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Vermont is a fabulous state. If you’ve never been, I recommend planning a trip ASAP. Vermont is gorgeous, friendly, charming, quaint, and filled with sites and activities. Today, I’m sharing with you 50 of my favorite things to do in Vermont.
I feel pretty 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 magical Vermont than I am to my birth state (Florida, meh.)
So over the many years, I’ve spent in New England, I’ve discovered all of the unique, essential, and fun things to do in Vermont. And now they’re yours to explore! Trust me, I won’t steer you wrong.
50 Things to Do in Vermont
Stay in a cozy log cabin.
A log cabin with a crackling fireplace is basically synonymous with a Vermont vacation. No matter the season, a cabin stay is worth your while. Here are some of our favorite cabins, especially for a romantic Vermont getaway.
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. A perfect excuse for a New England road trip.
Check out some of the best breweries in Burlington.
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 relax, explore, and find hidden gems. There’s nothing so great as a spontaneous stroll down Main Street in a classic Vermont village.
Visit the Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory.
A visit to the original Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory in Waterbury, Vermont is such a fun activity. 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.
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.”
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. Keep close watch along the surface of the lake and you might just catch a glimpse of this elusive cryptid.
Hike to the summit of Camel’s Hump.
Hiking is one of the foremost 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.
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.
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!
It’s just $6 per adult to visit the quarry itself and you can also take a self-guided tour of the equally massive granite factory.
Go skiing on an epic ski mountain.
Can you come to Vermont 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’.
Some of the popular ski mountains include Stratton, Sugarbush, Stowe Mountain Resort, and Smuggler’s Notch.
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.
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.
Shop the luxury outlets in Manchester.
If you find yourself in the southwestern part of Vermont, be sure to make a visit to Manchester. There is so much to do in this town, and this is a particularly pretty region 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 for some bargain shopping and a taste of 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’re traveling in 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 around in March, don’t miss the chance to try sugar on snow, a Vermont delicacy.
See where Robert Frost wrote some of his most famous poems.
Robert Frost is one of the most well-known New England poets in history. In fact, he is the poet laureate of Vermont.
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.”
Visit the baby (and adult) animals at Billings Farm.
Billings Farm is a must-see attraction in Woodstock, VT. Boasting dairy cows, draft horses, sheep, and many hands-on activities, this is quintessentially Vermont. It is an especially great place to go 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.
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 (typically the first and second week of 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.
Give fly fishing a try.
Ever wanted to give fly fishing a try? 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, joining in for chores, learning about animals, crops, and more. Our favorite is Fat Sheep Farm near Hartland, VT.
Explore the covered bridges.
There are more than 100 covered bridges in Vermont! When it comes to what to see in Vermont, covered bridges are a must. These historic structures, most of which are still in use, are dotted throughout the state and are scenic points of interest in every season.
Eat as much Cabot cheese as you can stomach.
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 Creamery or the Cabot Farmers’ Store. These are in Cabot and Waterbury, respectively, and offer the opportunity to try dozens of flavors of the most excellent cheese.
Walk, ride, or blade along the Burlington Bike Path.
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.
Pro tip: Rent bikes right along the bike path near the Burlington Waterfront from Local Motion.
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.
Drive to the top of a mountain.
In Vermont, one of the cool things you can do is drive to the top of a mountain: this is Mount Equinox in Southern Vermont.
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, 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. Church Street alone could keep you busy all day.
Swim in a cool Vermont lake.
Vermont has many gorgeous, refreshing lakes. In fact, the lakes of New England are one of the best parts of the region, particularly on a hot summer day.
My favorite? Lake St. Catherine in Poultney, VT.
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.
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.
Explore a 19th-century castle.
One very interesting, and yet lesser-known Vermont points of interest is Wilson Castle. This mansion is located in Proctor, Vermont, close to the city of Rutland. This unique and unexpected architectural gem is well-worth a visit. Guided tours are offered.
Go apple picking.
Ah, apple picking. The most Vermont-y of Vermont fall activities. If you’re in the state in September to 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.
Find some waterfalls.
While this isn’t the Pacific Northwest, Vermont has waterfalls aplenty. Check out this list of top 10 Vermont waterfalls to find one to seek out.
Get spooked at Emily’s Bridge.
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.
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.
Visit the Cold Hollow Cider Mill.
Truly, I think one of the best places to visit in Vermont is the Cold Hollow Cider Mill in Waterbury. Waterbury is a great destination on its own (and a must-stop on the way to Stowe) 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.
Vermont was home to one American president, Calvin Coolidge. In Plymouth, VT, visitors will find his childhood home, and 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 boats 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 nature, 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.
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.
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.
You can also take educational guided tours of various parts of the property, though you may just wish to wander around this beautiful place.
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.
See the Lincoln family home, Hildene in Manchester.
If you’re a fan of presidential history or pretty old houses, 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, original 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 had is found at Common Grounds in Burlington.
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.
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.
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.
Read these next:
- The Best Family Vacations in New England: 8 Exciting Destinations
- 8 Charming Airbnbs in Vermont for an Amazing Stay
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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 blogs 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 and cat, & drinking a maple latte.