Travel Guide: Fall in Dorset, Vermont
Dorset, Vermont is a small town in Southern Vermont known for the gorgeous fall views and hiking trails. Last fall we spent a day exploring Dorset and the surrounding areas. While we ate and shopped a little, the main attraction was taking photos outdoors and then walking through the Dorset Marble Quarry. Here is my mini travel guide to a fall weekend or day in Dorset, Vermont.
Things to Do in Dorset, Vermont
Dorset Marble Quarry
The Dorset Quarry is the oldest marble quarry in the United States. They were opened in 1785, but were most active in the early 1800’s when small marble slabs were used for hearths, doorsills, and headstones. The marble was used for tombstones, sidewalks, and, most notably, large public buildings, including the New York Public Library, Boston’s Temple Israel, and the Supreme Court Building in Washington, D.C. Then by the start of World War I, many builders were opting for less costly concrete, so this quarry shut down.
During the summer, the Dorset Quarry is a place for teens to get drunk and go swimming (dangerous, I know, but #teens, am I right?) During the fall, it’s a place for a chilly walk/hike with beautiful views. The quarry is privately own, but open to the public. There are signs and markers in dangerous spots, so if you just follow the trail you should be fine. We followed my Dad, who has been there multiple times, and followed a few of the trails. One of the coolest parts is the face that’s carved into a stone – you can only see this if you go far enough into the trail and get on top of the rocks. I decided to stay and watch for this part, but James and my Dad went all-in.
There are multiple hiking areas in and around Dorset, like Owl’s Head Town Forest and Gilbert Lookout. You can see more detailed information and maps on AllTrails.
Where to Eat in Dorset, Vermont
Dorset Bakery & Cafe
This cute cafe is the perfect stop for breakfast for lunch. They also offer a variety of pastries, cookies, and bread for in-between meal snacks and custom orders for larger events like weddings.
The Chantecleer Restaurant
The Chantecleer Restaurant offers French cuisine in the form of dinner Wednesday through Sunday.
Barrows House restaurant and taproom is an American restaurant and gastropub with a large outdoor patio (if you’re there when the weather is nice).
Shopping in Dorset, Vermont
H.N. Williams General Store
From the outside, the store looks like… nothing special. In fact, if you miss the sign, it’s hard to tell it’s a store at all (or what it even sells). Once you get inside though, there’s plenty to do! The store carries all the Vermont staples – maple syrup, cheese, honey, coffee, etc. The store also has lots of workwear and cold-weather clothing (if you’re an outdoorsy person). There’s a deli inside, too, with tons of breakfast and lunch specials.
3 Pears Gallery
This art gallery also features fine art for sale, as well as decor and gifts. It’s located across the street from the Dorset Inn.
Where to Stay in Dorset, Vermont
Since I grew up driving distance from Dorset, I have not personally stayed in any of these places. But based on online reviews, here are some suggestions for out-of-towners.
- Barrows House – An inn, restaurant, and popular wedding destination. I browsed the photos of the rooms, and I would like them to come decorate my house for me.
- The Dorset Inn – The Dorset Inn has been operating for more than 220 years- wow!
- The Marble West Inn – This inn includes long mountain views, an organic vegetable & herb garden and a beautiful mountain brook.