Vermont is a fabulous state. If you’ve never been, I recommend planning a trip to Vermont ASAP. Vermont is gorgeous, friendly, charming, quaint, and filled with sites and activities, if you felt like you needed some reasons to visit Vermont! Today, I’m sharing with you over 50 of my favorite things to do in Vermont, the magical Green Mountain state.
I feel highly qualified to write this article. While I wasn’t born in Vermont (to a native Vermonter this makes me a flatlander!) I did move there in high school and I’ve spent approximately half my life in the state. I feel like I’m from Vermont, and it’s where I say I’m from. I’m much more connected to beautiful Vermont than I am to my birth state (Florida, meh.)
So over the many years I’ve spent in New England, I’ve discovered many unique, essential, and fun things to do in Vermont; from the top Vermont attractions to those quirky off-the-beaten-path spots only the locals know: now they’re yours to explore!
If you’re looking for fun things to do in Vermont this weekend or Vermont things to do today, check this Vermont events calendar for the most up to date info!
Stay in a cozy log cabin
What could be better than being nestled cozily amongst the verdant Green Mountains? A log cabin with a crackling fireplace is basically synonymous with a Vermont vacation. No matter the season, a Vermont cabin stay is worth your while. Here are some of our favorite cabins, especially for a romantic Vermont getaway.
Stroll down a village street in the snow
As you make your plans for what to do in Vermont, be sure and leave some open time in your itinerary. It will allow you time to relax, explore, and find hidden gems. There’s nothing so great as a spontaneous stroll down Main Street in a classic Vermont village; 10/10 one of the most fun things to do in Vermont in the winter, and should definitely be added to your VT bucket list!
Visit the Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory
Want to visit one of the yummiest Vermont attractions? I know where to send you! One of the best things to do in Waterbury VT and one of the best places to visit in Vermont, period, is the original Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory. The entire place is so cute and creative, and as soon as you walk in, you’re enveloped in that oh-so-amazing ice cream and cookie smell. Ben & Jerry’s is great for anyone looking for good family activities in Vermont, too.
Take a tour, grab a free sample, or visit the Flavor Graveyard to pay homage to short-lived flavors of the past. RIP “Makin’ Whoopie Pie.” This is one of those fun places in Vermont that help to “keep Vermont cool!”
Keep your eyes out for the Lake Monster
Did you know we have our very own Loch Ness monster? Legend has it that Lake Champlain has a frightful creature lurking beneath its waters: the Lake Monster, also known as Champ. It may not be the biggest lake in Vermont, but it might be the one with the biggest secret! Keep close watch along the surface of the lake and you might just catch a glimpse of this elusive cryptid.
We’ll classify this one as one of the more unique things to do in Vermont!
Hike to the summit of Camel’s Hump
Hiking is one of the most fun things to do in VT, with our many mountains and miles of trails. In addition to the Long Trail, the Vermont section of the Appalachian Trail, there are countless others worth exploring in the Green Mountain National Forest.
One of the best hikes in Vermont is to the top of Camel’s Hump. This distinctive peak can be seen from a great distance and looks—as you might expect—something like the hump of a camel.
Take this popular loop trail to achieve the summit of the state’s 3rd highest peak.
Take a brewery road trip
Beer should be a part of your essential Vermont activities without a doubt. We have so much amazing craft beer here in VT. Our biggest city, Burlington, is home to a great many of these breweries, but there are dozens more scattered throughout the state that are considered prime entertainment in Vermont. Plus, it’s a perfect excuse for a New England road trip!
Check out some of the best breweries in Burlington.
Make your own teddy bear at the Vermont Teddy Bear Factory.
A visit to the iconic Vermont Teddy Bear Factory is probably one of the best things to do in Vermont with kids. Vermont Teddy Bear is located in Shelburne, just south of Burlington. Kids will have a blast creating their own special bear: the ultimate Vermont souvenir! This is perfect for anyone searching for things for kids to do in Vermont, especially if you’re looking for things to do in Shelburne VT!
Tour the biggest granite quarry in the world
The 600-foot deep Rock of Ages granite quarry (also known as Smith Quarry) is “the largest operating deep-hole, dimension granite quarry in the world.” And you can tour it!
If you’re looking for things to do in central Vermont, def consider adding a tour to this incredible quarry on your list. Among things to do onsite is to bowl a game or two on their outdoor granite bowling lane; this is certainly one of the more unique places to visit in Vermont!
