One of the beautiful things about Vermont is the great variety of landscapes and topography in our state. When people think about Vermont, they generally immediately think mountains, and it’s true, the Green Mountains bisect the state, and offer absolutely spectacular vistas and climbs.
But if you head west out of Bennington, on up to Route 30, also known as the Stone Valley Byway, you’ll meander through some of the most lovely and charming farmland ever. We first discovered this area en route to The Barn restaurant in Pawlet, we wanted something different and figured it was a good excuse for a drive. The Barn did not disappoint, it has a spectacular main dining room that is wedding reception worthy, just majestic, and also a cozy tavern downstairs replete with fireplace, exposed beams and plenty of antlers!
The food is fine, but the atmosphere is pure Vermont, it’s a great place to bring out of town guests, and be sure to make a reservation.
To get there, it’s easy to take Route 7 to Dorset, and simply hop on Route 30, which takes you directly through the Mettowee Valley. My grandparents lived in Ohio and I spent my childhood summers in the Ohio Valley countryside, and the soft, green rolling hills here reminded me of nothing more than my Ohio summer memories.
This is nothing but cow and dairy country, and though you get occasional glimpses of the Adirondacks off in the west, the hills are green and rolling, and if you love red barns and farmhouses, there is no shortage of those! You can continue on Route 30 all the way up to Poultney, which is the former home of Green Mountain College. There are a few restaurants here too, most family-friendly small town diners, and right outside of town you’ll find the Whaleback Winery.
This is absolute farm country, so if you tire of mountain vistas, Route 30, also known as the Stone Valley Byway, is a wonderful drive, even in winter months, you won’t have the high elevation views, but because it’s a valley, roads should be easier to navigate.
It’s about a 3 hour round trip from Bennington, and a lovely way to spend an afternoon! If you don’t want to come back the same way you came, you can take Route 22 which runs through New York State and is filled with charming small towns like Granville, New York, each replete with their own tiny Main Streets with character.