7 Fun and Affordable Things to Do in Rutland, VT

March 10, 2018

Yes, Rutland County is home to amazing skiing and snowboarding, but finding fun in the area goes beyond buying lift tickets and season passes. Whether you’re planning your first visit to the area or are a local looking for weekend plans, we’ve outlined a few of our favorite fun-yet-affordable things to do in Rutland, VT.

7 Budget-Friendly Things to Do in Rutland, VT

Things to Do in Rutland, VT: Downtown Murals
Mural in Downtown Rutland. Photo: Elisabeth Waller

1. Feed Your Artistic Side

A hub of arts and culture, the Rutland area boasts plenty of opportunity for artistic admiration. On a nice day, this is as easy as grabbing coffee and checking off all of downtown Rutland’s creative murals on an art stroll fit for Instagram photo op fame.

Fifteen minutes from downtown, the West Rutland Art Park holds another quirky and creative outdoor art offering. From a marble human figure clad in rainbow overalls to a perfectly out-of-place locomotive, a visit to this sculpture park is fit to please modern art lovers.  

For more of a classic art center experience, look through the latest exhibits at the Chaffee Art Center on South Main Street in Rutland City. The center is also home to a popular Art in the Park series that swings by the city every summer and fall.

2. Visit Vermont’s Newest State Park: Taconic Mountain Ramble State Park

A Japanese garden may be the last thing you’d expect to find in a rural area of Vermont, but it’s the center of attention at Taconic Mountains Ramble State Park in Hubbardton, VT. The 420-acre area joined Vermont’s state parks in 2016 and packs heavy zen-spiration with sweeping views of the Taconic Mountain Range, wildflower fields, and a mindful arrangement of boulders, ponds, and footbridges.

3. Tour the Beautiful Wilson Castle

Building began on this picturesque property in Proctor, VT in 1885, and today Wilson Castle is the closest thing to a real castle in all of Vermont. For $12, take a tour of the estate to see how intricately beautiful it is on the inside. If you have a little more spending money handy, opt for a Haunted Castle Tour during the last two weeks of October for just $15.

4. Sample Vermont From the Hops to the Vines

Vermont’s already on the map for craft beer enthusiasts, and a few of those stops run right through Rutland County. Start by grabbing a bite and a pint of Rutland Red at Hop’n Moose Brewery in downtown Rutland (the starting point of Rutland Beer Works). Small batch brews can also be found in nearby Brandon, VT at Foley Brothers Brewing and in Killington, VT at Killington Beer Company.

If you’d rather fill your glass with wine, you aren’t without a sipping selection in Rutland County, either. Visit Autumn Mountain Winery and Neshobe River Winery in Brandon, VT or Whaleback Winery in Poultney, VT for tastings, tours, and insight on the winemaking process.

Things to Do in Rutland, VT: Visit the Farmers Market!
Vermont Farmers Market in Downtown Rutland. Photo: Elisabeth Waller

5. Dig into Foodie-Focused Rutland, VT Activities

Whether you’re a visitor or a born-and-raised Vermonter, it’s near impossible to get your fill of the state’s most favored tastes. Head to the Crowley Cheese factory store in Mount Holly, VT for an inside look at cheesemaking by hand (and to sample the final product, of course). For a slightly sweeter activity, schedule a tour of a sugarhouse and sample four grades of pure Vermont maple syrup at Baird Farm in North Chittenden, VT. If you’d rather take your pick of Vermont’s fresh local fare (with some fun craft vendors thrown into the mix), visit the Vermont Farmers Market in Rutland City or Fair Haven, VT.

6. Catch Some Live Music

Feeling some tunes? The greater Rutland area has you covered. While flipping through the vinyl selection at Rick & Kat’s Howlin’ Mouse, keep in mind that the Main Street record shop also doubles as a live music venue for evening entertainment. For an outdoor listening experience, fill your summer evenings with free music on Rutland’s Main Street Park or during July’s popular Friday Night Live series, where Rutland City’s Center Street turns into a free oasis of outdoor dining and music.

7. Check the List of Seasonal Attractions in Rutland, VT

There’s more than maple sugaring and skiing for seasonal things to do in Rutland, VT. On Saturdays throughout summer, spend your evenings rooting for steer wrestlers, barrel racers, and bull riders at the Pond Hill Ranch Rodeo. In August, take to some of the oldest fairgrounds in America at the Vermont State Fair, first held in Rutland in 1846. Rutland City’s annual Halloween Parade has also been thrilling the community for over 50 years, and the annual WinterFest packs in nearly a week’s worth of snowy fun with activities for all ages.

Which sights would you add to your list of things to do in Rutland, VT? Don’t be shy — send us your suggestions or ask for specific recommendations on area activities at RealRutland.com or #RealRutland on social media.