When I’m working with buyers in Lamoille County, I hear them say over and over again that they are dead set on living in Stowe. For many people who aren’t familiar with the area, that might be because they don’t know about some of the other great options nearby. If people tell me that they want to be close to the mountains and enjoy the benefits of a cute downtown, I always tell them to check out Waterbury.
Waterbury’s historic downtown area has developed a lot in recent years to include some A-grade food and beverage options. My family and I love to go to The Blackback Pub, which is right in the heart of downtown. They have an outstanding beer list and some surprising and innovative pub food options. Always and without fail we get the nachos, which come with a special ingredient… maple syrup. Sounds unusual, but the maple on the nachos is an amazing combination.
And speaking of beer, this town has a great beer culture - it was the first location of The Alchemist, after all. You can go to an intimate taproom like Free Folk Bier, a lively pub like Blackback or The Reservoir, or take the foodie route at Prohibition Pig, where you can choose between their brewery or full service barbecue restaurant.
Sticking with the beer theme, Waterbury is always a destination for those on a Beercation. Waterbury has several options for purchasing the local brews, and the two that I always stop at are the Beer Cellar, and the Waterbury Village Market. Both have a great selection of local craft beers and the Beer Cellar has beer from all over the world. The Waterbury Village Market is a great little grocery store (my wife Kelly tells me the meat department is fantastic); their beer selection is just as fantastic and the local beers represents every corner of Vermont and beyond.
Not to get too hung up on the food scene, Waterbury is also arguably a world-class destination for outdoor enthusiasts. One of the town’s slogans is “Recreational Crossroads of Vermont” because of its unbeatable access to the outdoors. Stowe, Sugarbush, and Bolton Ski Resorts are all a half hour or less from downtown. The town is home to the Green Mountain Club Visitors Center, which is the state’s information hub for hikers. The Long Trail is just one of the hiking options right in the town. If mountain biking is more your style (it sure is mine!), there are two beautiful networks in town with terrain at all skill levels.
To round it all out, Waterbury’s awe-inspiring Little River Reservoir is one of the prettiest natural areas in the state, and a great place to bring the family for camping, swimming, hiking, biking, fishing, boating… you name it.