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25 Top Things to Do in Vermont

Outdoor adventures are just one of the high points of the Green Mountain State.

Iconic New England church in Stowe town during autumn.

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Enchanting views of fall foliage, delicious creemees, tastings at sugarhouses and more await travelers to Vermont.

In 2019 – in an attempt to reverse the state's then-declining population – Vermont was paying people to move there, awarding up to $10,000 as part of a grant program aimed at would-be remote employees of out-of-state companies. Over the last two years, the state has experienced an influx of newcomers relocating there for reasons beyond just a cash incentive (though those grants were still available until recently). In fact, a report this year by a moving company ranked Vermont as the U.S. state with the highest inbound move rate in 2021.

Instead of money, the incentive to move to Vermont is Vermont itself – the same reason people have chosen to vacation here for decades. It's a peaceful, naturally beautiful place to escape, affording outdoor attractions that range from world-renowned ski resorts to the scenic Lake Champlain, which extends into New York and Quebec.

Vermont also touts its share of charismatic small towns, unique lodging choices such as farm stays and all-inclusive resorts , and distinctive food and drink. This destination is worth a visit for its nationally recognized craft beer, the rich offerings of the Vermont Cheese Trail, the maple syrup – since Vermont produces more than 50% of the country's supply – and the "creemees," which are a slightly richer (and arguably tastier) take on soft serve ice cream.

There's no such thing as a bad time to visit Vermont – even the spring mud season has its offbeat perks – but fall is exceptionally beautiful, with perhaps the most stunning foliage in all of New England . Ever seen an iconic photo of a white church amid trees in hues of red and orange? That's Vermont (more specifically, Stowe).

Curious to see the Green Mountain State for yourself? If you're looking for the best things to do in Vermont, these are the experiences that should be on your list.

(Note: Some of the following activities, attractions and locations may be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. New policies may be in place, including capacity restrictions, reservation requirements or mask mandates. Check with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Department of State and local tourism boards before traveling.)

Lake Champlain

A beautiful sunset over Lake Champlain taken from the Vermont side of the lake.

In 1998, Lake Champlain was briefly named one of the Great Lakes after then-President Bill Clinton signed into law a bill in which Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont quietly deemed it as such. Eighteen days – and a heavy dispute – later, the title was rescinded after a determination that, geographically, Lake Champlain doesn't quite measure up to lakes like Superior and Michigan. But residents and tourists today can still recognize it for the great – not to be confused with Great – lake that it is.

With or without the esteemed title, Lake Champlain is a large freshwater lake that spans 435 square miles of surface water and wows visitors with views of the Green Mountains on one side and the Adirondacks on the other. Dozens of public beaches and boat launches line its shores, so you'll find no shortage of opportunities for recreation on the water, including boating, fishing, swimming and keeping an eye out for the mythological lake monster named Champ. The lake's popular island towns such as South Hero offer state parks, farms, orchards, vineyards, and even a few inns and campsites.

Ben & Jerry's Waterbury Factory Tour and Ice Cream Shop

Exterior shot of Ben & Jerry's factory.

Courtesy of Ben & Jerry's

Have you even been to Vermont if you don't take the factory tour at Ben & Jerry's ? At its flagship location in Waterbury (near Stowe), Ben & Jerry's offers 30-minute guided tours that include a short movie on the company's history, an overview of the production process, a look at the manufacturing area and an ice cream tasting. Of course, there's also an on-site ice cream shop and gift shop, and especially charming are the photo ops and Flavor Graveyard, where you can pay your respects to the "dearly de-pinted." Previous visitors confirm it's as touristy as it seems, but fun nonetheless.

Address: 1281 Waterbury-Stowe Road, state Route 100, Waterbury, VT 05676

Looking down Church Street Marketplace in Burlington, Vermont.

One of the top things to do in Vermont is spend a day or two in Burlington , where Church Street Marketplace , the centerpiece of town, offers shopping, restaurants (many with outdoor dining) and lodging such as the boutique Hotel Vermont . Of course, this popular waterfront city also boasts a variety of local breweries. Other highlights in Burlington include ECHO, Leahy Center for Lake Champlain , a science and nature museum; the Ethan Allen Homestead , a historical farmhouse site; and, for those who enjoy quirky attractions, the World's Tallest File Cabinet. Whatever you do, don't bypass the Burlington Bike Path, a pleasant paved trail that runs along Lake Champlain and connects beaches, parks and neighborhoods.

[See more of Burlington: Things to Do | Hotels | When to Visit | Photos ]

Island Line Trail

Aeiral view of Island Line Trail over the water on a sunny day.

Courtesy of Hello Burlington and Local Motion

The Island Line Trail, an extension of the Burlington Bike Path, crosses the middle of Lake Champlain via a 3-mile marble causeway, allowing you to practically touch the water with your feet in some areas; there's nothing quite like it. This rail trail begins in Burlington and follows the route of a railbed – the Island Line – built in 1899 by the Rutland-Canadian Railroad to connect New England to the Great Lakes, until moving freight by other means became cheaper around the 1950s. The railbed remained abandoned until it became a path for pedestrians and cyclists in the 1980s, and this rail trail has been one of the most unique things to do in Vermont ever since. To reach the end of the 14-mile stretch, you have to take a ferry, which bridges a 200-foot gap in the causeway, before continuing the short journey to South Hero Island.

To acquire a bike, check out Local Motion, a rental shop and advocacy organization in Burlington. This outpost offers conventional and hybrid bikes as well as e-bikes and kids bikes; trailers or tag-alongs are available for certain rentals. Local Motion also operates the bike ferry and provides an interactive map of the trail. Both bike rentals and ferry rides are available seasonally from May to October.

Experience the sugarhouses

Steam rises through the open roof of a maple sugar shack. Sign says "Come Visit Out Sugarhouse."

As one of the largest producers of maple syrup, Vermont has thousands of sugarhouses, many of which host Maple Open House Weekends in March with tours and tastings. The events align with sugaring season (and mud season), when oscillating temperatures allow sap to loosen and flow through maple trees for sugar makers to collect. If you don't want to visit Vermont during mud season but still want to learn about syrup production and history, check out Baird Farm in Chittenden, which offers free tours and tastings year-round (reservations required). Previous guests rave about the staff's hospitality here.

[Read: The Top Romantic Getaways in Vermont .]

Try out a delicious creemee

An employee at Canteen Creemee Company holds out a creemee.

Courtesy of Canteen Creemee Company

Creemees are essentially soft-serve ice cream, but there's no real consensus on where the name came from. Perhaps the moniker derives from the fact that Vermont used to make its soft serve higher in butterfat content and, hence, creamier. Either way, the creemee's most iconic flavor is maple, but you can't go wrong with any flavor at places such as Canteen Creemee Company in Waitsfield, The Village Scoop in Colchester and Al's French Frys in Burlington, all of which come recommended by locals and visitors alike. If you're looking for plant-based options, head to Offbeat Creemee in Winooski.

Breweries and beer trails

Closeup of glass of beer with a pink tint. Background hues of festive autumn atmosphere in a bar.

If you like craft beer, chances are Vermont is already on your list of places to visit . Featuring some of the top-rated breweries in the U.S., Vermont is home to The Alchemist in Stowe, whose Heady Topper IPA has a cult following, as well as Freak Folk Bier in Waterbury and Hill Farmstead Brewery in Greensboro. If you really want to immerse yourself in the craft beer scene, follow one of the Vermont Brewers Association's beer trails (available online or on an app where you can take the Vermont Brewery Passport Challenge). Cyclists may want to check out the bike-friendly Burlington Trail, where you can imbibe highly rated beers at Foam Brewers. Pet owners can take advantage of the Dog Friendly Beer Trail to drink alongside furry friends, while the Tiny Trail will take beer enthusiasts exclusively to nano breweries.

Vermont Teddy Bear

What started as a Burlington street cart in 1981 has grown into a full-fledged store and experience in Shelburne, Vermont. At Vermont Teddy Bear, visitors can take a tour of the factory where the now-famous plush bears are made, including the Bear Hospital, where injured or sick teddy bears are lovingly repaired by the resident bear doctor. For an additional fee on top of the tour cost, visitors can make their own teddy bear to take home or gift to someone they love. It's the perfect way to commemorate a trip to Vermont for visitors of all ages. You can also check out the on-site Bear Shop to browse the selection of bears and Vermont-made products.

Address: 6655 Shelburne Road, Shelburne, VT 05482

Simon Pearce Flagship

The Simone Pearce Flagship store, located in a renovated mill, in the evening.

Courtesy of Simon Pearce

Another item to immortalize a trip to Vermont (albeit more expensive than a teddy bear) is a handcrafted piece of glassware or pottery from the Simon Pearce store in Quechee, the namesake studio of a legendary Irish-American entrepreneur and artist who resides in Vermont. Located in a renovated historic woolen mill that's hydroelectrically powered by the Ottauquechee River – an attraction in itself – the artist's flagship store includes a workshop where you can watch craftspeople blowing glass pieces that are sold on-site, in addition to fine dining at The Mill at Simon Pearce, which overlooks a waterfall and covered bridge.

Address: 1760 Quechee Main St., Quechee, VT 05059

Hit the ski slopes in Stowe and beyond

A layer of clouds covers the slopes at Stowe Mountain Resort.

Courtesy of Stowe Mountain Resort

Vermont is a world-renowned destination for skiing, with more than two dozen public ski areas on offer. Among them is Stowe Mountain Resort , nicknamed the "Ski Capital of the East" and considered one of the best places to ski in the U.S. This resort touts 485 acres of skiable terrain that cover Spruce Peak and Mount Mansfield, the highest point in Vermont. Just as good as the skiing and snowboarding is the town of Stowe itself, where shops and restaurants line Main Street and hotels such as Topnotch Resort and The Lodge at Spruce Peak offer luxury accommodations and amenities.

Check out other notable ski resorts such as Killington, the largest ski area on the East Coast, and family-friendly Smugglers' Notch, where winter activities include ski lessons for kids as young as 3, snowshoe scavenger hunts and a winter carnival. On any summer voyage to Vermont, don't overlook resorts such as Okemo, where you can ride what's essentially a flying couch – skiers will know it as a bubble chairlift – and hike to a historic fire tower for 360-degree mountain views.

[See more of Stowe: Things to Do | Hotels | When to Visit | Photos ]

Trapp Family Lodge

One of the hotels that make Stowe a popular place to stay is the Trapp Family Lodge , owned by the von Trapp family (yes, that von Trapp family). After the Trapp Family Singers toured the U.S. in the early 1940s, they decided to settle on a farm in Stowe, which reminded them of their home country, Austria . In the summer of 1950, the family opened a 27-room lodge. Later destroyed by a fire, the Trapp Family Lodge was rebuilt with a variety of accommodations, activities and on-site dining, now including von Trapp Brewing, where you can drink in the resort's history, mountain views, and a craft beer or two.

Address: 700 Trapp Hill Road, Stowe, VT 05672

Vermont Cheese Trail

Vermont sharp white cheddar cheese with flatbread crackers.

All roads lead to cheese on the Vermont Cheese Trail, composed of more than 45 award-winning cheesemakers including Cabot Creamery. Some farms provide tastings and/or tours, while others simply sell their best products. Check out an online map of the Vermont Cheese Trail to see each cheesemaker's location and offerings.

Wondering where to begin your cheesy commute through Vermont? If you like aged cheddar, stop at Grafton Village Cheese or Shelburne Farms. For goat cheese, try the chevre varieties at Blue Ledge Farm. You also can't go wrong with the offerings at Consider Bardwell Cheese. No matter where you go, the products made by Jasper Hill Farm, whose cheeses rank among the best in the world, are more than worth a taste. While its location in the Northeast Kingdom region isn't open to the public, the farm's artisanal cheeses can be found at local grocery stores (and at select stores throughout the U.S.).

Liberty Hill Farm

Pond among green grass at Liberty Hill Farm.

Courtesy of Liberty Hill Farm

For a look at where the cheese process begins, Liberty Hill Farm offers tours and overnight accommodations. Guests of this dairy farm's cozy bed-and-breakfast enjoy a farm-fresh morning meal, afternoon cocoa and cookies, and a hardy dinner each day of their stay – with ingredients including Cabot Creamery cheeses. The biggest draw of a visit to Liberty Hill Farm, however, is the opportunity to feed and milk the resident cows. Even if you don't decide to stay at the inn, you can still book this activity through Airbnb Experiences . When you aren't doing kid-approved farm chores or meeting the animals, you will find plenty to do in the surrounding area. Previous guests, especially families with young children, say their farm experience was enriching, adding that the home-cooked meals are exceptionally good.

Address: 511 Liberty Hill, Rochester, VT 05767

General stores

For all things Americana and Vermont, take some time to browse a kitschy general store or two. The Vermont Country Store is the most famous, of course, with several locations throughout the state. Here you can buy everything from candy and gifts to clothing and kitchenware. But even more interesting is the F.H. Gillingham and Sons store in Woodstock: One of Vermont's oldest general stores still run by the same family, it's owned by descendants of Frank Henry Gillingham, who opened the general store in 1886, and Franklin Billings. Its original customer guarantee, "Your money's worth or your money back," is still honored today. Previous patrons love the vintage vibe of this store, with some calling F.H. Gillingham and Sons a mandatory stop in Woodstock.

Visit the former house and grave of Robert Frost

If you've ever enjoyed Robert Frost's poetry, head to the southwest corner of the state to learn more about the time he spent there. The first poet laureate of Vermont lived in a house in Shaftsbury in the 1920s that has since become the Robert Frost Stone House Museum; visitors can see the room where in 1922 Frost wrote his renowned poem "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening." Explore the poet's life through letters, writing drafts, notes and other documents at this house museum, which is open seasonally from May through October.

Less than 5 miles away, you can make a pit stop at a historic cemetery in Old Bennington, located next to the Old First Church, to visit his grave, which is etched with a line of his poetry: "I had a lover's quarrel with the world." This burial ground is near the also visit-worthy Bennington Battle Monument, a storied structure that happens to be the tallest in Vermont.

Grafton Inn

Hang your hat where Ulysses S. Grant, Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Ralph Waldo Emerson and other well-known figures once hung theirs. You'll see those names and the names of other famous guests in the cozy lobby of this inn, a member of the Historic Hotels of America. Grafton Inn offers individually (and beautifully) furnished rooms, suites and guesthouses on top of top-notch dining. The 1801 Tavern also houses Pine Room Bar, and the Phelps Barn Pub offers live music on select evenings. On-site activities include hiking, mountain biking, disc golf and pond swimming in the summer months, as well as cross-country skiing, snow tubing, snowshoeing and sleigh rides in the winter. There may not be tons to do in the village of Grafton itself – it's a small town with a cheese shop and a mercantile or two – but that's the allure.

Address: 92 Main St., Grafton, VT 05146

Shelburne Museum

The Ticonderoga Steamboat at Shelburne Museum.

Courtesy of Shelburne Museum

The Shelburne Museum has a little bit of everything, with attractions and activities located both indoors and out: The 39 buildings housing its collections are scattered across 45 acres. One popular exhibition can be found in the Circus Building, where you can ogle the fantastical, miniature Arnold Circus Parade, a hand-carved display that nearly runs the length of the 518-foot building. This unconventional museum also features historic Vermont structures, including a rare two-lane covered bridge from 1845, a Lake Champlain lighthouse from 1871 and the 1906 Ticonderoga, a restored 220-foot steamboat and National Historic Landmark that visitors can freely explore. Reviewers say the admission cost may be a bit steep but assure you'll understand why once you see just how special this museum is. Note that the Shelburne Museum is open seasonally from May to October.

Address: 6000 Shelburne Road, Shelburne, VT 05482

Basin Harbor

If there's one place that captures the spirit of Vermont, it's Basin Harbor, a resort whose repeat guests span generations – a true testament to the vacation experience at this lakefront lodge. Tucked into the woods of Vergennes, this enchanting resort offers pet-friendly cottages on the water as well as hotel guest rooms, and a variety of on-site dining options that include al fresco cookouts and lobster dinners on the North Dock. Lake Champlain activities range from narrated cruises and shipwreck tours to tubing and paddleboating, while land-based fun includes hiking, biking, tennis, croquet and badminton. Families especially love knockerball, a game similar to soccer where players are encased in inflatable spheres, as well as the Kids Club, with age-specific groups and activities. Bonus: The resort offers a variety of meal plans, including a Full American Plan that includes three meals daily.

Address: 4800 Basin Harbor Road, Vergennes, VT 05491

The Tyler Place Family Resort

Did you know there are all-inclusive resorts in Vermont? Perhaps the most well-known option is The Tyler Place Family Resort in Swanton. This classic resort offers a variety of cozy accommodations such as cottages with screened porches and kitchenettes – but not kitchens, since breakfast, lunch and dinner are included in nightly rates. Speaking of meals, The Tyler Place has a unique setup for dinner: Adults are encouraged to enjoy a quiet meal while children – who get to eat earlier – play with the newfound friends and counselors they meet via the resort's award-winning programs for kids. Together, families enjoy a seemingly endless array of activities, from banana boating and water skiing on Lake Champlain to biking around the property and exploring the gardens.

Note that The Tyler Place is open seasonally and, with the exception of Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends, requires a Saturday-to-Saturday reservation. Families rave about their stay at the resort, noting that it provides the perfect balance of alone time and family time.

Address: 175 Tyler Place, Swanton, VT 05488

Woodstock Inn & Resort

Spa guest room at Woodstock Inn & Resort.

Courtesy of Woodstock Inn & Resort

The Woodstock Inn & Resort was purchased by Laurance and Mary Rockefeller in 1967, but its history traces back to a small tavern built in 1793. Today this inn is one of the best hotels in Vermont . The historic inn offers lovely guest rooms and suites (including pet-friendly options) that combine the Rockefellers' love of nature and historic preservation. Guests can also enjoy its distinct restaurants, including the award-winning Red Rooster, and a top-rated spa. The hotel also offers an activity center where you can arrange off-site excursions such as Orvis-endorsed fly fishing and mountain biking. Nearby, guests can visit the Billings Farm & Museum, enjoy winter sports at the Suicide Six ski area and stroll the quaint village of Woodstock.

Address: 14 The Green, Woodstock, VT 05091

Northeast Kingdom

Night shot of St. Johnsbury, the largest town by population in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont.

Referred to by locals as the Northeast Kingdom for its natural splendor, this region in the northeast corner of Vermont borders Canada and is more remote than most places in the state (if you can believe it). In addition to its beauty, this area boasts charming dining and lodging options alongside opportunities for agritourism and ecotourism.

Explore the many vacation destinations along the Northeast Kingdom Byway, a 51-mile corridor that makes for a scenic driving tour. In the town of Burke, you'll find Lake Willoughby, Mount Pisgah and Burke Mountain Resort. Animal lovers may want to check out Saint Johnsbury, which has a lively downtown area and the one-of-a-kind Dog Chapel. Newport, a small city with lots of water activities on Lake Memphremagog, is another potential stop in the Northeast Kingdom. Not quite along the byway but still worth a visit is the town of Jay, home to Jay Peak Resort and the Pump House indoor water park (the only one of its kind in Vermont).

Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park

Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Park is the only national park in Vermont as well as the nation's only national park dedicated to conservation history and the evolving nature of land stewardship in the U.S. Both self- and ranger-guided tours of the park allow visitors to explore an on-site mansion featuring esteemed landscape artwork. You can traverse trails that lead to the Pogue, a 14-acre pond, and take in unparalleled views of the village of Woodstock and the surrounding countryside. It's the perfect place to enjoy a picnic lunch. The park also offers Junior Ranger programming for kids.

Address: 54 Elm St., Woodstock, VT 05091

Chalet interior featuring a hot tub at Twin Farms.

Courtesy of Twin Farms

If you're looking for a romantic getaway in Vermont, book a stay at Twin Farms , one of the best Vermont hotels. At this intimate, all-inclusive hotel tucked into the countryside, guests have a choice of guest rooms, suites, cottages and the Farmhouse (whose four suites can be booked individually or together for groups), all of which are equal parts luxurious and cozy. Select cottages allow up to two dogs, with beds, blankets, treats, bowls and waste cans included in the additional pet fee.

Unique activities include bee tours, ax throwing and archery when the weather is warm; in the colder months, guests can enjoy options like ice fishing and skating. Of course, the Bridge House Spa (complete with a glass-brick steam room) is perfect any time of year, as is the seasonally inspired food and wine program. In fact, Twins Farms places an emphasis on the dining experience, with premium meal options including gourmet picnic lunches and private dinners in the on-site wine cellar. Previous guests can't say enough good things about Twin Farms, noting the service is beyond compare.

Address: 452 Royalton Turnpike, Barnard, VT 05031

The Essex, Vermont's Culinary Resort & Spa

Exterior of The Essex, Vermont's Culinary Resort & Spa.

Courtesy of The Essex, Vermont's Culinary Resort & Spa

The Essex is a culinary resort, which means you'll not only get to eat some of the best food you've ever had, but you'll also get to prepare it. At the resort's Cook Academy, hands-on classes – designed for all skill levels – span cake decorating, curated dinners, brunch, sushi rolling, and Vermont beer and cheese pairings. Of course, The Essex also offers phenomenal dining options, notably Junction: an interactive, award-winning restaurant. Other highlights of the resort include a spa, pool and championship tennis courts. Reviewers say they enjoyed their stay at The Essex and also appreciated its close proximity – about 10 miles – to Burlington.

