As an ice cream company, it only makes sense that summer is when we see the most visitors to our Waterbury, Vermont, factory. But truth be told, winter is the best time to take a tour and explore the area. From the snow-capped mountains to the quiet trails and the cozy local establishments, there’s no shortage of new tastes and experiences to discover. To help plan your trip, here are ten places to check out within a ten-mile drive of Ben & Jerry’s factory.
1) Snowshoe around Ben & Jerry’s Factory
No need to go far for the first experience—a guided snowshoe adventure with Umiak Outfitters through the surrounding woodlands, followed by a factory tour. The terrain is easy but offers a lot of variety, plenty of nature, and fun for the whole family.
2) Dogsledding at Little River State Park
If you’re looking for something a little more fast-paced, may we suggest the thrill of being pulled in a sled behind 12 Siberian huskies? Our friends at Umiak Outfitters offer a two-hour guided dogsledding adventure along the picturesque trails of Little River State Park. Learn to mush or just sit back and enjoy the scenery.
3) Green Mountain Club Visitor Center
Any nature enthusiast will enjoy a visit to the Green Mountain Club. Learn about trails to explore in the area and immerse yourself in the history of Vermont’s iconic Long Trail both inside the sustainably built complex and on the interpretive path that starts behind the building.
4) Ziemke Glassblowing
Few states have as many artists per capita as Vermont; cruise around and you can’t help but stumble upon a studio. One of our favorites is Ziemke Glassblowing, a working studio where an observation room lets you watch an artist in action.
5) Cold Hollow Cider Mill
After digging through the treasures at Sir Richard’s Antiques, head another 100 yards north on route 100 and you’ll stumble upon Cold Hollow Cider Mill. A hot cup of cider with a cider donut on the side is a local mainstay, and they have every other Vermonty food group covered, too, plus locally made souvenirs.
6) Keurig Green Mountain
We like coffee…almost as much as we like ice cream. So it’s a nice perk to have Keurig Green Mountain’s visitor center and café just down the road. Learn all about their growing, roasting, and packaging process from “tree to cup” and then enjoy one of their many freshly brewed flavors in the café.
7) Ski and Ride Bolton Valley
71 trails and glades, 100km of Nordic and backcountry trails, 312” of snowfall annually, plus night skiing and an awesome après scene in the tavern at the base make Bolton Valley a local favorite. It offers the perfect balance of big mountain adventure, family friendly vibes, and fun for every age and ability, and it’s only ten miles away!
Vermont’s rich history makes it a haven for antique aficionados and Waterbury has no shortage of shops, including one right across the street from our factory. Continue two miles north on scenic route 100 (just past Ziemke Glassblowing) and you’ll find Sir Richard’s Antiques and Fine Art where there’s truly no telling what you’ll end up taking home with you.
9) Explore the Catamount Trail
If you haven’t noticed, we have an affinity for trails here in Vermont. One of the best is the Catamount Trail—a winter-use public path that follows the length of Vermont, and lucky for us, passes through our area. Bring your cross-country skis or snowshoes and explore a few miles of its 300-mile length.
10. Get a Taste of Vermont
Sampling our ice cream is just the start. Keep your taste buds on their toes at the Vermont Annex—located a mere mile and a half north of our factory on route 100. It’s here that you can nibble a literal smorgasbord of Cabot cheeses, indulge in Lake Champlain Chocolates’ sweet creations, and then wash it all down with samples of spirits from Smuggler’s Notch Distillery.