I have mentioned before that when my wife and I decided to to go Vermont for our 15th anniversary, I started doing some research ahead of time. In fact, we had the trip booked a good six months before we even went and my research started long before that.
During said research, I discovered a website that listed the 15 or 20 must see things if you are visiting Vermont in the fall. We tried to hit as many of them as we could, but some of them were already closed, or just not very accessible.
The falls park in Vergennes, VT just happened to be on that list.
The morning @mrsbozz and I visited the Ben and Jerry's Ice Cream factory, we were trying to find a good place to grab a quick breakfast. Sure, we could have went with the buffet at the hotel, or stopped through McDonald's quick, but we wanted something unique.
It turns out just across the road from our hotel was a little cafe and market called Burlington Bay Cafe. They had breakfast sandwiches you could order and then take with you, so we decided to try it out.
We ended up liking it so much, we stopped there again on the morning that we left to visit Vergennes.
I went in and ordered our sandwiches while @mrsbozz waited in the car. It took about fifteen minutes for them to put them together each time and I have to admit, they were really tasty. Where McDonald's uses English Muffins for their breakfast sandwiches, the Burlington Bay Cafe uses what they called Portuguese English Muffins.
I'd never heard of a Portuguese English Muffin before, so I wasn't sure what to expect. It turns out, they are really similar to a pancake (at least these ones were). It was an interesting texture and ultimately, it worked out really well.
It was quite enjoyable and I would have loved to tried some of their lunch offerings. It wasn't just because it was close and convenient, the food was really quite good. As you can clearly see from the photos!
As you head south out of Burlington, the 40 minute or so drive down to Vergennes takes you through the town of Shelburne and past the Shelburne Historic Farm which @dtam wrote a post about back in September. It looks like the weather was a lot better for him in September than it was for us in late October. Otherwise we might have stopped at the historic site.
The drive to Vergennes also takes you along the shore of Lake Champlain most of the way down. It's a quite beautiful drive even when the skies are dark and dreary. You can see the mountains of upstate New York off in the distance.
The town of Vergennes is small with a very historic feel. That's pretty typical in this part of the country. Many of these towns were around long before the rest of the US was even explored (by white men). It was established in 1788
Vergennes Falls park isn't super easy to find, but if you follow your GPS or Pinmapple, you should be okay. It's tucked back in an industrial part of the town along the shores of Otter Creek. Fun fact: Vergennes is where the fleet was built and armed that defeated the British on Lake Champlain during the War of 1812.
As you can see, the recent rain (or other factors) had raised the level of Otter Creek past the falls quite a substantial amount. There is a boat launch at this park that was completely covered with water. In fact, the water was halfway across the parking lot.
There was a guy that was attempting to launch a small 12 foot boat in to the creek and I am not sure he was ever successful.
I'm usually prefer natural waterfalls versus man made ones like this, but I have to admit the facility here was pretty impressive and I can see why they added it to a list of must see places in the fall. I think if we had been a little earlier in the season and had a nicer day, it would have been quite beautiful.
On this day, it was still worth the drive down to see it.
We probably would have tried to spend more time down in Vergennes, but we had another site that I wanted to check out on the far north side of Burlington. That meant we needed to hop back in the car and drive another two hours to get to our destination.
Plus, on the way down to Vergennes, I scoped out another location that I wanted to check out. It turned out to be one of the best parts of our day, but you will have to wait until next week to hear about that!
Alright, you win, here's a hint:
Looking back, I probably would have made our trip south from Burlington a full day trip, you could easily hit Shelburne Farms farms in the morning, make your way down to Vergennes for lunch and then stop at a couple other places on your way back. The drive is easy and beautiful with plenty of cool places to stop along the way.
With all the other things happening around the resort towns like Stowe, I can see how southern Vermont probably gets overlooked at times.
I recommend you don't make that mistake!