Essex Travel Guide

Explore the natural beauty, culture, and adventure of Essex, Vermont with our comprehensive travel guide, including recommendations, must-visit places, and tips.

Introduction to Essex

Nestled in Chittenden County, Northwest Vermont, lies Essex, a charming, picturesque town that offers a blend of outdoor adventure, cultural attractions, and local charm. With its serene scenic beauty, Essex is the perfect escape from bustling city life. Whether you’re looking for an outdoor adventure, exploring historical landmarks or simply relaxing and enjoying the beauty of nature, Essex has something for everyone.

List of Places to Visit in Essex

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

The town boasts of several cultural and historical landmarks, each of which takes you on a unique journey. Some must-sees include:

  • Essex Junction Depot Museum: Experience the beauty of Essex’s railway heritage
  • The Jericho Historical Society: Discover the town’s fascinating history from the 1700s.
  • Brownell Library: Explore the impressive collection of books and local history archives

Natural Attractions of Essex: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

Enjoy breathtaking natural landscapes, trails, and waterways that offer endless opportunities for adventure.

  • Winooski River: Relax, go fishing or hunting or explore the stunning views along the riverbanks.
  • Essex Wildlife Refuge: Spot animals, birds, and other wildlife in their natural habitats.
  • Indian Brook Reservoir: Bicycle, hike or take a leisurely stroll through the scenic woodland trail.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Essex

Essex’s beautiful natural landscapes offer great hiking and biking trails, providing an amazing opportunity for visitors to explore the scenic beauty of the town. Some of the popular routes include:

  • Essex Town Trail - a 3-mile trail that winds through the forest before finishing at DeGreenia Park.
  • The Essex Causeway Trail - an 8-mile peaceful bike ride along Lake Champlain.
  • Indian Brook Trail – a serene scenic trail along the Indian brook.

Best Things to Do in Essex: Activities and Tours

Essex is home to a wide range of incredible activities, including:

  • Theatrical Performances: Enjoy spectacular performances at the award-winning Essex Community Players theatre
  • Mountain Biking: Spend an exciting afternoon mountain biking through the picturesque backroads of Essex.
  • Essex Cinemas: Catch up on the latest blockbuster movies at the Essex cinemas.

Week-Long Itinerary for Essex

Experience the best of Essex with a fun-filled week-long itinerary:

Day Activity
Day 1 Visit Essex Junction Depot Museum and Brownell Library
Day 2 Go for a hike at Essex Town Trail
Day 3 Enjoy the scenic beauty of the Indian Brook Trail or go canoeing in the Winooski River
Day 4 Take a tour of Indian Brook Reservoir
Day 5 Explore the Jericho Historical Society
Day 6 Go mountain biking through the picturesque back roads of Essex
Day 7 Catch up with a movie at the Essex Cinemas

Food and Drink Scene of Essex

Must-Try Dishes

Essex’s food scene is vibrant and offers a range of options to cater to everyone’s taste buds. Some must-try dishes include:

  • Apple Cider Donuts from Champlain Orchards
  • Vermont Maple Syrup
  • Cheese from Shelburne Farms
  • Farm-Fresh Produce from local farmers’ markets

Local Beverages

Essex is also home to several breweries, wineries, and cideries that offer an array of local beverages. Some of the notable options include:

  • Burlington Beer Company
  • Boyden Valley Winery
  • Citizen Cider

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

Essex offers an array of accommodation options to cater to everyone’s budget and preferences. Some of the popular choices include:

  • Essex Resort & Spa: A luxury resort that offers a first-class experience in the lap of nature
  • Whitcomb Woods Bed and Breakfast: A cozy and welcoming B&B that offers convenient access to many of Essex’s top attractions
  • Dutch Mill Motel: A budget-friendly motel that offers comfortable and affordable accommodation

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

When in Essex, make sure to shop for some of the unique and local products, including:

  • Vermont Maple Syrup
  • Local cheese and farm-fresh produce
  • Handcrafted pottery and artwork
  • Handmade soaps and candles

Local Culture and Customs of Essex

Essex’s rich culture and local customs are an essential part of the town’s identity. As you explore the town, make sure to experience and respect the local customs and traditions. Vermonters are known for their friendly demeanor, so take the time to connect with locals and learn about their unique way of life.

Best Time to Visit Essex

Essex is beautiful throughout the year, but the best time to visit is between May and October when the weather is comfortable, and the town is bustling with life. Trips in the spring offer the opportunity to explore the beautiful wildflowers, while fall foliage in October is an extraordinary display of colors.

Do’s and Don’ts of Essex


  • Respect the town’s local customs and traditions
  • Take advantage of the incredible outdoor activities and natural landscapes
  • Experience the town’s vibrant food and drink scene


  • Litter or harm the natural environment
  • Show disrespect to the town’s local traditions and culture
  • Engage in activities that are harmful to the town’s wildlife and habitats

Safety and Health

Safety in Essex

Essex is an incredibly safe town, and the crime rate is low. However, it’s always advisable to take usual safety precautions like locking your car doors and not leaving valuable items in plain sight.

Health in Essex

Essex’s health facilities are excellent, and emergency services are available if needed. Visitors are advised to check with their health care providers about any necessary vaccinations or precautions before traveling to Essex.

Getting to Essex: Transportation Options and Logistics

Essex is conveniently accessible by air, road and rail.

Airports Near Essex

  • Burlington International Airport (9.7 miles)

Bus Stations Near Essex

  • Green Mountain Transit Bus Station (5.6 miles)

Other Options

  • Car Rental
  • Taxi Services

How to Get Around in Essex

Getting around Essex is easy, and access to hiking and biking trails is within each visitor’s reach. Visitors can rent a car or a bike, use public transit or walk through the town.

Where to Go Next from Essex: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

Essex is located in a prime location, making it easy to visit nearby destinations, including:

  • Lake Champlain Islands
  • Burlington city
  • Stowe Mountain Resort


Essex offers an unbeatable combination of natural beauty, cultural attractions, and outdoor adventure. Whether you’re looking to explore the local history, indulge in the vibrant food and drink scene, or take advantage of the amazing outdoor activities, Essex is a must-visit destination that will cater to everyone’s tastes. Plan your trip today and experience the charm of this beautiful town!