From the many roadside stands, signs, and bumper stickers we saw on our most recent trip, I can tell you that Vermont residents are a Bernie-loving, maple syrup-making, cider-tasting crowd. When we realized that we wouldn’t be able to celebrate Thanksgiving with family this year, we decided to take a Northeastern road trip for the holiday. The 8-hour car ride to Hinesburg, VT (our first stop) was beautiful. We were hoping to catch the last bit of fall color, which we did, but, to my surprise, we saw more evergreen forests than flaming orange treetops. We loved exploring Vermont, parts of which felt so isolated and remote.
I admit that we kind of winged this trip. I booked everything two days before we left, and you know what? It was perfect! We relied on Airbnb, Yelp, and TripAdvisor to lead the way. For the first two nights, we stayed just outside of Burlington in a tiny home on wheels that we rented through Airbnb. Tiny homes are typically between 100-400 sq. ft. and this one was about average size at 160 sq. ft.
It was surprisingly spacious for such a small space. We were thankful for our cute and cozy home, especially when we woke up to the area’s first snow of the season. All we could see was snow-covered forest from our lofted bed.
As young, creative entrepreneurs, my brother and his girlfriend were the inspiration behind our tiny home hunt. They want to build and sell tiny homes, in addition to the used cars, boats, motorcycles, and hay (yes, he’s been farming since he was 15!) that they already sell. I think it’s a great idea, especially as the movement grows and more people jump on this eco-friendly bandwagon. Once we have land to build on, Will and I also love the idea of building a tiny home. It could be a playhouse for our children, or maybe we could rent it to curious travelers like ourselves. 😉
Unfortunately, both the bathroom and stove were turned off for the Vermont winter. (I think the real reason these features didn’t work was because the owners couldn’t trust Airbnb strangers to turn off the stove and not burn the house down!) Thankfully, it was only a short hike to the restroom, and we had footie pajamas, fresh coffee, and a small heater to warm ourselves in our little cabin.
Because of the rain-turned-snow, we spent most of our time indoors or exploring the area in our car. If you’re in Burlington or Shelburne, these are must-see/must-do activities:
- We drove through Shelburne Farms, a 1400-acre working farm, forest, and National Historic Landmark along beautiful Lake Champlain. We visited during the off-season, so we didn’t see it in action, but during the better part of the year, this farm has a stunning Hogwarts-esque inn, farm-to-table restaurant, and, in October, apple cider doughnuts. They promote sustainable agriculture and have the cheese, fruit, and maple syrup to prove it! Will and I both agreed we will be back.
- We were only able to visit one maple syrup farm, Palmer’s Sugar House. Again, because it was the off-season, they weren’t open, but we called (thank you, Yelp!) and the friendly owner was kind enough to give us a tour and maple syrup tasting. From March through April, Palmer’s throws “Sugar on Snow” parties, where they serve fresh maple syrup on ice with a pickle and a doughnut (apparently, it’s a Vermont tradition and the only way to taste all the flavor!).
- We enjoyed dinner at the Hinesburgh Public house, a local farm-to-table restaurant with a quirky vibe, delicious food (mhmm, salmon!), and friendly waitstaff. The waitress was kind enough to write down her favorite Burlington coffee shops and cider houses, as we were headed to the city very soon.
Our road trip to Vermont was nothing short of relaxing and beautiful, the perfect start to the Christmas season. I can’t wait to return. Are you traveling this holiday season? If so, where are you going and what are you most excited to see?
Enjoy your Monday. I’ll be reminiscing about our tiny home adventure while I work.