Blake Walsh

20 Best Things to Do in Shelburne, VT

  • Published 2023/03/24

The town of Shelburne is in Chittenden County, Vermont.

A suburb of Burlington, Shelburne is known as the wealthiest town in Chittenden County.

It’s also one of the richest suburbs in the state.

Founded in 1763, Shelburne’s economy first depended on farming.

It continued to grow until after the War of 1812 when businesses started to flourish near the lake, thanks to the Lake Champlain Transportation Company.

Shelburne is now home to a variety of businesses as well as many tourist attractions.

Here are the best things to do in Shelburne, VT:

Join a Workshop at the Shelburne Farms

The barns at Shelburne Farms

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Shelburne Farms is a working farm and a non-profit organization with farm-to-table products and workshops.

From 1886 to 1902, William and Lila Webb established a 3,800-acre agricultural estate.

During its early years, the farm focused on agricultural innovation, rearing dairy and cattle.

Still, in 1972, the Webbs decided to open Shelburne Farms to the public to inspire and cultivate education for a sustainable future.

The farm campus, encompassing 1,400 acres of gardens, historic buildings, pastures, and woodlands, is a one-of-a-kind learning facility.

Arched barn door at Shelburne Farms

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Find a breeding barn, a coach barn, a farm barn, a market garden, and a solar orchard.

These facilities employ the most up-to-date scientific farming procedures to raise animals and cultivate crops.

Over 1,500 participants join Shelburne Farms’ on and off-site professional learning opportunities each year.

You can visit the Farm Store & Welcome Center to pick up your regular produce supply from the farm’s organic market garden.

The property also includes the Inn at Shelburne Farms, where you can unwind and explore the farm facilities and join the programs at arms’ reach.

The gorgeous landscape of Shelburne Farms

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Go Fishing at Shelburne Bay Park

Shelburne Bay Park is a 104-acre park along Bay Road in Shelburne.

One entrance has access to the Bike and Recreation Path, which you can use for walking, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing.

The other leads to the boat ramp maintained by the Fish and Wildlife Department.

You can fish at Shelburne Bay or the La Platte River and Lake Champlain.

Other features of Shelburne Bay Park include biking trails, hiking trails, and picnic areas.

Explore the Shelburne Museum

Colchester reef lighthouse at Shelburne Museum

Wangkun Jia /

Electra Havemeyer Webb founded the Shelburne Museum.

She comes from a family of art collectors, starting a collection that would highlight the arts of America.

Founded in 1947, Shelburne Museum offers visitors a unique and extraordinary experience of American art, design, and history.

Ticonderoga steamboat at Shelburne Museum

Wangkun Jia /

The Shelburne Museum includes 39 buildings, each containing beautiful artifacts like furniture, pottery, and quilts.

The museum’s buildings include barns, galleries, houses, a lighthouse, a jailhouse, a general store, a schoolhouse, a private rail car, and a steamboat.

Webb developed a sophisticated collection housed in a backdrop of Historic New England architecture and landscapes.

Round barn at Shelburne Museum

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See a Concert at the Ben & Jerry’s Concerts on the Green

Join an unforgettable live music experience on the grounds of the Shelburne Museum.

Starting in 2001, this famous summer concert series and venue is where you’ll hear the newest in folk and indie music amid lovely scenery.

For over 20 years, the Ben & Jerry’sConcerts on the Green series has brought artists and bands to Vermont.

As the audience sprawls on the lawns of Shelburne Museum, Ben & Jerry’s staff scoops free ice cream while the stage rests on top of the museum’s stunning rolling hills.

The open-seating event has plenty of space, so bring a chair or a blanket for a more relaxing view and experience.

Pick Your Own Apples at Shelburne Orchards

Freshly harvested apples at Shelburne Orchards

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Shelburne Orchards is a 60-acre family-owned pick-your-own apple orchard near Lake Champlain.

The orchard mainly grows apples but produces other fruits such as sour cherries, table grapes, peaches, and plums.

Bought in the 1950s, the orchard had roughly 500 trees, which grew to 2,000 trees in the 1970s.

The orchard is currently owned and managed by the son, Nick, who continued to grow the orchard to over 6,000 trees.

More than 30 varieties of apples are seasonally available from September through October.

You can also buy other products, including apple cider and cider donuts.

Mature apple trees are for sale during the spring.

Shelburne Orchards also has a distillery, where you can buy apple brandy aged in oak and pommeau for seven years during winter.

Sip Fine Wine at Shelburne Vineyard

Shelburne Vineyard creates modern and classic wines.

They also allow you to connect with winegrowers.

Ken Albert’s green thumb led him to grow a few hybrid grape vines near his home in Shelburne.

