When you think of Vermont, nature, forests, and mountains usually come to mind. But there's much more to this beautiful part of New England, including historic covered bridges, maple syrup production, and hiking trails in abundance. You'll also discover abundant local food production and arts and crafts. Vermont has many beautiful small towns ideal for exploring on vacation and where you can experience some of the region's best attractions.
There's a lot to see in Brattleboro, from historic buildings to museums and a vibrant art scene. Brattleboro's Stone Church has been transformed into a live music venue, and the New England Center for Circus Arts is the best of its kind in the USA. You'll also find a word trail highlighting America's literary heritage, indie shops, art galleries, and fabulous restaurants in and around downtown Brattleboro.
There's something for everyone in Montpelier. Located in the center of a thriving agricultural community, there's a daily farmers market in town and many wonderful places to eat. History fans will enjoy the Vermont Historical Society Museum, while the T. W. Wood Art Gallery is another popular attraction. In Montpelier, you'll also find Hubbard Park, the State House, and the New England Culinary Institute.
Bristol is famous for its festivals, and there's a celebration for almost everything in this town. Located at the foot of the Green Mountains, you'll find all kinds of reasons to visit, from the Bristol Band Summer Concerts to the Pocock Rocks Music Festival. Bristol also has some of the best swimming holes in Vermont and lots of hiking trails to explore. You'll also find art galleries and indie shops to enjoy here.
Waterbury has a reputation as a sleepy town, but there's more to the place than you think. The surrounding farmland means there's excellent local produce, so Waterbury has several wonderful restaurants with fine dining experiences. You can also taste local craft beer and visit vineyards. Waterbury has excellent walking trails and outdoor sports, making it ideal for a break in a relaxing destination.
When you visit Manchester, you'll discover one of the best-kept secrets of retail therapy. New Yorkers love this place as it's full of outlets and bargains. Manchester is the place to explore from fashion to household items when you have an extensive shopping list and a limited budget. Once you have finished all the shopping, there are also interesting galleries and restaurants to visit.
Grafton is famous for its namesake hotel, which dates back to 1801, and its beautiful covered bridges. There's also a delightful Nature Museum. However, Grafton is also well known for its local cheese production. The Grafton Village Cheese Company produces an interesting range of cheeses, from gouda to cheddar. Visitors can watch the cheesemaking process and taste samples of local cheese.
Craftsbury is a delightful rural town in the heart of Vermont that's full of things associated with the region, including family farms and picket fences. People visit for cross-country skiing in winter, maple sugaring in spring, and hiking in summer. And, of course, the stunning foliage colors during fall are a major attraction.
Putney is just outside Brattleboro and even more chilled out. Wander around this small town, and you'll find apple orchards and berry bushes. Sample wine at Putney Mountain Winery and explore the small stores around town. Don't forget to cross the historic stone bridge that runs through the center of Putney. This is definitely a place to slow down and enjoy life.
Chelsea is a sleepy rural town, but it comes to life in summer with a bustling farmers market full of delicious local produce from places like local Chicken Wiggle Farm. You'll also find an interesting herbal farm here, complete with a campground. There are also delightful art galleries and cafes to enjoy during your visit to Chelsea.
At first glance, Vergennes is a typical Vermont town with a main street full of eclectic stores. However, Vergennes dates back to 1788 and was the first city founded in Vermont. There are several beautiful buildings all over the town, such as the opera house dating from 1897, where there are still live performances. You'll find beautiful architecture here, such as federal-style buildings and mansard roofs. And look out for those spectacular views of the Adirondack Mountains!
There are year-round outdoor activities in and around Burke. You'll find rock climbing, horse riding, swimming, and fishing in summer and fall here. The mountain biking on Kingdom Trails was named among the top ten trails in America by USA Today. In winter, skiing at Burke Mountain Resort is popular, along with the snowmobiling trails.
Burlington has a wonderful main shopping street where you'll find many interesting stores and crafts. There's Danforth Pewter, plaid shirts at the Vermont Flannel Company, and the Church Street Marketplace. Burlington is home to Vermont-blown glass, and you can find demonstrations in the arts quarter. Don't forget to taste locally brewed craft beer in town and explore the Burlington Farmers Market for regional produce.
Just outside Burlington, on the shores of Lake Champlain, is the small town of Shelburne. Take a steamboat ride on the lake and spend time learning about the history of Vermont and American art at the Shelburne Museum. The nineteenth-century Shelburne Farm Estate is another major attraction, with hayrides and a large barn. You'll also find vineyards and orchards in and around Shelburne. In summer, the lakeside beach and nature park are popular for swimming and relaxing.
Waitsfield is a small town in the heart of the Mad River Valley. Although the area is famous for winter sports, it's the beautiful scenery that attracts artists to the town. Spend time browsing the Mad River Valley Arts Hub or the Artisan's Gallery in town. Channel your artistic skills, walk out to one of the amazing views, and start painting. You'll find plenty of art classes in the town to help you make the most of the scenery. Waitsfield also has some lovely cafes and indie shops to discover when you visit.
Dorset dates back to 1761 and has many historical buildings, making it a pleasant town to explore. It is also home to the oldest marble quarry in America, and you'll see traces of the stone in the church and on the sidewalks. The annual Dorset Theatre Festival has modern and classic plays. You can fish and swim in the quarries here and explore many local hiking trails in the nearby Green Mountains. Try the Dorset Bakery, Bob's Diner, or the Dorset Inn for good local food.