Probably most tourists associate Vermont with the incredibly beautiful and famous ski slopes. Here you will find much more than that – farms on the hills covered with red maple trees, stone bridges and incredibly beautiful natural views. And if that’s not enough, you can have fun in the urban setting of Burlington, visit one of Manchester’s shopping malls or the hippie setting in Brattleboro.
The main livelihood of the region is the production of dairy products. To learn more about this industry, visit the Vermont Cheese Trail. Your tour will easily become a tour of the traditional tourist visits to maple syrup companies.
Here are some suggestions for your ideal vacation in Vermont.
- 1. Fairbanks Museum & Planetarium
- 2. Green Mountain National Forest
- 3. Brattleboro Farmers’ Market
- 4. Bennington Battle Monument and Museum
- 5. Hildene
- 6. Stowe
- 7. Church Street Marketplace
- 8. Mount Mansfield and Smugglers Notch
- 9. Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historic Park
- 10. Lake Champlain
- 11. Ben & Jerry’s
- 12. Shelburne Museum
- 13. Montshire Museum of Science
- 14. Quechee Gorge
- 15. Visit a Maple Farm
- 16. Rock of Ages Quarry and Hope Cemetery
- 17. Woodstock
- 18. St. Albans
1. Fairbanks Museum & Planetarium
This building from 1891 definitely houses various exhibitions – from the secrets of the universe to local plant species. Here you will find works dedicated to the Civil War, a Victorian stop on portraits of Washington, Lincoln, and other celebrities, a planetarium for those interested in the secrets of the universe and a nature center that is home to various species of frogs and flies.
Crossing the street you will see the oldest gallery in the United States – St. Johnsbury Athenaeum, dating from 1873 and collecting famous works of American and European art from the 18th and 19th centuries.
2. Green Mountain National Forest
Crossing Vermont’s National Forest is not easy, especially in winter. Some of the routes are closed during the cold season, but if you are an avid mountaineer, this adventure is one of the best things to do in Vermont, and the views in front of you will definitely please you. Among the dense greenery you will find beautiful waterfalls, campsites and picnic areas.
The Long Trail follows the mountain ranges from the Canadian border to the Massachusetts border, while the shorter Appalachian Trail is in the south.
Different routes cross the mountain in all sorts of ways to create different difficulty hikes, a favorite of almost all tourists in Vermont.
3. Brattleboro Farmers’ Market
At the market in Brattleboro you will find a variety of fruits, vegetables, flowers, artisanal breads, different varieties of cheese, honey, maple cheese, jewelry, and French pastries. It is also a gathering place for local tourists.
Often around noon, you will see dancers and musicians here. Some vendors offer ready meals for a wonderful lunch at the picnic tables around.
The market is also a gathering place for various artists, so it is possible to come across a concert, art show or music show.
4. Bennington Battle Monument and Museum
Vermont is also a place with a rich history. Passing near Bennington you can not miss the 306-foot-high obelisk, which is a symbol of one of the most significant victories during the Civil War.
In the immediate vicinity is the Bennington Museum, famous for its works by primitive folk artist Grandma Moses and his painting studio. Here you will find more exhibitions of pottery, furniture, toys and objects from the Civil War.
Georgian Revival Hildene was built by the son of President Lincoln. The home houses many of the Lincoln family’s personal belongings, including the still functioning thousand-pipe 1908 Aeolian organ.
The halls are furnished in Queen Anne style and will transport you to a unique setting. The home remained the property of the Lincoln family until 1975.
Stowe is perhaps Vermont’s calling card and what every tourist imagines before coming here. The place is located among the mountain hills and most accurately represents the ski glory of Vermont.
The Vermont Ski Museum is also located here. But tourists do not come here just for skiing.
You will find restaurants, boutiques and shops, the Helen Day Art Center with various art exhibitions and luxury mountain resorts such as Stowe Mountain Resort.
7. Church Street Marketplace
Church Street is a must-see in Vermont. Although only a few blocks long, the street has enough space to accommodate all the musical performances, concerts and shows that take place here all year round.
If you want to enjoy one of them, you can sit in one of the cafeterias and restaurants, on the roadside benches or just walk around the statues of famous jazz musicians and beautiful fountains.
In the warm months the street is very busy, and here you can see locals and tourists.
8. Mount Mansfield and Smugglers Notch
Take Mountain Road, which begins shortly after Stowe and reaches the shoulder of Mount Mansfield, if you want an unforgettable adventure. Shortly after the ski slopes of Stowe Mountain Resort, the road becomes so narrow that in some places only one car can pass.
You will reach Smugglers’ Notch – one of the most famous natural areas in Vermont. In winter the road closes after the ski slopes. If you like nature walks, you can take this path on foot among glacial rocks and caves dating back to the Ice Age.
9. Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historic Park
With its still-functioning farm and beautiful gardens, Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historic Park is known as the only national park in America to concentrate on land stewardship.
You can choose a guided tour of the farm, where you can learn about rural life, see farm animals and museum exhibits. The Rockefeller home tour will introduce you to many details of farming, gardening, forestry and their connection to conservation.
10. Lake Champlain
Lake Champlain stretches for 8,000 square miles between Vermont and New York. Its shores remain undeveloped today and this makes it a favorite place for those looking for a peaceful walk, fans of kayaking and canoeing.
The fauna here is also particularly diverse – with over 80 species of fish and 318 species of birds. According to Samuel de Champlain, after whom the name is named, a 20-foot aquatic creature (known as Champi) also lives in the lake’s waters.
Several reserves protect the wildlife around the lake and the snow geese migrating here in October. If you want to learn more about wildlife here, visit the ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center in Burlington.
The Lake Champlain Maritime Museum presents the important strategic position of the lake during the Revolution and the War of 1812.
11. Ben & Jerry’s
Ben & Jerry’s is the most popular place to visit in Vermont if you are traveling with children. During the 30-minute tour you will learn more about how to make ice cream. You can choose your favorite taste by trying different options from the nearby ice cream shop.
From the gift shop you can buy ice cream, placed in an insulated package, which makes it an ideal gift. On weekends when the factory is closed, you can re-enter it, but the whole process will be shown on film.
12. Shelburne Museum
One of the best historical attractions in Vermont is the Shelburne Museum. Here you will find restored historic buildings and learn a lot about the region’s art traditions. Here you will see the lake steamer SS Ticonderoga, barns housing antique carriages and wagons, handmade hatboxes, hooked rugs and many more set amidst beautiful gardens.
Shelburne Farms offers a slightly different view of farming with its 1400-acre still operating “gentleman farm”.
13. Montshire Museum of Science
One of the ideal adventures for your child is a visit to the Montshire Museum of Science with its 125 exhibits that encourage children to interact directly. The little ones will understand how to make movies, make soap bubbles, experiment with light beams, watch a live boa constrictor and many other activities according to their interests.
14. Quechee Gorge
Quechee Gorge is the deepest george, formed 13,000 years ago, and to this day the erosive force of the river continues to dig it. The ideal place to enjoy the view is the arched iron bridge which carries Route 4.
One of the routes will take you to the lowest point, the water level for a different viewpoint. You can continue your walk on Route 4 and reach the nearby Vermont Institute of Natural Sciences.
15. Visit a Maple Farm
If you have the opportunity, visit Vermont in the period from February to April when the production of maple syrup is in full power. There are many traditions and fun moments around making this sweet temptation, such as making candy by mixing maple syrup and snow.
If you want to learn more about the way the syrup is made and try it freshly prepared – visit one of the local farms. Great choices are Morse Farm Maple Sugarworks in Montpelie and Sugarbush Farm in Woodstock, where in addition to maple syrup you can also try locally made cheeses.
16. Rock of Ages Quarry and Hope Cemetery
Rock of Ages quarry, staggering hole with impressive dimensions of 550 feet wide, a quarter mile long, and 450 feet deep is also the largest quarry in all over the world. The sculptures are made of Barre granite, which is why they are so detailed.
The biggest fun opportunity here is the game of bowling in the world’s only outdoor granite lane.
The sculptures are made by Italian workers and are particularly impressive and detailed, depicting some of the main symbols of production and livelihood in the past – a fishing rod, an oil truck, etc.
Woodstock is a small town, but with a very pleasant and peaceful atmosphere. Here you will find many BandB accommodations and several luxury resorts.
Tourists come mainly to enjoy nature and sports. The place is especially famous for lovers of horseback riding, cycling, fishing, and in winter – skiing, skating, and snowshoeing. The city has a historical museum and several major historical sites.
18. St. Albans
This small town is located near Lake Champlain. At Kill Kare State Park you can enjoy a leisurely stroll and picnic, or catch a ferry to Burton Island State Park and Wood’s Island State Park.
Cyclists’ favorite route is the Missisquoi Valley Rail Trail, which runs through woodlands and on the banks of the Missisquoi River.
At the end of a tiring day full of excitement, you can have a glass of beer and a delicious meal at the 14th Star Brewing Company Pub.
Vermont has an exceptional atmosphere in a place with a rich history, managed to preserve the traditions of production and some of the greatest architectural achievements of past centuries.
In addition, it offers nature lovers all sorts of hiking trails, ski resorts and unforgettable views. Regardless of your interests and hobbies and whether you travel alone or with your family, your vacation will be pleasant and energizing.