He had seen enormous potential in Vermont’s rolling hills and rough terrains.

His small vineyard yielded a few bottles, but the trial confirmed you could produce wine-producing grapes in the area.

His first large-scale vineyard came about in 1998 to produce cold climate wine for Vermont locals and far beyond the town.

Shelburne Vineyard has contributed to the growth and development of the wines in Vermont.

Drop by Shelburne Vineyard for wine tastings by the glass.

You can also buy cheeses, crackers, cured meats, jams and preserves.

Likewise, catch exciting events like concerts and cellar tastings.

Taste Draft Beers at Fiddlehead Brewing Company

Fiddlehead Brewing Company is a brewery and a tasting room housed in a 3,000-square-foot facility.

It produces the Fiddlehead IPA, Vermont’s best-selling craft beer.

Fiddlehead offers draft beers for pints and growler fills, as well as bottled and canned beers.

Indoor seating is available at the tasting room on a first-come, first-serve basis.

The owners also give back to the community by creating Team Mastermind in 2015, donating 25% of the sales of all Mastermind product lines to charity.

In 2021, Fiddlehead Brewing Company expanded by purchasing 60-barrels, additional fermentation space, and a cutting-edge canning line.

Make Your Own Bear at Vermont Teddy Bear Factory

Cardboard cutout of bears outside the Vermont Teddy Bear Factory

Alexander Sviridov /

The Vermont Teddy Bear Company is one of the world’s largest producers of teddy bears, producing around 500,000 handcrafted teddy bears annually.

It all began in 1981 when the founder started selling teddy bears created in his garage and sold on a cart on Burlington’s street.

Enter the building and see the Bear Shop and a space where you can create your own Teddy Bear!

Exterior of the Vermont Teddy Bear Factory

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Join an educational tour with a Bear Ambassador who will guide you around the facility and show you how they make each Teddy Bear by hand.

The Vermont Teddy Bear Company has a lot going on, whether it’s a birthday party, a Teddy Bear Picnic, or community celebrations.

Swing a Club at Kwiniaska Golf Club

Kwiniaska Golf Club is a semi-private 18-hole golf course minutes from the airport and downtown Burlington.

Built in 1965, the course got sold to new owners in 2017.

The new owners renovated the course, including the clubhouse.

The new 18-hole 70-par has three tees ranging from 4,542 yards to more than 5,800 yards.

Whether playing a great round of golf or sipping a cool drink on the deck, Kwiniaska Golf Club will impress you.

Check out the clubhouse, pub, golf shop, and practice facility.

Regular golf season usually runs from May through October.

Grab a Bite at Archie’s Grill

Archie’s Grill is a household name offering grilled burgers and delectable dishes prepared with fresh, locally sourced ingredients.

Dick Hess founded Archie’s Grill in 2010, naming it after his father as a tribute for teaching him the value of hard work.

However, Dick sold Archie’s Grill to Tim Williams in 2016.

Tim continues the legacy and commitment to the business that Dick worked hard for.

Drop by for delicious specialty burgers, homemade fries, chips, soups, salads, milkshakes, and much more.

Stop by next door at the Scoop for dessert and grab handcrafted small-batch ice cream with only the purest and freshest ingredients.

Drop by the Wild Hart Distillery

Welcome to Shelburne’s premiere gin distillery.

Founded in 2016, the distillery has grown from a man’s hobby and strong passion for gin.

Wild Hart Distillery strives to produce classic spirit drinks with bold complexities relevant to the customers’ modern lifestyles.

While staying true to its roots, Wild Hart Distillery’s origins and love for the outdoors built the core of its image and branding.

In addition to the iconic American Dry and Vermont Classic Gins, they added new contemporary drinks to the menu.

Try their Blood Orange Gin, Burning Ember Vodka, Chai Spiced Rum, and Pear and Ginger Gin.

Hike at LaPlatte Nature Park

Lush greenery beside the river of LaPlatte Nature Park

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The LaPlatte Nature Park is a 145-acre community park that offers passive recreation opportunities.

The pathways wind through the woods and along the LaPlatte River.

The LaPlatte Nature Park features nature trails with plenty of river access, community gardens, fishing, and scenic overlooks.

You can use the trails for running, walking, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing.

You may see a troll perched high in the tree near the LaPlatte crossing bridge along the trail, so watch out!

Shop Local at Shelburne Country Store

In the heart of Shelburne is the original General Store, Shelburne Country Store, operating since 1859.

Built in the 1830s, the main section of the building is a true historical gem in town.

The store includes seven rooms loaded with treasures, from the Clothing Room, which used to be a 1905 Gasoline Station, to the Christmas Room.

Listen to the beautiful Original Porter Music Box in the background.

