Located in the region of New England and bordering New York, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Quebec, Canada, Vermont is a sparsely populated state visited mostly for its outdoor activity options. Vermont has quite a history with regards to American continental wars. The first major turning point battle in the Revolutionary War happened in Bennington in what was then Vermont and is commemorated each year as a state holiday. During the Civil War, 15% of the population was either killed, mortally wounded, or died of disease. This number is higher than any other state. A progressive state, Vermont granted women the right to vote long before it was constitutionally mandated, and was the first state to approve same-sex marriage. It is an impressive state for one so small and begs to be visited, especially if you are looking to get some skiing in. The fall is also a stunning time of year to visit, as the trees in the wooded mountains in the state start to change colour in a magnificent natural display. If a small town or cosy rural vacation is what you are looking for, Vermont has it on offer.
Where to Stay
Cities in Vermont are relatively small, but offer quite quaint and pleasant environments in which to vacation. They are lovely and authentic places to stay and booking a Vermont rental there is sure to be a treat. By far, though, most people come here for the nature, and Vermont bed and breakfast and cottage rentals are in high demand. There is something divine about renting a cottage in the countryside and going for hikes, or heading up to some of New England’s largest ski areas. The bed and breakfasts in the state fill up quickly in September or October with travelers heading in to witness the stunning leaf change that occurs throughout the state. Cottages are in high demand as well, so book quickly before they all fill up!
- The only state capital without a McDonald’s is Montpelier, Vermont.
- The ice cream company Ben and Jerry’s is headquartered in Vermont.
- Vermont is the largest maple syrup producing state in the US.
- The name “Vermont” comes from the French words meaning “green mountain”.
- The northernmost battle of the Civil War was fought in St. Albans, Vermont.
Things to See and Do
The beautiful city of Burlington is located right on Lake Champlain. A town of just over 42,000 people (the largest population in the state), it is a lovely place to visit. It is an important city both culturally and economically. The downtown is walkable, cosmopolitan, and vibrant. For those looking for city stay with a bit of outdoor action, it is a great spot. Just an hour away by car, you can find a number of alpine ski areas and beautiful, hikable mountains. If cross-country skiing is your thing, you can even do that right in the city! For beer lovers, Vermont, and Burlington in particular, has quite a number of outstanding microbreweries. Vermont’s state capital (the nation’s smallest), Montpelier is also a quaint place for a nice getaway.
Most of the state’s population does not live in cities, however, and you may want to opt for a cottage or a bed and breakfast somewhere a bit more remote. Head to places like Stowe for that cosy mountain cottage vibe. Hit the slopes in the day, and relax by the fireplace in the evenings. If it’s not a winter vacation you’re after, try visiting during September to October as Vermont has some of the most brilliant fall foliage you will ever come across. There are bus and bike tours organized to take you to the best spots, and some ski hills even fire up their lifts for stunning views from the mountaintops. Hiking, boating, biking, and hunting are also popular pastimes in this neck of the woods. And don’t forget to try some maple syrup and cheddar cheese, 2 of the state’s most famous (and for good reasons) products.
If arriving by plane you will most likely land at Burlington Airport or Rutland State Airport, depending on your city of departure. Amtrak also operates trains that daily between Vermont, St. Albans, New York, and Washington, D.C. Once there, the best way to get around is definitely by car. The cities have some public transit options, but if you are heading out into the country or the mountains, it is definitely beneficial to have your own vehicle. Just make sure if you are there in the winter that you know how to drive in the snow!