Skip to main content
Vermont Law School has resumed on-campus classes for the fall. Masks are currently required for all community members. For information on campus access, health and safety protocols, and testing requirements please visit

Savoring Summer in the Upper Valley

Layout Builder

June 24, 2020

Each season in South Royalton brings its own delights, from blazing fall colors to cross-country skiing. But summertime’s charms are in a league of their own. Here are some fun ways to unwind and enjoy the season while still practicing social distancing.

Professor Pat Parenteau fishing
  1. See a movie under the stars. There are two drive-in movie theaters within a reasonable drive from South Royalton. Both Bethel Drive-In and Fairlee Drive-In have been providing summertime family entertainment since the 1950s. Bethel Drive-In is a 20-minute drive from campus, while Fairlee Drive-In is a 40- minute drive. Both operations are cash-only, and both have concessions onsite. This summer, both drive-ins are showing a mix of classic and second-run films due to the disruption in the movie industry, but both normally show first-run movies. They’re operating at reduced capacity this year; check social distancing guidelines before you go.
  2. Enjoy a maple creemee. This cool Vermont delicacy is a summertime staple! Every Vermonter has their own favorite spot for maple creemees. For a quick run (less than ten minutes from campus), we suggest Sandy’s Drive-In in Sharon. If you crave a longer drive and some exploration, check out Will’s Store in Chelsea. Travel through historic Tunbridge along the first branch of the White River for a scenic afternoon. It takes roughly a half-hour to get there from South Royalton. This classic Vermont country store makes their own hard ice cream as well. Enjoy it on one of the town greens in this quintessential Vermont town.
  3. Cast a line. Like many members of the Vermont Law School community, Professor Pat Parenteau likes to unwind from saving the earth by simply enjoying it. He’s an accomplished fly fisher. When asked about his favorite spots, he said:
    “The best ones are secret, but here are a few I don't mind sharing. These are all within 30-40 minutes of campus:
  • The Connecticut River at the mouth of the Ompompanoosuc River. Never know what you might catch--bass, pike, perch, fallfish, pickerel and pumpkinseed.
  • Connecticut River below Sumner Falls --great for smallies
  • White River in the Gaysville reach: rainbows, browns, smallies, and Atlantic salmon (released from the Bethel Hatchery)
  • Miller Pond, Strafford: Stocked with brookies and rainbows, feisty bluegills on a 3 weight
  • MacIntosh Pond, South Royalton: stocked with rainbows.”
Warren Falls
Warren Falls in Warren, Vermont 
Abby Armstrong, JD’84
  1. Swing a club. Abby Armstrong, JD’84 and Director of Career Services cherishes her summer golf evenings and posed on the links of Montague Golf Course in Randolph, about a half-hour from campus. If you enjoy exploring a variety of courses, the Killington region (roughly 45 minutes from campus) is also home to several excellent courses.  
  2. Take in some nature. From mountain paths to waterfalls, the region is rich with walking trails perfect for all abilities and ages. Ashley Ziai, Manager of Mental Health Services and Academic Accommodations for Vermont Law School, recently took her daughters to Warren Falls, approximately a half hour’s drive from campus. In the opposite direction, “Vermont’s Grand Canyon,” Quechee Gorge, also makes for a pleasant afternoon stroll. Visit All Trails to plan your ideal outdoor adventure!
  3. Take a dip. Generations of Vermont Law School students have enjoyed cooling off in the swift, clear White River, which runs behind campus. There are numerous river access points throughout Royalton and Sharon, perfect for swimming, kayaking, and paddleboarding. If you seek more tranquil waters, you can find them at nearby Lake Morey in Fairlee (a perfect prelude to a night at the drive-in) or at Silver Lake in Barnard.