Go skiing on an epic ski mountain
Yes, there are things to do in Vermont besides skiing, but can you really go on a Vermont vacation and not go skiing or snowboarding? If it’s wintertime, then you have no excuse. Find one of our best mountain resorts and hit the fresh pow’.
Check out some of the best ski resorts in Vermont right here!
Visit a local farmer’s market
Farmer’s markets are extremely popular in Vermont, a state that is proud of its local food movement. Most cities and towns have a farmer’s market. In Burlington, the market is held Saturdays all summer long; farmer’s markets are seriously some of the best shopping in Vermont!
If your visit doesn’t coincide with a farmer’s market, you may be able to find a roadside farmstand. They’re everywhere in the warmer months.
See where Robert Frost wrote some of his most famous poems
Robert Frost is one of the most well-known poets in American history. In fact, he was once the poet laureate of the Green Mountain State, so if you’re sightseeing in Vermont and you’re a poetry fan, this should be on your Vermont bucket list for sure! Currently, the VT Poet Laureate is Mary Ruefle, who resides in Bennington.
In Shaftsbury, VT, visit the Stone House Museum, where the poet once lived and where he wrote several of his classic works, including “Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening.”
Shop the luxury outlets in Manchester
If you find yourself looking for things to do in southern Vermont, be sure to make a visit to Manchester. This is one of those very pretty places in Vermont, and there’s so much to do in this area! It’s definitely one of the best places to visit in Vermont.
One of the main attractions of Manchester is its huge array of outlet stores, including outlets for many luxury brands. Heaps of tourists visit in the summer and fall to find some of the best shopping in Vermont.
Taste pure maple syrup from where it’s made best
Vermont is home of the world’s best maple syrup (though we can’t compete with Canada when it comes to quantity produced!) While you travel Vermont, be sure to sample some of this liquid gold.
A place like Morse Farm Maple Sugarworks, in Montpelier, is the perfect place to do so. You can sample maple syrup, find tons of maple-infused products, and learn how the syrup-making process works. If you’re looking for things to do in Vermont in March or April, don’t miss the chance to try sugar on snow, a local VT delicacy. There are also Vermont sugar houses you can check out; this is definitely fun things to do: Vermont style!.
Visit the baby (and adult) animals at Billings Farm and Museum
Billings Farm and Museum is a must-see Woodstock, VT attraction. Boasting dairy cows, draft horses, sheep, and many hands-on activities, this is quintessential Vermont. It is definitely one of the top things to do in VT with kids!
Time your visit for the springtime and you may be in luck to be there for the annual Baby Farm Animal Celebration, which is just as cute as it sounds. If you’re looking for things to do in Woodstock, VT, Billings Farm and Museum deserve a spot on that list!
PS: Also don’t miss the adjacent Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park. This is a beautiful spot with nature trails, a Victorian mansion, and more.
Road trip Vermont Route 100
A Vermont road trip is great at any time of year, but especially in the fall when the foliage is at its best; this would be a fun idea if you’re looking for what to do in Vermont in October!
One excellent road trip route is along Route 100, which travels almost the entire length of the state. This road moves through beautiful scenery and there are a number of terrific places to stop along the way to see sights in Vermont!
Give fly fishing a try
Ever wanted to give fly fishing a try? Could be a cool Vermont vacation story! In Manchester, Orvis offers a fly-fishing school. Learn the basics on their beautiful pond, and when you’ve mastered your skills, you can try other spots including the Battenkill River.
Spend time on a working farm
A Vermont farm stay is an amazing way to experience life on the farm, Vermont-style. There are a number of places you can do this by joining in for chores, learning about animals, crops, and more. Our favorite is Fat Sheep Farm, we definitely recommend the experience if you’re looking for things to do near Hartland Vermont!
Explore the covered bridges
Eat as much Cabot cheese as you can stomach
Could there be a more quintessential Vermont option for Vermont things to do? Vermont once claimed that it had more cows than people living in the state, so it’s no surprise that we make excellent dairy products. Cabot Cheese is one of the most famous, and with good reason.
It’s fairly easy to find Cabot Cheese throughout the state, but you can sample loads of the stuff if you visit The Cabot Farmers’ Store in Waterbury. If you are looking for the tastiest things to do in VT, you can try dozens of flavors of Cabot cheese.