Address: 70 Essex Way, Essex, VT 05452

The Coffee Roost

Guestroom with red and brown walls and a white bed.

Courtesy of Vermont Artisan Coffee & Tea

Wake up to the smell of fresh coffee beans at The Coffee Roost , an Airbnb located above a working coffee roaster. The modernly furnished apartment, which is accessible via a private entrance, features a cozy queen bed and a spacious, fully equipped kitchen with bar seating. Guests appreciate the uniqueness of this Airbnb, along with its close proximity to Stowe and Waterbury.

Address: 11 Cabin Lane, Waterbury Center, VT 05677

You might also be interested in:

  • The Top Things to Do in New Hampshire
  • The Top Things to Do in Maine
  • The Top Things to Do in Rhode Island
  • The Top Things to Do in Brooklyn
  • The Top Romantic Getaways in New Hampshire
  • The Top Romantic Getaways in Maine
  • The Top Boston Harbor Cruises
  • Romantic Hotels Worth a Stay
  • The Top Travel Backpacks

Tags: Travel , New England Vacations , US Vacations

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Craft beer, localvore life, pristine nature: here's the best of Vermont

Berne Broudy

Aug 24, 2021 • 6 min read

Fall Foliage and the Stowe Community Church, Stowe, Vermont, USA; Shutterstock ID 208811758; Your name (First / Last): Trisha Ping; GL account no.: 65050; Netsuite department name: Online Editorial; Full Product or Project name including edition: Trisha Ping/65050/Online Editorial/New England

Stowe is one of Vermont's many scenic towns, no matter the season © DonLand / Shutterstock

Farmer's markets, localvore restaurants, arts and crafts, rural charm, pristine nature and a wealth of history – whatever you’re seeking,  Vermont has it. 

Tucked between six-million-acre Adirondack Park, New Hampshire and the Atlantic Coast, the Green Mountain State is friendly, welcoming and teeming with opportunities to explore in all seasons. Whether you splash around on the shores of one the state's more than 800 lakes, pick ripe apples from the tree or sample maple syrup as it comes out of the boiler, the smallest state capital in the US is ready for adventure. 

Everything feels accessible in Vermont, and it’s easy to put together an itinerary that incorporates so many different kinds of outdoor activities in one day. Whether you're visiting for  Open Studio Weekend , when Vermont’s artists welcome visitors to the spaces where they create, or you want to follow the state’s beer or spirits trail, here’s our list of the best places to visit in Vermont. 

 People walking Church Street in Burlington

Church Street Marketplace, Burlington

In the heart of Burlington , Vermont’s biggest city, is Church Street , a pedestrian mall lined with charming boutiques, superb restaurants, and of course the mandatory Ben & Jerry's. In summer, musicians and street performers delight visitors, while food cart vendors have got delicious local snacks. Shop ‘til you drop and use Church Street as a launchpad for exploring the Queen City. Don't pass up a visit to the calming Lake Champlain shore, only a few blocks away. 

With 7500 residents, Montpelier is the US's smallest state capital by population. This city's focal point is the monumental 1859 Vermont State House, the state's gold-domed Greek Revival capitol. Take some time to visit the landmark's excellent art collection which has decorative and fine art exhibits, some from its permanent collection, and some traveling. Next door at the Vermont History Museum , exhibits recount the state's early history, highlighting Ethan Allen's 18th-century adventures. Meander through downtown Montpelier for bakeries, restaurants, shops and more before heading to Hubbard Park's  observation tower for some of the best views of the capital.  

Vermont’s 7 best hiking trails

Old wooden barn surrounded by colorful trees, farm in autumn landscape

Surrounded by rolling hills and stately horse farms, Woodstock is steeped in history. In 1786, it was a center of commerce, home to both industry and art, and one of Vermont’s largest and wealthiest towns. Relics from that golden era still remain as the town's  Woodstock Inn & Resort attracts city-dwellers to the country for a high-end weekend getaway.  

Visit the circa 1880 pink sandstone Norman Williams Public Library , or Billings Farm & Museum , a functioning dairy farm with an 1890 farmhouse and exhibits that depict farm life like it used to be. 

Nearby, a web of trails in Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park (the state’s first national park) invites walkers and nature lovers to explore. Take a dip or drop a line in the Ottauquechee River. It flows through the center of town and under the area's three historic covered bridges.

Most of the year, the three Villages that comprise Tunbridge, Vermont are pretty quiet. A few visitors wander to admire their five covered bridges, But in mid-September, Tunbridge comes alive. Vermont has many agricultural fairs, but the Tunbridge World’s Fair , which has taken place in Tunbridge continuously since 1867, is the most famous.

Held in mid-September, the fair features farming and agricultural demonstrations and contests, both modern and historical, as well as arm wrestling, ox pulls and displays of the biggest and best produce and pies Vermonters can grow or make. Rides, contra dancing and a fantastic beer garden round out the offerings. But it’s the pig race that steals the show. 

Community Church, Stowe, Vermont

Just off of Mount Mansfield (Vermont's highest peak), Stowe is a classic New England town packed with local commerce and surrounded by natural beauty and landmarked by the historic white spires of Community Church. 

For the best of the area's nature trails, hop on a mountain bike for a tour of Cady Hill before rewarding yourself with a fresh-from-the-farm lunch at the Sunday farmer's market. Stay on the bike to glide along Stowe’s riverside rec path and route to one of the town’s many swimming holes. Stowe is famous for its superb skiing, both alpine and Nordic. Even if it’s not ski season,  Vermont’s Ski History Museum brings skiing alive through its collections of gear and artifacts from ski seasons past. 

Drive the Mt. Mansfield Toll Road or hike the Long Trail to the summit of Mt. Mansfield for sweeping views of New England. Catch the Vermont Symphony Orchestra for a concert at Trapp Family Lodge ; the stunning sunset and superb music will make it unforgettable. 

Vermont’s best road trips  

Lake Willoughby, Northeast Kingdom

Five miles long and up to 320ft deep, Lake Willoughby is a glacially-formed lake that’s a National Natural Landmark. Carved deep into Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom, the lake lies between Mt. Pisgah and Mt. Hor, which together form the fjord-like Willoughby Gap. 

In the late 1800s, steamboats paraded visitors around the lake. Now, public beaches at the north and south ends provide summer fun for swimmers and paddlers. Fishermen cast a line here for lake and rainbow trout, landlocked Atlantic salmon and native round whitefish. 

At least 100 bird species populate this waterway: thrushes, warblers, hummingbirds, jays, finches, loons, herons, gulls and the rare peregrine falcon, which nests in the cliffs of Mt. Pisgah and Mt. Hor. 

Scenic autumn landscape at Smuggler's Notch State Park

Smuggler’s Notch

During the War of 1812, the twisty, windy, cliff-lined, boulder-strewn mountain horse path between Underhill and Stowe was the mainline for supplies going to and coming from Canada. It played a similar role for booze during prohibition. And it was also part of the Underground Railroad. Now, a narrow, snaking road replaces the historic path through Mt. Mansfield State Forest. 

Drive it and explore the boulder field at the top where smugglers hid, and where now you’ll see rock climbers and boulderers ascending. Though the Notch is closed in winter, it’s just as busy with skiers, snowshoers, sledders and ice climbers. 

A sailboat in autumn on Lake Champlain

Lake Champlain

The sixth-largest lake in the United States, Lake Champlain , forms the western border of Vermont. At times, it's been a Revolutionary War battleground, a supplier of ships in the War of 1812, a "line” in the Underground Railroad and home to the mythical monster Vermonters affectionately call “ champ .” 

At 125 miles long and nearly 15 miles wide, the freshwater lake is sprinkled with motorboats, paddle boats and sailboats in the summer. Put in at any of the boat launches, marinas or beaches, and you could follow the lake north to Quebec via the Richlieu and St. Lawrence Rivers, or south to the Hudson River and Manhattan. 

Take a ferry to New York, including the historic Ticonderoga cable ferry (currently closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, check their website for updates) or splash around on one of the lake’s many public beaches.

Explore the Champlain Islands, north of Burlington, and sample from the region’s best wineries, or pick apples in the Lake Shore’s fertile groves. Beneath its sometimes glassy, sometimes turbulent surface lies 300 historic shipwrecks. Dive them or learn about them at  Lake Champlain Maritime Museum . Lake Champlain is also one of the top bass fishing lakes in North America. 

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Gregrob1980

PlanetWare.com

20 Top-Rated Attractions & Places to Visit in Vermont

Written by Barbara Radcliffe Rogers Updated Jun 23, 2023

Vermont is equal parts myth and reality, home to a mystique that other states can only envy. A mere mention of its name, and images appear: sunlit meadows of black-and-white cows, dazzling white ski trails, tidy hillside farms, blazing red maple trees along a stone wall, covered bridges , buckets collecting sap for maple syrup.

Certainly these idyllic scenes still exist, although less picturesque plastic tubing has replaced most of the buckets, and many of the farms may now be chic B&Bs where you can stay while sightseeing.

Taftsville covered bridge in Vermont

Another Vermont exists alongside this idealized one, represented by bustling Burlington , the outlet malls of Manchester, Killington's frenetic après-ski scene, and Brattleboro's unlikely blend of gritty blue-collar and '70s hippies grown up.

Even the state's mainstay of agriculture has a new look, as dozens of artisanal cheese makers transform Vermont's dairy industry, and tourists eagerly follow the Vermont Cheese Trail to sample them.

Other trails lead to traditional tourist attractions: maple farms boiling sap and welcoming visitors each March, and covered bridges – seven of them in the far northern town of Montgomery alone. You'll enjoy both Vermonts.

I live 20 miles from Brattleboro, Vermont, where I do my shopping at the Farmer's Market and in the locally owned stores on Main Street. My travels frequently take me back and forth across the Connecticut River, which separates my western New Hampshire town from my favorite skiing and hiking trails in Vermont's Green Mountains. I consider both states to be our backyard.

Join me to discover the best things to see and do there, with this list of the top attractions and places to visit in Vermont.

2. Church Street Marketplace

4. mount mansfield and smugglers notch, 5. burlington bike path and waterfront park, 6. vermont's year-round ski resorts, 7. quechee gorge, 8. bennington battle monument and museum, 9. marsh-billings-rockefeller national historic park, 10. lake champlain, 11. billings farm & museum, 12. visit a maple farm, 13. brattleboro farmers' market, 14. ben & jerry's, 15. shelburne museum, 16. fairbanks museum & planetarium, 17. montshire museum of science, 18. rock of ages quarry and hope cemetery, 19. park-mccullough historic governor's mansion, 20. green mountain national forest.

Stowe

With a covered bridge, white-spired church, weathered barns, and ski trails down the mountainside, Stowe is everybody's image of Vermont. At the foot of Mt. Mansfield and in the heart of the state's snow belt, it's also the town that most personifies the glory days of Vermont's early ski industry, a heritage that's explored here in the Vermont Ski Museum .

Although avid skiers had climbed the mountain long before that, and a rope tow was installed in 1937, things really took off in 1940, when the first chairlift was opened. Stowe Mountain Resort is still one of New England's premier ski destinations, and the gondola that carries skiers in the winter takes sightseers to the summit for more views in the summer and fall.

It's not all about skiing and the mountain; you'll find shops and boutiques, art galleries, dining, and lodging of all sorts. Exhibits of works by Vermont-based artists are shown in the Helen Day Art Center and you can find quality Vermont- and New England-made jewelry, glass and fiber arts at Remarkable Things at Stowe Craft at the beginning of Mountain Road. When hunger strikes, I like to grab a hand-built sandwich at Back Cap Coffee & Bakery on Main St.

You can rent bicycles to ride, or you can walk or skate along the 5.3-mile Stowe Recreation Path , a paved multi-use route through meadows and woods alongside the river, with beautiful views of Mt. Mansfield. The best views of Mt. Mansfield's distinctive profile are from the upper part of the path, which you can access from Thompson Park, on Mountain Road.

You can find things to do here all year, and you'll quickly see why it's considered one of the best small towns in Vermont .

Author's Tip: If your canine friend accompanies you to Stowe, look for the 1.8-mile Quiet Path, a low-impact extension of the Recreation Path, where dogs can run free. You can reach it from Cemetery or Mayo Farm Rd.

Church Street Marketplace in the evening, Burlington

In the heart of downtown Burlington , Church Street is only four blocks long, but it forms a wide, traffic-free space for public events and a lively street life even in Vermont's cold winters. Along with the festivals scheduled throughout the year, it's a place for sidewalk cafes, benches, and public artworks, and the buildings alongside it are filled with shops, restaurants, and boutiques. In the summer, when everyone is outdoors, it has the feel of an Italian piazza.

A mural, Everyone Loves a Parade! by Canadian muralist Pierre Hardy decorates a wall, and other artworks include a life-sized statue of a local jazz artist and a fish fountain crafted of metal. It's no wonder this has been named one of the Great Public Spaces in America; it's also listed as a National Register Historic District.

Opposite Church Street, The Flynn Center hosts top performers and musicians, in a state-of-the-art theater.

Author's Tip: For bargains that will astonish you, go downstairs at Outdoor Gear Exchange , part sale and clearance clothing and gear, and part consignment shop. My daughter bought a name-brand jacket there for less than ¼ its original price. So, if you find that your children have outgrown their ski boots or jacket, you could leave them there for sale instead of hauling them home from vacation.

Address: Church Street, Burlington, Vermont

Hildene

Robert Todd Lincoln, son of the president, visited Manchester with his mother shortly before his father's assassination. After he had become president of Pullman Company, in the early 20th century, he returned to build the Georgian Revival Hildene as his country estate.

Hildene represents a fine example of homes built as retreats for the families of wealthy magnates and is furnished with several pieces from Mrs. Lincoln's family. Personal belongings of President Lincoln include his famous stovepipe hat.

Other highlights are the thousand-pipe 1908 Aeolian organ, in working condition, and the elegant dining room furnished in Queen Anne style. The home remained in the Lincoln family until 1975, thus preserving the original furnishings and memorabilia. The formal gardens on the terrace overlooking the broad valley have been restored from records of original plantings.

If you can, go to Hildene in late May or early June, when the formal garden is filled with more than a thousand bright peonies in full bloom. These blossoms, some the size of dinner plates, fill the air with their heady fragrance. Mesmerized by the peonies and by the view that reaches across the Battenkill Valley to the mountains beyond, I couldn't stop clicking photos.

You can stay in another of these elegant mansions built in Manchester by wealthy industrialists. The Inn at Ormsby Hill , near Hildene, is now an elegant bed-and-breakfast.

Address: 1005 Hildene Road, Manchester, Vermont

Winding road through Smugglers Notch

Mountain Road climbs out of Stowe and up the shoulder of Mount Mansfield, past Stowe Mountain Resort, where a gondola carries skiers and sightseers to the summit. Beyond the resort, the road narrows to snake through Smugglers' Notch, one of Vermont's most engaging natural attractions.

The road through this pass between Mount Mansfield and Spruce Peak is so tight and narrow as it winds upward that at some curves only a single car can pass through the openings between the giant boulders.

Snowplows can't get through it in the winter, when the road closes just past the ski area. The rest of the year, you can park the car and walk the paths among this massive jumble of glacial rock and discover the caves where 19th-century smugglers once hid.

The caves and gigantic boulders were formed when the glacier stalled here during the last ice age, smashing the mountain ledges and dropping them into the notch, where they were carved and tumbled by more glacial action.

Snow-covered Mount Mansfield

Mansfield is Vermont's highest mountain, and at its top are sweeping views and more than two miles of ridge-top hiking above tree line . This is one of only two places in Vermont where rare arctic-alpine tundra exists. A number of routes reach its summit. The Long Trail crosses Route 108 at the foot of Smugglers' Notch, climbing steadily for 2.3 miles to the ridgeline.

Although the Long Trail traversing the ridgetop is one of the top hiking trails in Vermont , there are easier ways to get to the summit of Mt. Mansfield. Built for skiers, in summer and fall the Gondola SkyRide is a sightseeing attraction, revealing summit views to Lake Champlain, New York's Adirondacks and New Hampshire's White Mountains. The 10-minute ride on the gondola takes you close to the Long Trail, so you can hike the summit part for the best views.

Driving the Auto Toll Road takes about 20 minutes, and from its terminus you can also access trails to the summit ridge, or just enjoy the views from there. The Toll Road isn't scary – there are no vertigo-inducing drop-offs (or I wouldn't drive it) – and a lot better value than the gondola. The Toll Road costs less for a car and up to six passengers than a gondola ticket for one person.

Both the Gondola SkyRide and Auto Toll Road are open through foliage season in the fall.

Close to the point where the Long Trail crosses Route 108 at the base of Smugglers' Notch, Topnotch Resort is a luxurious base for exploring the area, with mountain views, three pools, a full-service spa, and a fine-dining restaurant.

Waterfront Park in Burlington

A paved bicycle path borders eight miles of Burlington's Lake Champlain shoreline, extending from Oakledge Park north to the Winooski River. Alongside is a graded path for walkers and runners, with benches at points with the best views across the lake.

The path connects several parks that mark the shoreline, and a boardwalk forms a promenade along the central section. Here, you'll find the ECHO Leahy Center for Lake Champlain and Vermont's only All-America Display Garden , where flowering ornamental plants bloom through summer and fall.

Waterfront Park is the site of several festivals in the summer, and picnic tables along the route invite a lakeside lunch. In the spring, the path is lined by brilliant blooming azaleas and at any time of year, this is Vermont's best spot for watching the spectacular sunsets over Lake Champlain .

Sugarbush Resort, Vermont

From the slopes of Mount Snow in the south to Jay Peak in the north, skiing extends the entire length of Vermont. Some of the top ski resorts in the east are here, and the state's nearly two dozen ski mountains offer downhill ski experiences for everyone, from young children and beginners to experts training for the Olympics. State-of-the-art snowmaking and grooming keeps slopes and trails in top condition from December through March.

Winter isn't the only time you can enjoy Vermont's ski resorts , however. The larger ones have on-mountain activities all year, offering mountain slides, rope courses, mountain biking, and scenic rides on the lifts that carry skiers to the summits in the winter. Resorts at the base have spas, swimming pools, Segway rides, golf, and activities for all ages.

Okemo Mountain Resort has the Timber Ripper Mountain Coaster; a spa; a mountain bike park; scenic chairlift rides; disc and miniature golf; and the Haulback Challenge Course, an aerial journey from tree to tree. Killington Ski Resort has the Beast Mountain Coaster, a ropes course, and an Adventure Center.

Stowe Mountain Resort whisks visitors to the top on the state's only gondola lift, or drivers can ascend to the summit of Mt. Mansfield on the Toll Road. Stratton Mountain has a mountain bike park and a 27-hole championship golf course.

In the winter, each resort has its own individual style and atmosphere that draws its loyal fans. For example, the two major mountains in central Vermont, Okemo and Killington, although close geographically, couldn't be farther apart in style or atmosphere.

Both offer top-quality skiing and boarding, but while Okemo has a family vacation vibe of a mountain ski village, after the lifts close Killington is all about the nightlife and apres-ski scene, with a road lined by evening venues as its nucleus. For me, the important thing is that they both have "bubble" chairlifts with domes to break the mountains' icy winds (as do Stowe and Mount Snow).

Quechee Gorge

Vermont's deepest gorge was formed by glaciers about 13,000 years ago, and has continued to deepen by the constant action of the Ottauquechee River, which you will see flowing 165 feet below. The best place to view Quechee Gorge is from the walkway along the arched iron bridge that carries Route 4 across the top, about 7 miles from Woodstock .

A trail leads through the woods beside the rim to the bottom of the gorge, where you can see the lower part of it from water level. Close to the gorge, also on Route 4, is the excellent Vermont Institute of Natural Sciences (VINS) , a nature center where injured raptors are rehabilitated and returned to the wild.

Address: Route 4, Quechee, Vermont

 Bennington Battle Monument

The 306-foot-high obelisk, visible for miles around, commemorates the 1777 battle fought about five miles west of Bennington, which turned the tide against the British by splitting British General John Burgoyne's forces in half, making the final American victory possible. You can bypass the monument's 412 steps by taking an elevator to the top for views.

The nearby Bennington Museum is best known for its extensive collection of works by primitive folk artist Grandma Moses, along with her schoolhouse painting studio.

The museum is also especially strong in its collections of Bennington pottery, furniture, toys, American glassware, and Victorian quilts. You'll also find fine art and artifacts from the colonial and Civil War periods.

Between the monument and museum, you'll pass the lovely little settlement of Old Bennington with its 1762 Old First Church. In the cemetery behind it is the grave of Robert Frost , and fans of his poetry will want to stop, as I always do, to pay respects. His tombstone is marked with the epitaph he chose for himself: "I had a lover's quarrel with the world."

Address: Route 9, Bennington, Vermont

Mansion in the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historic Park

The only national park to concentrate on land stewardship in America incorporates both a working farm and a Victorian mansion on the hill above, set in formal gardens designed by several of America's foremost landscape architects.

The Queen-Anne-style mansion is decorated with the finest of Victorian artistry, including embossed wallpaper and stained-glass windows by Tiffany & Co. Also displayed in the house is the Rockefellers' collection of works by artists of the Hudson River School.

