Welcome to the special and invigorating world that is Vermont – a place that encompasses independent-thinking, friendliness, a passion for sports and a penchant for resourcefulness. The people, landscape, heritage, distinct seasons, famed fall foliage, renowned maple syrup, acclaimed breweries, and the most snow on the East Coast make the Green Mountain State a delightfully experiential destination.
Vermonters have a long tradition of respect for the land and are committed to preserving and sharing their appreciation of this environment. Two centuries of agricultural traditions have created open, working landscapes amid a backdrop of mountains, whose ridgeline is the course of the nation’s first through-hiking trail, the Long Trail.
As mountain ranges go, the Green Mountains are very old and have been sculpted to their present form during several ice ages. The state stones – granite, marble and slate, as well as the state mineral, talc – continue to be mined. Vermont has more than 220 mountains exceeding 2,000 feet in elevation, with Mount Mansfield the highest, at 4,395.3 feet. The mountainous areas of the state are primarily forested. In fact, although Vermont’s 251 towns were virtually clear-cut of timber during the late 19th century, more than 75 percent of the state's total land area is now forested.
Beneath the mountains and rolling hills are fertile valleys that support extensive dairy, crop, vegetable, and fruit production, along with horses, cattle, goats and the occasional emu. Vermont has long been in the vanguard for local food, farm-to-plate restaurants, fine artisan cheese-makers and farmer’s markets – and has the most craft breweries per capita of any state in the U.S. In recent years, numerous vineyards and several distinctive distillers have been established.
While it’s easy, and highly recommended, to spend days simply taking in the scenery, even more rewarding is becoming part of it. Explore back roads and well-maintained trails by bicycle or on foot. Go for a run or walk in historic downtowns or through quiet villages and covered bridges. Visit the studios of the many world-class artisans and discover their creations. Catch up on history at well-interpreted historic sites and museums. Cast a line in a lake or stream, or relax beachside at a pristine state park. In the snow season, drop into a half-pipe on skis or snowboard and share the trails with past -- and likely future – Olympians.
Whatever the day brings, the night is sure to deliver a blissful night’s slumber – whether you choose to camp under the stars, cosy up under a quilt at an inn, or indulge in the thread count at a luxurious resort. Above all, relax and stay awhile… Vermont’s attributes will continue to reveal themselves in honest and inspiring ways.
In Vermont, one thing is certain: The seasons will change. And with that change, so does the landscape, the recreation, the footwear and the way of life. With every season comes new opportunities to explore the world around you. Welcome to a state that is truly never out of season. Welcome to Vermont.
Classic road trip
The best way to ‘meet’ Vermont is to get off the highway and onto the secondary or minor roads. These are the roads that take you through the towns and villages settled when America was young. Choose from nine designated byways to almost every part of the state.
Don’t leave without tasting...
Maple creemee, a soft-serve ice cream flavoured with genuine Vermont maple syrup. Maple producers featuring this popular summer treat include Morse Sugar Farm in Montpelier, Bragg’s Sugarhouse in East Montpelier and Green Mountain Sugarhouse in Ludlow.
History happened here
- Lake Champlain has a lot of history, from the first occupation of the region by Native Americans, through to the Colonial Wars, the American Revolution and the War of 1812, to the 19th-century commercial era. The Lake Champlain Maritime Museum offers shipwreck tours
- Plymouth was the boyhood home of President Calvin Coolidge; it is also where he was inaugurated as the 30th president of the United States and where he established the Summer White House.
If you want to fit in...
Attend a farmers’ market. With more than 100 of them throughout the state during the summer months, they are easy to find—and even easier to enjoy.
Made in the state
- Vermont Teddy Bear Company: take a tour of the company in Shelburne
- Rock of Ages Granite Quarry in Barre: take a tour of the quarry, visit the factory and try your hand at sandblasting
- The Maple Landmark Woodcraft Company in Middlebury makes the wooden Name Train toy
- Green Mountain Coffee
- Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream.
Shelburne Museum is among the finest and most diverse museums of art, design and Americana. More than 150,000 works are exhibited in a landscaped setting of 39 buildings and a 19th-century steamship that once plied the waters of Lake Champlain.
One awe-inspiring building
Haskell Opera House and Library in Derby Line was built on the international border of the USA and Canada; it opened in 1904. The dotted line representing the border crosses the library and the opera house.
Top photo opportunities
- Any of the 100-plus covered bridges (in Northfield Falls, you can get two bridges in the same shot)
- The mountain landscapes surrounding Lake Champlain
- Lake Willoughby, a seemingly bottomless glacial lake flanked by mountain cliffs
- The One Hundred Mile view on U.S. Route 9 west of Bennington (or from any of 100 mountaintops).
You might be surprised by...
Broadway musicals. Communities may be small, but the performing arts are big: theatres and opera houses are found throughout the state, offering first-class musicals and stage productions.
Your child will always remember...
Seeing a cow close up; many of the farms are open to the public to visit, like the Billings Farm and Museum in Woodstock.
Featured Video Journals
As I awoke in my king-size bed snuggled in some of the softest sheets I’ve ever felt, I couldn’t help but...
As I look around me, all I can see are green mountains with the mist burning off them in the morning sun; it’s...
I have been exploring Vermont for a few days now, and I am completely enamoured with the beauty and brilliance...