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10 Best Things to Do in Dorset, Vermont

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Dorset is a charming small town in southern Vermont, about 15 miles north of Arlington. Known for its quaint neighborhoods, rich history, and stunning mountains, Dorset is a welcoming place for all.

Whether you see the leaves change in early fall or explore the hiking and biking trails in the summer months, your visit to Dorset, Vermont, will also include enjoying the peaceful town, welcoming community, and beautiful scenic views.

From seeing local plays to the top attractions in the area, Dorset is a beautiful New England town where you’ll be able to relax, recharge, and get away from the hustle and bustle of city life.

This post includes the best things to do in Dorset and the nearby towns as you plan your trip to one of the most beautiful cities in the country.


  • Most significant landmark – Dorset Playhouse & Theater Festival
  • Best park – Emerald Lake State Park
  • Free activity – Dorset Marble Quarry
  • Activity for kids – Bromley Mountain
  • Activity for adults – Hike the Green Mountains
  • Place to eat – Dorset Farmers Market
  • Nightlife – Barrows House
  • Place to stay – The Dorset Inn

Things to Do in Dorset, Vermont

1. Dorset Farmers Market

Vendor selling groceries at Dorset Farmers Market
Image from TripAdvisor

Address: 1430 VT-30, Dorset, VT 05251

Shop like the locals at the weekly Dorset Farmers Market, with fresh produce, home-baked bread, pastries, artisan cheese, wine, spirits, grass-fed beef, eggs, and pickled produce for sale by local farmers and vendors.

Along with shopping, you’ll find live music and hot meals to enjoy during your visit. Browse the vendor stalls and enjoy locally sourced maple syrup and other regional treats. It’s also a great spot for unique clothing, souvenirs, and handmade home goods.

Bring the family, enjoy food from local restaurants, and spend some time outdoors in the perfect place in the community.

Dorset Farmers Market is open year-round on Sundays from 10 am to 2 pm. The farmers market can be found in the summer months at H.N. Williams General Store. In the winter, it’s located at J.K. Adams Kitchen Store.

See Related: Things to Do in Bennington, Vermont 

2. Dorset Marble Quarry

Dorset Marble Quarry
Image by diane cordell used under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Address: 1848 VT-30, Dorset, VT 05251

The country’s first commercial marble quarry is just past the H.N. Williams Store in Dorset. The quarry supplied marble for significant landmarks, including the New York Public Library, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, and Brown University’s Library.

The quarry has been filled with water since the 1920s, thanks to a mountain stream and a natural spring that keeps the water cool. For those hot spring and summer days in Vermont, you’ll find locals and visitors sunbathing and swimming in the massive quarry’s chilly water to cool down and enjoy some swimming.

The marble quarry is breathtaking and must be seen to appreciate it fully. The swimming hole is 60 feet deep and surrounded by large marble slabs.

Pack a picnic and enjoy your food in the grassy area near the water. Stretch out, get comfortable, and enjoy fun in the sun in this Vermont swimming hole.

See Related: Things to Do in Brattleboro, Vermont

3. Dorset Theatre Festival

Front of the Historic Dorset Playhouse, Vermont
Jen Lobo –

Address: 104 Cheney Rd, Dorset, VT 05251

Located at the Dorset Playhouse every summer, the Dorset Theatre Festival is a summer-long professional theater that strives to create bold, authentic works that engage a diverse community.

Locals, visitors, and tourists flock to the historic Dorset Playhouse each summer to witness the talent of artists, singers, actors, and performers in the heart of Dorset.

Previous productions by the Dorset Theatre Festival include the award-winning play Cry It Out, TheresaRebeck’s Downstairs, and Mrs. Christie by Heidi Armbruster.

Dorset Theatre Festival allows up-and-coming playwrights to get their feet wet in the theater. It is committed to nurturing new plays that are innovative, authentic, and that celebrate humanity. If you’re in Dorset during the summer, seeing a play at the Dorset Theatre Festival is a must.

For lodging close by, locals and visitors alike adore The Dorset Inn for its 18th-century charm and dining options. If it’s nightlife you’re after in Dorset, know the town closes up fairly early.