Both rail magnate Frederick Billings, and later, the Rockefellers were dedicated to land conservation and used this property to put it into practice. You can walk the trails on Mt. Tom, where park rangers can explain forestry practices and help identify trailside plants and trees.

Tours of the art-filled Rockefeller home and grounds include themes of gardening, forestry, and their relationship to conservation.

Note to parents: my kids loved getting their Junior Ranger book at the Carriage Barn Visitor Center and taking a self-guided trip through the Junior Ranger loop. They left proudly wearing their badges (crafted from wood grown in the park). In July and August kids can join special events.

Address: River Road, Woodstock, Vermont

Grand Isle State Park on Lake Champlain

Extending for 120 miles between Vermont and New York, with its northern tip in Canada, Lake Champlain lies mostly in Vermont, and draws visitors for its recreation, wildlife, and historical attractions. Its watershed covers more than 8,000 square miles.

Much of its 587 miles of shoreline are undeveloped; a haven for wildlife; and one of the best places to visit in Vermont for canoeists, kayakers, and sailors. On the Vermont side, 318 species of birds depend on Lake Champlain, and 81 species of fish swim in its waters.

According to Samuel de Champlain, for whom the lake is named, a 20-foot serpent-like creature also swims in the lake. His was the first, but certainly not the last reported sighting of what is now known as " Champy ." You might catch sight of it from one of the several lake cruises, or even from one of the three ferries that cross to the New York side from Charlotte, Burlington, and Grand Isle. ( I have not seen Champy myself, so I'm not making any promises.)

Lake Champlain

Several wildlife reserves protect its shore and neighboring wetlands, including the Dead Creek WMA , where thousands of migrating snow geese stop to rest in late October. You can learn more about the ecology at the ECHO Leahy Center for Lake Champlain , on the waterfront in Burlington.

The Lake Champlain Maritime Museum , overlooking Basin Harbor in Vergennes, explores the lake's role in the Revolution and War of 1812. You can also visit Mount Independence , an important sister fort to Fort Ticonderoga across the lake in New York, and attacked in July 1777. Learn more at the visitor center and explore the 400-acre site with the help of trail maps with historical notes and descriptions.

Although Champlain doesn't have the quiet intimacy of many lakes in Vermont , you'll find plenty of things to do along its shores and in its waters. Several state parks north of Burlington have sandy beaches. The longest is the 2000-foot beach at Sand Bar State Park , its gently sloping shore good for young children. You can rent boats here and on the beach at Grand Isle State Park.

Except in protected bays, these waters are not for beginning kayakers, but the bays and shoreline campsites of Knight Island State Park make a great adventure for those who can paddle more than 3 miles of open water.

Author's Note: Pay close attention to the weather forecast so you won't be caught, as I once was, in a sudden thunderstorm. Waves and wind can make a lake the size of Champlain seem like mid-ocean.

Billings Farm & Museum

Spreading across the wide, flat landscape of the Ottauquechee River valley, the Billings Farm & Museum carries on the education mission of Frederick Billings, former owner of the farm and of the forests above that are now part of the national park. Billings created the farm to demonstrate the value of sound environmental practices in raising livestock.

The working farm continues to educate, as well as show what Vermont farming and rural life was like in the days before modern equipment did much of the work. You can tour the farm manager's house and dairy, visit livestock barns, watch cattle milking, make your own butter, and learn other old-fashioned rural skills in hands-on programs.

The small museum shows tools and equipment used in daily farm activities, such as ice-harvesting and maple sugaring, in eye-catching and informative exhibits.

Author Barbara Radcliffe Rogers at the Sunflower House

Try to visit in August or early September when the Sunflower House is in full bloom. Each spring, 20,000 square feet of field is planted in more than 100 varieties of sunflower, some growing as tall as 14 feet. Arranged in a circular labyrinth pattern, the flowers are massed by variety, with colors varying from yellow to orange to red; some are as short as 18 inches and others had multiple rows of petals and centers so small they looked more like dahlias.

Address: 69 Old River Road, Woodstock, Vermont

Maple syrup farm in Vermont

The maple trees that bring a blaze of color to Vermont's autumn landscape also make Vermont the nation's top producer of maple syrup. The time to be here for the complete maple experience is late February through early April, when sugar houses are at full boil and you can sample the golden syrup as it's made.

That's the time for "sugaring off" parties and the chewy candy made by pouring syrup onto snow. Many farms take visitors into the grove – called a sugar bush – by horse-drawn sled or wagon, and some serve hot cider and fresh cider doughnuts.

Two of these farms you can visit at any time of year to learn about the process and sample syrup and other maple products. Morse Farm Maple Sugarworks in Montpelier is an 8th generation family-owned maple syrup farm, where you can sample maple products and see displays on tapping trees and making syrup. The gift shop has a selection of maple goodies and other Vermont-made products. As a bonus, there is an outdoor Vermont farm life museum, too.

At Sugarbush Farm in Woodstock, you can sample two classic Vermont products: maple syrup and cheese. Both are produced at the 3 rd -generation farm, and if there's cheesemaking in process in the dairy, you can watch. The shop also offers samples of jams, mustards, smoked meats, and other locally made delicacies.

Author's Tip: Driving to Sugarbush Farm, you'll feel as though you are heading deeper and deeper into nowhere, but have faith—a series of signs will point you the right way at every intersection. A word of advice, however: without four-wheel drive, don't go in March "mud season."

Brattleboro Farmers Market

In a region known for its small farms and agriculture, Brattleboro Farmers' Market is the poster child of farmers markets. More than a place to buy fresh-picked vegetables and fruit from small independent local farmers, it is a social event, a meeting place, a Saturday lunch stop, and part of the weekend routine for southern Vermonters.

You'll find old favorite vegetables and all the trendy new varieties, along with flowers, artisanal breads, farm cheeses, handmade soap, local honey, maple syrup, pottery, jewelry, smart scarves, and French pastries. Plan to be there around lunchtime, when there will nearly always be live music and maybe Morris dancers on the shaded lawn.

Some vendors sell prepared foods to eat at picnic tables under the trees. You may find savory stews from Mali, Thai noodles, Lebanese dolmas, even Breton crepes. In the winter, the market moves indoors to a Main Street location.

A Saturday morning tradition for my family, the farmers' market isn't just about the fresh vegetables and fruit. I get tips for growing herbs and suggestions on how to cook foraged ramps and fiddlehead ferns. And I get fresh-squeezed lemonade and eat really great Thai food for lunch while listening to music and watching the kids play in the big sandbox. It gets the weekend started right.

Brattleboro itself is a cultural and social phenomenon, one of Vermont's few towns with an industrial past, but also one where back-to-the-landers settled in the 1960s and '70s and never left. The arts flourish here, and on any night of the week, you'll find a choice of gallery openings, performances, classes, community action meetings, concerts, public forums, and other activities.

Address: Route 9, West Brattleboro, Vermont

Ben & Jerry's factory

Unquestionably Vermont's most popular tourist attraction for children, Ben & Jerry's factory tour is a favorite experience for adults, too. On the 30-minute guided tour of the factory, you'll watch workers as they make and package ice cream, while a guide explains the process.

On days when the factory is not operating, you'll still see inside it, but a movie will show it in action. Of course, a sample of the day's flavor is included, and you can sample more flavors before choosing your favorite at their scoop shop.

The gift shop sells B&J goods, and you can take ice cream with you in insulated carriers. Be sure to visit the Flavor Graveyard to mourn the loss of their "dearly de-pinted" flavors and to smile at the past tongue-in-cheek names. In case you wondered, my favorite is rich, dark "Chocolatey Love A-fair" -- chocolate with salted caramel swirls, caramel chunks and sea salt fudge.

Address: Route 100, Waterbury, Vermont

Historic barn at the Shelburne Museum

Restored historic buildings and the collections they house at the open-air Shelburne Museum reflect Vermont's rich history and America's folk and fine art traditions. You can explore a round barn; the lake steamer SS Ticonderoga (now on dry land); a lake lighthouse; a barn filled with vintage carriages and wagons; a print shop; and collections of carved decoys, American quilts, handmade hatboxes, hooked rugs, and trains, in a bucolic village setting among manicured gardens.

In contrast to the simple farms represented at the museum, you can glimpse an entirely different kind of farming in New England at nearby Shelburne Farms . The grand turreted barns and farmyard of this 1400-acre working "gentleman farm" are still in operation, and you can sample their cheese, visit the gardens, and even have tea, depending on the tour you choose.

Address: 6000 Shelburne Road, Shelburne

Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium

Exuding all the charm and fascination of an old-time Victorian museum, without the mustiness, the museum endowed by the owner of Fairbanks Scales covers subjects from Vermont wildflowers to the mysteries of the universe.

The 1891 Fairbanks Museum building, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, exhibits many of the usual things you'd expect – mounted birds and animals, Native American stone tools, Civil War memorabilia – as well as many delightful surprises. Take, for example, the bizarre collection of Victorian portraits of Washington, Lincoln, and others formed entirely of bugs and beetles.

Vermonters love visiting the live broadcast studio for their favorite weather report, Eye on the Sky. Downstairs is a hands-on nature center with wasp hives, frogs, iguanas, and creepy things kids love. Planetarium programs examine the sky above St. Johnsbury and beyond.

Across the street is the St. Johnsbury Athenaeum , whose Art Gallery was added in 1873, making it the oldest art gallery in the United States still in its original form. The collection features American and European artists from the late 18th- to mid-19th century.

These and other outstanding examples of Victorian architecture on Main St. are described in a walking tour map of the street, available at the museum.

Address: 1302 Main Street, St. Johnsbury, Vermont

Montshire Museum of Science

"Do touch," seems to be the motto of the Montshire , where each of its 125 exhibits begs for hands-on interaction. Kids can make soap bubbles grow bigger than they are, understand how movies are made by creating their own, experiment with light beams, navigate a labyrinth powered by air, watch a live boa constrictor, or see leafcutter ants at work demolishing foliage.

Even the building is designed for curious kids, with color-coded ventilation ducts and exposed construction supports. Nature trails explore the 110 acres of grounds alongside the Connecticut River.

Address: 1 Montshire Road, Norwich, Vermont

Rock of Ages Quarry

Granite quarries were founded at Barre after the War of 1812 and are still operating today. You can visit the Rock of Ages quarry, a staggering hole in the earth, and at 550 feet wide, a quarter mile long, and 450 feet deep, the world's largest quarry.

Barre granite's exceptionally fine grain makes it the preferred stone for finely detailed, durable outdoor sculpture, such as monuments and architectural detail. While there, along with touring the quarry and workshops, you can sand-blast your own granite souvenir, and go bowling on what is believed to be the world's only outdoor granite lane. (No, the bowling balls are not made of granite.)

Barre drew expert stone workers and carvers, many from Italy, and as you might expect, you can find their work in public sculptures and in Hope Cemetery . This is filled with elaborate carvings by early-20th-century stonecutters, highlighted by some remarkably lifelike sculptures and by symbols of employment or favorite pastimes: a soccer-ball, an oil truck, or an outdoor scene with a fishing rod.

Address: 558 Graniteville Road, Graniteville, Vermont

Park-McCullough Historic Governor's Mansion

One of New England's finest examples of Victorian architecture and decoration, the Park-McCullough Historic Governor's Mansion is also one of the best preserved. The 35-room mansion represents the height of the Second Empire style popular in the 1860s, with finely detailed construction and artistic features.

The mansion remained in the same family for generations, so it is furnished with original pieces and decorative arts that show the opulence and tastes of the mid-Victorian era. Surrounded by manicured grounds and gardens, the mansion is open from spring through fall and hosts cultural events, including a classical music series, theater performances, and a summer croquet league.

Address: 1 Park Street, North Bennington, Vermont

Green Mountain National Forest

Vermont's vast National Forest lies in two sections along the mountain chain that forms the state's spine–and makes east-west travel a challenge. Nearly every route across these mountains leads over a gap, a mountain pass that may be good for viewing the scenery, but not so good for winter travel. In fact, some of these roads close entirely during the winter.

Follow these the rest of the year to discover waterfalls, National Forest campgrounds, scenic places to picnic, trails to hike, and a world of nature. The Appalachian Trail crosses through the southern section of the National Forest, and the Long Trail follows the chain the entire length of the state from the Canadian to the Massachusetts borders.

Route 100 , often called "The Skiers' Highway," weaves back and forth among the mountains as it makes its way north, connecting many of Vermont's ski areas, from Mount Snow to Stowe and Jay Peak . Route 9 crosses the Green Mountains in the south; Route 73 traverses Brandon Gap; Route 125 climbs over Middlebury Gap (passing Texas Falls ); and Route 17 climbs Appalachian Gap, the highest that is open in the winter, at 2,356 feet.

I like camping at the well-maintained campgrounds located throughout the National Forest, especially those at Moosalamoo (near Middlebury), Silver Lake and Hapgood Pond. The latter, near Manchester, also has a day-use recreation area with swimming, canoeing, kayaking, and fishing. It is the only place in the Green Mountain National Forest where a day use pass is needed.

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What to Do in Vermont: In addition to those described here, there are more attractions to see in Burlington , and you can explore outside the city on Vermont's outstanding hiking trails . Or you can enjoy winter sports at any of Vermont's top ski resorts .

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Where to Go Next: Just a ferry ride across Lake Champlain are the Adirondack Mountains, one of the top attractions of New York state . This is a popular area for hiking, camping, and other outdoor pursuits. And across the Connecticut River to the east is New Hampshire , where you'll find mountains, lake and ocean beaches , and top-rated resorts.

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60 Incredible Things To Do In Vermont & Best Places To Visit (2024)

Even though Vermont is the second least populated state in the U.S., it’s packed with so many incredible, bucket list-worthy things to do. People vacation the Green Mountain State looking for picturesque countryside, cozy small towns and stunning mountain vistas, and I’m thrilled to tell you that’s exactly what you can expect when you visit!

Whether you’re visiting for the first time and are looking for the top things to do in Vermont, or you’re a seasoned Green Mountain State traveler and are looking to make sure you’ve seen it all, this is the best list you’ll find of all the amazing things Vermont has to offer. Of course, there’s so much more than 60 things to do, but this will give you a pretty epic start 🙂

Vermont was the very first getaway my husband and I took together when we first started dating. It’s also where we honeymooned, and we’ve been back countless times since. I’ve really done and seen so much in this gorgeous state, and I’m so excited to share all the best things to do with you.

So, are you ready? Let’s start planning your next trip together!

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Best Things To Do In Vermont

In no particular order, here are all my suggestions on the top things to add to your Vermont itinerary!

1. Tour Hildene

Hildene is the Vermont Lincoln Family home, and is definitely one of the most awesome things to do when visiting!

One amazing thing to see in Vermont that’s equal parts historic and breathtaking is Hildene, The Lincoln Family Home. Located In Manchester in the southern part of the state, this stunning estate allows visitors to tour the interior, as well as the grounds.

And what a lot of people don’t realize about Hildene is that even if you’re not a history person, it’s worth visiting just to walk around the grounds because it offers some of the best mountain views in Vermont.

Hildene is the former summer home of Robert Todd Lincoln (the son of President Lincoln), and his wife, Mary. It stayed in the Lincoln family until the 1970s, too! The interior of the estate is a perfect snapshot of history brought to life, and the grounds include beautiful gardens, mountain views and nature trails. It’s wonderful to visit year-round.

2. Visit Stowe

Strolling through Main Street is one of the best things to do in Stowe, VT.

I love so many towns in Vermont for different reasons, but Stowe is one that I recommend a lot to first-timer’s when visiting, especially in the fall and winter seasons. Not only is the actual town picture-perfect with covered bridges and quaint boutiques, but it’s also home to world-class foliage, stunning mountain vistas and incredible ski resorts.

Some of the top things to do in Stowe include taking the gondola up to Vermont’s highest mountain summit (Mount Mansfield), walking down Main Street to visit the shops, browsing Stowe Mercantile and strolling down the Recreation Path. But there are so many more things to do, so be sure to click the link below to check out my post on Stowe!

Click here to check out my post on the best things to do in Stowe!

3. Stroll Around Manchester

Downtown Manchester, VT. This is one of the best summer day trips in New England because of the fun opportunities to go tubing in the river!

Home to Hildene, and so much more, Manchester is a wonderful town to explore in southern Vermont. With a charming downtown that has a great mix of independent shops and retail outlet chains, awesome restaurants, hiking, great hotels and resorts and waterfalls, this is one you’ll want to add to your Vermont bucket list.

One of the best shops to check out in Manchester is Northshire, which is an awesome book and gift shop with really cool finds. Lye Brook Falls, hiking up Mount Equinox and touring the nearby covered bridges should also be on your list.

4. Hit The Slopes At Amazing Ski Resorts

Once the winter season rolls around, it’s time to hit the slopes in Vermont! And there’s really no shortage of amazing ski resorts to check out in Vermont.

Stowe Resort, Killington, Mad River Glen, Okemo Mountain, Jay Peak and Sugarbush are the top-rated ski destinations, but you’ll find more all over that are worth your time.

Cross-country skiing is also wonderful in Vermont. In fact, Stowe is home to the first cross-country ski center in the U.S., which can be found at the Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe.

5. Inner Tube Down A River

Switching gears back to the summer season for a bit, let’s talk about all the fun opportunities in Vermont to float down a lazy river. All over the state, you’ll find places that rent out inner tubes, and even pick you up at the end of the river so you don’t have to find your way back to the car.

On a hot summer day, this is the perfect way to relax in the Green Mountain State!

Some awesome places to check out for river tubing in Vermont are Vermont River Tubing in Stockbridge, Vermont River Runners and Big Big on the Battenkill.

6. Take In The Views From Vermont’s Highest Peak

One of the best photo spots in Stowe is at the top of Mount Mansfield after riding up on the Skyride Gondola. This is absolutely one of the best things to do in New England and Vermont during foliage season!

I mentioned earlier that one of the best things to do in Stowe is to take the Gondola up to the summit of Mount Mansfield, which is the highest peak in Vermont, and this definitely deserves its own spot on this list.

You can also hike to the top, but for anyone looking for a more relaxing excursion, the Stowe Gondola is an easy way to enjoy the mountain summit.

This is fun in the summer, but fall is the most amazing time to do this because the rolling mountains in the background dripping in fall color is just such an amazing site to see.

7. Hike As Many Mountains As You Can (Or Drive Up, I Won’t Tell 😉)

The Green Mountains in Vermont are one of the best places to go hiking in New England in the summer.

There’s a reason Vermont is nicknamed the Green Mountain State! And the Green Mountain range is only one of six. And, there are over 1,300 named mountains in Vermont, so you really have your pick of summits to explore.

Some of the mountains have auto roads that make it easy to explore the top (or, gondolas, as mentioned above!). And some, well, the only way up is to hike.

Mount Equinox and Burke Mountain are two great ones to drive up. If you’re looking for an epic hike, Camel’s Hump gets my vote. But really, you can kind of head in any direction in Vermont to find a great mountain hike for almost all levels.

8. See The Covered Bridges

Seeing the covered bridges is one of the most fun things to do in Vermont!

One of my personal favorite things to do in Vermont is tour the covered bridges. In fact, Vermont is home to the most covered bridges per square mile than any other state in the country. There’s also over 100 of them to see during your visit. And these historic and charming structures are absolutely worth scouting out during your visit.

I’ve done so many road trips looking for covered bridges in Vermont, so I decided to create an entire post on the most perfect covered bridges driving tour for first-timer’s. This won’t take you to every covered bridge in the state, but it’ll guide you toward the best ones, and also include some of the best towns in the state to explore.

Click here to check out my post on the best Vermont covered bridges road trip!

9. And Definitely Visit Emily’s Bridge During Spooky Season!

Emily's Bridge on an eerie, foggy early morning. This is definitely one of the best things to do in Vermont in the fall season!

One of the most popular covered bridges to visit in Vermont is Gold Brook Covered Bridge, but often goes by Emily’s Bridge. This one is famous for being haunted, so it makes an especially fun excursion in the fall season.

The legend goes that a young woman named Emily hung herself from the rafters of the bridge when her boyfriend didn’t show up to elope. There have been reports of cars getting scratched, and strange women’s voices when crossing the bridge. But, you’ll just have to go and see for yourself if you believe in all the stories 😉

10. Eat ALL The Cheese

You can't leave Waterbury without sampling the cheeses from the Cabot Farmer's Store. This is definitely one of the most fun ways to eat your way through the state.

Guys, the cheese scene in Vermont is no joke, and if you’re a cheese lover, this is the place to be! Because of all the rural dairy farms in the state, there are tons of places that make incredible cheese made from the best local ingredients.

A few of my favorites to check out are Sugarbush Farms in Woodstock (they also make awesome maple syrup!), Shelburne farms in Shelburne, and of course, Cabot. In fact, if you swing by Waterbury, you can visit the Cabot Farmer’s Cheese Store, where they have samples of different varieties. Most places will have samples of their cheeses, too, so come hungry and stock up on your favorites before heading home.

11. Taste The Local Maple Syrups, Too

But if there’s one food Vermont is most known for, it’s maple syrup, right? So, when you come to visit, one of the best things to do is visit all the sugar shacks and syrup farms you can! They won’t be hard to find, since Vermont produces 50% of the maple syrup in the U.S.

