27 Amazing things to do in Vermont
There may be affiliate links in this post. Read my disclosure policy to learn more.
The Green Mountain State of Vermont is filled with scenic recreation opportunities and you’ll want to get out there! With ski resorts, skiing, snow shoeing, hiking, biking, fishing and much more-you’ll have no problem finding the perfect activity for your next vacation!
History of Vermont
Vermont is a state in the northeastern United States. It borders New Hampshire and Massachusetts to the south, New York to the west, Quebec (Canada) to the northeast, and New Brunswick (Canada) to the east. The capital city of Vermont is Montpelier.
Vermont was admitted as a state on March 4th 1791 with 77% of its residents voting yes for admission into America’s union as one of 14 states that would form what is now known as “The Union”. Today Vermont is known for its successful dairy farms, strong tourist industry and the “Green Mountain Boys” who fought against British rule in early American history.
The state of Vermont is also home to some of the most beautiful scenery in New England. Here are 20 amazing things to do in Vermont!
27 of the Best Things to do in Vermont
Stowe may be the most charming town in all of New England (and that is saying a lot!) There are lots of fun things to do in Stowe year round like skiing, hiking, shopping, waterfalls and more. You can find a variety of events and festivals at the Stowe village website. Winter brings lots of snow, fun resorts and great skiing to the area. There are also good places to stay for all budgets.
Stowe shines in the fall and there are tons of fun hiking and walking trails that will allow you to enjoy the beautiful fall foliage.
Burlington is the largest city in Vermont, but it’s not overcrowded – which can’t be said for many major metropolitan areas these days. The University of Vermont draws students from around the world so the city has a mixture of New England culture with international flair. You’ll want to make time to visit the waterfront park, walk around City Hall Park and enjoy some local art galleries while visiting this vibrant college town.
You will want to visit famous Church Street Marketplace and enjoy all the unique shops and restaurants in this outdoor pedestrian area. It is a great place to spend an afternoon shopping and eating with friends. It is one of the best things to do in Vermont.
See how Ben and Jerry’s makes their ice cream
The Ben & Jerry’s factory store is definitely something that you don’t want to miss! You can watch how the delicious ice cream is made and then sample your favorite ice cream. You can also see their cemetery of “dead” flavors and mourn your favorite retired flavors like peanut butter cookie dough!
Make reservations to allow you to fit it in to your schedule. Every Ben and Jerry’s lover will love this stop!
Hildene is a historic house museum of President Lincoln’s oldest son Robert. This mansion was built in 1853 and has been preserved intact which allows you to spend an afternoon experiencing life as it was during the 19th century.
You can visit the sheep, walk some beautiful trails and tour the lovingly restored Lincoln home.
Smugglers Notch was formed by giant glacier deposits millions of years ago that moved southward from Canada into Vermont. These glacial deposits created Lake Champlain to the west and the notch to the east. Today you can drive through Smugglers Notch on your way to Burlington or head up for skiing, hiking, biking, boating or snowmobiling in the winter months.
Smugglers Notch is the most famous natural attraction in Vermont and was so named by early settlers because it provided a passageway to the Canadian border during Prohibition. The notch is covered with loose rocks, soil and trees which make it easy to access from either side of Lake Champlain. It lies between two mountains called Shelburne Mountain and Mount Mansfield – both of them are tall peaks that are well above the tree lines at 3690 feet and 3489 feet respectively.
Quechee Gorge is a scenic gorge located in the town of Quechee in Essex County. The Quechee Gorge is also known as the ‘Little Grand Canyon of Vermont’ and features some stunning rock formations and clear streams that are perfect for swimming, kayaking, canoeing or fishing.
Visit the charming village of Quechee with a charming covered bridge and a super cool antique shop!
There are lots of things to do in the small town of Woodstock Vermont. The old streets are lined with boutiques, galleries and cafes. Its a great place to grab lunch on your way to Quechee or a fabulous way to spend the afternoon with friends.
