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TOWN GUIDE: Shelburne

STORY BY

BENJAMIN LERNER

PHOTOGRAPHY

JIMMY iENNER, Jr.

PAINTINGS BY

PETER HUNTOON

PETERHUNTOON.COM

To reach Shelburne, follow Vermont Route 7 North through the heart of the beautiful Champlain

Valley. This treasured Vermont town is home to breathtaking natural scenery, fascinating cultural institutions, and a vast array of family-friendly tourist attractions. Get ready to enjoy some of the best sightseeing and recreational opportunities that Vermont has to offer – it’s time to enjoy a memorable weekend in Shelburne!


FRIDAY

3PM

If approaching Shelburne from the south, head north on Vermont Route 7 until you reach the town center. After nearing the heart of Shelburne, Vermont, Route 7 will turn into Shelburne Road. For phenomenal accommodations in Shelburne’s Historic Village district, look no further than the

Heart of the Village Inn. Ranked as the #1 B&B in all of Shelburne, glowing reviews on leading travel websites attest to their comfortable rooms and their hospitable innkeepers. The Heart of the Village Inn is close to all of Shelburne’s most popular attractions and is housed in a Queen Anne Victorian structure with elegant and chic décor. Their Barstow Suite is spacious, sumptuous, and perfect for both family vacations and couples’ retreats, and their cozy Fletcher Room is ideal for secluded getaways. Drop your bags, decompress, and lose yourself in the wondrous, atmospheric idyll of the Champlain Valley. Adventure awaits on the streets of Shelburne


4PM

Now that you’ve acclimated to the relaxing atmosphere, there’s no better time to stretch your legs and acquaint yourself with the Shelburne Historic District and all of its storied and magnificent buildings. Chartered in 1763, Shelburne is home to many striking structures and gorgeous masonry churches. To begin your walking tour, head north on Shelburne Road from the Heart of the Village Inn and make a right onto Church Street. You will then come across the Shelburne Parade Ground on your left. This wide and open park space was donated to the town of Shelburne in 1807 by one of Shelburne’s original settlers, Benjamin Harrington. The gorgeous Oak, Ash, Maple and Sycamore trees throughout the park provide wonderful shade in the warmer months, and add to the natural beauty of the town center.


Across the street from the Shelburne Parade Ground on Church Street, you will find the United Methodist Church. This impressive High Victorian Gothic church was constructed from 1872-1874 using stone sourced from the Willsboro quarries in New York State. The stone was bravely transported across the frozen waters of Lake Champlain, and was used to build a grand and majestic three-story bell tower.


After enjoying a close-up view of the church, head west to the intersection of Church Street and Shelburne Road, and make a right. You will then find the Shelburne Town Hall on your left. The

structure was originally constructed by the Shelburne Museum’s esteemed founder, Electra Havenmeyer Webb. It replaced Shelburne’s original town hall, which burned down in 1925. The Shelburne Town Hall building was designed in Neoclassical Revival style, with Doric columns and a rustic weathervane on top of the cupola.

Continuing northward on Shelburne Road past Harbor Road, you will see the Tracy House on your left. The Tracy House was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1983, and its design incorporates aspects of Italianate, Romantic, and Gothic architecture. The Tracy House was designed by Reverend Thomas Edgerton, who also designed the United Methodist Church on Church Street. It was named in honor of Lee Tracy, a wool farmer who made a lasting impression on the town of Shelburne.


Further north on Shelburne Road, the Trinity Episcopal Church stands on the eastern side of the street. The construction campaign for the church was split into several phases in the later part of the 19th century. The first phase commenced in 1886, and resulted in the completion of a nave that was designed by the prominent New York City-based architect William Appleton Potter. In 1890, William Seward Webb funded additional construction work on the church, which enabled the construction of a larger tower, transept, and chancel. The church features stained glass windows designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany and stone walls made of limestone, redstone, and slate.

To finish up your walking tour of Shelburne’s historic sites and churches, turn around and proceed southward on Shelburne Road until you reach the intersection of Shelburne Road and Falls Road. Head southeast on Falls Road until you reach the intersection of Falls Road and Church Street. You will then notice St. Catherine of Siena on the southwestern corner of the intersection. Built in 1895, the church is built on a foundation of rock-faced redstone, and is outfitted with exterior brick veneer walls and a three-story tower with a bell loft.