Walk, ride, or blade along the Burlington Bike Path
Looking for Burlington VT things to do? Stretching for miles throughout the city of Burlington and then further along the shores of Lake Champlain is the Burlington Bike Path. This route is beloved by avid cyclists, walkers, and visitors, as it offers some of the finest views of the magical lake and the Adirondacks in the distance; this thing could also be on your romantic things to do in Burlington, VT list, too!
Pro tip: Rent bikes right along the bike path near the Burlington Waterfront from Local Motion.
Visit the top of the Bennington Battle Monument
If you find yourself in Southern Vermont, you won’t want to miss the Bennington Battle Monument. And in fact, it’s hard TO miss, standing at 306ft and 4.5 inches tall! This iconic obelisk structure is visible for miles around. This also means that when you head to the top, you’re in for some sensational views of the surrounding Green Mountains; this would also be one of those very picturesque things to do in Vermont in the fall!
Catch some fantastic live theatre
Vermont is a very artistic state; a culturally-happening place. Personally, I’m a fan of Vermont theatre. The best place to catch a Broadway-caliber performance is at the Weston Playhouse. Some of the finest shows I’ve ever seen in my life were ones I’ve seen there, and this is one of those activities in Vermont where you can get a little dressed up and go show off for a while!
Drive to the top of a mountain
One of the cool things in Vermont is that you can drive to the top of a mountain; that’s right, if you’re looking for fun things to do in Southern Vermont in the fall especially, check out Mount Equinox.
Take the Skyline Drive toll road to the summit and you’ll be rewarded with some lovely views—no hiking required!
Go shopping and people-watching on Church Street
One of the most well-known places to go in Vermont is Burlington’s Church Street Marketplace, a pedestrian-only thoroughfare that is bursting with restaurants, shops, and outdoor performers. This is an excellent spot for people-watching, but it’s also the center of the downtown space so there’s so much to do, and some of the best shopping in Vermont. Church Street alone could keep you busy all day.
Swim in a cool Vermont lake
If you’re looking for things to do in Vermont in summer, this is it! Vermont lakes are absolutely gorgeous.
My favorite? Lake St. Catherine in Poultney, VT. See more of the best lakes in Vermont.
If winter cold is keeping you from the lakes, consider heading to the Pump House Indoor Water Park in Jay, Vermont. This spot is great for the whole family and is one of the best indoor water parks in New England.
Check out the Old Round Church
Round buildings are really interesting, and Vermont is home to a few. The Old Round Church in Richmond is a historic site, and checking it out is one of my favorite cool things to do in Vermont.
Technically not “round,” the Old Round Church is a sixteen-sided town meeting hall and place of worship built in 1812-1813. It’s definitely worth a visit, simply because it is so unique and photogenic, but also essential for history buffs.
Hike Owl’s Head Mountain
This is the second Vermont hike mentioned on the list, and equally a must-do. The fairy east 3-mile hike in Groton State Forest promises wonderful views at the top, overlooking Lake Groton and Kettle Pond.
Sail aboard a Lake Champlain day cruise
Lake Champlain is one of the top things to see in Vermont, and if you can get out on the water, all the better. If renting a boat or paddling a kayak isn’t your style, I suggest jumping aboard a Lake Champlain ferry or on a day cruise. There are several options for scenic cruises on Lake Champlain, and the experience is relaxing and fun; def one of the top Lake Champlain activities!
Explore a 19th-century castle
One very interesting, and yet lesser-known Central Vermont points of interest is Wilson Castle. This mansion is located in Proctor, Vermont, close to the city of Rutland,. definitely on the list of things to do in central Vermont. This unique and unexpected architectural gem is well-worth a visit. Guided tours are offered. Once you’re done exploring, grab a bite at one of the top Rutland restaurants.
Read Next: 16 Incredible Castles in New England
Go apple picking
Ah, apple picking. The most Vermont-y of Vermont fall activities. If you’re looking for things to do in Vermont in September or early October, find a local apple orchard where you can pick your own fruity harvest.
Check out the Trapp Family Lodge
Did you know that the Von Trapp family, made famous by the film The Sound of Music, actually emigrated to Vermont? They settled in the Stowe area, purportedly because it reminded them of their beloved alps. Here the family opened a hotel, and it remains one of the top places to visit in VT.
If you don’t want to book an overnight stay (though you certainly should consider it if visiting Stowe), you can tour the outside of the Bavarian-inspired inn, enjoy the phenomenal mountain views, and grab a drink and bite at their onsite brewery. It’s especially beautiful in summer.
