There is much to do in the area. Bellows Falls and surrounding communities have a strong music and arts focus, galleries, music series, and local play houses.
We’re famous for leisure too, since we’re the Front Porch Capital of the World!
If you’d rather go hunting for books or antiques, we can direct you. The area also boasts good boating of all types, fishing, hunting, hiking, tennis, skiing, even an occasional croquet match. Farm stands and local dairy and produce are among the best anywhere. Do you want to learn how to make cheese, or learn egg tempera painting technique? Take the “Cheese Trail?”
Have you always dreamed of a sleigh ride through the Vermont woods? Of course, we can arrange that too!
And always, the soundtrack to life at the Inn, really good local music…Made in Vermont and New England music, whether Vermont Festivals offerings of singer/songwriter favorites, local folk, roots, blues, even the Vermont Symphony Orchestra!
Originally an 18th Century Country Tavern & Inn, Leslie’s offers a candlelit atmosphere in three intimate dining rooms…a welcome respite from the fast-paced world outside. Travelers and regulars alike compliment us on our classic steaks, poultry, seafood and vegetarian dinner menu innovations.
Check out John’s popular COOKING CLASSES!
Stay at Readmore for a mid-week rate, and learn how to create adventurous new dishes!
Our homebase café on Main Street in Walpole, New Hampshire offers an extensive variety of pastries and drinks in a serene environment – the perfect setting for reading, writing, and visiting with friends.
Walpole is also the location of our chocolate and pastry production. Step into the café and you just might find yourself walking out with one of our elegantly striped bags, filled with chocolates and pastries – perhaps a classic wooden box of chocolates or our signature chocolate ganache birthday cake or one of our whimsical holiday gifts. Next door, The Restaurant at Burdicks presents quality ingredients, an imaginative menu and impeccable service along with a distinctive wine list.
The Old Tavern at Grafton
At The Old Tavern at Grafton we feature Inspired American Cuisine. Head Chef David Smith and his staff strive to provide cuisine that explodes with flavor.
It can be either bold or subtle, but is always logical, simple, clean and elegant. We strive to include as many local items on our menu as possible.
Popolo serves Italian-inspired farm-to-table cuisine in a casual setting at the Windham Hotel in Bellows Falls. They work to create a varied, affordable, menu using mostly locally-sourced ingredients and an exciting drink and wine list.
They also promote a wide variety of events including concerts, movies, and parties.
Rockingham Free Public Library
On October 28, 1799, the Rockingham Library Society was established by a small group of settlers from the village of Rockingham, which had a population of approximately 1,000. Shares were sold at $1.00 each. During the following decades, the Library grew and on September 6, 1887, it officially became the Rockingham Free Public Library. Successful fundraising ensued, enabling the Library Room to open in 1888, on the first floor of the newly built Opera House.
In 1908, Rockingham citizens voted to purchase land on Westminster Street, to provide an annual allowance for library maintenance, and to accept the gift of $15,000 from the philanthropist and steel magnate Andrew Carnegie to build a library. Designed in the Classical Revival style by the Fitchburg, MA firm of Francis and Son, it became one of four libraries in Vermont to be built with Carnegie funds.
Village Square Booksellers
Books, toys, gifts, exciting events.
Since November 2000, over 200 authors have appeared in our bookstore in Bellows Falls Vermont to read from their books during book signings. Check their calendar, listed on their website, for events. There is always something going on, and a lovely selection of books, cards, toys, and many little items you never knew you couldn’t live without!
1st Saturday of each month, 1-4pm: Strategy Games
2nd Saturday of each month, 2-4pm: Open Mic Poetry & Prose
3rd Friday of each month, 5-8pm: 3rd Friday Art Walk now called BF3F 3rd Saturday of each month, 2-4pm
Every Wednesday afternoon- Knitting Together- 1-3pm
American Girl Club, September to May BY RESERVATION ONLY
Open Daily: M-Th 9-5, F 9-6, Sat 9-4, Sun 10-3
Additional Music Festivals
The VSO has brought a love of classical music to all corners of our state, and should be a great source of pride to all Vermonters. With 45 annual performances statewide in concert halls, beautiful natural settings, and historic and community buildings, the Vermont Symphony Orchestra has proven its value and sustainability, not only as the nation’s oldest state-supported orchestra, but as one of the finest of its size. Performances are held around the state each year, including the Bellows Falls Opera House. Vermont is fortunate to be home to one of the finest symphony orchestras in the country, 802-864-5741.
Yellow Barn Music School & Festival – Held in July the Yellow Barn Music School and Festival was founded in 1969 by cellist David Wells, then chair of the Chamber Music Department at the Manhattan School of Music. For over thirty years the David and Janet Wells nurtured an organization which evolved into one of the most sought-after summer training institutes in the world. 800-639-3819.
The Weston Playhouse Theatre Company, a non-profit regional theatre dedicated to excellence in a unique Vermont setting, serves a community of artists and audiences through a broad spectrum of dramatic works and educational programs since 1935. Dinner, theater, cabaret. 802-824-5288.
The non-profit Dorset Theatre Festival has been a fixture in the Dorset and Manchester area for more than 30 years. Founded by the late Jill Charles, with John Nassivera, in the 1970s, the Festival now plays in a renovated historic barn at 104 Cheney Road in Dorset. DTF has served as a launching pad for acclaimed plays and playwrights. 802-867-2223.
Springfield Community Players
Vermont’s oldest continually running non-professional theater group, back to the fall of 1920! They have a newly renovated theater, and present several play each year. 802-885-4098.
- Great Falls Regional Chamber of Commerce
- Black Sheep Radio – WOOL-LP at 100.1 fm is Bellows Falls own community radio station.