After completing your walkthrough of the Shelburne Historic District, stop in at Shelburne Market in Shelburne Shopping Park off of Falls Road for a satisfying snack or beverage. Be sure to leave some room for dinner – an afternoon of cultural exploration deserves to be celebrated with a scrumptious meal!

6PM


There’s no need to journey far from your luxurious room or suite to enjoy a spectacular dinner in Shelburne. For inspired American fare, make a reservation at The Bearded Frog on Shelburne Road. Located a stones’ throw from the Heart of the Village Inn, their eclectic menu features mouthwatering appetizers and entrees that draw on a variety of culinary traditions. Their gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian options are sure to delight discerning diners of all tastes and preferences, and “Family Meals” and “From the Freezer” specials are available for guests looking to take the stress out of their weekly meal-planning rituals.

For a taste of Mediterranean Warmth in the heart of Vermont, pop into Cucina Antica at Shelburne Shopping Park. This charming Italian eatery uses Vermont-made pasta and locally sourced cheese in all of their filling and flavorful menu specialties, and its ambience is inviting and family-friendly.

Village Wine & Coffee

SATURDAY 8AM

Rise and greet the day with an invigorating cup of java at Village Wine & Coffee on Shelburne Road. This locally-owned and multifaceted shop and gallery space has been serving up quality espresso drinks alongside an exceptional collection of fine wines since 2005. Their on-site gallery features a unique assortment of visually-arresting artworks, which are curated by the owners of the Northern Daughters gallery in nearby Vergennes. As you peruse the creative offerings that line their walls, prepare yourself for a fascinating morning of artistic immersion. The time has come to treat yourself to a tour of Shelburne’s preeminent galleries and museums!


10AM

No Shelburne vacation is complete without a trip to Shelburne Museum. Located in the heart of Shelburne on Shelburne Road, this splendid museum hosts remarkable permanent and rotating exhibits, which are housed throughout 39 distinct structures on a pristine 45-acre plot of land. The

wide-spanning permanent exhibits at the Shelburne Museum feature compelling highlights from their collection of more than 100,000 artworks and artifacts, which include American folk art pieces, French Impressionist paintings, and an extensive collection of duck decoys, historic Vermont firearms, toys, automata, dollhouses, circus memorabilia, antique horse-drawn vehicles, textiles, and decorative art pieces. The Pizzagalli Center for Art and Education is a wonderful first stop for visiting guests. Designed by the award-winning Boston-based architectural firm Ann Beha Architects, The Pizzagilli Center is home to two expansive and modern galleries and a 130-seat auditorium, which are connected by a lofty central space. It serves as a vibrant regional center for the arts, and hosts lectures, musical and artistic events, films, and more. The Dorset House contains a world-renowned collection of wildfowl decoys, and the Electra Havenmeyer Webb Memorial Building boasts an incredible selection of impressionist artworks. The art is displayed in a well-appointed gallery space, which features a furniture suite designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany. The Shelburne Museum Grounds are also home to the astounding Locomotive No. 220 and Grand Isle Private Rail Car, which hold immense historical significance. The No. 220 was the last coal-burning ten-wheel train that was used on the Central Vermont Railway, and the Grand Isle Private Rail Car was built in the early 1890s and later presented to Vermont’s Governor. The opulent railcar is outfitted with mahogany panels and offers visitors a firsthand look at the ostentatious and stylish manner in which powerful dignitaries traveled in centuries past. The Round Barn is a standout structure on the Shelburne Museum’s grounds that hosts special exhibitions and an impressive selection of horse-drawn carriages. The on-site Pleissner Gallery serves as a hallowed shrine for the celebrated works of famed landscape and sporting arts painter Ogden Pleissner. For an unforgettable taste of Vermont culture and history, be sure to stop at the legendary Steamboat Ticonderoga, a fully-restored 220-foot steamboat that served ports on both sides of Lake Champlain until 1953. Before you go, make sure to visit all of Shelburne Museum’s additional buildings and structures, including their Lighthouse, on-site Covered Bridge, Blacksmith Shop, Railroad Station and Freight Shed, Stencil House, Circus Building, Settlers House and Barn, Printing Shop and Weaving Shop, and Hat and Fragrance Gallery, among others.


