or a friend (or yourself — we certainly wouldn’t judge).
Barkeaters is an “Adirondack-inspired” eatery that prides itself on using ingredients from the Northeast — like Vermont cheese and Atlantic mussels — in its dishes. With great food and a cozy dining area, bar, and patio, Barkeaters is a popular spot for locals and visitors alike.
The Bearded Frog has made a name for itself in Shelburne by serving delicious and unusual dishes alongside all the much loved classics. The restaurant comprises a pub and a more formal dining room, making it suitable for anything from casual dinners to anniversary celebrations.
This local favorite specializes in breakfast and lunch, and offers creative twists on classics, like caramel-apple pancakes and pumpkin croque monsieurs. On Fridays and Saturdays, Rustic Roots also puts on an exclusive evening meal — reservations strongly encouraged!
Whoever thought of putting a brewery and a pizza place under the same roof deserves some kind of medal, because Fiddlehead’s cold craft beer and Folino’s freshly baked pizza are a match made in culinary heaven. After tasting what’s on tap at Fiddlehead, grab a growler of your favorite brew and head next door to Folino’s, where you can order up a delicious Neapolitan-style pizza to enjoy with your beer. If wine is more your speed, check out Shelburne Vineyard, located right across the street.
SEE MORE: 5 Favorite Breweries | Burlington, VT
As its name suggests, Heart of the Village Inn sits right in the center of Shelburne, giving its guests unrivaled access to the downtown area. The boutique inn boasts large Victorian rooms with all the modern amenities you could desire, as well as a top-of-the-line breakfast and friendly hosts who are happy to help you get the most out of your visit.
With stunning views of Lake Champlain and the Adirondack Mountains, the Inn at Shelburne Farms is one of the highlights of the Shelburne Farms grounds. Relaxing on the inn’s sprawling lawn in an Adirondack chair is a great way to spend a midsummer afternoon — following it up, of course, with an evening at the inn’s esteemed farm-to-table restaurant.
What are your favorite things to do in Shelburne, VT? Let us know in the comments!
This post was first published in 2017 and has been updated.