While you’re at it, be sure to check out all the maple flavored … well, everything! Candies, chocolates, drinks and so much more. It’s fun to get into the maple spirit on your getaway to Vermont!

12. Visit The Breweries

The breweries are one of the most fun things to do in Vermont if you love craft brews.

Vermont is home to some incredible breweries, so if you’re into craft beers, this is an excellent destination to add a few to your itinerary.

Fiddlehead, Foam Brewing and The Alchemist are all in my top list to visit in Vermont, but there are over 60 breweries throughout the state to check out!

13. Shop At The Vermont Country Store

The Vermont Country Store is the ultimate way to shop in Vermont, and definitely one of the best places to visit.

Most people are familiar with the Vermont Country Store catalogs, but there are actually two stores you can visit while in Vermont! One is in Weston, and the other in Rockingham, and they’re both equally as fun to visit, so it just depends on which works better with your itinerary.

The stores are huge, and they sell everything you’d find in their catalogs and online including awesome apparel, Darn Tough Socks (which are made in Vermont and make for a great souvenir!), body products and skincare, candies, home decor and kid’s stuff.

14. Drive Route 100

One of the most famous drives to take in Vermont is Route 100, which runs through the middle of the entire state. Starting in Stamford in the south, and going up to Newport in the north, it will take you pretty close to the Canadian border!

And along the way, you’ll get to visit some wonderful places, including covered bridges, the Vermont Country Store in Weston, Waitsfield, Waterbury and Stowe. And it’s pretty easy to venture off Route 100 to get to some other notable places like Woodstock, Wilmington and Burlington.

Route 100 is spectacular in the fall for foliage season, but can be done year-round.

15. Have A Maple Creemee

While the official Vermont state dessert is apple pie, more people probably guessed that it was the maple creemee if you’re familiar with the area. And if you’re not sure what a maple creemee is, it’s a soft-serve, maple-flavored ice cream! Since the maple syrup in Vermont is especially high quality and pure, the best maple creemees you’ll find are here in Vermont.

And these are definitely a staple in the area. Most ice cream places will have some version of the maple creemee (or just a regular creemee if maple flavor isn’t your thing!). A few great places to try one for yourself are:

  • Canteen Creemee Company – Waitsfield
  • Creemee Stand – Wilmington
  • Woodstock Scoops – Woodstock
  • Creemees Ice Cream – Burlington
  • Village Creeme Stand – Bristol

16. Shop At Church Street Marketplace

Church Street Marketplace is another one of the best things to do in Vermont if you love shopping at unique places.

Burlington is a worthy Vermont destination on its own, but one of the coolest places to check out there is Church Street Martketplace. Spanning 4 blocks long, this pedestrian-only shopping district in downtown Burlington is home to some pretty awesome shops, boutiques and eateries, making it one of the best shopping districts in the state.

Some great places to check out on Church Street Marketplace are:

  • Smuggler’s Notch Distillery
  • Crow Bookshop
  • Lake Champlain Chocolates
  • Leunig’s Bistro & coffee stand
  • Bonus tip: look for all the cool street art along the way!

17. Walk Around Woodstock

Woodstock, VT is one of the best things to do near Waterbury, and is regarded as the most beautiful town in Vermont.

It’s going to be hard to find a more idyllic town in Vermont than Woodstock, and there’s a reason it’s one of the top-visited destinations in the entire state. Packed to the brim with charm and movie-quality moments at every turn, it’s a place that should be on everyone’s itinerary.

The great thing about Woodstock is that it’s wonderful year-round, but fall is especially perfect (of course!). There are gorgeous shops and boutiques, awesome restaurants, a town green and three covered bridges to check out. Billings Farm & Museum, and Sugarbush Farms are also just a quick drive away for a more countryside vibe.

Click here to check out my post on all the amazing things to do in Woodstock!

18. And Don’t Forget Billings Farm & Museum!

The gardens at Billings Farm & Museum in Woodstock are always beautiful.

Speaking of Billings Farm & Museum , it really does deserve its own spot on the list. If you’ve never been, this is definitely something you’ll want to have on your radar during your visit.

Both a working farm and museum, this destination does an incredible job with interactive exhibits, seasonal events and offering scenic grounds to explore. Some of the best times to visit are in the spring during their Baby Animal Days celebration, fall for their Harvest Festival, and during the holidays for their Christmas & Wassail Weekend festivities.

19. Attend A Vermont Christmas Celebration

And we can’t talk about Christmas without mentioning all the magical holiday celebrations around Vermont! Since it’s such a warm and cozy destination to begin with, the holidays just add a little something extra to this winter wonderland.

A few of the best holiday celebrations around Vermont are:

  • Traditional Christmas in Stowe
  • Wassail Weekend in Woodstock
  • A Very Merry Middlebury
  • Special Christmas Decor at Hildene
  • Illuminate Vermont in South Burlington
  • Pro tip: don’t forget to attend a special tree lighting!

20. See The Old Round Church

The Old Round Church is one of the more unique things to do in Vermont.

Located in Richmond between Waterbury and Burlington, you’ll find the beautiful Old Round Church, which is such a wonderful scene to take in.

Built in the early 1800s as a meeting house and place of worship, not only is the architecture truly unique, but history remains preserved on the inside for an even more special experience. Some historians even claim that it’s the last remaining 19th Century, 16-sided wooden structure in the world, which is all the more reason to add this to your itinerary.

21. Sip The Local Spirits

A spirits tasting at Smuggler's Notch Distillery is one of the most fun things to do in Vermont!

Vermont actually has a pretty wonderful array of spirit distillers, and they’re all really fun to visit during your trip!

In fact, an award-winning gin is produced in Vermont, and you can visit to tour the facilities, or stop by for a tasting or cocktail. Caledonia Spirits makes the famed Barr Hill Gin, which has won countless awards including Gin Of The Year. This is truly an awesome stop to make during your Vermont travels, as their bar whips of some pretty mean cocktails, too.

Smuggler’s Notch Distilling, Green Mountain Distillers and Vermont Distillers are all also worthy of your time.

22. Splurge On A Weekend At A Top Vermont Resort

Vermont is home to some pretty epic resorts in New England, and if you’re looking to splurge for a special occasion, this is a great place to do it.

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Here’s my list of the best resorts in Vermont that are worth your hard-earned money:

  • Woodstock Inn & Resort
  • The Lodge At Spruce Peak
  • Seesaw’s Lodge

Click here to check out my list of the most incredible New England Resorts & Spas!

23. Find Your Way Through The Great Vermont Corn Maze

The Great Vermont Corn Maze is especially fun in the fall season.

In the fall season, there’s not a more fun activity than making your way through the Great Vermont Corn Maze. Located in Danville, this corn maze is actually regarded as one of the best in the entire country. Spanning over 24 acres, you’ll want to budget plenty of time to find the exit because there’s a good chance you’ll get a bit lost – which is all part of the fun!

But there’s actually some more really awesome corn mazes in Vermont , so be sure to scope out a few if you visit in late summer, or in the fall.

24. Tour The Ben & Jerry’s Factory

The Ben & Jerry's Factory is one of the most popular things to do in Waterbury, VT.

You can’t talk about the best things to do in Vermont and not mention Ben & Jerry’s, right? This now household name for ice cream is a staple for people worldwide, and with famous flavors like Chunky Monkey, Half Baked and Phish Food, as well as celebrity collaborations, it’s one of the top names in the world when it comes to ice cream.

And it was all started right in Vermont. In fact, it began in an old gas station in Burlington, and flourished into what it is today.

When you’re in Vermont, you can stop by the Ben & Jerry’s factory in Waterbury! Tour the factory, visit the flavor graveyard to see all the discontinued flavors, and stop at their scoop and gift shops for a fun treat and cool things to bring home.

25. Visit The Shoppes At Quechee Gorge Village

The shops at Quechee Gorge Village are always a treat!

Quechee is one of my favorite little towns to visit in Vermont, and one of the best places to check out here is the Quechee Gorge Village. This is where you’ll find the Quechee General Store, the Antiques Mall (which seems to go on forever!), and a few other great little shops.

You can also find the Vermont Spirits Distilling Co. tasting room here, too. This is a really fun and unique shopping destination in New England.

26. See Quechee Gorge

The Quechee Gorge is one of the most scenic places in the area to see on your Boston to Stowe, VT road trip.

Near the Quechee Gorge Village, you’ll find the actual Quechee Gorge, which is most definitely worth your time. Free to visit, just grab a parking spot at the Visitor’s Center, and cross the street to the bridge over the Ottaquechee River to take in views of what’s been nicknamed “Vermont’s Little Grand Canyon.”

If you feel like spending a bit more time here, you can also hike around the area to enjoy different views of the gorge along the way.

27. Get All The Chocolates You Can

Laughing Moon Chocolate in Stowe is one of my favorite places for sweet treats in Vermont.

Surprisingly, Vermont makes some pretty great chocolates! In fact, one of my favorite things to do in the fall and winter season is snatch up all the chocolates I can. All over the state, you can find wonderful chocolatiers that make classic treats, and also come up with original flavor profiles.

Here are some of my favorite chocolate places to check out in Vermont:

  • Lake Champlain Chocolates (located in Burlington, Waterbury, and Stowe)
  • NU Chocolate in Burlington
  • Tavernier Chocolates in Brattleboro
  • Middlebury Sweets
  • Village Peddler and Chocolatorium in Arlington (a fun stop to combine with the Arlington Covered Bridge!)
  • Farmhouse Chocolates in Bristol

28. Visit A Rock Quarry

Vermont is actually pretty famous for its rock quarries, and believe it or not, it’s home to the largest underground marble quarry in the world – Danby Quarry! And while you can’t tour that one, there are others you can tour or visit on your own for pretty awesome views.

A cool one to check out is Smith Quarry, which takes you to an overlook of the largest operating deep-hole granite quarry in the world ( I know – who knew that would be in Vermont, right?! ). And if you’re in Manchester, you can take a dip in the Dorset Marble Quarry, which is just a few minutes from downtown Manchester.

29. Stay Overnight At A Farm

One of the most fun and unique things to do in Vermont is book a stay at Fat Sheep Farm & Cabins , which is located in Windsor, and accessible to Killington and Woodstock.

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During your stay at this working farm, you’ll get to enjoy your beautiful cabin, but also get a taste of what farm life is like. You can book cheese and sourdough breaking-making workshops, garden tours, participate in animal chores around the farm (like feeding sheep and goats, and collecting eggs from the chicken coops!), or you can just take a more relaxing approach by visiting with all the cute animals.

This is truly such a special experience while you’re visiting Vermont, so I encourage you to check them out!

🐑 Click here to check out rates and availability!

30. Enjoy A Full Vermont Country Breakfast

You can’t leave without trying a full Vermont country breakfast! Because farming and agriculture is such an important and plentiful industry in Vermont, so many ingredients and foods are incredibly fresh throughout the region.

During a true Vermont country breakfast experience, you’ll typically be served coffee and/or fresh juice, farm fresh eggs, pancakes, fresh breads, bacon or sausage and toasts. The experience is different everywhere you go, but the food is always delicious. Just be forewarned, you may not have room for lunch!

31. Go To The Top Of The Bennington Battle Monument

Seeing the Bennington Monument is one of the best things to do in Vermont.

Bennington can be found in the southern part of Vermont, close to Manchester, and one of the coolest things to do in town is to go to the top of the Bennington Battle Monument. Driving into Vermont from New York, you can see the monument from quite a distance, and it actually looks a bit like the Washington Monument in D.C.

The monument is 306 feet tall, and from the top on a clear day, you can see three states in the distance. The views are especially beautiful in the fall season with foliage colors abound!

32. Have A Fall Foliage Getaway

Speaking of fall color, the number one thing everyone should plan to do in Vermont at some point is a fall foliage getaway. Vermont might be most famous for its spectacular foliage, and there’s a really good reason for that – it’s even more amazing in person than in the postcards and stock photos you see.

The entire state has gorgeous foliage at every turn, so it’s hard to not see it during a fall trip. The one thing you’ll want to do is time your trip right. Each region in Vermont turns at different times, with the northern areas turning in late September, and the mid-region peaking around Indigenous Peoples’ Weekend. Southern areas usually peak mid-October.

33. Drive Smuggler’s Notch In The Fall

The drive along Smuggler's Notch in Stowe is one of the best things to do in Vermont in the fall season.

One of the best drives for fall foliage in Vermont is Smugglers Notch, which is in Stowe (another reason Stowe is a must-visit!). This road that runs through Smugglers Notch State Park and is free to drive and explore. But the fall foliage here is honestly … epic.

The entire drive is lined with yellow, orange and red leaves, and because the road is full of curves and hairpin turns, it’s also very scenic.

34. Explore The Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park

Another amazing place to visit that can be found in Woodstock is the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park . This is such a wonderful park that’s perfect for connecting with nature year-round, and is home to over 20 miles of scenic trails.

At the park, you can also take guided nature tours, go horseback riding, and stroll amongst the maple trees in the forest. This is such a beautiful place to explore, and shouldn’t be missed on your trip.

35. Bike The Burlington Greenway Bike Path

The Burlington Greenway is an awesome paved path for both bikers and pedestrians, and spans about 8 miles. A large part of it runs along Lake Champlain for beautiful views along the way, and also connects to the Local Motion Ferry, which takes you (and your bike!) to the Champlain Islands to discover even more beautiful scenery.

If you’re in the Burlington area, this is definitely one of the most fun things to do on a beautiful day in the spring, summer and fall seasons. And in the winter, you’re able to use it to cross-country ski.

36. Go On A Spooky Queen City Ghostwalk

Also while in Burlington, be sure to book a Queen City Ghostwalk tour! These tours are especially perfect in the fall season in October to coordinate with Halloween and all things spooky, and with several options available, you’re sure to find the perfect ghostly experience.

Led by Vermont-native and author Thea Lewis, tours include stories of serial killers, paranormal activity, urban legends, and local lore and history, and are packed with all kinds of information on Vermont’s past that’s sure to give you goosebumps. And because each tour is expertly researched, it’s absolutely worth your time and money.

37. Explore The Beautiful Vermont Lakes

Lake Champlain in Vermont is the largest lake in New England, making is a wonderful destination in the summer season.

Vermont is the only New England State that’s not bordered by ocean coastline, but it makes up for that with stunning lakes. Lake Champlain is the biggest in the state, and can be found in Burlington. There are some wonderful boat tours around Lake Champlain that offer beautiful scenery along the way.

But Vermont has over 800 lakes to explore, so this is something you’ll definitely want to add to your itinerary if you’re looking for some water views – especially in the summer. Lake Willoughby is an especially scenic one to check out, and Crystal Lake, Lake Saint Catherine and Lake Bomoseen are all also beautiful.

38. Take A Scenic Cruise Along Lake Champlain

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As mentioned above, cruising around Lake Champlain is such a treat, so this is another activity that really deserves its own mention. On board the Spirit of Ethan Allen , you’ll have options for scenic narrated tours to learn more about the area, sunset cruises, and even lunch cruises.

Wondering why the ship is named after Ethan Allen? Well, stick around until later in this post to find out!

39. Visit The Champlain Islands, Too!

Mentioned earlier, you can take a ferry over to the islands along Lake Champlain for an exciting and more secluded excursion. In fact, you can actually drive directly to 4 of the islands via the causeway: South Hero, North Hero, Isle la Motte, and Grand Isle.

Lake Champlain’s islands are known for outdoor recreation, historical significance and quirky attractions, and they’re definitely worth a visit if you’re looking to explore more of Vermont’s lakes. Of course, kayaking and canoeing are one of the top things to do when visiting, and you’ll also want to swing by Hero’s Welcome general store, discover the state parks, and stroll through the charming towns on the main islands.

40. Visit Shelburne Farms

One thing I love to recommend to people when they’re visiting Vermont is to head just south or Burlington to Shelburne and visit Shelburne Farms. A working farm with over 1400 acres of beautiful land to explore, which includes pastures, woodlands, gardens and scenic nature trails, Shelburne Farms is such a treat to visit.

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Once owned by the Vanderbilt family, Shelburne Farms is also a seasonal inn, so you can stay overnight on the property. Their farm-to-table restaurant is incredible, but even if you just come for a few hours to walk the grounds, it’s a memorable excursion!

41. Stay At The Trapp Family Lodge

The Trapp Family Lodge is one of the absolute best places to stay in Vermont!

Earlier in the post, I talked about how Vermont was home to some of the best resorts in New England and one that stands out as a unique experience is the Trapp Family Lodge , which is the home of Maria von Trapp, the author of the book that inspired the movie, The Sound Of Music . Believe it or not, Maria’s family settled in Stowe, VT where the lodge remains today!

Now, the lodge was rebuilt in the 1980s after a fire destroyed the original, but the location and the style of the lodge is the same. You’ll instantly feel transported into an Austrian-inspired heaven when you arrive.

42. Visit Cold Hollow Cider Mill

No trip to Stowe is complete without a visit to Cold Hollow Cider in nearby Waterbury. This is one of the best things to do in New England!

Open year-round, but especially fun in the fall season, Cold Hollow Cider Mill in Waterbury is such a classic Vermont stop to make during your visit. Part cidery, part general store, and tons of fun, you’ll be able to grab freshly-made donuts and cider here, as well as shop from the store that has everything from candies and home decor, to local speciality foods, maple syrups and apparel.

Be sure to walk across the parking lot to their hard cider tasting room and restaurant, too!

43. Shop At The Simon Pearce Flagship Store

The Simon Pearce Store in Quechee is always impressive, and most definitely one of the coolest things to do in Vermont.

The flagship Simon Pearce store can be found in Quechee (yet another reason to visit this cute little town), and you’ll be totally inspired once you walk in. Known as heirloom-quality housewares and decor crafters, Simon Pearce is a quintessential Vermont and New England brand.

Downstairs, you can enjoy a free glass glowing demonstration, as well as ask the artisans questions while they work. And upstairs next to the shop, you can dine at The Mill, which is next on my list!

44. Have Lunch At One Of The Most Romantic Restaurants In The U.S.

Looking to have a romantic lunch or dinner during your trip to Vermont? You’ll want to consider booking a table at The Mill, which is inside the Simon Pearce shop in Quechee. Travel + Leisure named this as one of the most romantic restaurants in the entire country!

The restaurant overlooks the Ottauquechee River and Quechee Covered Bridge to create a lovely ambience, and of course, the food and drinks are wonderful. This is perfect for a special occasion, or just to have a lovely meal out because really, who needs an occasion to splurge, right?

45. Do A Wheel Workshop At Farmhouse Pottery

A pottery class at Farmhouse Pottery is definitely something you'll want to look into when planning your trip.

Farmhouse Pottery is now sold in boutiques all over the country, and pieces are still hand-thrown right in Vermont in their flagship store!

If you’re a fan of beautiful and simple pottery designs, you’ll want to visit Farmhouse Pottery’s shop and studio in Woodstock. Located just a few minutes outside the main village, the shop is beautifully merchandised to really let their pieces shine, and the studio is often open for you to walk in and talk to the artisans making each of the pieces.

46. Find All The Best Country Stores

The country stores are one of the best things to check out during your visit.

I mentioned the Vermont Country Store earlier on this list, but I would be remiss to not mention that there are so many other amazing country stores throughout Vermont that are worth visiting. Most are housed in historic buildings with gorgeous, creaky hardwood floors, and shelves stocked with local foods, goods, decor and a bunch more stuff you didn’t know you needed.

Here are a few of my favorite general and country stores in Vermont:

  • Stowe Mercantile in Stowe
  • Original General Store in Pittsfield
  • Shelburne Country Store
  • Dorset Union Store in Dorset
  • The Vermont Spot in Hartford
  • Hogback Mountain Country Store in Marlboro

47. Visit The 100 Mile Overlook

The last country store on my list from above in Marlboro is also home to this awesome 100-Mile Overlook, which is a really fun stop to make. And, as the name so perfectly explains, on a clear day you can see 100 miles in the distance, including some of the New Hampshire peaks.

After enjoying the view, head into the Hogback Mountain shop for some ice cream and country store shopping!

48. Have A Fresh, Farm-To-Table Dinner

Vermont probably has the best farm-to-table dining scene of all the states in New England, and I’m sure that has to do with the fact that rural farming is such a prevalent lifestyle and industry in the Green Mountain State.

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Sawmill Bar & Table (@sawmillbarandtable)

Most restaurants heavily rely on local ingredients for their menus, so it’s not hard to find some pretty awesome farm-to-table dining during your visit.

Here are a few amazing places to check out:

  • Michael’s on the Hill in Waterbury
  • Hen of the Wood in Waterbury
  • Kismet in Montpelier
  • Sawmill Bar & Table in West Diver
  • The Crooked Ram in Manchester
  • Shelburne Farms

49. Visit The Awesome Pumpkin Patches, Apple Orchards & Farm Stands

Armstrong Farm is one of the most fun pumpkin patches in Vermont to visit in the fall!

In the fall season, it doesn’t get better than visiting a pumpkin patch and farm stand selling apple cider and donuts on a crips autumn day, am I right? And I’m sure it comes as no surprise that you can find these alllllll over Vermont.