It is also home to Wassail Weekend at Christmas time and is one of the finest Christmas festivals in New England.
Lake Champlain is a beautiful lake that was formed by glacial deposits so enjoy its beauty while paddling your boat (rentals are available), swimming, water-skiing or sightseeing with over 45 islands within its borders. It is a great place to rent an airbnb for the week and enjoy the serene lake life.
You can visit nearby Fort Ticonderoga which borders Lake Champlain. It is an excellent place to visit with your kids!
The Shelburne Museum
The Shelburne Museum is just outside of Burlington and offers a unique way of looking at the past. It is home to over 100 historic buildings that have been relocated from their original location and completely reassembled on the museum property. The collection includes a variety of Americana dating back to the 17th century 1700s including: 19th century farm buildings, historic houses, barns and log cabins.
Cabot Creamery is a locally owned business that has been producing award-winning cheese since 1920. Located in Waterbury Vermont, this creamery offers tours of its production facility where you can sample and buy any number of their delicious cheddar cheeses. The shop features flavors such as: aged white cheddar, gouda, light & mild fresh chèvre and more!
If you love cheese you will love visiting the Grafton Village Cheese Shop in Brattleboro Vermont and trying cheese from all over New England.
Visit Vermont State Capital Building in Montpelier. Built in 1859 and designed by Thomas Hyde, this structure is one of the finest examples of Greek Revival architecture. The building was constructed with local granite by Italian stonemasons and features beautiful marble floors throughout the building.
Free self guided tours are offered daily.
Fairbanks Planetarium in St. Johnsbury is a good sized planetarium that offers shows, educational workshops and summer camps. It also has an extensive astronomical library for research as well as hands-on activities for visitors of all ages.
Catch one of their shows and enjoy learning about space.
Vermont Teddy Bear Tour
The Vermont Teddy Bear Company creates the world’s finest hand crafted teddy bears that are extremely realistic looking so keep an eye out while driving down the road! Kids will definitely enjoy visiting the factory store in Shelburne, Vermont (quite close to Burlington) where they can view the process first hand and learn how these wonderful toys come into existence! The store features several rooms filled with thousands of bears on display including bears from famous movies.
Tours run daily every 30 minutes.
The Green Mountains
The Green Mountains are a range of low, gently sloping mountains that are located in the northernmost part of Vermont. The range runs from north to south and is approximately 30 miles wide with numerous peaks that are greater than 4000 feet above sea level.
Hike these mountains for a great view of nature’s splendor! Visit one of the many state parks for awesome views and go camping when you want to get away from civilization.
Visit Stratton Mountain Resort to take a gondola to the top to enjoy the 360 degree view of the beautiful Green Mountains.
Lake Willoughby State Park
The Lake Willoughby State Park offers visitors a beautiful geological formation which was created by waves that struck a long narrow reef over 15,000 years ago. This reef blocked one of the outlet streams and flooded the valley causing massive erosion to create this unique phenomenon.
There are a dozen trails to hike in the park and some spectacular views!
Billings Farm in Woodstock is a fun filled family attraction that allows you and your kids to get face to face with animals. You can feed all kinds of animals such as: llamas, goats, cows, bison and even the alpacas. Learn about farming and the history of farming in this fun and educational museum/working farm.
Bromley Mountain- Adventure Park
Mountain Adventure Park at Bromley Mountain gives visitors a chance to experience many recreational activities in one place including: rock climbing, canopy tours, zip lining, alpine slide, waterslide, and a giant swing.
It is like an amusement park meets outdoor adventuring!
Watch Maple Sugaring
Maple Sugaring time is a Vermont tradition that takes place between February and April. Maple trees are tapped and hot sweet sap flows from the tree into buckets where it must be boiled down to syrup. This process takes hours and days depending on how hot the vat gets and how dark the syrup will be.
Pick up some local maple syrup soyou can try some fresh, warm syrup on your pancakes! Some families have been making maple syrup for generations so enjoy watching their techniques and picking up a few tips of your own while in Vermont.
