Vermont, fondly known as the Green Mountain State, is packed with scenic beauty, captivating history, and exciting activities for every type of traveler.
From sprawling forests and tranquil lakes to artisanal cheese factories and infamous ice cream tours, you’ll find it hard to resist the allure of Vermont.
Here are 17 top things to do in Vermont that promise to make your trip an unforgettable journey.
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1. Trek the Long Trail:
As the oldest long-distance hiking trail in the United States, the Long Trail stretches across 273 miles of the state’s most beautiful landscapes.
Spend a day, a weekend, or even a month traversing this epic trail.
Its varied topography promises ever-changing views and challenging ascents.
Traveller’s Tip: Whether you’re an experienced backpacker or a casual day hiker, always make sure to pack plenty of water and a reliable map.
2. Revel in the Colors of Fall
Vermont is world-renowned for its stunning display of fall foliage. Its forests come alive with hues of vibrant oranges, yellows, and reds, painting a picture so beautiful it almost doesn’t seem real.
The best time to witness this spectacle is from mid-September to late October.
Traveller’s Tip: For the best leaf-peeping experience, try driving along the scenic Route 100, which stretches the length of the state.
3. Explore Shelburne Museum:
This open-air museum located in Shelburne is home to over 150,000 works of art, design, and Americana.
Spread across 45 acres, the museum features 39 exhibition buildings, a steamboat, and the historic Shelburne House.
Traveller’s Tip: Plan a full day for your visit to thoroughly explore the extensive collections.
4. Taste Artisan Cheese at Cabot Creamery
At Cabot Creamery, you’ll learn all about the process of cheese making during a guided tour.
Following the tour, be sure to sample some of their award-winning cheddar cheeses.
Traveller’s Tip: Don’t miss out on the free samples at the end of the tour!
5. Visit Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory
Discover the journey of your favorite ice cream from cow to cone.
This fun-filled tour offers a peek into the ice cream making process, and ends with a flavorful scoop of your choice.
Traveller’s Tip: The gift shop is worth a visit. You’ll find some fun, ice cream-themed memorabilia.
6. Paddle on Lake Champlain
This massive, natural freshwater lake offers ample opportunity for water-based activities.
Rent a kayak or a canoe, or book a scenic boat tour to take in the views.
Traveller’s Tip: Try to hit the lake early in the morning when the water is calm and there are fewer people around.
7. Experience History at The Old Constitution House
This historic site in Windsor is known as the birthplace of Vermont, where the state’s constitution was first drafted.
It’s a must-visit for history buffs.
Traveller’s Tip: The site’s hours of operation can vary by season, so it’s worth checking before you plan your visit.
8. Hike Mount Mansfield
As Vermont’s highest peak, Mount Mansfield promises breathtaking views and an exhilarating climb.
The mountain’s ridgeline trail is particularly popular, offering 360-degree views of the surrounding landscape.
Traveller’s Tip: Pack a picnic to enjoy at the summit – the views make for a great backdrop.
9. Cycle the Burlington Bike Path:
This 8-mile path along the shores of Lake Champlain is perfect for a leisurely bike ride, a brisk walk, or inline skating.
It offers beautiful waterfront views and has several parks and beaches along the route.
Traveller’s Tip: You can rent bikes from local shops if you didn’t bring your own.
10. Visit Billings Farm and Museum
This operating dairy farm and museum in Woodstock offers insight into Vermont’s rich agricultural history.
Meet the farm animals, check out the historic farmhouse, and learn about dairy farming past and present.
Traveller’s Tip: Wear comfortable shoes – there’s a lot of walking involved in a farm visit.
11. Shop at Church Street Marketplace
This open-air mall in Burlington offers a vibrant mix of shops, restaurants, and street performers.
You’ll find a variety of locally-owned businesses, along with a few well-known brands.
Traveller’s Tip: If you’re there on a Saturday, the local farmers market is worth checking out.
12. Ski at Killington Resort
Known as the ‘Beast of the East’, Killington Resort offers the largest ski area in Eastern U.S.
With six mountain areas and a multitude of trails, this is a winter wonderland for skiers and snowboarders of all skill levels.
Traveller’s Tip: If you’re visiting in the off-season, Killington also offers great opportunities for hiking and mountain biking.
13. Enjoy a Show at Flynn Center for the Performing Arts
Located in Burlington, this center offers a diverse range of performances, from Broadway musicals to ballet, concerts and comedy shows. There’s something for everyone.
Traveller’s Tip: Book your tickets in advance as popular shows tend to sell out quickly.
14. Take a Brewery Tour
Vermont has the highest number of breweries per capita in the U.S.
Many breweries offer tours and tastings, making it a great way to spend an afternoon.
Traveller’s Tip: Remember to designate a driver or arrange transportation if you plan to sample the local brews.
15. Explore Vermont’s Covered Bridges
Vermont’s covered bridges are a quaint and picturesque element of the state’s landscape.
Scattered throughout the state, each bridge has its own unique charm.
Traveller’s Tip: For an especially scenic treat, visit the Windsor-Cornish Bridge – the longest covered bridge in the United States.
16. Marvel at Quechee Gorge
Known as Vermont’s Little Grand Canyon, Quechee Gorge offers stunning views of the Ottauquechee River flowing about 165 feet below.
There are several hiking trails around the gorge for different levels of hikers.
Traveller’s Tip: Wear sturdy shoes as some of the trails can be steep.
17. Check Out Montpelier
Despite being the smallest state capital in the U.S., Montpelier is packed with charm.
It has a bustling food scene and hosts a number of annual festivals and events that highlight local culture and arts.
Traveller’s Tip: Don’t leave without trying some of Vermont’s famous maple syrup or apple cider donuts.
Vermont is a state of lush landscapes, rich history, and gastronomic delights.
With the suggestions in this article, you’ll find enough to fill your itinerary, whether you’re a fan of the outdoors, a history buff, a food lover, or all of the above.
Remember, Vermont is all about exploring, learning, and tasting, so keep an open mind and enjoy all that the Green Mountain State has to offer.