Killington, VT, offers views and great food

KILLINGTON, VT – There’s nothing like crisp Vermont mountain air on a summer day. Or an autumn day leaf peeping. Or … a winter day skiing. Or a spring day hiking. Really, Vermont is ideal at any time of year.

I recently had the opportunity to travel up to Killington for a wedding and made a few pit stops along the way, enjoying all Vermont has to offer.

Vermont Country Store

The Vermont Country Store, which has two locations, opened its first store in the village of Weston in 1946 by Vrest and Mildred Ellen Orton. According to its website, “Vrest was inspired by childhood memories of his father’s general store in North Calais, Vermont. The Weston store became the first restored rural general store in the nation.” Today, the store is owned by Lyman Orton and sons Cabot, Gardner and Eliot. They are seventh and eighth generation Vermonters, and fourth and fifth generation storekeepers. “We still adhere to the old-fashioned values ​​set forth by our father and grandfather Vrest and take pride in being the purveyors of the practical and hard to find,” their website shares.

Pulling into the Vermont Country Store’s parking lot in Rockingham instantly gave me a home-y feeling. I have been to the storefront once before, many years ago, and remembered vividly the large, historical in appearance, red building, lined with cream-colored trim attached to a barn-style bake shop. The front lawn, which is rather large and extends past the length of the store, showcases multiple picnic tables for those who purchase lunch or snacks on property, as well as several yard games for travelers who perhaps want to stop, stretch their legs and enjoy an activity.

Within the store, however, there is truly something for everyone. Walking through the main entrance at the Rockingham location, shoppers are welcomed by more sweets than one could imagine.

Chocolate covered everything, homemade fudge, caramels and old fashioned candies long forgotten are on display for purchase. Classic candies include French cremes, Regal Crown hard candy, banana split taffy, Teaberry gum, Chuckles, Merrimints and more.

The building has multiple walkways into other rooms, a result of what would appear to be addition after addition to make the store larger. My favorite room was the Christmas decoration area. Longtime readers know I love the magic of the holidays, and being surrounded by Christmas decorations in the middle of July brought me back to December.

Near this room was their toy and games section, which included classic toys such as a Peter Rabbit jack-in-the-box and Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls, along with plenty of board games including Mystery Date and a personal favorite of mine and my grandmother’s, Parcheesi.

Other facets of the store offer kitchen gadgets, home decor and personal care items such as beauty products and handmade soaps. Arguably, however, the largest section of the store features men’s and women’s clothing that have a more traditional style – longer hemlines for dresses, seersucker pajama sets and rugged outdoor wear.

I made a few purchases at the store, including a handmade wooden ornament, a musical caroling snowglobe that is not in the shape of a traditional globe but instead the glittery snow sits within an old-fashioned style television.

The Vermont Country Stores are located at 1292 Rockingham Rd. in Rockingham, and the other, original storefront is in Weston at 657 Main St.

Take a hike

After dealing with a minor situation where my boyfriend realized he forgot his sneakers and had to take a trip to the nearby “Sensible Shoe” storefront in Rutland, we set off on a hike that promised a clear view of the neighboring Coolidge Range and Sherburne Pass .

We hiked in the Green Mountain forest on the Sherburne Pass Trail to the Deer Leap Overlook. The Deer Leap Trail loop is 3.1 miles in length, and was not for the faint of heart. Though we were not fully rock climbing, we certainly were navigating up steep, rocky terrain. We chose the easier route, and frankly, I hate to think of what the more challenging route looked like. Having not hiked in at least a year, I was slightly unprepared. Luckily, however, most of the trail is covered by thick wooded trees, which shielded us from the sun on the sweltering day.

Though two-thirds of the hike up I was not confident the view would be worth the work I was putting in on the terrain, I was glad we stuck through to reach the peak. The vista was stunning – displaying views of neighboring Pico Mountain Resort’s ski trails and mountains for miles. The peak offered respite as well, with a cool breeze atop the rocky tip, we sat and enjoyed the scene with one single cloud in the sky.

The Deer Leap Overlook Trail is located at 709 U.S. Route 4 in Killington.

Killington resort area

Not to be outdone by the central-Vermont storefront and the area hiking trails – I was thoroughly impressed by the countless restaurant offerings the Killington resort area provided. We only had the opportunity to enjoy one eatery while in Killington, but we certainly picked the right one, as it was equally quaint and delicious.

Our lodging was at an Airbnb at the Mountain Green Resort, which sits just below the basin of Killington Mountain. To get up to the Mountain Green, you travel along miles of Killington Road, which, alongside it, offers numerous restaurants specializing in all sorts of food. Restaurants that stuck out to me included Baja Burrito Co., Yama Ramen, Casey’s Caboose, Sushi Yoshi and The Foundry at Summit Pond. I was throughly disappointed that I wasn’t going to get to experience many eateries, as again, I was there for a wedding that included a dinner party the night before.

A restaurant we did have the opportunity to enjoy was the Sunup Bakery. The adorably quaint A-frame style building sits along Killington Road, and though it may appear unassuming, their food packed a punch. Such a punch that we purchased food from the bakery twice.

Sunup specializes in “healthy and delicious take-out,” serving breakfast and lunch all day.

For lunch I enjoyed a rosemary chicken sandwich, which featured chicken breast rolled in Dijon mustard, garlic, fresh rosemary and parmesan cheese served with avocado, roasted red peppers, sweet red onion and lettuce. The flavor profile of the chicken coupled with the peppers and onions, the perfectly ripe avocado and crunch of crisp lettuce has my mouth watering as I type.

For breakfast, I had a chorizo ​​bowl that was on special and had a sunny side up egg, diced up vegetables and I believe rice or quinoa. It was quite satisfying and filling, and gave me plenty of energy for the wedding day activities that were ahead of me.

All in all, Killington is an area that I never knew I had a desire to go to – but look forward to traveling back to in the future. After all, I have dozens of restaurants to try.

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