For additional cultural enrichment, stop in at the Furchgott Sourdiffe Gallery on Falls Road and browse through their tantalizing range of paintings, high-end frames and seasonal exhibits. Afterwards, head to Schneible Fine Arts on Bay Road to feast your eyes on their curated collection of Asian decorative antiques.

For family-friendly fun and frolic that’s sure to leave both kids and adults with a warm and fuzzy feeling, pay a visit to Vermont Teddy Bear Company on Shelburne Road. Their soft and plush teddy bears and stuffed animals are made on-site at their factory in Shelburne, and guided tours are available to visiting guests. The Vermont Teddy Bear Company also serves as the headquarters for the Vermont Mitten Company. The Vermont Mitten Company is the official licensed purveyor of the world-famous “Bernie Mittens,” which Bernie Sanders wore to the 2021 Presidential inauguration.

In the warmer months, the Shelburne Farmer’s Market provides a wonderful opportunity for both visitors and locals to support the local agricultural scene by purchasing some farm-fresh food from

independent vendors. Tourists who come to the Shelburne Farmer’s Market will find a wide-ranging assortment of locally grown and made fruits, vegetables, herbs, honey, maple syrup, prepared foods and arts and crafts pieces. This outdoor market is open from 9 AM to 1 PM during the warmer months, and is located on Church Street in between Shelburne Road and Falls Road. Be sure to leave time in your schedule to stop by and purchase some delicious home-grown treats, then stop by the Shelburne Meat Market further down Shelburne Road for carnivorous delicacies to accompany your produce and Vermont-made food products.

A loom at Shelburne Craft School

Craft mavens who are enjoying an extended stay in Shelburne should sign up for a course at the renowned Shelburne Craft School on Harbor Road. Founded in 1945, the Shelburne Craft School offers immersive hands-on classes in artisanal crafts from Monday through Friday, allowing artistically-inclined students to experience the joy of making art firsthand while cultivating confidence in a nurturing creative community. The Shelburne Craft School is located on a campus with several distinct and historic buildings on the shores of Lake Champlain. Their studio store and administrative office are housed in a two-story historic harness shop. Their glass, metal, and painting studios are set up in two “bunkhouse” buildings, which formerly served as the site of living quarters for railroad workers in the 19th century. A bright and welcoming clay studio established by the American Craft Council’s founder, Aileen Osborn Webb, serves as the headquarters of the ceramics department, and a roomy woodworking shop is outfitted with all of the tools necessary to bring any artistic vision to life. A vast variety of programs, classes and courses for both children and adults make the Shelburne Craft School a fantastic educational center for artistic enthusiasts of all ages, and their scholarship programs offer artists of limited financial means the ability to apply for aid in order to realize their creative aspirations. Many of Shelburne Craft School’s spaces are available for event rentals, and serve as ideal locations for birthday parties.

The dazzling array of yarns at Shelburne Craft School

Shelburne Craft School hosts a wonderful assortment of classes in a broad variety of artistic disciplines, many of which are completely accessible to beginners. Their mixed-level clay throwing classes offer guided instruction to novice and intermediate students who are looking to explore a range of ceramic techniques, and their Knotty Plant Hangers Happy Hour and Paint & Sip classes are great for textile and painting novices who long to explore their creative side while sipping on a refreshing beverage. Life drawing workshops help intermediate illustrators strengthen their technique through guided instruction, and their stained glass classes are a perfect crash course for craftspeople looking to learn the time-honored “Lead Came” construction method. Regardless of what discipline students choose to focus on, they are sure to enjoy a rewarding experience that will bring new meaning to their artistic pursuits.


