Guide to the Vermont Northeast Kingdom: Where to Eat, Stay, and Play

Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom is a dreamy New England foliage destination. Here’s how to make the most of your visit.

By Bill Scheller

Sep 10 2023


One of Vermont’s most stunning town greens anchors the tidy village of Craftsbury Common, which was first settled in the late 1700s.

Photo Credit : Oliver Parini

Spanning 2,000 square miles, the northeast corner of Vermont is home to some of the state’s most beautiful scenery – especially during New England’s annual fall foliage. With Canada to the north and New Hampshire to the east, the region earned its “Northeast Kingdom” nickname in a 1949 speech by Vermont governor George D. Aiken. It’s an apt description. Teeming with outdoor adventures, delicious dining, cozy lodging, and a thriving cultural scene, the Northeast Kingdom is the ideal New England getaway destination. Here’s how to help make your visit a memorable one. 

Guide to the Vermont Northeast Kingdom

Vermont Northeast Kingdom Dining

Bentley’s Bakery, Danville: Owner Tarah Fontaine’s baked goods with fresh-roasted Vermont coffee is a favorite eye-opener for locals, who then head back for the lunchtime sandwiches.

Cucina di Gerardo, Island Pond: Chef-owner Gerardo Grieco offers the authentic cuisine of his southern Italian homeland, including a large selection of pizza and calzones.

Hill Farmstead Brewery, Greensboro Bend: Many cultures regard beer as essential food, and simply put, the best handcrafted beer in the world is right here.

Hobo’s Café, Island Pond: Hobo’s serves breakfast all day but is best known for slow-cooked BBQ and smoked baked beans that tempt diners to lick their plates. Facebook

Miss Lyndonville Diner, Lyndonville: For nearly a half century, the most beloved eatery in this college town has served up traditional diner fare, from buttermilk pancakes to meat loaf, and everything in between.

The Parker Pie Co., West Glover: The Northeast Kingdom’s premier pizzeria stays where it started, in back of a country store. Poutine? Nachos? They’re on the menu, but the site-made dough and impressive choice of toppings (e.g., Bayley Hazen blue cheese) make pizza the star.

Peacham Café, Peacham: Today’s modern country store now features sandwiches and plates inspired by local fresh produce, and this café exemplifies that.

Willey’s Store, Greensboro: The famed cheeses of Jasper Hill Farm are made in deep vaults right in Greensboro, and their “unofficial” retail outlet is this local country-store landmark. Pick up fresh cheese to rival any in the world, then head up to Hill Farmstead to pair it with fine beer. Facebook

Vermont Northeast Kingdom Lodging

Essex House, Island Pond: A surprising small-town find: a vintage hotel, smartly renovated with accommodations ranging all the way up to a full-kitchen suite. A hearty array of lunch and dinner specialties are served in a casual tavern atmosphere.

Highland Lodge, Greensboro: There’s a timeless, homey feel to this rambling inn, which boasts 10 comfortable rooms, four all-season cabins, and a dining room serving traditional fare with an innovative touch. Canoe and kayak on Caspian Lake, then settle into the cozy pub.

WilloughVale Inn, Westmore: With eight handsomely furnished rooms and suites in the inn and three lakeside cottages, this is the only full-service place to stay on Lake Willoughby. The Robert Frost Tavern (Frost camped here in 1909, and mentioned Lake Willoughby in a poem) serves burgers, sandwiches, and tacos alongside wine, spirits, and Vermont beers.

A mountain biker cruises through the color at Kingdom Trails.
Photo Credit : Oliver Parini

Vermont Northeast Kingdom Activities

Bread and Puppet Museum, Glover: The enormous masks and puppets that highlighted decades of Bread and Puppet Theater’s parades, demonstrations, and celebrations fill an ancient barn to the rafters.

Dog Mountain, St. Johnsbury: A 150-acre mountaintop retreat and dog chapel created by artist Stephen Huneck and his wife pay tribute to the canine world. Few visit the chapel, with its photos of pets who have passed on, without tears but also joy when they see the living dogs romping just outside.

Kingdom Trails, East Burke: Mountain bike enthusiasts know these hundreds of miles of interlocking trails to be among the best in the country. Bikes to rent, food, lodging—they’re all here.

Museum of Everyday Life, Glover: “Glorious obscurity” is the self-proclaimed mission of this quirkily curated collection of things we all know and use, but seldom think about.

See More:

Fall Comes to the Vermont Northeast Kingdom