Check out this site to see who is sugaring when
Trapp Family Lodge
Trapp Family Lodge is the original home of the Von Trapp Family Singers. This family-owned resort and restaurant was owned by the family featured in “The Sound of Music” movie and offers guests a chance to immerse themselves in the history of the Von Trapp Family.
The lodge is cozy with an elegant Austrian style which provides warmth and charm while other buildings such as dormitories, staff housing, stable houses, hay barns and evena chapel were all transported from Europe to America! Stroll through the beautiful grounds where you will learn about more family history as well as enjoy some great food at the Lodge’s restaurant.
The Old Round Church
Old Round Church is a historic landmark that was built in 1810 and is located near Richmond, Vermont. This church was constructed by William Rhodes as a meeting how for local Congregationalists. It became the center for the town as well as the church.
The church itself is not truly round but rather 16 sided and is amazing to see something made out of timber that has been so well preserved. Take an excursion to this fascinating place to witness how life was lived in Vermont over 200 years ago!
Calvin Coolidge State Park
Calvin Coolidge State Park is located in Plymouth Notch, Vermont and is noted for its breathtaking views and summer music festival. This state park features an enormous granite cliff known as Camel’s Hump which has a peak elevation of 4205 feet above sea level.
You can go hiking, biking, or picnicking in this beautiful State Park. It is especially beautiful in autumn when a beautiful display of fall foliage welcomes you to the park.
Calvin Coolidge Birthplace
Calvin Coolidge Birthplace State Historic Site is the farmhouse where Calvin Coolidge was born. This historic site features an 1890s farmhouse which has been furnished with antiques from the era that President Coolidge was born.
It isn’t a big stop, but it is very beautiful and quite close to Queeche.
Skiing in Vermont
Skiing is very popular in Vermont with opportunities to enjoy downhill skiing, cross country skiing and snow tubing located at various resorts throughout the state. These include the largest ski resort in New England, Stowe Mountain Resort which is also home to one of the world’s most challenging courses. Another popular ski resort in the Northern part of Vermont is Sugarbush which also has a great terrain park for snowboarders and freestyle skiers. For those interested in cross country skiing, Smugglers’ Notch has trails groomed daily that are free for all to enjoy!
Sugarbush farm produces local cheese and loads of maple syrup. Located outside of Woodstock, the farm is open year-round and has one of the most spectacular views in Vermont.
Learn about how cheese is made and walk around an open factory watching the artisans make and prepare cheese. (This was some of the best cheese we tried in Vermont!!) If you are lucky enough to be here during Maple Sugar Season you can watch them make their own syrup from their own trees.
Lake Champlain Chocolates
Lake Champlain Chocolates is an award winning, chocolate factory that displays an assortment of gourmet chocolates sure to please any sweet tooth! This family owned business churns out some of the most delicious chocolates made from local ingredients.
Their factory tour has been discontinued but you see a virtual one in their flagship store in Burlington.
Old Constitution House
Old Constitution House State Historic Site in Windsor is a unique state historic site offering visitors a chance to view how life was lived during Vermont’s early history. The house was witnessed the debate to make Vermont a State in 1791 becoming the 14th State in the USA.
King Arthur Flour Company
King Arthur Flour is a Vermont staple-the company is renowned for its high quality baking products and hosts many workshops and cooking demonstrations throughout the year. Visit the flagship store in Norwich Vermont if you are a baking lover like me! The store is actually in an old mill constructed in 1882 where the company’s products are still produced today. Try their free baking 101 demonstration and learn some new skills as you take part in the Vermont way of life!
If you’re looking for some of the best things to do in Vermont, then this list should give you a good start. The Green Mountain State is filled with scenic recreation opportunities and there are plenty of activities that will suit your tastes-whether it be hiking, fishing or just relaxing by the lake! Enjoy these suggestions and don’t forget to share them if they inspire you.
I endorse products I’ve personally used or come highly recommended by my trusted peers. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Leave a Reply