When to Go
Summer is the peak season in Vermont that runs from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Forests this time of year are lush and green and daylight lasts until 9 p.m. allowing visitors to make the most of they’re day and night! Autumn is Vermont’s great natural spectacle with its kaleidoscope of fire colors. Maple trees begin to turn scarlet and orange in late August and peak from mid-September through the third week in October. Mounds of light fluffy snow blanket Vermont’s Green Mountains making this an excellent destination for a variety of winter sports. Spring brings the pleasures of flowers and maple sugaring, a visit to a sugarhouse is a must see and taste attraction!
The Green Mountain State is a place to reconnect with Mother Nature. Classic New England villages, breathtaking natural beauty, four distinct seasons, world acclaimed fall foliage, and delicious maple syrup make Vermont a delightful destination to experience any time of year.
Famous for its stunning scenery, Northern Vermont is where Lake Champlain is located. This is the largest lake in Vermont that stretches from New York to Quebec. Regular ferries from Burlington provide hours of fresh air and scenic beauty. Quechee Gorge, known as Vermont’s Little Grand Canyon is another popular attraction. Glaciers formed this deep gorge more than 13,000 years ago.
The quirky city of Burlington is a star attraction and Church Street is its major drawing card. Located in the heart of Burlington this four-block area offers a lively traffic free street scene with sidewalk cafes offering craft beer, farm to table restaurants, and artisans selling unusual handmade items. Don’t miss the sunset on Lake Champlain; it is picture perfect.
With a covered bridge, a white-spired church, meandering stonewalls, weathered barns, and colonial homes, Stowe epitomizes New England. At the foot of Mount Mansfield with a number of ski resorts, Stowe is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. A gondola ride up Mount Mansfield, the state’s highest mountain, is unforgettable any time of year.
For history lovers, the Shelburne Museum is one of America’s most diverse with over 100,000 works of art displayed in 39 exhibition buildings. Nearby, learn about wine making while sipping award-winning wines at the Shelburne Vineyard.
If you are a foodie don’t miss a visit to the Cold Hollow Cider Mill, and King Arthur’s Flour, in business since 1790. A highlight of the region is a tour of Ben and Jerry’s. Learn how the founders met and the way they built their ice-cream empire. Visitors are invited to sample ice cream that is being made at the moment. One of the most interesting parts of the tour is a visit to the flavor graveyard where retired concoctions are put to rest.
Classic New England greets visitors at every turn with covered bridges, interesting attractions, artsy downtowns, and ski areas such as Stratton, Bromley, Magic Mountain, and Mount Snow. This is covered bridge country with Bennington County boasting more covered bridges than any other area in Vermont. If you are looking for an artsy vibe, head to Brattleboro a noted urban arts oasis nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains. Arlington offers a treasure trove of culture for travelers including the Home of Norman Rockwell, the great American illustrator. Here you will find a repository of 2500 Rockwell pieces including paintings, magazine covers and advertisements. This exhibit is co-located with the Sugar Shack, a bakery that also specializes in maple syrup.
Nestled between the Green Mountains and the Taconic Range, Manchester is a historic resort town that offers spectacular vistas and views, meandering country roads, plenty of recreational activities, and world-class heritage sites. Hildene, the Lincoln Family Home is a historic estate with amazing grounds and gardens, a historic museum, a cheese making factory, and a floating boardwalk. A visit here is extra special during the Celebration of the Peonies from late-May through mid-June and for the Victorian Christmas in December when the estate is bedecked in holiday finery.
For foodies a visit to the Grafton Village Cheese Store is a must. This has been a Vermont tradition since 1892. Visitors enjoy samples of all the cheeses made here and have the opportunity to watch cheddar cheese being made via the viewing area.
The Central Region of Vermont is known for its historic downtowns, small villages, and its abundance of recreational and cultural activities. One of the regions culinary attractions is the Cabot Creamery where visitors can see where the “best cheddar” in the world begins. Watch a video and tour the creamery while snacking on Cabot cheddars and a variety of Vermont’s specialty foods. Montpelier, the capital of Vermont provides small town charm with big city flavor and is home to world-class dining and arts with a historic downtown that is the largest in Vermont. Four famous ski areas are nearby –Sugarbush, Middlebury, Killington, and Okemo that are a mecca for lovers of the great outdoors year-round.
If you love animals, don’t miss a visit to the Morgan Horse Farm established at the University of Vermont in Middlebury in 1878. This working horse farm gave the world Morgan horses, one of the first breeds developed in the U.S. If a train ride is more your style, especially in the fall, take a one or two-hour scenic train ride on the
Green Mountain Railroad past covered bridges and along the Connecticut River and Brockway Mill Gorge.
For history buffs check out the Vermont Marble Museum and the Billings Farm and Museum that offers a look at traditional Vermont life. And, for foodies, don’t miss a visit to the Cold Hollow Cider Mill where apple cider is made the old-fashioned way using vintage presses. Here you will find a range of artisan cider and hard cider made from the Northeast’s quintessential apple, the McIntosh.
If you are a shopper, get ready to step back into the past at the Vermont Country Store opened in 1945. It is a shopper’s paradise offering thousands of items sure to please every treasure hunter! The sweetest stop in this part of the state is at the New England Maple Museum that has the most complete collection of maple sugaring artifacts in existence and of course a large sampling area for maple syrup, the official flavor of Vermont.