Waitsfield Travel Guide

Discover the best places to visit, things to do, and local tips for your Waitsfield trip. Explore the unique culture and natural beauty of this charming Vermont town.

Introduction to Waitsfield

Nestled in the heart of Central Vermont, Waitsfield is a charming town full of natural beauty and small-town charm. Surrounded by the lush Green Mountains, this picturesque destination boasts breathtaking scenery, vibrant culture, and endless opportunities for adventure.

If you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind vacation experience that is both relaxing and invigorating, Waitsfield should be at the top of your list. Here’s everything you need to know to plan your perfect trip.

List of Places to Visit in Waitsfield

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

Waitsfield is rich in history and culture, and there are many ways to explore its past. The following attractions offer a glimpse into the town’s fascinating heritage:

  • Madsonian Museum of Industrial Design: This unique museum showcases innovative industrial design from around the world, and is home to fascinating exhibits on everything from furniture and appliances to transportation and communication.

  • The Round Barn: Once a working dairy farm, the Round Barn is now a central gathering place for the Waitsfield community. It hosts a variety of events throughout the year, from farmers markets and craft fairs to live music and theater performances.

  • The Wells-Hatch Cemetery: Located in the heart of Waitsfield, this historic cemetery is the final resting place of some of the town’s first settlers and most notable citizens. It’s a peaceful spot for a somber stroll and offers a glimpse into the past.

Natural Attractions of Waitsfield: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

Waitsfield is an outdoor enthusiast’s paradise, with plenty of opportunities to explore the stunning natural scenery that surrounds it. Here are just a few of the must-see outdoor attractions:

  • Camel’s Hump State Park: This stunning state park boasts some of the best hiking trails in the area, and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding Green Mountains. The trails are well-marked and range in difficulty, making it easy for hikers of all skill levels to enjoy the park.

  • Warren Falls: A short drive from Waitsfield, Warren Falls is a series of cascading waterfalls and natural swimming holes. It’s the perfect spot to cool off on a hot summer day and bask in the natural beauty of Vermont.

  • Sugarbush Resort: Offering world-class skiing and snowboarding in the winter months and hiking and mountain biking during the warmer months, Sugarbush Resort is a hub of outdoor activity in Waitsfield. With 4,000 acres of pristine terrain, it’s a must-visit destination for any adventure-seeker.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Waitsfield

There are endless trails to explore in Waitsfield, whether you’re an experienced hiker or just getting started. Here are a few of the best hiking and biking routes to explore:

  • Long Trail: As the oldest long-distance hiking trail in the United States, the Long Trail is a must-see destination for any serious hiker. It covers 272 miles along the ridge of the Green Mountains, including Waitsfield. The trail is well-marked and offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains.

  • Mad River Path: This scenic walking and biking path follows the Mad River for 2.5 miles, offering breathtaking views of the water and surrounding forests. It’s a great way to get some exercise and explore the natural beauty of the area.

  • Mount Ellen Summit Trail: For experienced hikers looking for a challenge, the Mount Ellen Summit Trail is a must-see. The trail is steep and rocky, but offers unparalleled views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.

Best Things to Do in Waitsfield: Activities and Tours

In addition to its natural beauty and outdoor activities, Waitsfield also offers a wide variety of cultural experiences and unique attractions. Here are just a few of the best things to do in the area:

  • Vermont Icelandic Horse Farm: A visit to this working farm is a true delight, with friendly Icelandic horses that love to be petted and ridden. You can take a guided trail ride through the stunning countryside, or simply hang out with the horses and learn about their unique breed.

  • Mad River Distillers: If you’re a spirits lover, a visit to Mad River Distillers is a must. They offer tours and tastings of their award-winning craft spirits, including whiskey, rum, and gin.

  • Lareau Farm Inn and American Flatbread: This idyllic farmstead is home to one of the best restaurants in the area, American Flatbread. They use fresh, local ingredients to craft delicious wood-fired pizzas and other dishes in a cozy, rustic atmosphere.

