Vermont is the second-biggest state in the northeastern United States. Also falling under the region of New England, Vermont offers dazzling landscapes thanks to most of its surface being dominated by dense, vibrant greenery. It is that place where you’ll find perfectly balanced weather in every season. The tall mountains of the state make it an ideal place for skiing in winters and hiking for the rest of the year.
Thanks to its agricultural farms and peaceful valleys between Vermont’s highest peaks, this state quickly makes it to the top best states in the US. Not to mention Vermont’s specialty production of pure maple syrup from its bright red trees and delicious cheese that is praised all over the globe. Furthermore, due to the region having significant importance in terms of its geographical location, Vermont holds several historical sites used in the Civil War. So, one can expect a history lesson every once if they choose to explore this beautiful state.
10 top-rated attractions in Vermont
Are you one of those people? If yes, then this read is for you. Today we’ll be giving you a virtual tour of Vermont’s top-rated attractions.
1. Lake Champlain
At the northern border of Vermont that separates the state from New York sits a beautiful lake that the world knows as Lake Champlain. Extending over 100 miles in length, this freshwater lake offers a variety of aquatic activities to tourists. Most of the shore that you’ll find beside Lake Champlain is free from human interference, which makes the lake not just an attraction for tourists, but for animals as well. You’ll find more than 300 species of birds here and 50+ types of fish. This makes Lake Champlain an ideal spot for fishing. So, if you’re looking for some seafood near northern Vermont, you know where to go.
Although the specialty of Lake Champlain is fishing activities, you might catch a glimpse of Champy, a mysterious 20 feet long creature that is quite famous amongst the locals. Nonetheless, much of the area covered by Lake Champlain is considered to be safe for swimming. Visitors are welcome to cool themselves up during the moderately hot days of summer. As for winter, most of the lake freezes up. So, if you’re looking to visit the lake, try not to go during peak winters.
It would be unfair to visit Lake Champlain and not heed the cosmopolitan center situated right beside it. Yes, we’re referring to the biggest city in this state, where the spirit of Vermont can be experienced to the fullest. Burlington truly blooms in summer and fall. These seasons attract the highest number of travelers throughout the year. Be sure to give the food streets of Burlington a try because this place is ideal for satisfying your tastebuds. Burlington can make any foreigner fall in love with American food, from delicious fluffy pancakes for brunch to the classic American-style cheese pizzas.
Since Burlington extends no more than just 40 km2, you’ll find the place to be easy to explore. We’re also sure that you’d feel welcome by the incredibly hospitable locals of the place. Perhaps the reason behind their down-to-earth nature is the high rate of literacy. After all, Burlington holds several credible educational institutions such as the Champlain College and the University of Vermont.
3. Shelburne Museum
Ever thought a barn would become a part of a museum? The Shelburne Museum is one of the primary attractions in the city of Shelburne. Featuring over a whopping 100,000+ pieces of artwork, this 45-acre land covers a wide variety of historical artifacts that would take you back to the 17th century. There’s no denying that it would take at least a day or two to do this place justice, but exploring the main spots would be enough to satisfy that history student inside of you. The Shelburne Museum is the largest in the region and lives up to its popularity.
From the giant steamboat that sits in the green plains to the impressionist paintings, European/American artwork, and remnants of the last four centuries, the Shelburne Museum certainly is not your average museum in the US. You’ll also come across preserved barns, homes, buildings, and a lighthouse from the olden times here.
4. Quechee Gorge
The Quechee Gorge is another top-rated tourist attraction that is situated in Quechee. Being formed thousands of years ago, this gorge has steepened ever since the glacier melted and the Ottaquechee River found its way through. This spectacular wonder of nature attracts thousands of tourists, and there are valid reasons for that. To make the most of our trip, it is recommended to visit during the fall season when you’ll find a plethora of yellow-orange hues in the leaves, giving a soothing visual treat. You can also view the gorge from the bridge suspended above the river, where most travelers head for. Finally, when you’re eager to get your hands wet, you can get close to the water through the descending trail situated right beside the gorge.
Expect no disappointment from Quechee Gorge if you’re heading there for a swim since there are spots with calm water as well. So, you don’t have to worry about the torrential flow taking you away. And if you’re in for some wildlife action, make sure to pay the Vermont Institute of Natural Sciences a visit where reptiles are given medical care before being released.
5. Church Street Marketplace
Located in the heart of Burlington, the Church Street Marketplace is the top solution for your shopping needs in Vermont. Extending around four blocks in length, this marketplace gives a brilliant view of the church steeple, which is an architectural wonder. At noon, the marketplace truly glooms with liveliness as visitors and locals visit for festivals, shopping, and restaurants. Thanks to the wide streets of the marketplace and the prohibition of vehicles coming in, the area rarely gets crowded. Church Street is also decorated with splendid artworks. Just a walk alone would be enough to brighten your mood here.
