Travelling to Vermont for the First Time? Here's a Beginners Travel Guide to the 10 Best Places to Visit in Vermont (2020)

Travelling to Vermont for the First Time? Here's a Beginners Travel Guide to the 10 Best Places to Visit in Vermont (2020)

When you go looking for the most beautiful places in Vermont, you may be disappointed if what you seek is grandeur - sights that will stop your heart in an instant. Vermont’s beauty is more subtle. It sneaks up on you, works its way into you like music. And suddenly you realize you are entranced. The cities that feel more like friendly towns and a working landscape that both enchants and nourishes visitors, Vermont's attractions honour the state's natural beauty, Foodies, photographers, and Vermont is a particularly families fascinating state to explore.

Why You Should Visit Vermont?

  • Memories of Vermont will linger on for long
    Vermont is in the New England region and is a northeastern U.S. State. It is a picturesque state that will attract you due to its pristine beauty. Your hands will be itching to pull out your camera and take pictures all the time.

    The foliage during the fall, the resourcefulness and the renowned breweries and maple syrup also form the primary reasons for boosting the tourism industry in the state. Scenic beauty fills the state and the nostalgic towns coupled with the heritage buildings, make Vermont among the best places to visit in the U.S.

  • Diverse nature
    Vermont boasts of a variety of vegetation and wildlife. The state boasts of a variety of mammals, reptiles, birds and fish. The surroundings are scenic beauty will entice you to g biking or out for a hike.

  • Brings out the adventurer in you
    The surroundings are too serene that could lead you to do things you would not do otherwise. You may want to live in a modified caravan or go for a barbecue amid nature. Camping, hiking and biking are common. Skiing and associated activities are quite popular during winter.

  • An assortment of food and beverages
    The state is known for its maple syrup and cheese. Your gastric juices can be charmed with the organic food across the restaurants in the state. The handcrafted beer is also an added attraction for tourists.

How to Reach Vermont

Source www.mnn.com
  • By Rail
    Tourists can travel to Vermont using the Amtrak on the Vermonter or the Ethan Allen Express.

  • By Car
    Vermont can be reached using the interstates I89 and I91. The state has a well-maintained network of state and local roads and highways.

  • By Air
    Direct air route to Vermont is available from Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, New York JFK, New York LaGuardia, Newark, Philadelphia, Orlando, Washington D.C. National, Washington D.C. Dulles, and Montreal, Canada.

5 Things First Time Visitors to Vermont Should Know

#1 Beware of the Harsh Winters

The winters in Vermont can be quite harsh. The average low temperatures could reach between 2°F (-16.7°C) to 12°F (-11.1°C) in winter. Still, if you are bold enough, carry your winter wardrobe with you.

#2 Politically Engaged Place

Apart from being home to Presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders, you might be astonished to know that the residents are quite politically inclined and known to share their political views openly. They are also known to agitate for their causes. You shouldn't get embroiled in a political discussion.

#3 Stay Away from the Wet, Muddy Season

As the winters are harsh, the snow melts, making the ground very dirty. So dirty, that moving around becomes difficult. Even most houses have a particular area to keep their muddy shoes.

#4 Always Have a Map with You

Most of the roads in the countryside are quiet. You may not have many people to ask for directions once you are lost. Do travel with a local person. At least, carry a map or turn on your GPS when moving around alone.

#5 Stay Close to the Local Population

While the scenic and pristine beauty may be luring, it is suggested that you stay close to the local community. The residences could be quite far apart, and the nearest markets would need to travel by car. That is what some of the locals need to do.

10 Best Places to Visit in Vermont

Woodstock

A charming but sleepy town, Woodstock offers postcard-like views and is one of the prettiest places in the country. Tourists can visit sugar maple farms and go biking in the countryside in the fresh air and mountainous landscape. There are boutiques and galleries too for the shopping enthusiasts.

Stroll along the banks of the Ottauquechee River, which is littered with parks and village greenery and the typical countryside farms. During your stroll, do not forget to try the maple syrup and cheese at the Sugarbush Farm. The Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park is set among rolling hills and pastures. It epitomes the story of conservation and the evolving nature of the countryside.

It is open on all days from 10:00 AM-5:00 PM. While admission to the park is free, guided tours of the mansion are Rs.570 for adults from 16-61 and Rs. 285.00 for seniors above 61.

Tourists may also enjoy the rural heritage and the Billings Farm & Museum, which is among the finest outdoor museums in the country. Together with its Jersey cows and other farm animals, it also offers seasonal events and provides enjoyment for all ages. It is open daily from 10 AM-4 PM. Entry fees are Rs. 1,135.00 for adults between 16-61 and Rs. 995.00 for seniors above 61.