Here are some of my favorites to check out:

  • The Apple Barn & Cafe in Bennington
  • Mad Tom Orchards in East Dorset
  • Burt’s Apple Orchard in Cabot
  • Kingdom Corn Maze & Pumpkin Patch in Sutton

50. Stay At A Cozy Inn

The Grafton Inn is one of the best places to stay in Vermont in the fall season for a cozy getaway.

Okay, so I’ve covered why splurging on a luxury resort in Vermont is definitely worth your money, but let’s also talk about all of Vermont’s cozy inns and B&B’s. In fact, this is one of the best kinds of accommodation to book when traveling through the state because they’ll all feel like home, and offer that Vermont country breakfast I mentioned earlier.

Sometimes, inns and B&Bs in Vermont can be a bit pricey, but the good thing is, they come in all budgets. And while the pricier ones have always been worth it, the affordable ones are also quaint and cozy, just with fewer amenities.

These are few that I recommend checking out:

  • Four Chimney’s in Bennington
  • Green Mountain Inn in Stowe
  • Jackson House Inn in Woodstock
  • The Grafton Inn in Grafton

51. Eat At American Flatbread

American Flatbread has locations throughout Vermont. This is the one in Burlington, and is definitely one of the most things to do in Vermont.

It’s possible you’ve seen frozen American Flatbread pizzas in your local grocery store, and this awesome pizza restaurant started right in Vermont! In fact, you can dine at the original in Waitsfield, which is also a 25 acre farmstead.

They now have 11 locations throughout New England, 5 of which are in Vermont. And the quality of the food and ingredients has never faltered. This is still one of my favorite places to eat in the state. They have a laser focus on farm-fresh ingredients, and their pizzas are absolutely amazing.

Each location is also super cozy, often with fireplaces, and have really nice bars to sample local craft brews and fun cocktails. These are definitely not your average pizza joints.

52. Visit The Ethan Allen Homestead & Museum

Most people know the furniture brand Ethan Allen, but you may not know that it all began in Vermont. The company was named after a Revolutionary War hero named … you guessed it … Ethan Allen, and was founded by two brothers-in-law who bought an old sawmill in Vermont, and began to make furniture.

The war hero Ethan Allen, however, was an important part of capturing the British at Fort Ticonderoga during the Revolutionary War. He was also the first leader and commander of The Green Mountain Boys, who also played an integral role in the Battle of Bennington.

Allen settled in the Burlington, Vermont area after fighting in the Indian War, and his homestead is now an amazing museum along the Winooski River. The museum takes you back in time to what life in New England was like in the late 1700s, and kids can even try on Colonial clothing!

The museum is located within Ethan Allen Homestead Park, which has over 4 miles of scenic nature trails to explore.

53. Attend A Fall Festival

For a destination known for its stunning fall foliage, of course there will be some fun fall festivals to go with it! Vermont has some really exciting fall events to consider attending during your visit. Here are a few to check out:

  • Burke Fall Foliage Festival
  • Autumn on the Green – Danville (home of the Great Vermont Corn Maze!)
  • HarvestFest at Stratton Mountain
  • Mount Snow Oktoberfest
  • Killington Harvest Faire

54. And A Winter Festival, Too!

The Stowe Winter Carnival is one of the most fun things to do in the area in the winter.

Yep, there are some pretty awesome winter festivals in Vermont, too! This shouldn’t come as a huge surprise since the snowy season is pretty well-celebrated and enjoyed in the Green Mountain State. Here are a few really fun winter festivals in Vermont to check out:

  • Stowe Winter Carnival
  • Newport Winter Festival
  • The Grafton Ice Bar (hosted by one of my favorite cozy inns in Vermont – The Grafton Inn!)
  • Great Ice! In North Hero
  • Waterbury Winterfest

55. Visit The Vermont Teddy Bear Factory

One of the cutest and highest-quality stuffed animals you can get are made right here in the Vermont Teddy Bear Factory. And you can actually visit the factory in Shelburne, VT! To make a day of it, plan to visit both Shelburne Farms and the Teddy Bear Factory 🙂

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Vermont Teddy Bear (@vtteddybear)

At the factory campus (yes, it’s a campus), you can make your own custom bear to bring home, take a guided tour to watch the bear artisans at work, and visit the bear hospital, where you learn about how the factory fixes up your favorite friend to make them good as new.

And the outdoors is a wonderful place to hang out. Kids can even enjoy Teddy Bear Picnics on select days throughout the year.

56. Eat At The Famous Blue Benn Diner

The Blue Benn Diner in Bennington is one of the best places to eat in the state.

Located in Bennington, one of the most famous diners in Vermont is the Blue Benn. Media outlets like Yankee Magazine , Thrillist and Martha Stewart have raved about it, too, and it’s become a staple in southern Vermont.

Blue Benn is open for breakfast and lunch, and is known for comfort food classics and fresh spins on healthy options (you have to try their nut burger!). Pretty much everything on the menu here is a winner, though. When you’re done, be sure to save room for either their homemade pie or homemade pudding, and thank me later 😉

57. Do The Canopy Walk At VINS Nature Center

Short for the Vermont Institute of Natural Science, VINS is home to the Canopy Walk through the forest tree tops, which is especially beautiful during foliage season (but is honestly great year-round).

View this post on Instagram A post shared by VINS (@vinsraptors)

The Canopy Walk is an awesome boardwalk system that’s also ADA-accessible, and sits 100 feet above the ground to allow you an immersive nature experience. Built to educate visitors on environmental sustainability, admission tickets also include access to the entire nature center and its exhibits.

58. Walk The Robert Frost Interpretive Trail

Located in Ripton, just 20 minutes outside Middlebury, you’ll find this wonderful Robert Frost Interpretive Trail. Known for his poetry that highlighted the natural beauty of the New England region, Frost actually lived off-and-on in Ripton during the last 20 years or so of his life – he even taught at Middlebury College.

He moved to Vermont to enjoy better farmland and grow apple trees, and his home can still be visited in Ripton along the trail (although, the interior remains closed to the public).

But along this easy trail that’s only about a quarter of a mile long inside the Green Mountain National Forest , you can relax and connect with nature on a path that’s lined with Frost’s poetry. It’s actually a really cool and thoughtful experience because his poems are some of the most well-known celebrations of nature. So, to read them while walking through the woods and ponds where he once lived is really quite memorable.

59. See Vermont By Train

Vermont actually has a couple of wonderful options for scenic train rides through the state, which makes this such a cool thing to consider doing during your visit!

For over 50 years, the Vermont Rail System has been taking people for rides that showcase gorgeous landscapes, and with options like a Champlain Valley Dinner ride, or Cocktails on the Rails, it’s also a really fun experience! The Vermont Rail System departs from Burlington, making it easy to work into your itinerary if visiting the Lake Champlain region.

60. Explore The State Capital

Montpelier is the capital of Vermont, and is actually a really cool city to explore. One of the reasons I enjoy visiting is because it feels kind of like a city and a small, charming town at the same time.

During your visit to Montpelier, here are a few awesome things to consider checking out:

  • Stroll through Hubbard Park (especially great during fall foliage season!)
  • Cocktails and tastings at Barr Hill Distillery
  • Dine at Oakes & Evelyn
  • Taste local maple syrup at Morse Farm Maple Sugarworks
  • Sip on wine at North Branch Vineyards
  • Snap photos of Coburn Covered Bridge

Bonus: Visit The Vermont Beetlejuice Filming Location!

For fans of Beetlejuice, you may want to consider swinging by East Corinth to see where the famous bridge scene was filmed!

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Matt Emery (@emery_bored)

East Corinth is actually one of the most photographed destinations during fall foliage season, and is one of those idyllic rural landscapes you think of when picturing Vermont. However, one of the reasons it’s a bonus suggestion on this list is because many of the filming locations may not have as much impact when you visit as you’d hope.

Now, I still think it’s such a fun stop to make (even just to appreciate the scenery if you’re not into the movie!), but there’s a few things to note about the filming locations.

The iconic bridge that Barbara and Adam crash through is there, but it’s not a cute little red covered bridge as shown in the movie. They turned into into a covered bridge for the movie, and tore it down once filming wrapped. Same goes for the iconic house. You can visit the hill it was built on, but since the house was made just for the movie, it was also torn down after filming.

But you can see Mason Hall, which was Lydia’s school in the movie! And if you pay attention to the movie before you visit, you’ll be able to see how shots of the town overall were used as B-roll.

What Is The Best Time To Visit Vermont?

While Vermont is beautiful year-round, I think fall and winter are the best times to visit. This is also when hotel accommodations will fill up the fastest, and be the most expensive. But, it’s definitely worth it. Fall in Vermont is famous around the world for a reason!

And, of course, the ski resorts in winter are hard to beat, and they’re some of the best in the entire country.

Psst! I have an entire guide on the best time to visit Vermont , if you’re looking for more information 😉

How Many Days Do You Need In Vermont?

Vermont is so small that you can easily take a day trip, plan a weekend getaway, or even explore for a week or more. It’s entirely up to you! I would say a good sweet spot is a long weekend (3-4 days), which will allow you time to see the best small towns, and some of the top attractions, while also slowing down enough to really enjoy it.

What Is Vermont Known For?

Vermont is famous for several things, including:

  • Maple syrup
  • Ben & Jerry’s
  • The Green Mountains
  • Fall foliage
  • Postcard-worthy countryside landscapes
  • Simon Pearce

More Of My Vermont Travel Guides:

  • Vermont In The Fall
  • Vermont In The Winter
  • Vermont In The Spring
  • All The Best Things To Do In Vermont
  • Fun Things To Do In Waterbury, VT
  • Best Places To Stay In Vermont In The Fall
  • Best Vermont Pumpkin Patches & Farm Stands To Visit In The Fall
  • Christmas In Vermont: All The Most Festive Things To Do
  • What Is Vermont Known For? I’ll Tell You!

Other posts you may find helpful:

  • Exciting Things To Do In New England In The Fall
  • Best Christmas Towns In New England
  • The Perfect New England Fall Road Trip Itinerary
  • Vermont vs. New Hampshire In The Fall

That’s A Wrap On The Best Things To Do In Vermont!

And now you’re ready to start planning your next trip to the Green Mountain State! With all these amazing things to do in Vermont, it’ll be tough to decide which to start with. But definitely throw in a mix of the best, most quaint towns, mountains, cozy places to stay, a covered bridge or two, and you’re well on your way to making the perfect Vermont itinerary.

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The drive from Boston to Stowe, VT is very scenic, and you'll see lots of beautiful countryside landscapes like this one.

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50 Things to Do in Vermont: Bucket List & Travel Guide (2024)

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There are so many amazing things to do in Vermont. I should know, because I lived there for 15 years! From hikes and small towns to local foods and snowy peaks, this small state packs a lot into its 9,616 square miles.

I truly love Vermont, and I know you will, too! I have created this ultimate Vermont travel guide to help you plan your trip to Vermont.

In this guide I share 50 of my favorite things to do in Vermont, including the best places to visit in Vermont, fun VT activities in all seasons, and essential Vermont attractions.

Plus, I answer a few of the most frequently asked questions about visiting Vermont, including the best time to visit. I hope you have an epic adventure exploring our magical Green Mountain state!

Table of Contents

50 Best Things to Do in Vermont

In Vermont’s top destinations and beyond, here is a deeper look into the best and most fun things to do in Vermont in fall, winter, spring, or summer!

1. Go shopping and people-watching at Church Street Marketplace

author amy standing in a brick paved plaza with shops on either side and a church steeple in the distance. this is church street in burlington vermont

One of the most well-known places to go in Vermont is Burlington’s Church Street Marketplace, a pedestrian-only thoroughfare that is bursting with restaurants, shops, and outdoor performers. This is an excellent spot for people-watching, but it’s also the center of the downtown space so there’s so much to do, and some of the best shopping in Vermont.

A few of the stores I recommend not to miss on Church Street include Lake Champlain Chocolates, Outdoor Gear Exchange, Homeport, Crow Bookshop, Ecco Clothes, and the Frog Hollow Craft Association and Gallery. Church Street alone could keep you busy all day, but there’s definitely a lot more to check out in VT’s largest city.

Check out my list of all the other cool things to do in Burlington Vermont!

2. Take a Vermont fall road trip (especially along Route 100)

A Vermont road trip is great at any time of year, but especially in the fall when the foliage is at its best; this would be a fun idea if you’re looking for what to do in Vermont in October!

One excellent option is a Route 100 road trip , which will take you almost the entire length of the state. If you’re looking for a shorter route, consider a quicker journey on one of these scenic Vermont drives.

3. Sample Vermont craft beers

Smiling woman enjoying a beer tasting on a sunny patio in Vermont, with colorful umbrellas and a lively crowd in the background, suggesting a popular activity for visitors

Beer should be a part of your essential Vermont activities without a doubt. Vermont has dozens of craft breweries all around the state that are worth visiting. Vermont’s biggest city, Burlington, is home to a great many of these breweries , so you can check a lot off your list when visiting Burlington. Foam Brewers is one of the local favorites, with a great location near Lake Champlain. I really enjoy their sours!

4. Visit the Cold Hollow Cider Mill

Hand holding a Cold Hollow Cider Mill cup with freshly baked donuts stacked on top, a quintessential treat to try when visiting Vermont

One of the best places to visit in Vermont is the Cold Hollow Cider Mill , and it certainly is on every bucket list for Vermont in the fall !

Located in Waterbury, Vermont, on the road heading towards Stowe, this is a cider mill, apple-focused country store, restaurant, hard cidery, and more. It is completely adorable, perfectly fall, and smells like cinnamon heaven. Cold Hollow Cider Mill has been an institution in VT since the late 1970s and continues to be one of Vermont’s top tourist attractions. I guarantee you’ll leave here feeling cozy and happy from this perfect Vermont spot.

Grab a few locally-made products, tuck into a cold glass of cider, and above all, make sure to try the apple cider donuts which are out of this world.

5. Explore charming Woodstock, Vermont

vacation travel vermont

One of best places to see in Vermont is the town of Woodstock. This destination is my top recommendation for someone coming to Vermont for the first time, as it encapsulates all that you imagine about Vermont!

Woodstock has been repeatedly named one of the most beautiful small towns  in America and I agree completely. Especially at Christmastime, Woodstock is one of those towns that  looks straight out of a Hallmark movie ! 

There are so many  great things to do in Woodstock in every season, such as hiking, visiting the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park, and walking the charming Woodstock streets. Also be sure to visit F.H. Gillingham & Sons, the general store that has been in Woodstock since 1886 and offers one-of-a-kind specialty gifts for any occasion. 

6. Join one of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory Tours

Colorful mural at a Vermont attraction showcasing a whimsical scene with a cow in a flannel shirt, ski slopes, and cows engaging in winter sports, reflecting the state's unique charm and sense of humor.

Want to visit one of the top Vermont attractions (and the yummiest)? I know where to send you! One of the best places to visit in Vermont is the original Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory . The entire place is so cute and creative, and as soon as you walk in, you’re enveloped in that oh-so-divine scent of ice cream and cookies. Ben & Jerry’s is great for anyone looking for good family fun in Vermont, too.

Take the Factory Tour, grab a free sample, or visit the quirky Flavor Graveyard to pay homage to short-lived flavors of the past. RIP “Makin’ Whoopie Pie.” This is one of those fun places to visit in Vermont that help to “keep Vermont cool!”

7. Hike to the summit of Camel’s Hump

New Hampshire isn’t the only state in New England to boast incredible hiking. Vermont is home to hundreds of miles of trails snaking across the Green Mountains. Hiking is one of the most fun things to do in VT, with summer and fall being the most popular seasons for hikes. In addition to the Long Trail, the Vermont section of the Appalachian Trail, there are countless others worth exploring in the Green Mountain National Forest. 

One of the  best hikes in Vermont  is to the top of Camel’s Hump. This distinctive peak can be seen from a great distance and looks—as you might expect—something like the hump of a camel. Take  this popular loop trail  to achieve the summit of the state’s 3rd highest peak–the view is exquisite at the height of fall foliage.

8. Check out the Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe

View from the Trapp Family Lodge in Vermont, overlooking the lush Green Mountains on a misty day, an ideal retreat among the things to do in Vermont for travelers seeking solace in nature.

Visiting the Trapp Family Lodge is one of the best things to do around Stowe, VT . Did you know that the Von Trapp family, made famous by the film The Sound of Music , actually came to Vermont when they left Austria? They settled in the Stowe area, purportedly because it reminded them of their beloved Austrian alps. Here the family opened a hotel, and it remains one of the top places to visit in VT–and to stay!

Even if you don’t stay at the hotel, you can book many outdoor activities, like cross-country skiing or even sleigh rides (one of the best things to do in Vermont at Christmas , by the way!) Also make sure you admire the outside of the Bavarian-inspired inn, enjoy the phenomenal mountain views, and grab a drink and bite at their onsite brewery.

9. Swim in a cool Vermont lake

people relaxing on a beach near a grassy hill on a sunny summer's day by a lake in Vermont

A day at the lake is one of the absolute best things to do in Vermont in summer ! Vermont’s lakes are absolutely gorgeous, and there are some fantastic lake house rentals in Vermont if you want a weekend getaway. My favorite lake in Vermont is Emerald Lake in East Dorset, VT. It’s name says it all! This spot is many hues of brilliant Vermont green all summer long. You can rent paddle boats and canoes for a quick trip around the small lake, or just swim in the shallows along the beach.

Fancy a swim? See more of  the best lakes in Vermont  and swimming holes.

10. Keep your eyes out for the Lake Monster

Looking for unique things to do in Vermont? Get a look at the Lake Monster!

Did you know that Vermont has its very own “Loch Ness” monster? Legend has it that Lake Champlain has a frightful creature lurking beneath its waters: the Lake Monster, also known as Champ. Keep close watch along the surface of the lake and you might just catch a glimpse of this elusive cryptid.

11. Explore the covered bridges

amy standing wrapped in a blanket in front of a red covered bridge, stick season in vermont

When it comes to what to see in Vermont, covered bridges are a must. And there are more than 100  covered bridges in Vermont ! These historic structures, most of which are still in use, are dotted throughout the state and are scenic points of interest in every season.

12. See the Lincoln family home, Hildene in Manchester

image of stately mansion set behind wide organized garden - hildene in vermont

If you’re a fan of presidential history or pretty old houses with lovely gardens, you are sure to love Hildene, in the fun town of Manchester, VT. This property belonged to Abraham Lincoln’s son Robert Todd Lincoln. While the 16th President never resided here, you can view one of his iconic stovepipe top hats during your visit! Not only does the site boast a magnificent home that you can tour, there are also verdant gardens, breathtaking mountain views, and a working goat farm. Hildene also has a fantastic gift shop for grabbing your Vermont souvenirs.

Looking for more towns to explore? I’ve got a whole list of the most charming  small towns in Vermont  where you’re sure to find an idyllic utopia.

13. Walk, ride, or blade along the Burlington Bike Path

Stretching for miles throughout the city of Burlington and then further along the shores of Lake Champlain is the Burlington Bike Path. This route is beloved by avid cyclists, walkers, and visitors, as it offers some of the finest views of the magical lake and the Adirondacks in the distance.

You may want to continue onward on this trail even further, and you can! The Burlington Bike Path is part of the much longer Island Line Trail. Also known as the Colchester Causeway, this is a 13.4-mile rail trail that extends all the way to the Champlain Islands. At one point along the route, you will find yourself on a narrow strip of land with lake views all around you. It’s pretty epic.

14. Visit the Vermont Teddy Bear Factory

A visit to the iconic  Vermont Teddy Bear Factory  is one of the  best things to do in Vermont with kids . Vermont Teddy Bear is located in Shelburne, just south of Burlington. Kids will have a blast creating their own special bear: the ultimate Vermont souvenir!

15. Visit the baby animals at Billings Farm and Museum

A group of young pigs cuddling together on a bed of straw inside a rustic barn, an adorable sight for visitors enjoying agritourism activities in Vermont.

Billings Farm and Museum  is a must-see Woodstock, Vermont attraction. A working and historic farm, boasting animals such as dairy cows, draft horses, sheep, as well as many hands-on activities, this is quintessential Vermont. Time your visit for the springtime and you may be in luck to be there for the annual Baby Farm Animal Celebration, which is just as cute as it sounds.

Picnic tables nestled near a winding pathway with a scenic view of the lush green fields and rolling hills in Vermont, offering a perfect spot for a leisurely outdoor meal in the countryside.

PS: Also don’t miss the adjacent Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park. This is a beautiful spot with nature trails, a Victorian mansion, and more.

🌸Read my best advice on things to do in Vermont in spring !

16. See where Robert Frost wrote some of his most famous poems

Robert Frost, widely known for his nature-inspired poetry and vivid New England descriptions, is one of the most well-known poets in American history. In fact, he was once the poet laureate of the Green Mountain State. In Shaftsbury, VT, visit the  Stone House Museum , historic buildings where the poet once lived and where he wrote several of his classic works, including “Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening.” PS: The current VT Poet Laureate is Mary Ruefle, who resides in nearby Bennington. Interestingly, that is the same town in which Robert Frost is buried. You can visit his grave in the cemetery at the Old Fist Church, Bennington.

Want to check out more things to do in the Bennington VT area ?