Week-Long Itinerary for Waitsfield

If you have a week to explore Waitsfield and the surrounding area, here’s a sample itinerary to help you make the most of your time:

Day Activity
1 Explore Waitsfield’s downtown area and historic sites
2 Hike the Long Trail and take in the stunning views
3 Visit the Madsonian Museum of Industrial Design
4 Go on a guided trail ride at the Vermont Icelandic Horse Farm
5 Take a tour and tasting at Mad River Distillers
6 Ski or snowboard at Sugarbush Resort
7 Relax at Warren Falls and soak up the natural beauty of Vermont

Food and Drink Scene of Waitsfield

Waitsfield’s food and drink scene is not to be missed, with a variety of restaurants and bars offering delicious local cuisine and craft beverages. Here are a few of the must-try dishes and local beverages:

Must-Try Dishes

  • Maple-glazed donuts: Vermont is known for its maple syrup, and nowhere is it more delicious than when it’s paired with a warm, freshly-made donut.

  • Cheddar cheese: Vermont is also famous for its cheddar cheese, and Waitsfield is home to several cheesemakers that craft some of the best in the state.

  • Vermont-style pizza: Made with local ingredients and cooked in a wood-fired oven, Vermont-style pizza is a unique and delicious twist on the classic dish.

Local Beverages

  • Craft beer: Vermont is home to some of the best craft breweries in the country, offering a wide variety of styles and flavors to suit every taste.

  • Maple whiskey: Made with pure Vermont maple syrup and aged in oak barrels, maple whiskey is a sweet and smoky spirit that is perfect for sipping on a cold winter night.

  • Hard cider: Vermont’s apple orchards produce some of the best cider in the country, with a refreshing and delicious taste that is perfect for sipping on a warm summer day.

Where to Stay in Waitsfield: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

Whether you’re looking for a cozy bed and breakfast or a luxurious resort, Waitsfield has it all. Here are a few of the best places to stay in the area:

  • The Pitcher Inn: This historic inn has been beautifully restored, and offers cozy rooms and suites that are perfect for a romantic getaway. The restaurant and bar feature delicious farm-to-table cuisine and craft cocktails.

  • Tucker Hill Inn: This charming bed and breakfast is housed in a restored 1795 farmhouse, and offers comfortable rooms and a delicious breakfast each morning. The inn also features a cozy pub with a fireplace and outdoor seating.

  • The Lodge at Sugarbush: Located at the base of Sugarbush Resort, this luxurious lodge offers ski-in/ski-out access and stunning views of the mountains. The rooms are spacious and well-appointed, and the hotel features an indoor pool and hot tub.

What to Buy in Waitsfield: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

No trip to Waitsfield is complete without taking home some of the unique products that are made in the area. Here are a few of the best souvenirs and local products to look for:

  • Maple syrup: Vermont produces more than 40% of the country’s maple syrup, and Waitsfield has several maple farms that produce delicious, pure syrup that is perfect for pancakes and waffles.

  • Handmade crafts: Waitsfield is home to many talented artisans, and there are several shops that sell handmade crafts and gifts such as jewelry, pottery, and textiles.

  • Cheese: Vermont’s cheddar cheese is world-renowned, and Waitsfield has several cheesemakers that produce some of the best in the state. Look for artisanal cheeses made with local milk for a unique and delicious souvenir.

Local Culture and Customs of Waitsfield

Waitsfield is a small town with a strong sense of community, and visitors are always welcome to be part of it. Here are a few things to keep in mind to respect local customs and traditions:

  • Say hello: It’s common practice to greet people with a friendly “hello” or “good morning” when walking around town.

  • Respect the land: Vermonters have a deep respect for the land and environment, so be sure to clean up after yourself and respect the natural surroundings.

  • Support local businesses: Waitsfield is home to many small businesses that rely on tourism to survive, so be sure to support them by shopping at local stores and dining at local restaurants.

Best Time to Visit Waitsfield

Waitsfield is a beautiful destination year-round, but the best time to visit depends on your interests. Here’s what to expect during each season:

  • Spring: Spring in Waitsfield is a time of renewal, with flowers blooming and trees budding. It’s a great time for hiking and exploring the outdoors, as well as attending local craft fairs and farmers markets.

  • Summer: Summer is the busiest season in Waitsfield, with many visitors flocking to the area to enjoy the warm weather and outdoor activities. It’s a great time for swimming, hiking, and attending local festivals and events.