Chase some waterfalls
While this isn’t the Pacific Northwest, there are plenty of gorgeous Vermont waterfalls. Check out this list of top 10 Vermont waterfalls to find one to seek out.
Get spooked at Emily’s Bridge
Vermont covered bridges are fascinating and historical, and some of them may also be haunted! Such is the case for the infamous Emily’s Bridge located in Stowe.
Legend has it that Emily died at the bridge, hanging herself after being jilted by her lover. Tales from visitors report things like scratches appearing on their car, banging sounds on the car when stopping on the bridge, and even bloody scratches found on the skin of pedestrians crossing the bridge.
Attend a hot air balloon festival
Hot air balloons are striking and impressive in any destination, but they seem particularly suited to the Green Mountains of Vermont. There are a few great balloon festivals to choose from, but the best is the Quechee Balloon Festival that takes place every June in Woodstock, VT, certainly one of the best things to do in Vermont in the summer!
Go biking on the Kingdom Trails
Mountain bikers will love the vast network of Kingdom Trails in East Burke, VT. These are some of the best mountain biking trails in the US, and they are set among the spectacular scenery of Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom. If you’re looking for places to go in VT to get away from it all, this might be what you’re looking for!
Visit the Cold Hollow Cider Mill
Truly, I think one of the best places to visit in Vermont is the Cold Hollow Cider Mill, and certainly is on every list of things to do in Waterbury VT. Waterbury is a must-stop on the way to Stowe, too, and Cold Hollow is my favorite spot.
This is a cider mill, apple-focused country store, restaurant, hard cidery, and more. It is completely adorable, perfectly fall, and smells like cinnamon heaven. I guarantee you’ll leave here feeling cozy and happy. Make sure to try the apple cider donuts which are out of this world.
Check out the Calvin Coolidge State Historic Site
If you’re a presidential history buff and looking for where to visit in Vermont, check out the home of American president, Calvin Coolidge. In Plymouth, VT, visitors will find his childhood home, where he took his presidential oath of office.
In addition to being an important historic site, the whole center comprises “over 600 bucolic acres” of a timeless Vermont village filled with original artifacts. This includes a one-room schoolhouse, barns, a cheese factory, and the hillside cemetery where President Coolidge is buried.
Photograph the fall foliage
Perhaps the best time of year for Vermont sightseeing is the autumn. Of course, Vermont boasts scenic splendor year round, but fall is simply magical with its vibrant colors framing colonial villages, white-steepled churches, and covered bridges.
Grab your camera and make plans to visit Vermont in the fall.
Dine at a farm-to-table restaurant
We take farm-to-table seriously in Vermont. There’s a strong culture of eating local and supporting farmers, and restaurants do this in all parts of the state. While there are countless farm-to-table options in Vermont, you must visit Cloudland Farm which is a culinary experience unto itself.
Find serenity in nature at Lake Willoughby
Venture into the Northeast Kingdom during your Vermont visit and you will find the majestic Lake Willoughby. Bordered by high, steep cliffs, the lake looks almost like a Nordic fjord. This is a perfect spot to get away from it all and really enjoy Vermont’s nature at its best.
Admire Quechee Gorge from above
Speaking of Vermont scenery, one of the most interesting natural sites in the state is Quechee Gorge. You might wonder, “what’s so special about a gorge?” but it really is worth stopping to see. Park in the visitor center lot and walk carefully out onto the sidewalk on the bridge overlooking the gorge. Amazing views are to be seen on both sides.
Visit the Morgan Horse Farm
Did you know that Vermont’s State Animal is the Morgan Horse? See where they’ve been bred and trained since 1878 at the Morgan Horse Farm in Middlebury.
Bring your canine pal to Dog Mountain
One of the quirkier Vermont tourist attractions out there is Dog Mountain. I haven’t yet been to this canine mecca, but I am anxious to go.
Dog Mountain is a private mountaintop spot in St. Johnsbury that belonged to artist Stephen Huneck. Today, it houses a gallery, a dog chapel, and hosts several events throughout the year. Dogs are always welcome on the property to run free and enjoy the sights alongside their human companions; this is one of those fun tourist spots in Vermont where you can bring your furry friends, too!