1PM

A well-spent morning must be complemented by an equally well-made lunch! Families will feel right at home at Archie’s Grill on Shelburne Road, where high-quality burgers and Vermont-made beers are served with a sincere smile. Barkeaters on Falls Road is well-known for their epicurean array of savory appetizers, sandwiches and entrees, and Shelburne Tap House on Shelburne Road is a great place to kick back, watch a sports game with friends, and indulge in some full-flavored craft beer and filling American pub fare.


3PM

After your nourishing nosh, why not continue to delight your tastebuds with a visit to a brewery or vineyard in the heart of Vermont’s Champlain Valley? Fiddlehead Brewing Company on Shelburne Road is an established mainstay of Vermont’s beer scene, and their tasting room is the perfect place to sample all of their amazing beers. 32 oz. and 64 oz. growlers and kegs are available on-site, as well as 12-packs and four-can cases of their seasonal brews and their year-round favorites, such as their Fiddlehead IPA and Second Fiddle Doublehead IPA. For oenophiles in search of a once-in-a-lifetime tasting experience, a trip to Shelburne Vineyard on Shelburne Road never disappoints. Their wide-spanning assortment of Vermont-made wines appeal to a broad range of taste preferences. Their staff are happy to provide pairing recommendations, and Shelburne Vineyard also hosts a series of outdoor concerts and events throughout the late spring and summer season. Shelburne is also home to Wild Hart Distillery, which is well-known throughout Vermont and beyond for their well- balanced artisan spirits. Cocktail cognoscenti looking to sample some of their products in a lively and social environment should head to their tasting room in nearby Burlington, which is located on Church Street in the heart of Burlington’s bustling downtown district.


Travelers in the mood for some well-deserved retail therapy will delight in a trip to one of Shelburne’s extraordinary independent shops. Willow House on Falls Road is a must-visit for shoppers looking for a tasteful décor piece to enhance the beauty of their homes, and Ardesh Finds & Furnishings on Shelburne Road is replete with alluring furniture, pottery, antiques, lighting fixtures, and rugs that complement a wide range of design aesthetics. In search of top-notch textile essentials for your Shelburne sojourn? Must Love Yarn on Shelburne Road will supply you with all of the gear and material that you need to complete any fulfilling artistic project during your vacation. Parents will find stylish clothes, enchanting toys, and cuddly stuffed animals that are sure to brighten any child’s day at Jamie Two Coats’ Toy Shop on Falls Road, and literature lovers can grab a good book to enjoy at Flying Pig Bookstore on Shelburne Road.


6PM

As the evening sun starts to set over the verdant Champlain Valley, head to one of Shelburne’s finest restaurants for a delectable meal. With innovative cocktails and outstanding gourmet dishes, Peg & Ter’s on Shelburne Road offers a classy and comforting dining experience that is equal parts leisurely and luxurious. For a casual night out, visit Folino’s on Shelburne Road for some delicious New Haven-style “Apizza,” made with fresh ingredients in a flaming-hot wood-fired oven.


SUNDAY 8AM

Wake up on the tasty side of life with a trip to one of Shelburne’s best breakfast spots. The Dutch Mill on Shelburne Road efficiently serves up homestyle favorites through their curbside pickup service, which is perfect for travelers and families on the go. For a more countrified breakfast experience, start your day with a trip to Bread & Butter Farm on Leduc Farm Road. This community-oriented farm is run by a passionate team of staff members that are committed to sustainable land management and farming practices, and their on-site Blank Page Café offers toothsome farm-to-table snacks in a tranquil and bucolic setting. In addition, their brilliant baristas make marvelous coffee and tea drinks that are available both for on-site dining and curbside pickup.

