It’s often said people come for the mountains and stay for the Mad River Valley. We believe that to be true and encourage our guests and residents to experience all that the Valley has to offer. You won’t find fast food joints, big box stores or stoplights in the Valley, just a selection of local restaurants, artisan galleries and gift shops, picturesque barns, covered bridges, and working farms. It’s all about community here.

Plus, this isn’t just an alpine ski town. In the winter, the Valley offers two cross-country ski areas, an outdoor ice-skating rink, snowshoeing, and numerous back-country ski trails. Summer boasts an 18-hole Robert Trent Jones, Sr.-designed golf course, downhill and cross-country mountain biking, nationally-recognized swimming holes, and hiking along Vermont’s Long Trail.

Home to Many VT Brands

There is something about the ambiance of the Mad River Valley that feeds individuality and creativity. Artists, film makers, musicians, writers, and entrepreneurs flourish here. The architectural design-build movement began here in the late 1960’s, led by Dave Sellers and a group of architects from Yale Architecture School. Yestermorrow Design Build School was subsequently founded in 1980. Green Mountain Coffee Roasters was founded here in 1981, in what is now known as Three Mountain Café in Mad River Shopping Center. Merrell Shoes was founded here in the same center, in the same year.

Valley Things to Do

Surrounding Areas

The Mad River Valley is centrally located to a number of tourist hotspots in the state. Nearby Waterbury, which has unofficially been nicknamed “The Beer Capital of Vermont”, boasts plenty of pubs and restaurants. Ben & Jerry’s, perhaps the most well-known Vermont brand worldwide, is headquartered in Waterbury offering factory tours, gift shop, and scoop shop.

Burlington, Vermont’s largest city, is just under an hour away and provides plenty of shopping, restaurants, concerts, and theaters settled on the shores of Lake Champlain. Nearby, Shelburne Museum in Shelburne, VT provides a unique experience of American history, art and design with 39 distinct historical structures full of rich history.

While best known as Vermont’s capital city, Montpelier is also known for its active restaurant scene. As the nation’s smallest state capital, Montpelier’s intimate size, historic neighborhoods and diverse community make it a great city to visit.

Winter Activities

It’s not all skiing in the Mad River Valley. There are plenty of alternative options for outdoor activities. The Vermont Icelandic Horse Farm offers year-round guided riding expeditions on Icelandic horses. The Skatium, Waitsfield’s outdoor ice skating rink, is open all winter. The Valley boasts two cross-country ski facilities in the Blueberry Lake Cross-Country Ski Center and Ole’s Cross-Country Center. Dog sled tours are available in nearby Waterbury. The Valley is also full of shopping opportunities from cafes and artisan galleries on Historic Bridge St. to home goods stores and elegant gift shops. Events like The Big Kicker winter kickoff party, Festival of the Lights, cooking classes at The Store, and Country Christmas are sprinkled throughout the winter months.

Summer Activities

While many come to Sugarbush in the winter for some of the best skiing & riding in the east, that's just a small part of what this community has to offer. Tour a historic farm, visit an art gallery or take in the Valley from above in a powerless glider with Sugarbush Soaring; there's something worth doing every day of the year. Some of the biggest Valley events are in the summer months including the Warren 4th of July Parade, Mad Marathon, Brew-Grass Festival, and the month-long August Festival of the Arts.

Golf scenic farmers market
Summer at Sugarbush Video

Mad River Valley Living in its Greener State

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Summer at Sugarbush Video

Mad River Valley Living in its Greener State