Shelburne Country Store makes at least 20 flavors of their delicious fudge every day.

They also serve holiday foods to satisfy your cravings during Valentine’s Day, Easter, Halloween, and Christmas.

Check out their fantastic collection of maple products, candles, candies, housewares, clothing, bathe shop and gift shop items, and so much more.

Even after over 160 years, Shelburne Country Store is still the best spot to shop for local hard-to-find items in town.

Buy a Book at the Flying Pig Bookstore

Book lovers must not miss one of the best children’s bookstores in the country, the Flying Pig Bookstore.

First opened in 1996 in Charlotte, Vermont, they moved to Shelburne two years after outgrowing the space.

Initially a children’s bookstore, the store today has over 30,000 books, cards, and gifts for all ages.

The Flying Pig Bookstore has received accolades for Best Children’s Bookstore in the country and awards from Yankee Magazine and The Wall Street Journal.

The Flying Pig Bookstore has enjoyed a thriving reading community over the years.

They employ a fantastic bookselling staff, incredible authors and artists, and numerous creative and exciting events.

Visit the Shelburne Farmers Market

There is no better way to support the local community than buying products from farmers’ markets.

The Shelburne Farmers Market sells local produce such as fruits, vegetables, herbs, honey, and maple syrup.

You can also buy prepared foods and crafts.

You may also visit the annual Shelburne Day every August in collaboration with the Farmers Market.

Enjoy a fun-filled day of food, crafts, and live music at the Shelburne Farmers Market.

See the Historic Shelburne Museum Covered Bridge

Side view of the Historic Shelburne Museum Covered Bridge

Yurii Prohonnyi /

The now dismantled Shelburne Museum Covered Bridge spanned the Lamoille River in Cambridge, Vermont.

Built in 1845, it’s now located on the grounds of the museum over the man-made pond, which used to be the entrance to the museum.

However to save it from heavy traffic, the entrance was moved, and the Shelburne Museum Covered Bridge is now a plain historic sight to behold.

The 168-foot-length bridge features a distinguished arch truss, two vehicle lanes, and a footpath.

Kerosene lamps were used to light the bridge when it was still in use.

Entryway of the Historic Shelburne Museum Covered Bridge

Yurii Prohonnyi /

Get Your Cup of Coffee at The Village Wine & Coffee

Kickstart your morning with a cup of your favorite coffee at The Village Wine & Coffee on Shelburne Road.

Established in 2005, the coffee shop serves one of the world’s best espresso and coffee in a friendly setting with lots of warm smiles.

You can pair your coffee with its delicious pastries baked fresh daily like croissants, muffins, biscotti, scones, and more.

Apart from coffee, the shop also has more than 1,200 fine wines in stock, and you can even go on wine tasting on-site.

Also, the artworks of the Northern Daughters Fine Art are on display at the shop’s gallery.

The Village Wine & Coffee is where coffee and wine meet art!

Buy Special Gifts at Country Christmas Loft

Don’t let the name Country Christmas Loft fool you!

Yes, the gift shop is at its best during the Christmas season, but that doesn’t end there.

It also has special and personal gifts to choose from for your loved ones, especially on special occasions like birthdays, Mother’s Day, and more.

The gift shop features 14 different themed rooms, including the Lighting, Nutcracker, Villages, Toys, and Halloween Room, among others.

You can also see here a replica of the Shelburne Country Store.

Visit Shelburne Country Store on Shelburne Road, and take some special gifts and personalized souvenirs back home!

Experience Sugar Rush at Palmer’s Sugar House

Not only that Palmer’s Sugar House has the best maple treats in town, but it’s also a spot for families and friends to hang out and have fun.

You get to see the sap boiling on-site while enjoying a real sweet treat of varieties of maple ranging from maple popcorn, syrup, hot dogs, cream donuts, and many more.

Also in March and April, the sugar house hosts family-friendly events, including its traditional Sugar on Snow, free maple product samples, and live music, among others.

It’s complete family fun for all!

Palmer’s Sugar House is located off Shelburne Hinesburg Road.

Browse Interesting Antiques at Shed Sales Antiques

Open seasonally during spring and summer, Shed Sales Antiques has a little of everything antique and vintage.

Browse through its cute collectibles, jewelry, home decor, old taxidermy, old bottles, and anything you can find you never knew you needed.

Also, look out for vintage postcards and many other antique finds.

You might even take some of its treasures before heading back home!

You can find Shed Sales Antiques on Shelburne Road.

Final Thoughts

Shelburne, surrounded by rolling hills, plenty of green spaces and natural beauty, provides recreational activities and beautiful attractions.

In addition to its world-class tourist destinations, Shelburne also boasts a lovely, friendly, and safe community.

Book your trip today!

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