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Things to Do in Downtown Middlebury

middlebury vt waterfalls downtown
Middlebury Falls, part of Otter Creek, runs straight through downtown Middlebury. Photo by Caleb Kenna Photography

Swift House Inn is located in the quintessential New England town of Middlebury, complete with a village green, church spires, convivial bars and restaurants, and charming boutiques. Visitors can cross a bridge over Otter Creek that culminates in the thundering Middlebury Falls. The Town Hall Theater is home to several resident companies including the Opera Company of Middlebury. The oldest community museum in the country is here. 

Tucked between the rolling farmlands of the fertile Champlain Valley and the dramatic wilderness of the Green Mountains, Middlebury is perfectly positioned for hiking, biking, and other outdoor pursuits. Many of the state’s major attractions are just a short drive away. Some favorites include Church Street in Burlington, the Shelburne Museum, Revolutionary War sites Mount Independence and New York’s Fort Ticonderoga, Lake Champlain, and Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory Tour.

Nearby is Middlebury College, an exceptional liberal arts institution featuring world-class concerts and plays and exciting college sporting events. The school’s prestigious Bread Loaf Writers’ School and Middlebury Language Institute are also close. 

Just steps away from the Carriage House of Swift House Inn is one of the trailheads to Middlebury’s beloved Trail Around Middlebury or the TAM as the locals call it, which extends over 18 miles with connections to Robert Frost’s Vermont vacation home, the Appalachian Trail, and the legendary Long Trail.

Addison County Chamber of Commerce

Information center for all things in our area like walking tour maps, lodging, dining, shopping information, local and state interest materials. 2 Court Street.  802-388-7951.

The Vermont Book Shop 

This is one of our favorite book shops in Vermont. The shopkeepers are warm and knowledgeable, and the curation of the store makes for serendipitous discoveries. 38 Main Street. 802-388-2061

Danforth Pewter

Pewter spinning is a traditional Vermont art. See it being made through a window in the Main Shop. Located on Seymour Street. 802-388-0098. Retail Shop located on Main Street.

Vermont Soap Company

Manufacturers of the world’s finest hand-crafted natural bar soaps. Factory seconds and factory tours available. Usually open 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday. 616 Exchange Street. 802-388-4302.

Edgewater Gallery

Two locations: Mill Street’s Frog Hollow Alley, overlooking Middlebury’s iconic Otter Creek Falls, and on the corner of Merchants Row and Main Street. Paintings, sculptures, jewelry, and photographs from artists around New England. Closed Monday through Wednesday. Open Thursday through Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. and Sundays 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. 802-458-0098.

The Henry Sheldon Museum

Built in 1829 and furnished in typical 19th century Vermont fashion showcasing Middlebury, Addison County, and Vermont history. Museum, gift shop, research center, and gallery. Tuesday through Saturday 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. and Sundays 1:00-5:00 p.m. Research Center open Thursdays & Fridays 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. One Park Street. 802-388-2117.

The Vermont Folklife Center

Located on the roundabout in Middlebury. A fascinating place to discover and learn about the folk art and traditions of Vermont. Open Monday through Friday 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. year round. Saturdays also from Memorial Day though October. 8 Main Street. 802-388-4964.

Vermont’s Covered Bridges

Virtual Vermont has what is believed to be the Web’s only complete presentation of photographs and historical information on Vermont’s Covered Bridges. Five of them are located right here in Addison County.

Middlebury College Center for the Arts

Art Center with concert hall, studio theater, dance performance space, music library, cafe, and art museum. Programming & Exhibition Information 802-443-6433. Museum hours Tuesday through Friday, 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., Saturday & Sunday, 12:00 – 5:00 p.m. Closed Mondays and all College holiday periods. 802-443-5007.

Town Hall Theater

After a three-year renovation, the 1884 Town Hall theater opened in 2007 and is now Central Vermont’s premier venue for numerous plays, musicals, performances, and social events. Home of the Opera Company of Middlebury, Middlebury Community Players, and Middlebury’s Actor Workshop. 802-382-9992