Tourists may also go hiking on Mount Tom or enjoy the scenic beauty of its charming bridges. There is also a ski resort in South Pomfret that can be thrilling during winter.

Some of the budget hotels for you in Woodstock are:

  • Sleep Woodstock Motel (INR 7,757.00 per night)
  • The Shire Woodstock (INR 9,983.00 per night)
  • The Lincoln Inn & Restaurant at the Covered Bridge (INR 11,851.00 per night)

Quechee Gorge

Looking for a poor man’s version of the Grand Canyon?

  • The Quechee Gorge can be your answer. Being almost 165 meters in-depth, it is the deepest in the Great Mountains. The Ottauquechee River below provides adventurists with the option of white water rafting which is a major draw for tourists. Also, visit the Mill Pond Falls nearby and get enchanted by its charm or the Quechee Gorge Bridge that connects its banks. The campground is open from 10 AM till sunset.

Manchester

Are you among those who shop till they drop during travelling?

Manchester is the place to be in with its factory outlets. It is also replete with cultural heritage sites through its museums and galleries. You can visit the ancestral house of Robert Todd Lincoln. The estate has beautiful gardens along with a wooden Pullman palace car. It also includes a goat farm and cheesemaking facility along with a skiing facility in the winter. Admission is open from 9:30 AM-4:30 PM daily. The entry fee is almost Rs. 1,650.00 for adults and Rs. 425.00 for children aged 6 to 16 years.

Art lovers can visit the Southern Vermont Arts Center, which includes the Arkell Pavilion, a performing arts Centre and the Elizabeth de C. Wilson Museum with its collection of 700+ paintings. Nature lovers can also visit the Equinox Preservation Trust and the North Meadow Farm. Lye Brook Falls is another renowned location.

Some of the best budget hotels in Manchester are:

  • Manchester View (Breakfast included) - INR 6,466.00 per night.
  • Econo Lodge (Breakfast included) - INR 6,170.00 per night.
  • The Stamford Motel & Restaurant (Breakfast included) - INR 5,746.00 per night.

Montpelier

Among the smallest state capitals in the country, tourists get to reconnect with nature on the one hand and are also able to mingle with its art and culture while having great food. You can start your tour with a visit to the Vermont State House and take a guided tour. The building, with its ivory structure, is also perfect for a lazy afternoon stroll. The State House is open all through the year except on state holidays but closed on weekends from November through May. It is open from Monday to Friday from 7:45 AM-4:15 PM and on Saturday (July 2020 through October 2020) from 11:00 AM-3:00 PM.

Tourists can go hiking, to the Camel’s Hump or visit the Hubbard Park. The foodies should always visit the farms and vineyards and taste the maple syrup at Bragg Farm Sugar House. The North Branch Vineyards should be another hit for them. The culturally minded can visit the Lost Nation Theater.

Do visit the Vermont History Museum with its informative exhibits and displays. It is open Tuesday-Saturday, 10:00 AM-4:00 PM with an entry fee of Rs. 500.00 for adults and Rs. 1,420.00 for families.

Some of the best places to stay in Montpelier are:

  • Econo Lodge Montpelier (Breakfast included) - INR 4,956.00 per night
  • Twin City Motel - INR 6,392.00 per night
  • Quality Inn Barre/Montpelier (Breakfast included) - INR 6,959.00 per night.

Shelburne

It is a quiet place near Burlington littered with vineyards. The farms and orchards will give your trip a rustic flavour. You may try something at the Fiddlehead Brewing Company, Shelburne Vineyard and the Wild Hart Distillery. You will be mesmerised by the Shelburne Museum with its eclectic collection of art. Several historic buildings have been restored here, and the collections are a reflection of the country’s artistic traditions. The Vermont Teddy Bear Co. – Maker of cute teddy bears, should also be on your itinerary.

Some of the budget hotels in Shelburne are:

  • Days Inn by Wyndham Shelburne/Burlington (Breakfast included) - INR 4,535.00
  • North Star Motel - INR 5,026.00
  • T-Bird Motor Inn (Breakfast included) - INR 6,109.00.

Montshire Museum of Science

Always been a science freak?

The Montshire Museum of Science beckons you. Situated in Norwich, Vermont on 110 acres near the Connecticut River, it has more than 150 exhibits on technology, astronomy and physical science. It is one of the busiest museums in northern New England and has around 170,000 visitors annually. The facility contains outdoor exhibits and boats of the Woodland Garden, a Science Park along with a walking tour of the solar system.

Killington Ski Resort

Known to have the largest vertical drop in New England it is also called the Beast of the East. Brimming with tourists in winter, it is also a great place to visit around the year. The ski resort has 155 trails handling all types of skiers. Some of them have jumps and ramps also. There are 21 lifts to carry them up the mountains.