17. Tour the Rock of Ages Quarry – the biggest granite quarry in the world

The 600-foot deep  Rock of Ages Granite Quarry  (also known as Smith Quarry) located in Barre, Vermont is “the largest operating deep-hole, dimension granite quarry in the world.” And you can tour it!

If you’re looking for things to do in central Vermont, you may want to add a tour to this incredible quarry itinerary. Among things to do onsite is to bowl a game or two on their outdoor granite bowling lane; this is certainly one of the most unique places to visit in Vermont!

18. Go skiing at Stowe Mountain Resort

 Yes, there are things to do in Vermont in winter besides skiing, but can you really go on a Vermont vacation and not hit the slopes? Skiing is one of the most fun  things to do in Vermont in the winter , and should definitely be added to your VT bucket list! While you could hit the fresh pow’ at any of Vermont’s best mountain resorts , Stowe Mountain Resort is a terrific choice. This is a perfect place for a Vermont ski vacation, and it’s in a gorgeous area of the state.

Not interested in cruising downhill? Cross country skiing might be more your speed, and there are lots of awesome spots to do so in Vermont.

19. Visit a local farmer’s market

Farmer’s markets are extremely popular in Vermont, offering a chance to support the local food scene and serving up some of the best shopping in Vermont. In Burlington, the farmer’s market is held on Saturdays all summer long. If your trip to Vermont doesn’t coincide with a farmer’s market, you may be able to find a roadside farmstand selling fresh produce. They’re everywhere in Vermont in the warmer months.

20. Taste pure maple syrup from where it’s made best

A bottle of pure maple syrup in the shape of a maple leaf glistens with the golden light of a setting sun, a quintessential product of Vermont's rich sugaring tradition

Vermont is home of the world’s best maple syrup (though we can’t compete with Canada when it comes to quantity produced!) While you travel Vermont, be sure to sample some of this liquid gold. A sugarhouse like  Morse Farm Maple Sugarworks , in  Montpelier , is the perfect place to do so. You can sample maple syrup, find tons of maple-infused products, and learn how the syrup-making process works.

If you’re looking for things to do in Vermont in March, you’re just in time for sugaring season! Don’t miss the chance to try sugar on snow, a classic Vermont winter treat. There are also numerous other  Vermont sugar houses  you can check out; this is definitely on the list of fun activities in Vermont!

21. Spend time on a working farm: The Fat Sheep Farm

a smiling woman in a red and black plaid flannel frolics in a green field with sheep in the distance - things to do in vermont

A Vermont farm stay is an amazing way to experience life on the farm, Vermont-style. There are a number of places you can do this by joining in for chores, learning about animals, crops, and more. My favorite is  Fat Sheep Farm.  My husband and I loved our stay there and definitely recommend the experience if you’re looking for more things to do near Woodstock!

22. Visit the top of the Bennington Battle Monument

Interested in historic sites? If you find yourself in Southern Vermont, you won’t want to miss the Bennington Battle Monument. And in fact, it’s hard TO miss, standing at 306ft and 4.5 inches tall! This iconic obelisk structure is visible for miles around. This also means that when you head to the top, you’re in for some sensational views of the surrounding Green Mountains.

23. Catch some fantastic live theatre

Vermont is a very artistic state; a culturally-happening place. Personally, I’m a big fan of Vermont theatre. The best place to catch a Broadway-caliber performance is at the  Weston Playhouse.  Some of the finest shows I’ve ever seen in my life were ones I’ve seen there, and this is one of those activities in Vermont where you can get a little dressed up and go show off for a while!

24. Drive to the top of Mt. Equinox

a view of a road that seems to lead to the horizon, mountains close in the distance. road is top of a mountain in Vermont

No list of beautiful places to visit in Vermont would be complete without  Mount Equinox in southwestern Vermont. Sitting at over 3,800 feet above sea level, it is the highest peak in the Taconic Mountains and the second highest mountain in the state. You can drive to the summit of Mount Equinox via Skyline Drive, the longest privately owned, paved toll road and one of the safest, best engineered toll roads in the United States.

But, while the 5-mile drive to the top offers outstanding views, the summit is the true showstopper. The summit of Mount Equinox is known for providing an astounding 360-degree view of the surrounding Green Mountains and Champlain Valley of Vermont, White Mountains of New Hampshire, Adirondack Mountains of New York, and Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts.

25. Explore the Shelburne Museum

Mother and child walking towards the historic Ticonderoga steamship on display in Vermont, illustrating a family-friendly activity and the state's rich maritime history

Shelburne Museum is an absolute gem and a must-visit on any Vermont itinerary, especially for those who appreciate a deep dive into history and culture. Located in the charming town of Shelburne, just a short drive from Burlington, this museum is not your typical indoor gallery. It’s an expansive, open-air museum that beautifully blends art, history, and architecture across its 45 acres.

Imagine wandering through over 39 distinct structures, each offering a unique glimpse into America’s past. From a steamboat to a lighthouse, historic houses to barns, the museum captivates with its diverse collection. And it’s not just about buildings; the museum boasts an impressive array of folk art, quilts, and even a carousel!

26. Check out the Old Round Church

Round buildings are really interesting, and Vermont is home to a few. The Old Round Church in Richmond is a historic site, and checking it out is one of my favorite cool things to do in Vermont. Technically not “round,” the Old Round Church is a sixteen-sided town meeting hall and place of worship built in 1812-1813. It’s definitely worth a visit, simply because it is so unique and photogenic, but also essential for history buffs.

27. Stop at Vermont Cookie Love when driving Route 7

Hand holding a freshly baked chocolate chip cookie in front of the sign for 'the LOVE shack', capturing a moment of sweet indulgence at a quaint dessert spot

If you have any kind of sweet tooth, you must go to Vermont Cookie Love. I’ve driven that road hundreds of times and the possibility of chocolatey goodness never fails to entice me. Located along Route 7 in North Ferrisburgh, the home of Vermont Cookie Love, aka the Love Shack, is waiting for you, too! What could be better than a fresh, warm cookie? These are baked with love (and consumed with abandon—at least in this house!)

28. Sail aboard a Lake Champlain day cruise

Lake Champlain is one of the top things to see in Vermont, and if you can get out on the water, all the better. If renting a boat or paddling a kayak isn’t your style, I suggest jumping aboard a Lake Champlain ferry or on a day cruise. There are several options for scenic cruises and boat rentals on Lake Champlain, and the experience is relaxing and fun; def one of the top Lake Champlain activities!

29. Explore Wilson Castle, a 19th-century castle

Did you know Vermont has some castles? Years ago, I visited one of Vermont’ hidden gems: Wilson Castle. While this “technically” is not a castle, it’s a pretty awesome mansion located in Proctor, Vermont, close to the city of  Rutland , and definitely on the list of things to do in central Vermont. Guided tours are offered.

30. Visit Bingham Falls

A person in a pink shirt climbs over rocky terrain toward a serene waterfall nestled in a forest, a moment of adventure and natural beauty to be found in the wilderness

One of the prettiest places in Vermont Stowe’s  Bingham Falls  in the Mount Mansfield State Forest. Bingham Falls is a popular tourist destination, owing to its stunning 40-foot cascading waterfall and deep gorges. There are two commonly used trails to reach the falls. The shorter .5-mile long Bingham Falls Trail is steeper, emerging at the base of the falls. The longer but easier 1.3-mile Mill Trail has several offshoots leading to picturesque views of the falls from various angles. It’s location in Smuggler’s Notch State Park makes this is a can’t miss gorgeous Vermont location!  Read More:  Amazing Waterfalls in Vermont

31. Get spooked at Emily’s Bridge

a gloomy day shows a muddy road leading to a dark brown covered bridge in Vermont

 Vermont covered bridges are fascinating and historical, and some of them may also be haunted! Such is the case for the infamous Emily’s Bridge located in Stowe. Legend has it that Emily died at the bridge, hanging herself after being jilted by her lover. Tales from visitors report things like scratches appearing on their car, banging sounds on the car when stopping on the bridge, and even bloody scratches found on the skin of pedestrians crossing the bridge.

I didn’t get any scratches when walking over it, but I did get a creepy feeling! This is considered to be one of the most haunted places in VT.

32. Go biking on the Kingdom Trails

Mountain bikers will love the vast network of Kingdom Trails in East Burke, VT. These are some of the best mountain biking trails in the US, and they are set among the spectacular scenery of Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom. If you’re looking for places to go in VT to get away from it all, this might be what you’re looking for!

33. Visit the Vermont State House

 Go to Vermont’s capital city Montpelier and keep heading toward the golden-domed state house. Self-guided tours are available year-round so you can get a firsthand look at big activity in this small state! Fun fact: for many years, Montpelier had the distinction of being the only state capital in the United States without a McDonald’s!

34. Check out the Calvin Coolidge State Historic Site

 If you’re a presidential history buff and looking for where to visit in Vermont, check out the home of American president, Calvin Coolidge. In Plymouth, VT, visitors will find his childhood home, where he took his presidential oath of office. In addition to being an important historic site, the whole center comprises “over 600 bucolic acres” of a timeless Vermont village filled with original artifacts. This includes a one-room schoolhouse, barns, a cheese factory, and the hillside cemetery where President Coolidge is buried.  The Calvin Coolidge State Historic Site  is open this year beginning May 26th, 2023 through October 22, 2023.

35. Photograph the fall foliage

A stunning autumnal landscape bathed in golden sunset light, highlighting the fiery hues of fall foliage on a hillside in Vermont, evoking the warmth and tranquility of the season

Who can resist those iconic Vermont fall colors?! Of course, VT boasts scenic splendor year round, but fall in Vermont fall is truly the most magical time, with its vibrant foliage framing colonial villages, white-steepled churches, and covered bridges. Grab your camera and make plans to visit Vermont in the fall. There’s a scenic shot waiting around every corner.

36. Dine at a farm-to-table restaurant

We take farm-to-table seriously in Vermont. There’s a strong culture of eating local and supporting farmers, and restaurants do this in all parts of the state. While there are countless farm-to-table options in Vermont, you must visit  Cloudland Farm  which is a culinary experience unto itself.

37. Find serenity in nature at Lake Willoughby

Venture into the Northeast Kingdom during your Vermont visit and you will find the majestic Lake Willoughby. Bordered by high, steep cliffs, the lake looks almost like a Nordic fjord. This is a perfect spot to get away from it all and really enjoy Vermont’s nature at its best.

38. Admire Quechee Gorge from above

aerial view of deep river gorge framed by early fall foliage, Vermont

Speaking of Vermont scenery, one of the most interesting natural sites in the state is Quechee Gorge. You might wonder, “ what’s so special about a gorge? ” But it really is worth stopping to see. Park in the visitor center lot and walk carefully out onto the sidewalk on the bridge overlooking the gorge. Unparalleled Vermont views are to be seen on both sides.

39. Visit the Morgan Horse Farm

Did you know that Vermont’s State Animal is the Morgan Horse? See where they’ve been bred and trained since 1878 (the oldest continuous breeding herd) at the  Morgan Horse Farm  in Middlebury. The Morgan Horse Farm is open each summer from May until October.

40. Bring your canine pal to Dog Mountain

One of the quirkier Vermont tourist attractions out there is  Dog Mountain . If you haven’t yet been to this canine mecca, add it to your Vermont itinerary. Dog Mountain is a private mountaintop spot in St. Johnsbury that belonged to artist Stephen Huneck. Today, it houses a gallery and a dog chapel, hosting several events throughout the year. Dogs are always welcome on the property to run free and enjoy the sights alongside their human companions; this is one of those fun tourist spots in Vermont where you can bring your furry friends, too!

41. Visit Vermont’s oldest general store

A two story historic brick building with the name F.H. Gillingham & Sons on the front.

The Green Mountain State has many picturesque general stores that should be on your list of Vermont places to visit. While you have to visit the well-known Vermont Country Store, nothing compares to an old-fashioned, historic general store. Many of these claim to be the oldest in Vermont. I am partial to believe the oldest is  FH Gillingham and Sons  in Woodstock. No matter its age, it is incredibly charming—and they also have a great wine selection.

42. Eat as much Cabot cheese as you can stomach

Could there be a more quintessential Vermont option for Vermont things to do? Vermont once claimed that it had more cows than people living in the state, so it’s no surprise that we make excellent dairy products.

Cabot Cheese is one of the most famous, and with good reason. It’s fairly easy to find Cabot Cheese throughout the state, but you can sample loads of the stuff if you visit The  Cabot Farmers’ Store  in Waterbury. If you are looking for the tastiest things to do in VT, you can try dozens of flavors of Cabot cheese there. 

Read Next: Exploring the  Vermont Cheese Trail

43. Drink a maple latte

two lattes in a pink and red mug on a counter

 This might not be on other lists of VT things to do, but it is certainly an essential item on mine! I’m a huge coffee drinker and there’s nothing quite so good as a hot, steaming latte. In Vermont, flavors like vanilla and hazelnut are passé. Instead, have your latte with a shot of pure Vermont maple syrup. I promise you it’s as wonderful as it sounds, and you can find this delicious beverage all over the state. As of 2023, the best maple latte I’ve had in Vermont was from  Brio Coffeeworks  in Burlington!

44. Ride the gondola to the top of Mount Mansfield

I’ve mentioned Stowe several times already in this guide, because I think it is the best place to vacation in Vermont. And while you’re in Stowe, you can’t miss riding to the peak of Mount Mansfield.

Mount Mansfield is the tallest mountain in Vermont. While it’s home to many exciting ski trails come winter, in the summer and fall, visitors can ascend to the top in the iconic red Gondola SkyRide. This is such an easy and fun way to get to the top of Mt. Mansfield, and you’ll be rewarded with fantastic views. I highly recommend riding the Stowe gondola in the fall for the most breathtaking foliage views!

45. Take a horse-drawn sleigh ride in the winter

Speaking of Stowe, it’s a great place to take a snowy Vermont sleigh ride. The Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe is an excellent and incredibly scenic spot for this bucket list winter activity.

46. Browse Northshire Bookstore

interior of a cozy bookstore in Manchester, Vermont

One of my favorite places to visit in Vermont is in Manchester. Northshire Bookstore is a massive, adorable independent bookstore that is an incredible place to get lost for a few hours. If you love books, it’s heaven. If you love cool Vermont souvenirs, it’s also amazing! One of the standouts of this shop is there incredible 2nd floor, devoted entirely to a Children’s Section. It’s absolutely worth visiting this spot when in Vermont and be sure to support them by buying local!

47. Have a massive, delicious breakfast

a big breakfast spread, french toast, pancakes, scrambled eggs, coffee, on a colorful table

 This is a to-do that is not exclusive to Vermont, by any means. But I have never found a better breakfast than the ones I’ve had in Vermont. Truly, a homestyle, country, hearty breakfast with Vermont maple syrup, local blueberries, Cabot butter, and delicious coffee; there’s something so Vermont about this. Take time to dive into a good brunch during your Vermont visit. I’ve got local recommendations all over the site for some of my favorite cities. The Skinny Pancake, specializing in sweet and savory crepes, is one such Vermont breakfast spot. You can find a few locations all over the state!

48. Take a ride on the Green Mountain Railroad

That’s right, you can take a scenic train ride on the  Green Mountain Railroad ! If you’re looking for what to see and do in Vermont that will give you a little taste of the area, consider doing a 3-hour round trip Champlain Valley Dinner Train ride. Not only will you get to enjoy the gorgeous Vermont scenery, but the 3 course gourmet dinner isn’t so bad, either!

49. Check out the Vermont Country Store

A woman sits on the bed of a vintage blue pickup truck parked in front of "The Vermont Country Store" with a horse-drawn carriage sign on the barn-like red building. The sky is partly cloudy, and the setting has a rustic charm

I believe visiting the Vermont Country Store is a quintessential Vermont experience. This charming and nostalgia-filled store will transport you back in time with its collection of goods, from classic toys to artisanal cheeses. You definitely won’t leave empty handed.

50. Eat a maple creemee

vacation travel vermont

My last item on the list is the incredible maple creemee. The Vermont creemee is Vermont’s version of soft-serve ice cream. The best flavor is—-you guessed it—-maple. You can find amazing creemees all over the state in the summertime. Here are the spots I’d definitely recommend checking out:

  • Morse Farm – Montpelier
  • April’s Maple – Canaan
  • Palmer Lane – Jericho

FAQ About Vermont

What’s the best time of year to visit vermont.

The best time to visit Vermont is in the summer and fall. While Vermont is lovely throughout the year, most visitors find late May through October to be best for comfortable weather. To enjoy the best of fall leaves in New England, you’ll want to plan your Vermont trip for mid-September through early October.

For my personal recommendation, I find Vermont in May to be the best time to visit, as it is truly gorgeous. The green of summer is just starting to pop and the weather is growing warmer every day. It’s my little secret Vermont travel tip. Except now you know, too. Oops!

What is the prettiest town in Vermont?

There are so many beautiful destinations in Vermont, I would be hard-pressed to pick the most beautiful! But some of the prettiest towns in Vermont include Stowe, Woodstock, and Manchester.

What’s the best way to get to Vermont?

While you can certainly drive to Vermont from many locations in the US, most travelers opt to fly. The best place to fly into Vermont is the Burlington International Airport (BTV). This is the major airport in Vermont and is convenient to many of Vermont’s top destinations.

What is the best way to get around Vermont?

The best way to explore Vermont is by car, as it offers flexibility to visit various attractions, especially in rural areas. Public transportation options are very limited outside major towns.

What is the weather like in Vermont?

Bar graph displaying the high and low temperature ranges for Vermont by month, providing a visual representation of the state's climate throughout the year

Vermont has a wet continental climate that features cold winters, warm summers and precipitation all year round. In plain language, that means Vermont gets hot in the summer (sometimes super hot) and very cold in the winter. There is a true 4-season climate in Vermont, although some say Mud Season is it’s own entity, but the winters do seem to last long. The weather and temperatures in April can be quite variable.

What should I pack for a trip to Vermont?

Packing in Vermont depends on the season. Warm clothes and snow gear are essential in winter, while summers call for lighter attire. Always bring comfortable shoes for outdoor activities. My advice is always to pack layers. The weather can change throughout the day, even in summer, and layers ensure you can easily adjust what you’re wearing.

What is Vermont known for?

Vermont is known for its maple syrup, cheese, pastoral landscapes, progressive culture, and its fall foliage, among many other things. Read more all about the things Vermont is known for .

More places to explore in Vermont:

  • 9 Incredible Things to do in Chester VT
  • 10 Exciting Things to do in Stratton Vermont
  • 10 Best Things to do in Wilmington, Vermont
  • 20 Fun Things to Do in Rutland VT

Need more for planning your Vermont vacation? Read these next!

  • Guide to Seeing the 2024 Solar Eclipse in Burlington VT
  • 8 Charming Airbnbs in Vermont for an Amazing Stay
  • 11 Scrumptious Bakeries in Vermont for Sweet Lovers
  • Top 5 Places to go Dog Sledding in Vermont
  • 12 Amazing Antique Stores in Vermont
  • 10 Best Pumpkin Patches in Vermont

Best Small Towns

Things to Do in Rutland

Things to Do in Burlington

Things to Do in Montpelier

Things to Do in Woodstock

Things to Do in Vermont

Scenic Road Trips

Where to See Fall Foliage

Best Ski Resorts

Food to Try

Best Breweries

Best Time to Visit

Weather & Climate

Top Places to Visit

The Top 14 Destinations in Vermont

vacation travel vermont

In Vermont, even the most prominent cities feel like small towns, and you're never far from the things that give the state its character: dairy farms, mountains, covered bridges, craft breweries , maple sugarhouses, and apple orchards. Scroll around a map of Vermont, and you'll be hard-pressed to find a bad destination. This is the second safest state in the U.S. (after Maine), and a place where the wide-open outdoors beckons in every season. So don't just see one of these top Vermont destinations—plan to visit a few during your trip to the Green Mountain State.

Sitting on the shores of Lake Champlain, Vermont's largest city almost feels more like a resort town than anything else. Start your trip by biking along the waterfront, embarking on a boat tour of the lake, or hitting up the Lake Champlain Islands. Then, check out the scene at Church Street Marketplace , where 150 retailers and restaurants provide goods, grub, and lively entertainment.

Energized by its college students, Burlington is also the first American city to run entirely on renewable energy, and you'll see signs of the city's green leadership in everything from farm ingredient-driven menus to Hotel Vermont's green roof. Spend a day at Shelburne Farms , just 7 miles south of downtown, and discover all this 1,400-acre working farm is doing to promote a sustainable future.

As pretty a town as you'll find in Vermont, Woodstock is the perfect destination for lovers of architecture and the arts. It also just happens to be one of the best places to learn about the state's agrarian history and role in the origins of environmentalism. Must-visit attractions include Billings Farm & Museum and the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park , where you can tour the former home of Laurance and Mary Rockefeller and George Perkins Marsh: the father of the environmental movement.

Don't miss your chance to venture south to Reading to snap your own pictures of New England's most photographed farm . Or, head east to Quechee to hike along Quechee Gorge, see birds of prey at VINS Nature Center , and dine and shop at Simon Pearce Restaurant and Mill .

