Montpelier is a beautiful small town located in the US state of Vermont which is one of the tiniest states by land area. Montpelier has an estimated population of just 7,436 as of the 2018 census. That gives Montpelier the distinction of being the smallest state capital in the United States. Montpelier has been nicknamed “America’s Small Town Capital”.
Interstate 89, US Highway 2, and State Highway 12 are the highways that pass through Montpelier. An Amtrak train station is also located in the town of Berlin, just outside of Montpelier. The scenic Winooski River makes it way through Montpelier. Montpelier may be a small town, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t anything to do there. Here are the things to do in Montpelier, Vermont.
Vermont State House
Perhaps the most stately of the attractions in Montpelier is the Vermont State House. This beautiful state capitol is located on State Street in Montpelier. The Vermont State House is one of the oldest and best preserved state capitols in the United States. The state capitol was built in 1833. The scenic wooded hills serve as a backdrop for the state capitol.
The state capitol’s outdoor area is also gorgeously landscaped. The state capitol is built in the Greek Revival architectural style. A defining feature of the state capitol is the gold leaf dome which is easily visible as one approaches Montpelier. During the warmer months, the state capitol will host concerts and other performances. The lawn can also be used to sit on, eat, and play sports.
Also, if you happen to visit the state capitol on February 14th, you may notice that the columns and the lawn are decorated with red paper hearts. That is done by the Valentine Phantom.
Vermont History Museum
The Vermont History Museum is located on State Street in Montpelier neighboring the Vermont State House. This is a museum where you can learn about the history of Vermont. The museum includes a collection of over 20,000 artifacts. These include fine arts, crafts, household goods, clothing, agricultural tools, and industrial products from all periods of Vermont’s history.
The museum’s signature exhibit is called Freedom and Unity: One Ideal, Many Stories. A gallery known as Local History Gallery is also at the museum. There is also a mid-20th century mural known as Salute to Vermont created by artist Paul Sample. There is an onsite store at the museum as well.
The admission prices are $7 for adults, $20 for families, $5 for students, seniors, and children. These aged 5 and under get free admission to the museum.
Morse Farm Maple Sugarworks
Morse Farm is located on County Road in Montpelier. It is basically a hybrid farm and museum where you can watch and learn how maple is produced. This attraction has been own and run by eight generation of the Morse maple producing family. Burr Morse currently owns and runs Morse Farm. Morse Farm consists of two buildings. The first building is The Woodshed Theatre.
This building is a unique structure that is made with walls of sugar wood. Inside The Woodshed Theatre, you can sit on the maple stump seats, check out the artifacts, and watch a video showing the process of maple production narrated by Burr’s father, Harry I. Morse Sr. The second building is known as the Sugarhouse.
While at the Sugarhouse, Burr gives a live presentation about how maple is produced and used. You can also sample a variety of food using the maple ingredient. These include maple syrup, jams, jellies, and more. There is also a onsite shop where you can buy crafts and gifts. The admission to Morse Farm is free.
Bragg Farm Sugar House & Gift Shop
Bragg Farm is located on State Highway 14 South in Montpelier. It is another one of the maple farm and museum hybrid attractions that you can visit. Bragg Farm has been owned and in operation by eight generations of the Bragg family of maple producers. Doug Bragg is the current owner and maple producer of Bragg Farm.
During your time at Bragg Farm, you can observe and learn about the process of maple production. You can also head into the nearby wood in order to check out the two thousand buckets that are hung there. You can also sample maple foods such as creemees, shakes, and sundaes. There is also an onsite store known as Maple Ice Cream Parlor and Gift Shop, at Bragg Farm.
Also, if you are an animal lover, you can observe and pet animals including goats and rabbits at Bragg Farm. The admission to Bragg Farm is free.
These are the things to do in Montpelier, Vermont. Even though Montpelier is a small town of just under 8,000, its status as a state capital brings with it a few places to go to.
Hotels To Stay At
If you are hungering for a place to lay your head overnight during your stay in Montpelier, I am here to help you with this. Here are the two hotels that you should stay at.
Capitol Plaza Hotel & Conference Center
This hotel is located on State Street in downtown Montpelier. There is an onsite restaurant called J. Morgan Steakhouse and Lounge at the hotel. There is also a fitness center at the hotel for you to use if you are looking for opportunities to workout. The signature rooms at this hotel are called Vermont Dulexe Queens.
These rooms were just recently renovated. They are furnished with white maple furniture that are hand-made in Vermont. These rooms also feature local Vermont artwork. All of the hotel’s rooms and suites come with WiFi, mini refrigerators, and Keurig coffee makers. The average rate for a standard room range from $153 to $206. You can go here to explore your booking options and/or view some photos.
Comfort Inn and Suites at Maplewood
This hotel is located on Paine Turnpike North in Montpelier. This hotel offers complimentary breakfast. A restaurant is also located onsite as well. There is also a walking/jogging trail located onsite at the hotel. You can also make use of the hotel’s fitness center which is open 24 hours a day.
All of the hotel’s rooms and suites come with WiFi, mini refrigerators, microwaves, and Keurig coffee makers. The average rate for a standard room at this hotel range from $130 to $180. You can head here to book your stay and/or check out some photos.
So, what are your thoughts? Are you looking to visit the smallest state capital in the United States? Feel free to post a comment below.