- Bellows Falls Farmers’ Market – It is the social event of the week from May through October, a gathering of farmers and craftspeople at the Waypoint Center, a free concert, sometimes cooking demonstrations, lots of good food and conversation.
- Vermont.com – Vermont is a magical place… a region where all four seasons provide endless opportunities for recreation, business travel, event planning and historic discovery.
May 24 & 25, Memorial Day Weekend
Most Vermont craftspeople work in studios located in or close to their residences. These are places of production and inspiration located in downtowns as well as at the ends of dirt roads. Wherever their locations, they are exciting places to visit because they reflect the dynamic yet organized process that is used to produce the finished work of art.
The studio itself is enormously informative because you can see at a glance how the artist works. You see the swatches that have not been chosen for the quilt or the work that is experimental or not serious enough for the gallery. Buying or ordering work during an Open Studio sale is a unique experience because you have the opportunity to speak to the artist directly.
For more information and the map of studios, please click here
Adams Grist Mill
Built in 1831 by John Cary as a grain mill and feed store, it was powered by water drawn from the canal, which passed just to the west of the mill’s present front entrance. Cary originally owned all of the water rights at the southern end of the canal. In 1875 the brick mill passed to the Adams family which owned it until operations ceased in 1961.
Much of the mill’s machinery is still intact, including both its hydraulic machinery and later electric power systems. The mill now contains the museum of the Bellows Falls Historical Society and is open during the summer and early fall on Saturday and Sunday afternoon, and by appointment.
The Old Rockingham Meeting House
This historic landmark remains in use today for special events, concerts, and weddings. The Meeting House was built between 1787 and 1801 and was originally used for both Congregational church meetings as well as civic and governmental meetings. Church services ceased in 1839 but town meetings continued to be held in it until 1869.
After being unused for many years, it was restored by the town in 1907, and a Meeting House Association was formed in 1911 through the efforts of Professor Franklin Hooper, director of the Museum of the Brooklyn Institute. Hooper was the great-great-grandson of one of the original members of the First Church of Rockingham at its organization in 1773.. The church is available today for weddings and other events under rules established by the town.
It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 2000.
It is located on Old North Meeting House Road, or Meeting House Road, in Rockingham.
St. Gaudens National Historic Site
One of our favorite suggestions for our guests who are looking for a wonderful day trip (one of our family’s favorite’s too!). Just 40 minutes north, discover the beautiful home, studios and gardens of Augustus Saint-Gaudens, one of America’s greatest sculptors.
Over 100 of his artworks can be seen in the galleries, from heroic public monuments to expressive portrait reliefs, and the gold coins which changed the look of American coinage. Enjoy summer concerts, explore nature trails, or indulge your hidden talents during a sculpture class. Bring a picnic! (603) 675-2175.
The Vermont Country Store
Everything you could possibly want to find at a country store, and so much more: local cheeses, candies, and kitchen products, cosmetics, flannel shirts, games, perfume, fishing supplies, books, bag balm, shoes and boots, a few things you thought were no longer made, and some that are brand new to the times.
Third Friday Artwalk
Fridays, from May to October, the Farmers’ Market is where it’s at in our village!
There are always lots of fresh veggies and fruit, preserved foods, local meats and eggs, plants and flowers, jewelry, gift items, and even vendors offering a quick and delicious fresh meal!
To serenade the shoppers, the market features a weekly concert!
Sherwin Art Glass
Watch our favorite glassblower firsthand right here in his studio in the village.
Chris has an amazing assortment of hand-blown treasures, from stemless wine glasses to stunning vases and one-of-a-kind pieces for that special gift or treat to yourself. You might return home with a family treasure, or a melted snowman or pumpkin. Watch the magic of natural materials becoming transformed into pieces of unique art glass!
From Jeanette Staley’s artist’s statement:I began painting floor cloths after the questionable
purchase of a charming 100 year old tiny farmhouse in rural Vermont. By charming I mean, needs a lot of work, so to clothe my tired and worn wood floors, I started painting floor cloths, marrying the colors, design and textures I had used on the walls. Within a few short years a substantial garden surrounded the tiny yellow house and a small menagerie of chickens, rabbits, cats and a dog had joined us, all have subsequently found their way onto my floor cloth paintings.
From the artist’s statement:
“I like to paint what nature does to what man creates. I tend to use a monochromatic blend of ultramarine blue, viridian, yellow ochre (sometimes) and burnt sienna. Sometimes I do an underpainting from life, then, in the studio, apply transparent glazes (of pretty much the same colors) on top. Sometimes this works and sometimes it makes a big mess. But I always learn something.”
Sharon Boccelli Auctioneers
Located at Boccelli’s Restaurant on the canal, offers auctions periodically, with a few left-over items available and lending to the décor!
29 Westminster St. heading into the square. Small but interesting collection. Hours vary. 443-9656
Big Red Barn
Group shop of antiques, collectibles, and treasures. 463-3639
Stone House Antique Center
Chester, large group shop. 802-875-4477.
William Austin Antiques
Chester, furniture, lamps, restoration, and repairs. Over 10,000 square feet, one of Vermont’s largest. 802-875-3032
Windham Antiques Center
A lovely selection of the best of yesteryear! Antiques and one-of-a-kind items including furniture, art, silver, estate jewelry, and unique pieces from days gone by.
- Walpole Mountain View Winery at Barnett Hill Vineyard – Mountain View Winery is just minutes away and has wine tastings at the vineyard, a popular weekend afternoon attraction.
- Cheesemaking Workshops – If you would like to learn how to MAKE the cheese you love, Dairy Foods Consulting hosts a variety of cheese making classes
- Putney Winery
- Grafton Cheese Company
- Vermont Shepherd
- West River Creamery
- Boggy Meadow Farm