Don Land / Getty Images

Characterized by its white steepled church and the imposing silhouette of Mount Mansfield (Vermont's highest peak), the village of Stowe has captured many travel guide covers and calendar pages. The town is Vermont's top destination for elite skiers in the winter, though the skiing and riding remains remarkably good into the spring. In the summer and fall, this is a hiker's paradise, while leaf peepers won't want to miss the stunning drive from Stowe to Cambridge through Smugglers' Notch. For those looking for a spa getaway, you'll love all of the amenities provided by resorts like Topnotch , known for its Tennis Academy, and Stoweflake , famous for its Aqua Solarium and Spa.

Centrally located, Manchester's gracious historic inns like The Equinox make it Vermont's top spot for romantic getaways. But there's more to Manchester than maple-infused spa treatments, fireside fine dining, and designer outlet shopping. Home to the American Museum of Fly Fishing and the Orvis flagship store and fly-fishing school , this is your place to hone your tying and casting skills, or even to experience the zen-like calm of the sport for the first time. While in Manchester, you'll also want to tour the Hildene estate , the former residence of Abraham Lincoln's son, Robert Todd Lincoln.

Killington is synonymous with skiing; in fact, the winter sports season here lasts more than half the year. But if you've only visited Vermont's largest ski resort during wintertime, you've missed this mountain town's summertime tranquility and autumn glory. Make this your destination for off-season thrills like downhill mountain biking and fall foliage gondola rides . Golf, kayak, fish, or hike a stretch of the Appalachian Trail before enjoying Killington's restaurants without the après-ski crowds. In the fall, you won't have to venture far to find pick-your-own apple orchards, pumpkin patches, and fresh beer at Long Trail Brewing Company 's riverside, German-style pub.

Situated in the Green Mountain State's southwest corner, Bennington is the perfect day-trip distance from Boston, New York City, Albany, or Hartford. It's known for quintessential New England attractions, including a collection of five historic covered bridges. While you're here, you'll want to see Grandma Moses' paintings at the Bennington Museum before visiting New England poet Robert Frost's grave at the Old First Church next door. Ascend Vermont's tallest structure, the Bennington Battle Monument , via elevator for views of Vermont, New York, and Massachusetts; go at the height of fall for an especially dazzling panorama.

©  Kim Knox Beckius

While Waterbury may not have quite the same name recognition as some other Vermont cities and towns, you likely know its number one attraction: Ben & Jerry's ice cream factory tours ! Stay a while, though—maybe even in one of New England's coolest treehouses —and you'll quickly discover there's an abundance of fun to be found here. Watch apples turn into adult beverages at Cold Hollow Cider Mill , observe artisans at work at Ziemke Glassblowing Studio , and climb Camel's Hump (one of Vermont's top hikes ) for incredible views.

Smallest of all the U.S. capital cities American kids have to memorize during their elementary school years, Montpelier offers visitors a central home base from which to sightsee, ski, and collect all of Vermont's quintessential experiences. Without leaving this tiny city, you can eat breakfast topped with Vermont maple syrup at any time of the day; support independent retailers like Bear Pond Books , Woodbury Mountain Toys, and The Quirky Pet ; sip Vermont-made wine; and go for a hike at North Branch Nature Center.

Brattleboro

This vibrant small city in southeastern Vermont, just across the Connecticut River from New Hampshire, has its own distinct character. Where else will you find art and antiques galleries, a food co-op, vintage boutiques, two bookstores, and a circus arts school all in the heart of a throwback downtown? You can even rent a kayak or canoe from Vermont Canoe Touring Center and paddle right through downtown—a great way to stimulate your appetite before visiting one of Brattleboro's eclectic restaurants . Be sure to head to the city's outskirts to visit the Retreat Farm and the Grafton Village Cheese Co. factory , located right next to each other.

Courtesy of Okemo Mountain Resort

Vermont's scenic Route 100 winds through Ludlow, and many skiers and snowboarders are content to land at Okemo Mountain Resort . All of the lodging that's here for winter visitors can become your affordable home base in the summer or fall, when Route 100 is your byway to blissful experiences like shopping at the beloved Vermont Country Store in Weston. Or, poke around in Plymouth , the remarkably preserved village where Calvin Coolidge, the 30th president the U.S., was born and sworn in. You can even see cheese being made the traditional way at Plymouth Artisan Cheese .

St. Johnsbury

Denis Tangney Jr / Getty Images

The town of St. Johnsbury is the gateway to Vermont's bucolic and remote Northeast Kingdom, but there are more reasons to make your way to this outpost than most travelers realize. Love art? The St. Johnsbury Athenaeum is filled with masterpieces, including Albert Bierstadt's enormous canvas, "Domes of the Yosemite." Into science? The Fairbanks Museum & Planetarium has fascinating collections. Obsessed with dogs? Stephen Huneck's one-of-a-kind Dog Chapel is one of New England's best free attractions , and your furry companion will adore it, too. Of course, there's plentiful recreation nearby, from skiing at Burke Mountain to biking the Kingdom Trails .

Located 5 miles south of the Canadian border, it goes without saying that winters in Jay are cold, and Jay Peak skiers and other snow lovers are treated to an average annual dump of 359 inches of the white stuff. Ever since the mountain resort added an indoor water park to its offerings, though, it's built up an off-season clientele and has become a favorite among families. Summer and fall visitors can also golf, hike, fish, mountain bike, birdwatch, and explore the scenic and peaceful Northeast Kingdom.

traveler1116/Getty Images

The Vermont Republic, an independent country from 1777 until 1791, was birthed in Windsor on Vermont's eastern border. Linked to Cornish, NH by the world's longest two-span covered bridge, it's an ideal destination for a two-state vacation. In Windsor, you'll be surprisingly fascinated by the American Precision Museum , enthralled by the hang gliders you can observe when driving or hiking to the summit in Mount Ascutney State Park , and well-satiated at the indoor-outdoor Harpoon Brewery Taproom and Beer Garden .

Head to Cornish to visit one of the most under-appreciated national parks, Saint-Gaudens National Historical Park, which showcases the work of one of America's foremost sculptors. In the summer, when Opera North is in residence at Blow-Me-Down Farm, open-air performances mesmerize all ages.

Vermont's oldest and smallest city is 2.5 square miles of worthwhile experiences. Full of cultural activities to partake in, it's best known for its active library and historic opera house . Shops and restaurants are clustered along the city's picturesque Main Street, though do plan a picnic with a view of the Otter Creek waterfalls in Vergennes Falls Park. On Lake Champlain, away from the heart of the city, you'll find dog-friendly lodging and nostalgic hospitality at Basin Harbor . Or, vacation on the cheap by camping lakeside in Button Bay State Park .

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The Best Staycation in Every State

The Geographical Cure

Perfect 1 Week Itinerary for a Vermont Road Trip

If you’re yearning for a peaceful escape in New England, look no further than Vermont. This one-week Vermont itinerary offers the perfect road trip through the picturesque and tranquil state.

Vermont’s unspoiled landscapes and breathtaking scenery make it an ideal destination for those seeking solitude and natural beauty. And if you find yourself with extra time, I’ll also provide options to extend your trip and explore more of what Vermont has to offer.

Running water stream in rural Vermont

Vermont rolls out an endless supply of quaint Colonial towns filled with white steepled churches, red barns, red covered bridges, and charming inns.

Vermont is heavily forested, with a green canopy that’s set ablaze with fall foliage. If you’re looking to get away from the crowds and fall back into nature and history, Vermont is the perfect place. And, while you’re there, you can enjoy the excellent farm to table cuisine for which Vermont’s renowned.

Pinterest pin for one week road trip itinerary for Vermont

Here’s my guide spending 7 days in bucolic Vermont. This 200 mile Vermont road trip itinerary takes you from southern Vermont to northern Vermont. You’ll drive through the Green Mountains and weave through charming hamlets.

I point out all the must visit attractions and towns in Vermont. I give you tips for visiting Vermont, including where to hike, where to stay, and where to eat.

I also add some bonus destinations at the end of the one week Vermont itinerary, in case you want to extend your Vermont road trip from 7 days to 10 days or more.

Green River covered bridge in Guilford

One Week In Vermont Itinerary

This one week in Vermont road trip itinerary takes you from Brattleboro in southern Vermont to Stowe in northern Vermont. Distances between destinations are relatively short, so you won’t feel rushed.

To begin your trip to Vermont, fly into Bradley International Airport in Hartford. Brattleboro is a 1:15 drive from the airport. Or, simply drive to Brattleboro to begin.

quaint town of Brattleboro

Day 1: Brattleboro

Start your 7 day Vermont road trip in the gorgeous town of Brattleboro in southern Vermont. It’s New England’s most supportive art centric enclave. Artists settled in Brattleboro to escape the high rents of New England’s major cities, while still remaining close.

Brattleboro’s downtown has been revitalized. It’s now full of art galleries, upper story artist studios, and a broad array of art venues.

The Brattleboro Museum & Art Center is housed in a restored railroad depot. It presents 8 exhibitions annually.

Whetstone Brook in Brattleboro, Vermont

Brattleboro also has a performing arts scene focused on classical music. The marquis venue is the Marlboro Music School. Brattleboro hosts the New England Bach Festival, a winter Chamber Music Series, and the Vermont Renaissance Festival (in nearby Vernon). Or you can catch a movie at the Art Deco Latchis Theatre.

If nature calls, Brattleboro offers four seasons of sports. You can ski, snowshoe, and skate in the winter. And swim, bike, hike, and golf in the summer. Be sure to check out the Creamery Covered Bridge, a rare surviving example of a 19th century wooden bridge.

Where to stay in Brattleboro : The Inn on Putney Road, Chesterfield Inn, Treehouse Village Inn

Where to eat in Brattleboro : Mocha Joe’s Cafe, Amy’s Bakery Arts Cafe, Peter Havens, Duo, T.J. Buckley’s

Pro tip : If it’s pottery you’re after, head to Putney just 9 miles upriver.

Quechee Gorge, Quechee National Park

Day 2: Chester, Woodstock & Quechee Gorge

As you leave Brattleboro, head west on Route 9 and link up with Route 100. You’ll be traveling north along the eastern edge of the Green Mountains.

There are plenty of panoramic overlooks to stop and take photographs. And plenty of cute towns to visit along the way — Grafton, Chester, Weston, Woodstock, and Plymouth.

If you have time for just one, I’d pick Chester or Woodstock. Both are enchanting New England villages.

Either makes a good place to overnight, with farm to table eateries and charming inns. Alternatively, you could just visit and continue on to Killington, depending on your agenda.

Chester is best known for its Stone Village and Chester Village Historic Districts. The Stone Village derives its name from the plethora of granite houses in the area.

Chester Village gives off a classic Federal and Colonial aesthetic. Chester is also home to cute boutiques, art galleries, and some fabulous restaurants.

Middle Covered Bridge in Woodstock Vermont

Woodstock is ridiculously charming, the quintessential New England town. Well preserved thanks to the Rockefeller family, strolling the adorable downtown is an activity in and of itself.

There are plenty of boutiques, craft shops, antique stores, and bookstores. FH Gillingham & Sons is a classic Vermont general store. Don’t miss the cute covered bridge.

For some exercise, you can stop for a hike in Quechee Gorge en route to Killington. It’s a fairly easy (but steep) hike down to the base of the gorge.

If the clear water sparkling in the sunshine entices you, there’s a place to enter the river for a swim. The best views are from the bridge. If you didn’t get cheese earlier, now is the time to stock up at the Quechee Gorge Village

Where to stay in Chester : Inn Victoria, Fullerton Inn, Stone Hearth Inn

Where to eat in Chester : Free Range, Heritage Deli & Bakery, Pizza Stone VT

Where to stay in Woodstock : Fan House Bed & Breakfast, Kedron Valley Inn, Twin Farms, The Woodstock Inn and Reort

Where to eat in Woodstock : Barnard Inn Restaurant, Cloudland Farm, Keeper’s Cafe, The Red Rooster

Thundering Falls in Killington

Day 3-4: Killington

One days 3 and 4 of your Vermont itinerary, you arrive in Killington. The town is Vermont’s largest ski resort. It’s a must visit town on your one week in Vermont itinerary.

Killington is really a year round outdoor playground, no matter the season. The downtown is a bit strip mall-ish and overdeveloped. But the views from Killington Peak are sublime.

When the weather is warm, hit the Adventure Center where you can zip line and take scenic lift rides. The ski trails are also open for hiking. Deer Leap Trail is a 3 mile loop and leads to a pretty view overlooking Pico Peak.

In winter, you can ski, snowboard, fat bike, cross country ski, snow tube, and take sleigh rides. Because of its snowmaking capacity, the slopes usually open in early November and the lifts run to early May. The Grand Spa is a nice way to end your day.

Where to stay in Killington : Mountain Top Inn, Birch Ridge Inn, Killington Grand Resort Hotel

Where to eat in Killington : The Garlic, The Peak Lodge, Choices

Church Street Marketplace in Burlington, which is one of the best towns to visit on a Vermont road trip.

Day 4-5: Burlington

You may want to spend another day in Killington, if you’re sporty. But, if not, the next stop is Burlington, land of the poet Robert Frost and known as one of the most livable small cities in the US.

In Vermont, there’s a saying that “you can’t throw a stone without hitting a poet/painter/potter.” As the largest town in a state of small hamlets, Burlington has developed a self contained art scene that’s the envy of many.

To some, Burlington is akin to a mini Seattle — a politically and socially progressive enclave of college students, regional power brokers, and creative minds.

The jewel of Burlington’s art scene is the Fleming Museum on the University of Vermont campus. The museum has a wide range of artworks and artists. In June, you can attend the Arts Alive Festival. The Firehouse Center for the Arts also hosts year round exhibitions and art programs.

University of Vermont

If you want to see a show, head to the Flynn Performing Arts Center . It’s a fully restored Art Deco masterpiece. The Flynn hosts concerts, plays, and traveling Broadway shows.

If you want to disappear into nature, take the Robert Frost Interpretive Trail. It’s a short 1.2 mile woodland walk. You’ll find signs with commemorative quotes from his poems, including The Road Not Taken .

If you’re a foodie, Burlington will suit. It outshines much of the US with a bounty of locally grown food. Farm to table eating is a well established tradition. There’s even excellent street food at Farmers and Foragers Food Truck.

>>> Click here to book a craft brewery tour

Creemees on the Waterfront

And Burlington has a wonderful farmer’s market on Saturdays in the summer and fall. There’s everything from organic meats and cheeses to flowers and maple syrup.

Local artisans also sell their wares. The market is a must see if you’re visiting in season.

Where to stay in Burlington : Willard Street Inn, Hotel Vermont, The Essex, Made INN Vermont

Where to eat in Burlington : Bleu Northeast Seafood, Hen of the Wood, Juniper, The Great Northern, Honey Road

Adirondack mountains across Lake Champlain

Day 6: Day Trip To Shelburne and Lake Champlain From Burlington

On day 6 of your 7 day Vermont itinerary, stay in Burlington another night. Then day trip to your next Vermont destination. Drive south to the Magic Hat Brewing Company .

This establishment sparked the growth of Vermont’s microbrewery scene. You can take a free half hour tour and fill up your own growler with an experimental brew.

Just down Route 7 is Shelburne, an affluent suburb of Burlington. Shelburne’s main attraction is the 19th century Shelburne Farms .

There, you can learn how cheese is made from start to finish. Or wander around the beautiful 1400 acre estate. The farm overlooks Lake Champlain. It’s the perfect place for a picnic, if you’re brought your own provisions or purchased some at the farm.

Charlotte Meeting House in Shelburne

Lake Champlain is one of the most iconic places to visit in Vermont. It’s the 6th largest freshwater lake in the US. First head to Oakland Park.

Admire the beach and, if it’s warm, go paddle boarding. Then hike up the Island Line Trail to the Burlington Earth Clock. The clock is a beautiful large stone circle created by locals called Circles of Peace .

If you want to hit up another microbrewery, the Switchback Brewery is your go to place in Lake Champlain. Then, hike the 2.7 mile long Red Rocks Park Loop Trail, where you’ll have beautiful views of the mountains and lake.

the picture perfect town of Stowe

Day 7: Stowe

Just a 30 minute drive from Burlington brings you to lively Stowe Vermont. New England is awash in winter resort towns.

But Vermont’s picturesque Stowe is an incredible year round destination you can’t help but fall in love with. It’s especially known for its breathtaking fall foliage.

En route to Stowe, make the requisite stop at Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory . You can tour the facilities and get the low down on how their ice cream is made. Afterward, you can taste some limited-release creations.

Then, on to beautiful Stowe. In the winter, Stowe is a popular ski destination, with Vermont’s tallest peak Mt. Mansfield. If there’s snow when you arrive, hit the slopes or take a sleigh ride.

Come summer, Stowe swaps skiing for hiking, golf, mountain biking, kayaking, swimming, and scenic drives up the winding Auto Toll Road. For a magical experience, you can go hot air ballooning over the Green Mountains.

Scenic mountain view hiking Stowe Pinnacle Trail in Vermont

Where mountainous Stowe really shines is its hiking trails, with a range of options to suit every level of experience. Some take you to towering peaks, others end in waterfalls.

The Stowe Pinnacle Trail is a 2.8 mile hike to a breathtaking summit with mountain views. When you’re done hiking, snack on some apple cider donuts or indulge in a Vermont Maple Sugar Body Scrub at the Snowflake Spa .

Stowe also boasts a romantic and picture perfect downtown. Its white steepled church is the focal point. The tiny Main Street is filled with boutiques, art galleries, crafts stores, and antique shops.

Sample some of the finest cheddar cheese and maple syrup in Vermont. There are also libraries, museums, theaters, and cultural organizations to keep your entertained.

Where to stay in Stowe: Stowe Mountain Resort, Trapp Family Lodge. Topnotch Resort

Where to eat in Stowe: Plate, Cliff House, Bistro at Ten Acres

Montpelier, Vermont's beautiful capital city

Extra Time On Your Vermont Road Trip?

If you have more than 7 days to spend in Vermont, there are plenty of other places to add to your Vermont itinerary.

1. Montpelier

Add a day in pretty Montpelier, just 38 miles south of Burlington in northern Vermont. Montpelier is the country’s smallest capital, though it feels like a village. Its quirky spirit has earned it the nickname of “Montpeculier.”

Montpelier has a historic little downtown center and vibrant cultural scene, with shops, cinemas, art galleries, etc. But its main claim to fame is as a base for outdoor activities. Hubbard Park offers miles and miles of hiking trails. On its highest peak, a romantic stone tower offers 360 mountain views.

You can also tour the Vermont State House , visit the Vermont History Museum , browse in Kellogg Library, and sample a maple “creemee” at the Morse Farm Maple Sugarworks .

Where to stay in Montpelier : Inn at Montpelier, High Hill Inn

Where to eat in Montpelier : NECI on Main, Sarducci’s, Kismet

main street of Manchester Vermont in fall

2. Manchester

Or, if you’d prefer to hang out in southern Vermont, you can add Manchester to the beginning of your Vermont road trip itinerary. It’s only 1:30 from Brattleboro. Seated at the base of Mt. Equinox, Manchester has been a popular summer resort since the 19th century.

Manchester boasts stately homes and marble sidewalks. Its Main Street could hardly be more picturesque. The town is also a bastion of outlet shopping, with famed upscale factory outlets doing business in cute Colonial buildings.

One must see site in Manchester is Hildene , the summer home of Abraham Lincoln’s son. Hildene is a beautiful Georgian Revival style mansion, which holds some of the Lincoln’s family’s most precious possessions. The property also features beautiful gardens.

Hildene, the Lincoln family home in Manchester

For hiking in Manchester, hit the Mt. Equinox Trail . It’s a 6.8 mile loop that’s both steep and challenging. The views from the summit are worth the arduous climb. But you can also access the summit by car at the entrance to Skyline Drive.

Where to stay in Manchester : Equinox, Taconic Hotel, Wilburton Inn

Where to eat in Manchester : Bistro Henry, Mistral’s at Toll Gate, Mystic Cafe & Wine Bar, Ponce Bistro, The Silver Fork

covered bridge in Vermont

I hope you’ve enjoyed my one week itinerary for Vermont. You may enjoy these other United States travel guides and itineraries:

  • 10 Day Itinerary for New Hampshire
  • 25 Most Beautiful Town in New England
  • 10 Day Itinerary for Coastal Maine
  • Fall Foliage Road Trip in New England
  • 3 Day Itinerary for Boston
  • 10-14 Day Itinerary for Southwest US
  • 10 Day Southern California Itinerary
  • 21 Less Touristy Towns on the East Coast
  • Best Art Towns on the East Coast
  • Best Art Towns in California

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Last Updated on July 9, 2023 by Leslie Livingston

vacation travel vermont

Vermont Family Vacation: Things To Do And See in Every Season

V ermont’s nickname, “the Green Mountain State,” represents why people want to go on a Vermont family vacation — to escape in nature.

  • The Great Outdoors: Vermont is the perfect staycation and vacation getaway if you and your family want to escape work, school, or big cities and return to nature.
  • Perfect In Any Season: With a massive array of activities, most of which affordable and featuring the green mountains, finding fun and relaxation is easy regardless of the season.
  • Planning Your Break: We’ve done much of the research for you, all that remains is to pick your favorite season and decide what to do when you arrive on your Vermont break.

Related: 10 Must-Have Gadgets for Summer Vacations

Where is Vermont?