Enjoy the cuisines of Vermont or purchase some presents for your loved ones. Once you’re done, you can head to the Hotel Vermont, which is no more than a few minutes away from the marketplace. The hotel offers a breathtaking view of Lake Champlain, and the sunset from there is indeed an unforgettable visual treat.
6. Vermont Maple Farms
What a waste it would be to visit Vermont but not try the place’s specialty production! As we mentioned previously, Vermont is one of the top producers of maple syrup in the world. You’ll come across dozens of maple syrup farms in Vermont, and they become a must-see attraction in spring when it’s peak sugaring season. Farmers welcome travelers and give them tours of their maple farms in Vermont. Some farms that offer detailed tours are Sugarbush Farm in Woodstock, Baird Farm in Chittenden, and Paradise Farm Sugarhouse in Brattleboro. Make sure to visit one and bring Vermont’s special delicacy back home. This sweet golden syrup goes best with pancakes, and it’s found in almost every home in America.
Try going for farms that produce multiple goods. You certainly do not want to miss out on Vermont’s cheese and jams. So, try hitting two birds with one stone and make your Vermont tour memorable for your tastebuds as well!
Woodstock is the ultimate place for people looking for a quiet, peaceful time far from the busy life of the urban areas. This village is, although small, but it’s enough to make you fall in love with nature. From its green plains to its picturesque cottages, Woodstock is the type of place you’d want to explore on foot. The town brings much more to the table than just natural beauty. You can explore dairy farms here or the markets with narrow streets, or you can take a walk on the mountains that surround these serene towns and inhale the fresh air.
Much like most places in Vermont, colors truly bloom during the fall season in Woodstock as well. Other activities you’ll find worth your time would be the yearly events in Woodstock, such as Thanksgiving Gathering and Wassail Weekend. However, since Woodstock is known for its tranquil nature, we believe you’d enjoy the place more in the woods.
You’ll be left in awe once your sight lands on the bright white church surrounded by green oaks spread across the mountains in Stowe. This town we’re referring to is famous for being the Ski Capital of the East. Ever since alpine skiing came into existence here, adventurers don’t go home without testing their luck against the slopes of Stowe. The tallest peak of Vermont, Mount Mansfield, is situated in this town, followed by the Worcester Range. Due to the high number of recreational activities this town offers, it stays a magnet of tourists throughout the year. However, there’s much more that can be done here besides skiing.
For example, the town of Stowe also boasts several hiking trails to make your outdoor adventures more fun. If outdoor activities are not in your interest and you’re on the hunt for some luxuries, then the mountain resort would be an excellent place to head for. Nonetheless, wherever you go, your time at Stowe would surely make your trip to Vermont memorable.
9. Green Mountain National Forest
Vermont’s very own national forest extends over 250 miles passing through the heart of Vermont to the Southern region. This entire area is a haven for wildlife lovers and wildlife itself as well. Since it is interconnected with Stowe, the highest peak, Mount Mansfield, is also included in the Green Mountain National Forest. Most of the area is covered with gigantic peaks, making this place heaven for every skiing enthusiast. However, many roads throughout the forest get blocked in winter due to massive snowfall. Other than that, you can expect this place to be the complete outdoor package for everyone.
Whether you’re looking to camp and sit beside the waterfall to listen to the soothing aquatic sound or want to take a ride across the woods on a mountain bike, the national forest of Vermont will not disappoint from any aspect. After all, the name Vermont itself means “Green Mountain,” so there’s no denying your trip would be incomplete without a day spent in Vermont’s national forest.
10. Ben & Jerry’s Factory
Decided to take the kids with you to Vermont? Well, kids would love exploring the woods and museums in Vermont, but this place is what they will remember forever. Did you know that renowned ice cream company Ben & Jerry’s started in a local gas station in Burlington, Vermont? Today, there’s a factory that welcomes tourists and shows them how far the business has come. A tour at Ben & Jerry’s manufacturing site would perhaps be the cherry on top of the cake, or should we say ice cream in this case. In the half-hour-long tour, you’ll witness fresh ice cream being made and packed into Ben & Jerry’s classic buckets.
Make sure to visit on working days to make the most out of this experience since the workers won’t be around on weekends. After you’re done showing the kids how B&J’s is made, drop by the gift shop before leaving to grab some more sweet creamy goodness!
Words won’t be able to do justice to the stunning beauty of Vermont, but we’ve still managed to give you guys a virtual tour of the most photographable state in the US. Have fun exploring!