Central Vermont is all about local charm. From organic maple syrup to hand-blown glass to whimsical toy stores and bookshops; there’s a reason people love the Waterbury area. Check out this list from an 8th generation Vermonter to find a few special spots around town.

Ziemke Glass Blowing Studio

Hand blown glass has an element of mystery and magic to it, but Glenn Ziemke lets visitors take a step inside his world of molten glass. His store and studio share a wall, one that has been replaced by a massive window. It’s almost like looking into an aquarium, a visual only increased by the glass fish he crafts in a rainbow of colors.

Don’t know anything about glass blowing and how it works? A full diagram of the process and knowledgable staff are ready to answer your questions as you watch, shop, and wonder. This hidden Waterbury Center gem gives you a peek into a hand-crafted art that keeps both tourists and locals stopping by.

Bridgeside Books

Just as you’d imagine, this bookstore sits just beside a charming bridge in Waterbury, Vermont. It has since grown to have multiple locations around the area, but the original shop has all the warmth and wonders you would expect from a locally owned book store. Beautiful hardwood floors, book nooks and benches, and even a few tables of unexpected gifts and treasures fill the rooms.

Bridgeside Books is exactly the place to stop for a fresh read, a gift for a friend, or just to put an extra pep in your step. Every town needs that perfect book store where you’d expect to see a cat asleep in the sun, keeping the perfect book warm and waiting.


The Tiny Acorn

Just as their sign reads, "Toys, Tales & Treasures" are just what you’ll find. With an actual 5 cent candy rack in the front and five more rooms breaking off from one another after that, the Tiny Acorn is part store and part maze.

Chatting with the owners, exploring the new treasures, or looking for a gift all wrap into the perfect adventure of a visit to the store. It's that perfect Vermont touch to feel welcomed and appreciated as you shop.

This little local gem is all about putting a smile on your face as you scan the shelves, pick out toys, or just wander through the rooms.  

Have a favorite local shop I didn’t mention? Let us know your go-to stops when family comes to town or when you’re looking for a bit of magic in your day. Let’s celebrate Waterbury together.