When most people plan a visit to Waterbury, Vermont, they’re thinking about ice cream. The town is home to the original Ben & Jerry’s ice cream factory, where you can take a tour and fill up on desserts. I had visited the factory about a decade earlier, and had decided that it’s the kind of thing you need to do once in a lifetime, but not twice.
So, on the way through Waterbury, I found a different place to load up on calories…
Cold Hollow Cider Mill
Okay, I admit, this place is exactly what a lot of you are probably trying to avoid. It’s a tourist trap, and a very effective one. There’s a huge parking lot filled with cars and tour busses, and everyone is jammed inside, buying maple syrup, jars of jelly, and souvenirs.
But it’s the sign outside that advertised Cider Donuts that lured me in. I bought a half dozen of them.
As the name suggests, there is a legitimate, non-touristy reason for the Cold Hollow Cider Mill to exist. It’s apple cider, and you can get a free sample out of the huge vat at the back of the store. It’s very good.
Aside from the free samples, all was quiet in the cider-making area during my visit. But on busier days, you can see cider being made, using the “rack and cloth” press built in the 1920’s. The self-guided tour is free.
I did roll by Ben & Jerry’s factory, just to get a picture for you. Here, also, the parking lots were filled with tourists. I decided I didn’t want to get caught up in the crowds.
Also, it was starting to get late, and I still had a very long way to drive. It was 3:30, and I was only 25 miles away from where I had started, in Burlington. Of course, I had driven much further than that, but by this time of the day, I should have been in New Hampshire. My motel reservation was in North Conway, 116 miles away. I had to get moving.