Your best bet is one of the popular restaurants in town, including dining at The Dorset Inn or drinks at Barrows House. The latter serves craft beers and delicious gastropub food till 8:30 pm.

See Related: Cheap Places to Visit in the US

4. 3 Pears Gallery

3 Pears Gallery Exhibit in Dorset, Vermont
3 Pears Gallery / Facebook

Address: 41 Church St, Dorset, VT 05251

Vermont-inspired art can be found at 3 Pears Gallery in Dorset. Featuring cohesive collections that range from contemporary to traditional offerings, 3 Pears Gallery rotates its art by season to consistently provide something fresh for shoppers and visitors.

From fine art, prints, photography, and sculptures to pottery, jewelry, and soft goods, 3 Pears Gallery has something for everyone, regardless of style, vibe, or mood. The gallery features local artisans to foster community growth and exposure.

3 Pears Gallery is also very active in the Dorset community and hosts various events throughout the year, including fundraisers, artist opening receptions, and much more.

If you have souvenirs to buy or love local art, a stop at 3 Pears Gallery on your trip to Dorset is a must. You’ll meet creative people and have the chance to purchase unique art pieces for your home or to give as gifts to friends and family.

See Related: Things to Do in Montpelier, Vermont

5. Dorset Union Store

pumpkin in front of Dorset Union Store
Image by TripAdvisor

Address: 31 Church Street, Dorset, VT 05251

Since its opening in 1816, the Dorset Union Store has remained true to its Vermont roots. This quaint store offers local items, including hot sauce, craft beer, maple syrup, and granola.

Hungry for lunch? Stop at the deli and order freshly made sandwiches, soups, and pizza. The bakery offers fresh pastries each morning.

The store’s most popular items include dinner to-go options and tasty entrees like grilled chicken, fresh-caught salmon, and veggie lasagna. Toss some sides, wine, and beer, and dinner is served!

The Union Store is also a grocery store and an ice cream shop. You can count on the Dorset Union Store for all the local items you need during your trip to Vermont.

See Related: Places to Visit in the US

6. H.N. Williams Store

Historic H.N. Williams General Store, one of our favorite Dorset attractions
Jen Lobo –

Address: 2732 RT 30, Dorset, VT 05251

H.N. Williams Store is a family-owned and operated general store located in the heart of Dorset. It has been operating since 1840. With a rich history in Dorset and loyal local shoppers, H.N. Williams is one of the go-to shopping stops in town.

In the unique three-story shopping store, you’ll find men’s and women’s apparel, household goods, food, and wine, among many other items. The store offers an ample supply of Vermont maple syrup and other maple products that are popular with shoppers.

Grab a coffee and a pastry at the on-site coffee bar to enjoy as you shop. In town for fishing or hiking? Grab the outdoor supplies you need at H.N. Williams. Fill your tank up with gas on-site.

Need to grab sandwiches on your way out the door? A quick stop at H.N. Williams will get you everything you need.

See Related: Things to Do in Stowe, Vermont

7. Hike the Green Mountains and Nearby Areas

A view from the summit of Mount Mansfield, Vt.
Image by Compass Points Media used under CC BY-ND 2.0

Home to a large network of hiking trails, the Green Mountain range in southern Vermont is a gigantic playground for outdoor activities. The Green Mountains offer hiking trails, biking, fishing, camping, kayaking, and canoeing in the summer.

In the winter, you can enjoy snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. For an easy stroll, the Lower Prince Quarry hike is about 30 minutes long, and you’ll enjoy scenic views. The Gettysburg Quarry Hike is nearly half a mile and provides an elevation change of 800 feet.

Explore The Pinnacle, a 100-year-old stone structure on top of a hill above Dorset Village. At just one mile with a slight elevation gain of 250 feet, the hike is a perfect fit for those looking to spend an hour in nature.

Lastly, exploring Cutler Memorial Forest off Peace Street will provide relaxed walking paths and a bridge crossing the Mettawee River. It’s an easy 45-minute trip where you can enjoy the great outdoors and many beautiful views.

See Related: Where to Stay in Vermont

8. Bromley Mountain

Snow covered Bromley Mountain
Image by Jared C. BenedictCC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Address: 124 Bromley Lodge Rd, Peru, VT 05152

Bromley Mountain is about 12 miles from Dorset. The Bromley Ski Resort is a family-friendly outdoor adventure park, perfect for a day trip, no matter the time of year.

