The Connecticut River is the longest one in New England.
Running from just south of the Canadian border down to the Long Island Sound, it snakes through four states and provides water for some of New England’s best farmland, a place for boating and swimming, and yes some very picturesque views along the way.
That’s what we want to cover in this post. The Connecticut River Byway is a beautiful drive that takes you past incredible vistas and quaint old New England villages. It’s the perfect road trip to see some of the best of New England that’s a bit off the beaten path.
If you’re ready to explore Vermont’s Connecticut River Byway, keep reading!
Things to See
There’s plenty to do and see along the Connecticut River Byway, so let’s take a look at some of our favorite towns to stop in.
For many, Brattleboro will be the Southernmost point of your trip. Located just over the border with Massachusetts it’s one of the largest cities in Vermont but still has a great small town feel. Be sure to check out the Brattleboro Historic District and take a tour of the buildings that sprung up around the town.
This area of Vermont is a dream location for people who love spending time outdoors. There are some bike paths and hiking trails. There are also lakes ready for fishing, kayaking, and canoeing including Bellows Falls Village Forest and Connecticut River State Park. Stop by Bellows Falls Village to see the waterfall and canal.
White River Junction
This is where Routes 89 and 91 intersect which makes it a great jumping off point for many travelers. It’s also home to tons of great shopping and antiquing due to it being close to two fun historic towns, Quechee, Vermont and Lebanon, New Hampshire.
St. Johnsbury is the gateway to what Vermonters call the Northeast Kingdom. It’s also home to one very cool museum. The Fairbanks Museum & Planetarium is a natural history museum with over 30,000 artifacts. It also has a planetarium that hosts stargazing events all year.
Since the Connecticut River was such an important route for industrial growth across New England in the 1800s and early 1900s, some highways give you easy access to points along the way.
Going North to South, Route 91 will take you virtually the entire route. If you’re coming east, from Boston, both Routes 93 and 89 will drop you off as you travel across New Hampshire.
Meandering Through History
It’s very easy to spend a day turning up and down the Connecticut River Byway. You will leave wanting to see and do more! These quaint New England towns and villages are the perfect distraction from today’s busy world. You can spend an afternoon hiking, antiquing, or wandering the town squares and soaking in the history.
This part of Vermont is the perfect place to do it!