The beautiful shoreline of Lake Champlain at Shelburne Farms

10AM

With the Sunday sun high above the Shelburne sky, the fields and farms of the Champlain Valley beckon travelers to savor the beauty of the great outdoors. For the quintessential Vermont farm experience, head to Shelburne Farms on Harbor Road. With over 1,400 acres of pastures, woodlands, gardens, and historic buildings, Shelburne Farms is a living campus that allows visitors to connect with nature and learn about sustainable agriculture and forestry in a captivating and hands-on manner. As a nonprofit education organization founded on a mission of cultivating learning for a sustainable future, Shelburne Farms partners with several outside institutions to create informative and engaging programs for visitors of all ages. Working in collaboration with the furniture craftspeople at Beeken Parsons, Shelburne Farms offers “farm to furniture” themed programming, which includes both field trips for students and adult workshops. They also host collaborative farm-to-table education programs in partnership with O-Bread Bakery, joint historic education programs with the Lake Champlain Land Trust, and wildlife-related education programs, which are run by Outreach for Earth Stewardship at their on-site aviary. Shelburne Farms’ 10-mile network of walking trails provides panoramic views of Lake Champlain and the Champlain Valley. Their on-site Farm Store and Welcome Center is a one-stop shop where visitors will find a broad assortment of cheeses, breads, meats, soups, vegetables, and farm products. Their Children’s Farmyard allows youngsters and adults to view and interact with animals such as horses, goats, cows, sheep, and rabbits, and their well-maintained Formal Gardens are perfect for both romantic day trips and family walks.

For on-site lodging, book a room at the stately Inn at Shelburne Farms. The historic Inn features 24 beautifully furnished guestrooms, astonishing views of Champlain Valley scenery, guest cottages, a farm-to-table restaurant, and easy access to the nearby flower gardens and campus facilities.


If you’re in Shelburne during the early fall, make sure to stop by Shelburne Orchards to experience a longstanding Vermont agricultural tradition firsthand. This family-owned and operated pick-your-own-apple orchard stands on the shores of Lake Champlain, and is also the site of the Pommeau and Dead Bird Brandy distilleries. Ginger cider, cider donuts, and cider vinegar are made fresh on-site, and the vibrant colors of the surrounding foliage are sure to enchant visitors who come from far and wide. For travelers who come to Shelburne during the early spring, a tour of Palmer’s Sugarhouse on Shelburne Hinesburg Road provides unparalleled insight into the maple sugaring process.


In the heat of the summer, anglers of all skill levels will adore a fishing expedition on the waters of Lake Champlain. For a fun and approachable fishing outing, trust the experts at Sure Strike Charters on Harbor Road. Their well-equipped boat is helmed by seasoned anglers and captains with years of fishing experience, who are delighted to provide visiting tourists with all of the necessary tools and tips to make the most of their time out on the water. For more shoreside enjoyment, head to Shelburne Pond Natural Area on Pond Access Road or Shelburne Bay Park on Bay Road. Shelburne Pond is the perfect place to unwind and fish in a rural and slow-paced setting, and the trails at Shelburne Bay Park are wonderful for hiking and biking in the summer and cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in the winter.


Looking to hit the links at a championship-level golf course with amazing views of the Green Mountains and Adirondack Mountains? Reserve a tee time at Kwiniaska Golf Course on Spear Street. This 18-hole golf course has well-groomed fairways and greens, and challenging holes that provide a satisfying play experience. Proper golf attire is required, and non-members are encouraged to book tee times well in advance.

For a pampering and revitalizing Sunday morning spa day, stop in for an invigorating private therapeutic session at Shelburne Yoga on Kelady Drive, then book an appointment at be.Skin Clinic on Falls Road. Run by a licensed and certified master aesthetician with extensive training in dermatology, the range of services available includes clinical facials, organic facials, infrared sauna sessions, and chromotherapy sessions. Their well-stocked shop features a vast selection of high-end beauty products from brands such as Jane Iredale, Sposh Linens, Suntegrity, and Kaia Naturals, among others.

1PM

As your glorious weekend in Shelburne draws to a close, stop by Rustic Roots on Falls Road for a terrific meal made from scratch with fresh ingredients by their talented and passionate chef, or head to Chef Leu’s on Shelburne Road for some authentic Chinese cuisine. Afterwards, pop into Sisters of Anarchy on Spear Street for some sensational “Farm to Cone” ice cream, then celebrate your well-spent weekend with a heartwarming memento or Vermont-made gift from the Shelburne Country Store on Falls Road. As you revel in the timeless and nostalgic atmosphere of this 19th-century Vermont general store, let your cares and worries melt away into nothingness like the delicious maple candies that you will bring home to your

friends and family.

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