Vermont is located in the northeast of the United States, right between New Hampshire and New York. Its weather is quite similar to the states around it, with four distinct seasons. Winters can get quite cold and snowy, but it is worth it when the summer months roll around and the temperature hovers in the 80s for weeks at a time. Each season boasts unique Vermont vacation opportunities, and some of these are listed below.

What to do in Vermont in the Summer?

The summer is a time for sun and swimming. Believe it or not, Vermont isn’t always cold and its natives do plenty of water-related activities.

If you’re feeling adventurous, check out the Dorset Quarry. This is a local hot spot in the summer, but not a lot of people outside of this area know it exists. It used to be a source of marble, but now it is a deep swimming ground (60 ft deep to be exact). People drive there, park their cars for the day, and lounge on the remaining giant marble rocks. One of the rocks is 10 feet above the water, which turns this swimming spot into a cliff diving destination too. There are also smaller-sized jumps, which will make it an adventure for everyone during your Vermont family vacation.

More swimming options include Lake Champlain, Lake St. Catherine, and Lake Bomoseen. These are not too far from the town of Dorset and have Vermont vacation rentals. These are all freshwater lakes that can also offer water sports like tubing, boating, and waterskiing.

There is also the summer theatre series at the Dorset Playhouse , which is only about 30 minutes away from Lake St. Catherine. They put together several plays and musicals that run over the summer from June to September and feature Broadway shows and actors. This is a great nighttime activity if you are looking for some adult entertainment.

These are just some of the activities you can experience if you vacation in Vermont, but there are always hidden gems you can find just driving around this beautiful state.

Related: 7 Tips For How To Survive Your Family Beach Vacation

What to do in Vermont in the Fall?

Vermont cools down a bit in the fall, but nothing beats the view of the leaves changing colors all over the mountains. If you stop by Lake St. Catherine, there is a state park that actually sits on the lake . You can pay to camp there with an RV and use the facilities including hiking trails, fishing, paddle boat rentals, etc.

Another spot to look at the changing colors in the leaves would be Mount Independence in Orwell, VT. Mount Independence is a State Historic Site due to its use in the Revolutionary War as a site where fortifications were built. Along with seeing exhibits highlighting its importance, you can also hike several different trails that lead you up the mountain itself.

If you are ready to leave the water, though, you can stay at nice hotels and inns around the area. For example, in Dorset, Vermont there is the refinished historic Dorset Inn . The Inn sits directly behind the Dorset Field Club, which features a gorgeous and well-acclaimed golf course. This Inn has excellent food and is located right down the street from the Manchester Designer Outlets and the Dorset Playhouse. There is a lot to do in these neighboring towns in terms of shopping, dining, and entertainment.

What to do in Vermont in the Winter?

If you don’t mind the cold, Vermont has awesome winter sports that your whole family will enjoy. For example, if you like to ski, there are several great ski mountains in areas close to each other. Stratton, Bromley , and Killington mountains all have great skiing and snowboarding options. A lot of them have great childcare or skiing lessons that can help out every member of your family. Nearby resorts take care of living and dining arrangements as well.

What to do in Vermont in the Spring?

If you like farms, cheese, and ice cream, there are really cool tours you plan during your Vermont family vacation. There are farm tour options via Vermont Farm Tours  where you can learn how to make cheese and see farms around the Shelburne, Vermont area. The Cabot Creamery and Ben & Jerry’s Factory are also both located in Vermont. The Cabot Visitors Center is in Cabot, Vermont, which features activities like cheese tastings and product displays. Additionally, the Ben & Jerry’s Factory in Waterbury, Vermont offers a guided factory tour and products shop.

Another destination that can be fun in the springtime is The Equinox , which is a hotel, luxury golf resort, and spa. This is a relaxing place where you can get away while also staying close to the Manchester Designer Outlets  and the town of Manchester itself .

Lastly, another place to visit in the spring is the college town of Burlington, VT. This is the home of the University of Vermont , which has great shopping, dining, and scenery. While it is a decent drive from some of the towns previously listed, it makes a great day trip. It also lies on the shore of Lake Champlain , which provides more springtime activities.

As you start to plan your next big trip, think about going to Vermont. Not only does it boast several indoor attractions, but the views are even more impressive. Have fun exploring the beautiful state of Vermont!

Vermont’s nickname, “the Green Mountain State,” represents why people want to go on a Vermont family vacation — to escape in

Google will now let you use AI to build travel itineraries for your vacations

vacation travel vermont

As we inch toward the summer holidays, Google is announcing a slate of travel updates that place it squarely in the travel planning process and give it a lot more insight into purchasing intent in the travel sector.

First up, Google is rolling out an update to its  Search Generative Experience (SGE) that will allow users to build travel itineraries and trip ideas using AI, the company announced on Wednesday.

The new capability — currently only available in English in the U.S. to users enrolled in Search Labs , its program that lets users experiment with early-stage Google Search experiences and share feedback — draws on ideas from sites across the web, along with reviews, photos and other details that people have submitted to Google for places around the world.

When users ask for something like “plan me a three day trip to Philadelphia that’s all about history,” they will get a sample itinerary that includes attractions and restaurants, as well as an overview of options for flights and hotels, divided up by times of day.

For now, the itineraries are just that: There are no options to buy services or experiences on the spot. When you’re happy with your itinerary, you can export it to Gmail, Docs or Maps.

Google has not commented on when or if it might roll this out more widely. But it points to how the company is experimenting with how and where it can apply its AI engine. A lot of players in the travel industry may be eyeing up the role that generative AI will play in travel services in the coming years — some excitedly, some warily. But even now, startups like Mindtrip and Layla , which provide users with access to AI assistants that are designed to help you plan your trips, are already actively pursuing this.

But with this new update, Google is taking on startups like these while also gathering data about travel purchasing intent (useful for its wider ad business) and learning what kind of appetite its users might have for such services.

Image Credits: Google

Google also announced that it’s making it easier to discover lists of recommendations in Google Maps in select cities in the U.S. and Canada. If you search for a city in Maps, you will now see lists of recommendations for places to go from publishers like The Infatuation, as well as from other users. You will also see curated lists of top, trending, and hidden gem restaurants in 40+ U.S. cities.

Finally, the company is adding new tools to help you customize lists you create, so you can better organize your travel plans or share your favorite spots with your friends and family. You can choose the order the places appear in a list so you can organize them by top favorites or chronologically like an itinerary. Plus, you can link to content from your social channels.

Ohio mother who left toddler alone when she went on vacation is sentenced in child’s murder

An Ohio woman whose toddler died after she left her alone for more than a week while she went on vacation was sentenced to life in prison without parole Monday, the Cuyahoga County prosecutor said.

Kristel Candelario, 32, pleaded guilty last month t o aggravated murder and endangering children in connection with the death of her 16-month-old daughter, Jailyn, last year.

Candelario left for vacation June 6 and left Jailyn alone. She visited Detroit and Puerto Rico, the prosecutor’s office said.

When she returned on June 16, she found Jailyn dead and called police, authorities said.

Jailyn Calendario mom mother sentencing court legal law child death

Jailyn died of starvation and severe dehydration due to pediatric neglect, Dr. Elizabeth Mooney, the deputy Cuyahoga County medical examiner, said in court Monday. The manner was ruled homicide.

The child was extremely dehydrated and emaciated, weighing 13 pounds, 7 pounds less than in her last doctor's visit less than two months before, Mooney said.

Mooney, who conducted the autopsy, called Jailyn's death "one of the most tragic and unfortunate cases I’ve had in my career thus far." She said the child could have suffered for possibly a week.

In a statement Monday, prosecutor Michael C. O’Malley called Jailyn “a beautiful baby girl who was taken from this world due to her mother’s unimaginable selfishness.”

Candelario told the court Monday that “every day I ask forgiveness from God and from my daughter Jailyn.”

She also asked forgiveness from her other daughter and from her parents.

Jailyn Calendario.

Candelario’s attorney, Derek Smith, said that no one was trying to excuse her behavior but that Candelario was struggling emotionally and was overwhelmed as a single mother of two children.

Candelario had tried to harm herself earlier in 2023 and she had been placed on antidepressants, which she stopped taking without tapering down in dosage as required, which can cause side effects, Smith told the court. Candelario was "not thinking clearly," he said.

“I am not trying to justify my actions, but nobody knew how much I was suffering and what I was going through,” Candelario said through an interpreter.

Assistant Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Anna Faraglia told the court Monday that Candelario had left Jailyn alone for two days immediately before she left on vacation.

"The thought of this child dying every day while she's having fun — humanity can't stomach that," Faraglia said. "And those are the actions that need to be punished. She abandoned her daughter and left her for dead."

In sentencing Candelario, Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Brendan Sheehan noted that the police and the medical professionals involved called it one of the most horrific cases they’d ever seen.

“It stunned people across this world, because it defies one of the basic human responsibilities,” Sheehan said. He called it “the ultimate act of betrayal.” 

vacation travel vermont

Phil Helsel is a reporter for NBC News.

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Breaking news, i was traumatized by my first cruise vacation after two ship-rocking storms in five days.

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Lavishly celebrating a wedding anniversary is sweet. However, it’s best to not go  overboard .

But couple Alisha and Nate Downey nearly went down with the ship when their luxury liner became entangled in two “traumatizing” thunderstorms .

What was meant to be a lovely $3,294 float to Mexico almost cost the lovebirds their lives.  

Alisha and Nate Downey, 31, from Denver, Colorado, on a Royal Caribbean cruise.

“My first cruise was … quite the experience,” Alisha, 31, a mom and dental assistant from Denver, Col., captioned Instagram footage of her rocky Royal Caribbean voyage in January. 

Washing up a staggering 28.4 million views, the trending post featured clips of swollen waves crashing against the boat. 

The intense impact of the troubled waters caused the ship’s built-in pool to violently slosh, sent glassware and liquor bottles flying off shelves in the bar and dining areas, and made casino slot machines fall on top of passengers, per the viral vid. 

Royal Caribbean did not immediately respond to The Post’s request for comment. 

Alisha and Nate, 31, a sales manager, set sail for their five-day romantic escape to tropical Costa Maya and Cozumel, leaving from a port in Galveston, Tex., on Jan. 22.

Mid-way through the jaunt, cruise executives reportedly announced that docking in Costa Maya would be “too dangerous.” Instead, the watercraft drifted directly to Cozumel before heading back to the US. 

Alisha and Nate Downey, 31, from Denver, Colorado, on a Royal Caribbean cruise.

However, on the way home, a dark cloud upended vacationers’ fun in the sun.  

“We could see from our balcony that the overcast was getting worse, water was becoming very choppy, and looking toward the direction we were headed,” Alisha explained to What’sTheJam. 

“Very quickly the weather became worse, rain pouring down, the ship rocking,” she recalled. “Around this time is when I believe an announcement was made that we were in a storm and to ‘find sanctuary’.”

Alisha filmed herself and Nate hiding out in their room, which was located on the liner’s eighth floor. However, the pair’s sky-high digs was no match for the mighty ocean. 

“Soon our room was taking on water, coming under our balcony door,” she said. “A wine glass slid off the vanity and shattered, all the stuff came falling off.”

Alisha and Nate Downey, 31, from Denver, Colorado, on a Royal Caribbean cruise.

In fear for their lives, the trembling twosome went downstairs to the main deck — only to find broken glass and equally spooked trippers scattered everywhere. 

“We even saw women wearing their life jackets coming up the stairs from lower decks…people were scared,” Alisha remembered. “And by that point, there was about three feet of water in our room.”

Harrowing visuals of the chaotic scene elicited sympathy from some online viewers. However, less compassionate folks on the internet scolded Alisha and Nate for taking the watery risk. 

“Just don’t take a cruise during hurricane season,” scoffed a cynic. 

“Smh they are not all like this. Stop spreading fear,” demanded an equally apathetic commenter. 

“I would say the risk you take for booking a cruise??? Like demanding a refund because it rained on your beach vacation??,” another outraged critic ranted. “Maybe they should refund you. Then just not pay any of their staff that worked the cruise and kept you safe so you can get your refund for your inconvenience?” 

Alisha and Nate Downey, 31, from Denver, Colorado, on a Royal Caribbean cruise.

Alisha clapped back at the shade. 

“[I] Never demanded a refund, to be clear. I respectfully requested a small credit or voucher toward another cruise,” she explained in her Instagram comments. 

The incensed traveler, too noted that her cruise wasn’t during hurricane season — which, in Mexico, spans from June through November. 

“Our room flooded as did many. We paid for unlimited drinks to which bars closed for a while. We were supposed to stop at two places…one of which was skipped,” confined the blond. “And whilst one captain on another cruise line redirected for safety our captain went through not one but TWO dangerous storms.”

“People got hurt.” 

Rather than a refund, Alisha said Royal Caribbean offered her 20% on her next cruise. 

However, while she and her hubby may not be in a hurry to board another tub any time soon, other sea lovers have become completely addicted to the motion of the ocean. 

View this post on Instagram A post shared by Alisha Downey (@leesh.downey_)

Influencers across the globe have infamously ditched dry to hop onboard the Ultimate World Cruise , a nine-month Royal Caribbean cruise that launched in December.  

And newlyweds Monica Brzoska Jorell Conley recently quit their jobs and hawked all their worldly possessions to become permanent mariners . 

“All my meals are cooked by chefs and staff change my bedding,” said Brzoska, 32. “I haven’t stepped into a kitchen or used a washing machine for a year.”

“I’m not a millionaire,” she teased, “I just live full-time on cruise ships.”

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Alisha and Nate Downey, 31, from Denver, Colorado, on a Royal Caribbean cruise.

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Vacation Rentals: How to Shrink Your Carbon Footprint

An illustration shows a woman from above, lying on the deck of a tall urban apartment building, reading a book. Birds fly around her, and plants surround her. A grouping of solar panels is in one corner of the deck. Many stories below her, is a busy street.

By Elaine Glusac

Elaine Glusac is the Frugal Traveler columnist, focusing on budget-friendly tips and journeys.

Travelers choosing to stay in a vacation home instead of a hotel may have to spend more time searching for sustainable lodgings, but ultimately they will have more control over their environmental impact. The following are steps short-term renters can take to shrink their carbon footprint.

Search for sustainable rentals

The company Sustonica validates short-term rentals based on sustainability standards, including conserving water and minimizing waste. But it does not act as a search engine. Instead, travelers will find its logo on certified listings on platforms like Airbnb and Booking.com.

Airbnb’s rental categories can help travelers find off-the-grid options, highlighting more than 9,000 listings that rely on renewable energy sources or have no electricity, and Earth Homes , a set of accommodations built with organic materials such as mud or rammed earth.

Booking.com, which lists vacation homes as well as hotels, allows travelers to search for listings with sustainability certifications from more than 65 organizations doing third-party reviews of practices ranging from renewable energy sourcing to recycling.

The company said that more than 16,500 properties, a combination of hotels and rentals, have separate, third-party sustainability certification.

The vacation home rental platform Vrbo does not have an eco-friendly search filter, citing the lack of industry consensus on what makes a rental more sustainable. Properties listed by its sibling agency Expedia may say they are “eco-certified” and users can search using that filter. But read the results carefully; some listings lack information on their sustainable features.

Wherever you search, scrutinize the listings, said Bob Garner, the founder of EnviroRental , a service that works with short-term rental owners on sustainability practices. Do bathroom photos show shampoo in large, shareable dispensers? Does the description mention recycling? If the host has a separate website, look for press links or blog posts related to sustainability.

Talk to the host

According to Airbnb, more than 80 percent of its hosts say they incorporate at least one sustainable feature, such as composting, minimizing single-use plastics and providing guidance on using public transportation. The platform maintains a guide for hosts on sustainable tourism practices, with tips on things like creating a manual to direct travelers to local shops, restaurants and markets.

“When you think you’ve found the right property, ask some questions,” Mr. Garner said. “If they can’t answer them, then there’s a red flag.”

Just the act of asking about environmentally friendly features can have a lasting effect.

“If they think you care, there’s a greater chance of moving the needle,” said Diane Daniel, the founder of Vacation Donations , a nonprofit that encourages short-term renters to donate leftover food in the Tampa, Fla., area.

Consider a pedestrian- or public-transit-friendly location

Even if you can’t find a solar-powered stay, you can choose a location that allows you to get around with minimal emissions.

Connect your “environmental consciousness with the idea of being a good traveler,” said Beth Santos, the chief executive of Wanderful , a global women’s travel community, and the author of “Wander Woman: How to Reclaim Your Space, Find Your Voice, and Travel the World, Solo.”

She recommends travelers live like locals, including taking public transportation, visiting neighborhoods beyond city centers and patronizing small businesses. Take a “day zero,” or a single unscheduled day to walk the neighborhood to find nearby shops as well as transportation options.

Conserve energy

Conserve energy by turning air conditioning off or down when you’re out, switching off lights when you leave and turning off the tap while you brush your teeth.

“This could be one area where you say, ‘I don’t care, I’m on vacation,’” Ms. Daniel said. But travelers should stay vigilant, she said. “Short-term rentals are the easiest places to regulate your footprint, because it’s really up to you.”

Plan meals, reduce waste

Renters usually have the option of cooking meals. To avoid food waste , plan meals and shop for them as you go — and as plans change — rather than buying everything at once. Bring staples like salt and pepper and ask the host if the kitchen is stocked with other supplies like cooking oil and coffee.

“Buying slowly over the week as you need things is a really nice experience if you’re in a location where they’ve got some nice delicacies and interesting farm shops,” Mr. Garner said.

Ms. Santos of Wanderful recommends packing a collapsible food container. “You can throw it in your luggage, take home leftovers and have a place to reheat them,” she said.

Donate leftover food

Take as much leftover food home as you can and look for food pantries that accept donations for whatever you can’t take.

“Perishables are very challenging unless you’re near a pantry that takes them and is open when you’re checking out,” said Ms. Daniel of Vacation Donations.

Don’t assume the cleaner wants your food. In a pinch, Ms. Daniel recommends knocking on neighbors’ doors if you’re staying in an apartment building, or searching Facebook for local groups seeking food donations.

Consider ‘community offsets’

Carbon offset programs invest in activities like tree farming that reduce carbon in an amount matching the emissions generated by a trip. But it’s a controversial practice that has led to inflated, if not bogus, claims of carbon mitigation.

Instead, consider donating your time to a local cause in the area where you’re renting.

“Community offsets or volunteering work are opportunities to spend two hours one morning of a holiday to help in whichever volunteering work there is in this local area, from picking up trash to feeding homeless people,” said Vanessa de Souza Lage, the co-founder and chief executive of Sustonica.

An earlier version of this article inaccurately described Sustonica, a company that focuses on sustainability standards at short-term rentals. It is not a nonprofit.

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Open Up Your World

Considering a trip, or just some armchair traveling here are some ideas..

Italy :  Spend 36 hours in Florence , seeking out its lesser-known pockets.

Southern California :  Skip the freeways to explore the back roads between Los Angeles and Los Olivos , a 100-mile route that meanders through mountains, canyons and star-studded enclaves.

Mongolia : Some young people, searching for less curated travel experiences, are flocking to the open spaces of this East Asian nation .

Romania :  Timisoara  may be the most noteworthy city you’ve probably never heard of , offering just enough for visitors to fill two or three days.

India: A writer fulfilled a lifelong dream of visiting Darjeeling, in the Himalayan foothills , taking in the tea gardens and riding a train through the hills.

52 Places:  Why do we travel? For food, culture, adventure, natural beauty? Our 2024 list has all those elements, and more .

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Taylor Swift brought her favorite hat on Bahamas vacation with Travis Kelce — buy yours for $50

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Hats off to Taylor Swift.

The pop star shaded her face with a familiar topper while on vacation with boyfriend Travis Kelce in the Bahamas last week: the classic Polo Ralph Lauren baseball cap ($50) she’s been rocking on repeat since last fall.

Embroidered with the brand’s iconic polo-player logo and available in a slew of colors, the chino cap’s been spotted on celebrities ranging from Jennifer Lawrence to Kendall Jenner — and in addition to the beige version she brought to the Bahamas, Swift also owns a corduroy version ($89) of the sporty style.

Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce in the Bahamas

Polo Ralph Lauren Classic Chino Cap

Polo Ralph Lauren Classic Chino Cap

While boarding a boat with the Kansas City Chiefs tight end in Harbour Island, Swift, 34, styled her hat with a braided ponytail, white linen shorts, sold-out Marea New York woven slides ($275) and a pink floral tank top; a style similar to the latter sells for $18 at one of the singer’s longtime favorite retailers, Brandy Melville.

The Grammy winner also accessorized with a choker and a slate of stud earrings.

Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce in the Bahamas

It’s not the only style statement Swift’s made during her island getaway; she was also snapped enjoying a swim in her yellow striped Montce bikini top ($143) and bottom ($94), which are currently available for preorder.

Montce Lucy Bikini Top and Lulu Bikini Bottom

Montce Lucy Bikini Top and  Lulu Bikini Bottom

She and Kelce showed plenty of PDA while soaking up the sun, with the NFL player wearing blue shibori tie-dye swim shorts with a plain white T-shirt.

The couple has already returned from their Bahamian getaway, where they stayed at the  ultra-exclusive Rosalita House  on Harbour Island.

Upon their return to Los Angeles, the pair were spotted grabbing lunch at sushi hotspot Nobu Malibu and enjoying a private workout at the gym .

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