Soar to New Heights at the Quechee Balloon Festival

Jackson House Inn, Woodstock Vermont

Though there are some really fantastic annual events in the charming village of Woodstock each year, including the popular Wassail Weekend in December, there are some nearly annual events that you should absolutely take note of. One of the best is the annual Quechee Balloon Festival. This festival is a true treat for the senses, offering a captivating scene of hot air balloons rising high into the blue skies over the dramatic Quechee Gorge.

Though the Quechee Balloon Festival is a great event to plan around, it’s just one of the many things to do in Quechee. The village itself is charming, of course, but it’s best known for the Quechee Gorge and the Simon Pearce flagship store and glassblowing studio on the banks of the Ottauquechee River. From soaring high above it all on your own hot air ballooning adventure to hiking the trails in the gorge itself, you’ll find adventure at every turn in Quechee.

When the day is done, drive the ten short miles back to the Jackson House Inn and enjoy staying at one of the best Woodstock, VT, hotels! Though the town of Woodstock is beautiful, with its quintessential New England charm, the best part about staying here is the elegant accommodations you’ll find behind our doors. The Jackson House Inn offers an elegant, classic, and refined place to get away this year. Book your room and enjoy the best of Quechee and Woodstock this year!

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Balloons behind the Simon Pearce Store during the Quechee Balloon Festival in Vermont

Attend the Quechee Balloon Festival in Vermont

The Quechee Balloon Festival is one of our favorite events of the year and is a hallmark of summers in this part of Vermont. Visitors come from near and far to see the stunning hot air balloons take to the sky during the Quechee Balloon Festival – but it’s really about so much more than hot air ballooning. 

The Quechee Balloon Festival, which is the longest-running festival of its kind in New England, has been painting the skies above the Quechee Gorge for 43 years. The event features at least 20 different hot air balloons, with scheduled flights taking place throughout the event, as well as tethered experiences in the balloons as well. But, beyond just being visually stunning, the Quechee Balloon Festival is also a craft and music festival, offering continuous entertainment and more than 50 vendors and artisans.

This year’s Quechee Balloon Festival will take place June 14 – 16. Balloon ascesions are scheduled for 6 pm on Friday night of the festival, and 6 am and 6 pm on Saturday and Sunday. Balloon rides during these ascension events are one of the most popular aspects of the Quechee Balloon Festival and should definitely be booked well in advance. Though they aren’t on sale yet for the year, they will definitely sell out and are a signature part of attending the Quechee Balloon Festival. 

Scenic overview of the Quechee Gorge, a beautiful place to explore after attending the Quechee Balloon Festival

8 More Great Things to Do in Quechee, Vermont

Attending the Quechee Balloon Festival in Vermont is sure to be a highlight of your summer retreat to beautiful Woodstock, but don’t stop there! The festival is fantastic, but it also offers an exceptional opportunity to explore the charming village surrounding the Gorge. From hiking at Quechee Gorge State Park to enjoying lunch overlooking the glassblowing studio at Simon Pearce, you’ll love the broad range of things to do in Quechee. We’ve compiled a list of some of our favorites below. 

  1. No trip to the Quechee Balloon Festival would be complete without a trip to the stunning Quechee Gorge. Also known as Vermont’s “Little Grand Canyon,” the Quechee Gorge is simply spectacular. View it from the bridge above, or take one of the many hiking trails into the gorge itself, and enjoy this naturally beautiful part of the Green Mountain State. 
  2. You can’t visit the charming village of Quechee without also visiting the Simon Pearce Flagship store and restaurant. Witness the art of glassblowing at this renowned workshop, where you can watch the artisans at work in the glassblowing studio along the banks of the Ottauquechee River. 
  3. Another one of the best things to do in Quechee is take a forest canopy walk at the Vermont Institute of Natural Science (VINS). There are live bird exhibits, nature trails, and interactive displays to explore as well. 
  4. Enjoy the sight of the Quechee Covered Bridge, one of many great Vermont-covered bridges in the Woodstock area. 
  5. Visit Vermont’s oldest craft distillery, Vermont Spirits Distilling, Co. They offer complimentary tastings in their Meeting House, along with other tours, tastings, and events.
  6. Head to the Quechee Gorge Village Vermont Antique Mall for some antiquing and enjoy the hunt for untold treasures from the past. 


Whether you’ve come to soar at the Quechee Balloon Festival or are just looking for opportunities to enjoy some of the best of small-town Vermont, we hope you enjoy at least some of these great things to do in Quechee this year. We’ll book up quickly for this event, so now’s the perfect time to book a room at one of the best Woodstock, VT hotels!

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