Bromley Mountain is home to skiers, snowboarders, and snow lovers in winter. Enroll the kids in lessons and daily camps to teach them the basics of skiing or snowboarding while you hit the slopes.

In the summer, guests can enjoy the four separate areas of the mountain for wholesome family fun. At the base of the mountain is the Mountain Adventure Park, a mini-amusement park with rides and entertainment for everyone. You can’t miss the triple-track Alpine Slide and the Scenic Chairlift. 

The Aerial Adventure Park offers 65 elements to climb, glide, and maneuver around. Lastly, an 18-hole disc golf course keeps the whole family entertained.

You’ll enjoy live music and great food on Bromley Mountain all year round. Bromley Village offers slope-side lodging in convenient condominiums nearby.

See Related: Things to Do in Woodstock, Vermont

9. Explore the Historic Neighborhoods in Dorset

Beautiful Autumn Colors in a Historic Neighborhood of Dorset, Vermont
Jen Lobo / Adobe Stock

Address: 378 Village Street, East Dorset, VT 05253

Dorset is steeped in history and contains a few properties that important figures in the community have owned.

First, the historic Wilson House, the birthplace of Alcoholics Anonymous founder Bill Wilson. The red farmhouse is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a popular spot for tourists to visit in Dorset.

Next, the Manley-Lefevre House was built in about 1820 using marble harvested from a quarry on the property. The home is the centerpiece of a 100-acre farm estate now home to the Marble House Project, an arts organization offering residencies.

Visit the Dorset Historical Society for a deep dive into Dorset history and to view archival materials and exhibits by local artists.

For a nearby hotel, Barrows House is centrally located and a convenient drive from everything in Dorset. For things to do near Dorset, check out nearby cities with rich history, including Manchester and East Rupert.

See Related: Things to Do in Killington, Vermont

10. Emerald Lake State Park

People enjoying near Emerald Lake State Park
Image by Jenica used under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Address: 65 Emerald Lake Ln, East Dorset, VT 05253

Located in East Dorset lies the sparkling Emerald Lake. If you’re in the mood for camping, Emerald Lake State Park features campsites, lean-tos, toilets, and showers. Camp out in the beauty of southern Vermont and enjoy all that the great outdoors has to offer.

In the park, you’ll also find a small beach, a snack bar, boat rentals, a picnic area with grills, and a horseshoe pit. On the lake, you can fish and swim. The park also has hiking trails for all fitness levels and many biking opportunities.

Pack a picnic lunch and plan to spend the day at the lake. A 15-minute drive to Emerald Lake State Park from Downtown Dorset makes it an easy addition to any Vermont itinerary.

See Related: Things to Do in Manchester

Places to Stay in Dorset

1. The Dorset Inn Top Recommendation

The Dorset Inn is a luxurious bed & breakfast located in the quaint town of Manchester, Vermont. This 4 star B&B offers elegant suites and amenities including private baths, cable TV, telephone with voicemail, wireless Internet access and fireplace. Guests may also enjoy a variety of spa packages and massages at the on-site spa or stroll through the beautiful gardens surrounding the inn.

2. Barrows House

Barrows House is located in the Green Mountain National Forest, and is a perfect place to stay while enjoying the beauty of Vermont. The house overlooks a beautiful pond and there are outdoor swimming pools and on-site tennis courts. Hildene, the Lincoln family home is 16.1 km away. Each uniquely decorated guest room at Barrows House features an en suite bathroom with cable TV. Some rooms have a flat-screen TV and refrigerator. A daily breakfast is provided for guests of Barrows House Restaurant serves New England tavern fare .

3. Seven Springs Barn Nestled in the Heart of Dorset

Seven Springs Barn is a privately-owned luxury property located near the historic village of Dorset, Vermont. Constructed in 2018, the Barn is situated on 70 acres of woodland with two fresh water ponds and stunning views of the Green Mountains. Dorset and the surrounding area are rich in both cultural and recreational activities. There is much to explore including local theater, art galleries & museums, antiques, outlet shopping, fine dining and a vast array of outdoor activities.

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