  • Fall: Fall is arguably the most beautiful season in Waitsfield, with the leaves changing colors and the air turning crisp. It’s a great time for hiking and taking scenic drives through the mountains to see the foliage.

  • Winter: Winter in Waitsfield is a wonderland of snow and ice, with ample opportunities for skiing and snowboarding. It’s also a great time to cozy up next to a fireplace with a warm mug of hot chocolate.

Do’s and Don’ts of Waitsfield

To ensure that your trip to Waitsfield is enjoyable and stress-free, here are a few do’s and don’ts to keep in mind:


  • Explore the outdoors: Waitsfield is a stunning natural destination, so make sure to spend plenty of time hiking, biking, and exploring the outdoors.

  • Try local cuisine: Vermont is known for its farm-to-table cuisine and craft beverages, so be sure to sample as much as possible during your visit.

  • Respect local customs: Vermonters take pride in their traditions and customs, so be sure to be respectful and courteous during your visit.


  • Litter: Vermont’s natural beauty is a fragile resource, so be sure to pack out all trash and leave no trace when exploring the outdoors.

  • Be loud or disruptive: Vermonters value peace and quiet, so avoid loud or disruptive behavior that might disturb the peace.

  • Assume everything is open year-round: Many businesses and attractions in Waitsfield have seasonal closures, so be sure to check ahead before planning your visit.

Safety and Health

Safety in Waitsfield

Waitsfield is a safe and welcoming destination, but it’s important to take common sense precautions to ensure your safety:

  • Be aware of weather conditions: Vermont is known for its changing weather, so be sure to pack appropriate clothing and gear for the season.

  • Lock your car and hotel room: While Waitsfield is a safe destination overall, it’s always a good idea to lock your car and hotel room to prevent theft.

  • Use caution when hiking and exploring: Vermont’s rugged terrain can be dangerous, so be sure to take safety precautions when hiking and exploring the outdoors.

Health in Waitsfield

Waitsfield is home to several medical facilities and pharmacies, so you’ll have access to medical care if needed. It’s also important to take precautions to stay healthy during your visit:

  • Stay hydrated: Vermont’s mountain climate can be dehydrating, especially during the summer months. Be sure to drink plenty of water to stay healthy.

  • Protect against tick-borne illnesses: Vermont is a high-risk area for tick-borne illnesses like Lyme disease, so be sure to use bug spray and check for ticks regularly.

  • Be prepared for allergies: If you have allergies, be sure to bring appropriate medication or consult with a local pharmacist.

Getting to Waitsfield: Transportation Options and Logistics

Waitsfield is easily accessible by car or public transportation, and there are plenty of options for getting around the area once you arrive.

Airports Near Waitsfield

The closest major airport to Waitsfield is Burlington International Airport, which is about an hour’s drive away.

Bus Stations Near Waitsfield

Greyhound offers bus service to nearby Montpelier, which is just a short drive from Waitsfield.

Other Options

If you’re looking for a more scenic way to get to Waitsfield, you can take the Amtrak Vermonter train to nearby Waterbury, which offers stunning views of the Green Mountains.

How to Get Around in Waitsfield

Waitsfield is a small town that is easily walkable, but there are also several transportation options for exploring the area further:

  • Local shuttle services: There are several local shuttle services that offer transportation to nearby attractions and destinations.

  • Bike rentals: Waitsfield has several bike rental shops that offer both mountain and road bikes, making it easy to explore the area on two wheels.

  • Car rentals: If you’re looking to explore the surrounding area in more depth, there are several car rental companies in the area.

Where to Go Next from Waitsfield: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

Waitsfield is situated in the heart of Central Vermont, making it a great base for exploring the surrounding area. Here are a few nearby destinations and excursions to consider:

  • Stowe: Just a short drive from Waitsfield, Stowe offers world-class skiing and snowboarding, as well as charming shops, galleries, and restaurants.

  • Montpelier: Vermont’s charming capital city is just a short drive from Waitsfield, with a vibrant arts scene and a wealth of cultural attractions.

  • Lake Champlain: Vermont’s largest lake is just a short drive away, offering opportunities for boating, fishing, and swimming.


From its vibrant culture and natural beauty to its delicious food and drink scene, Waitsfield is a destination that truly has something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for outdoor adventure or a relaxing getaway, this charming Vermont town is a must-visit destination.