Visit the cows at the impressive Shelburne Farms
South of Burlington is the sprawling Shelburne Farms, a sustainable working farm that offers lots to do for travelers. Stroll the walking trails, visit the Children’s Farm, and check out cheesemaking in the Farm Barn. This is an incredibly productive farm generating, among other things, Farmstead cheddar cheese, pasture-raised lamb, beef, veal, and pork, and maple syrup. If you’re looking for kid friendly things to do in Vermont, a visit to Shelburne Farms will work!
You can also take educational guided tours of various parts of the property, though you may just wish to wander around this beautiful place.
See where Beetlejuice was filmed
Tim Burton fans may want to stop by the town of East Corinth, where the 1988 film Beetlejuice was filmed. Though much of the set was only a facade briefly built for the movie, there are still lots of film spots you might recognize in the village.
Ride the gondola to the top of Mount Mansfield
Mount Mansfield is the tallest mountain in Vermont. While it’s home to ski trails come winter, in the summertime, visitors can head to the top in the iconic red Gondola SkyRide. The views at the top are wonderful, and is one of the top attractions in Vermont.
See the Lincoln family home, Hildene in Manchester
If you’re a fan of presidential history or pretty old houses with lovely gardens, you are sure to love Hildene. This property belonged to Abraham Lincoln’s son Robert Todd Lincoln. Not only does the site boast a magnificent home that you can tour, there are also verdant gardens, breathtaking mountain views, and a working goat farm. Hildene also has a fantastic gift shop, for grabbing your Vermont souvenirs.
Drink a maple latte
This might not be on other lists of VT things to do, but it is certainly an essential item on mine! I’m a huge coffee drinker and there’s nothing quite so good as a hot, steaming latte.
In Vermont, flavors like vanilla and hazelnut are passé. Instead, have your latte with a shot of pure Vermont maple syrup. I promise you it’s as wonderful as it sounds, and you can find this delicious beverage all over the state.
So far, the best Vermont maple latte I’ve ever had was found at Common Grounds in Burlington, which is now sadly closed.
Visit Vermont’s oldest general store
The state has many picturesque general stores that should be on your list of Vermont places to visit. While you likely will want to visit the well known Vermont Country Store, nothing compares to an old-fashioned, historic general store.
Many of these claim to be the oldest in Vermont. I am partial to believe the oldest is FH Gillingham and Sons in Woodstock. No matter its age, it is incredibly charming—and they also have a great wine selection.
Take a horse-drawn sleigh ride in the winter
Can you picture it? The tinkling of sleigh bells in a Currier-and-Ives landscape? That’s what you’ll experience when you take a snowy sleigh ride in Vermont; some of the best places to visit in Vermont in the winter offer these oh, so cozy winter rides!
Have a massive, delicious breakfast
This is a to-do that is not exclusive to Vermont, by any means. But I have never found a better breakfast than the ones I’ve had in Vermont. Truly, a homestyle, country, hearty breakfast with Vermont maple syrup, local blueberries, Cabot butter, and delicious coffee; there’s something so Vermont about this.
Take time to dive into a good brunch during your Vermont visit.
Take a ride on the Green Mountain Railroad
That’s right, you can take a scenic train ride on the Green Mountain Railroad! If you’re looking for what to see and do in Vermont that will give you a little taste of the area, consider doing a 3 hour round trip Champlain Valley Dinner Train ride. Not only will you get to enjoy the gorgeous Vermont scenery, but the 3 course gourmet dinner isn’t so bad, either!
Eat a creemee
Our last item on the list is another food-related one! Well, why not? Vermont produces incredible food items in abundance.
The Vermont creemee is Vermont’s version of soft-serve ice cream. The best flavor is—-you guessed it—-maple. Find creemees all over the state in the summertime. Check out more of the top things to do in Vermont in summer here, but I don’t know if you can get more Vermont things to do summer style than this!
Read these next:
- The Best Family Vacations in New England: 8 Exciting Destinations
- 8 Charming Airbnbs in Vermont for an Amazing Stay
- 14 Festive Ways to Celebrate Christmas in Vermont
- 9 Best Vermont State Parks You Can’t Miss
Amy is the founder of New England with love. A proud Vermonter, she hopes to share her love of New England and help you find the best adventures in the region. Amy is also blogger/founder at Two Drifters, where she writes alongside her husband about romantic and couples travel, relationships, honeymoons, and more. When not working on websites, Amy is probably reading, cuddling with her husband, son, and cats, & drinking a maple latte.