It is the place to be spoilt for snowboarders and freeskiers across the six terrain parks. One of them is The Stash with more than 50 features and a 500-foot long Superpipe with 18-foot walls.

Burlington

Want to relax during your holidays?

Burlington is the place to be. The otherwise bustling town provides ample reasons to be there. Being located in the Lake Champlain allows tourists to go for water sports. You can go biking on the serene Burlington Bike Path or just gaze at the view from Waterfront Park. Nature lovers can enjoy the sunset over the Adirondacks. Also, visit the bustling Church Street Marketplace and the Farmers Market.

Some budget places to stay while in Burlington:

  • G.G.T. Tibet Inn - INR 4,482.00 per night.
  • Comfort Inn & Suites South Burlington (Breakfast included) - INR 6,177.00.
  • The La Quinta Inn & Suites by Wyndham South Burlington (Breakfast included) - INR 4,823.00.

Bennington Battle Monument

Are you a history enthusiast?

When you visit Vermont, you must visit the Bennington Battle Monument. It memorialises the Battle of Bennington that took place during the American Revolutionary War. The statue of General John Stark stands next to the monument. It is open daily from May 1 through October 31 10:00 AM-5:00 PM. Adults are charged almost Rs. 350.00 while there is a nominal charge of Rs. 70.00 for children between 6 and 14.

Museum-goers must pay a visit to the nearby Bennington Museum. It is renowned for its extensive collection of works by Grandma Moses - primitive folk artist. It also houses a vast array of American glassware, furniture, toys, Bennington pottery, and Victorian quilts. The museum is open daily 10 AM-5 PM (June to October). Between November and May, it remains closed on Wednesdays. It is fully closed in January. The entry fee is around Rs. 700.00 for adults, and for seniors it is Rs. 630.

Stowe

Source www.stowe.com

Stowe enthrals a varied section of tourists. Couples can have a joint bike ride along the Recreation Path. Do visit the Idletyme Brewery on the way. The adventurous ones can go hiking up the Mount Mansfield. The toll charges are Rs. 1,635.00 for the vehicle and the driver along with Rs. 560.00 per passenger over 5 years of age.

You can have a panoramic view covering Smuggler’s Notch, Lake Champlain, Green Mountains, and the Adirondack Mountains and even into Canada. The gondola sky ride costs Rs. 1,990.00 for adults and Rs.1,350 for children aged 5-16. Sports lovers can visit the Stowe Mountain Resort - a premier ski destination. Foodies can visit the Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream factory or the Cold Hollow Cider Mill and sample some of the items on offer. Visit the Sunset Rock too, if time permits.

Some of the budget hotels in Stowe are:

  • The Stowe Inn - INR 7,702.00.
  • Northern Lights Lodge (Breakfast included) - INR 7,726.00.
  • Stowe Motel & Snowdrift (Breakfast included) - INR 8,291.00.

Why is Vermont Known as a Romantic Place?

  • Calm and serene
    Most of the pathways are peaceful and tranquil, making it ideal for a romantic stroll or biking together. Else, couples can visit cafes and little shops. Or, even observe the hustle and bustle of the rustic towns for that rural feeling.

  • Beautiful landscape
    The breathtaking beauty of the state allows couples to enjoy the surroundings all through the year. The distinctive colours of autumn or the extreme cold of winter or the eventful summer - all weathers provide unique romantic experiences for romance.

  • The dreamy towns
    The majestic mountains, together with the bright shades of the surroundings, provide for a stunning natural landscape with its dreamy little villages. Hiking through the mountains presents a unique romantic feeling.
  • The intimacy of small lodgings
    Couples will be able to stay at a B & B or an inn for a unique customised experience. It's more like being at your own home. Or, your relative's place. The residents are not over indulgent providing you with the space required to get cosy.

  • Numerous options
    Apart from the surrounding beauty, there are multiple lodging options. While you also stay at an inn, there are premium options with many hotels and lodges available within your budget.

  • Indulge in luxury
    Too tired to go out? Couples can also try out the luxurious spas that are customised for couples. You can also hit the spas after a tiring outing at the many markets around the towns.
From our editorial team

Winter Hiking - Shorter Days & Fewer People

Vermont is renowned throughout the United States for its scenic and serene State Parks. The summer months are oftentimes of the year when guests enjoy a visit to a Vermont State Park, however, many people are choosing to visit during the winter season. Whether you wish to hike, hunt, snowshoe or find the perfect sledging hill, you are welcome to enter any of the 55 parks for day use anytime during the winter season. During this time, access to a Vermont State Park is free of charge. If you are interested in winter camping you will need to get permission, which are available from November 1st – April 15th.