Vermont may be a small state, but it has an incredible history and some of the most outstanding destinations in the country.
If you want to see some of the state’s best scenery, be sure to visit Lake Champlain. The pristine water is a great place to relax and enjoy the outdoors.
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Lake Champlain is a freshwater body that spans 435 square miles between Vermont, New York and Quebec. It was once a major shipping and exploration port in the Northeast, but today it is best known for its scenic shoreline, diverse natural resources and a rich heritage of culture, art and history.
A popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, this lake has long stretches of sandy beaches, tucked-away bays and panoramic mountain backdrops as well as long reaches perfect for sailing. It also offers snow-filled adventures in the winter.
Burlington is the largest city on the lake and has plenty to offer visitors looking for a lively place to stay, eat and shop. The Church Street Marketplace is a car-free shopping district where you can find four blocks of shops, cafes and specialty stores.
ECHO, Leahy Center for Lake Champlain is a fun and engaging science museum that will teach you all about the area’s ecosystems and wildlife. You can build virtual mountains and lakes with your hands, view displays of the species that live here and see films on topics ranging from the region’s indigenous people to the history of the lake itself.
2.Lemon Fair Sculpture Park.
Lemon Fair Sculpture Park is located in the town of Shoreham in western Vermont, on a mile-long, mowed path that features sculptures from more than 50 artists. It’s a self-guided exhibition that’s free to the public, though donations are welcome.
The park features a range of art, from large-scale animals to intricate pieces of sculpted metal that interact with the wind and weather. It’s also an ideal spot for a picnic or a crisp fall hike, and leashed dogs are allowed.
For something a little different, check out Cold Hollow Sculpture Park in Enosburg Falls, where artist David Stromeyer has a collection of outdoor sculptures that interact with the weather, sky and landscape. During our visit, we walked among and through more than 20 of Stromeyer’s sculptures, each one a unique work of art.
If you’re a fan of sculptures in the outdoors, there are plenty of other outdoor parks to explore. From a sprawling 120-acre sculpture park in Manchester to a secluded art garden in Windsor, there are plenty of options to enjoy Vermont’s vast and beautiful landscape while discovering a new form of art.
3.Willard Street Inn.
Built in 1881, this Victorian mansion-turned-B&B has all the classic New England style of a country mansion. The three-story inn features 14 spacious rooms with their own personalities, some featuring fireplaces and four poster beds.
Willard Street Inn is a quaint bed and breakfast with a lot to offer, from its complimentary full breakfast and onsite parking to its refreshingly clean common areas. It is also one of the best-known landmarks in Burlington, so you’re sure to get a warm welcome from the friendly staff.
The Inn’s most impressive feature is the free breakfast, served in a marble-floored solarium and accompanied by a landscaped back garden. You’ll find everything from granola & waffles to scrambled eggs and pancakes on the menu.
Willard Street Inn is operated by the Davis family, who are a hands-on bunch. The inn is a great choice for a family looking to experience the plethora of attractions and activities Vermont has to offer. Whether you’re exploring the mountains, shopping at the outdoor market or enjoying a night on the town, you’ll be happy you made Willard Street Inn your home base.
Nestled between the Green Mountains and the Taconic Range, Hildene is the Lincoln family home built by Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln’s son Robert. It is a historic site, museum and wedding venue.
The estate features a 24 room Georgian Revival mansion, 14 historic buildings, gardens and a thousand-pipe 1908 Aeolian organ. Visitors can tour the home, which was once a vacation retreat for three generations of the Lincoln family.
Inside, you’ll see the original furnishings from Mrs. Lincoln’s family, as well as those from other families who added to the estate over the years. A top hat from President Lincoln’s second inaugural address, a mirror that was believed to have been viewed by the President when he was assassinated and more make the house an immersive experience for guests.
While exploring Hildene, you can also take part in activities that contribute to the estate’s mission of Values into Action. One of those is farming, a process that includes making cheese and syrups.
Shelburne Museum is a one-of-a-kind art and Americana destination. The museum is home to a collection of buildings and 20,000 artifacts that span 45 acres.
Visitors can find a mix of paintings by Claude Monet and other famous artists as well as quilts and American folk art. It also houses the largest collections of 19th-century decoys and carriages in northern New England.
Another great thing about Shelburne Museum is that it is full of educational opportunities. Throughout the year, the museum offers digital programs, gallery talks, drop-in art activities, family days and more.
What’s even better is that the museum has a variety of buildings, including the Round Barn, Carousel and 220-foot Steamboat Ticonderoga. The buildings are all beautiful and they are spread out over the 45 acres of land that the museum is on.
6.The Town of Woodstock.
The Town of Woodstock is one of the most picturesque and quaint towns in Vermont. Its charming shops, historic buildings, and quintessential New England architecture make it a must-visit.
You will find a variety of shopping opportunities in the town center including stores and restaurants that offer a wide selection of food, clothing, souvenirs, gifts, and more. Whether you want to pick up a few items for the home or just take advantage of this cute little town, there is something for everyone in Woodstock.
A stroll around the Village Green and Elm Street will reveal a number of classic New England homes, white steepled churches, and covered bridges that make this place one of the most charming in the state. There is also a beautiful public library just off The Green.
If you’re looking for a great way to see the town from above, hiking up Mount Tom is a must-do. This hike takes about 5.5 miles round trip and has breathtaking views of the town and surrounding area.
7.Trapp Family Lodge.
The 96-room Trapp Family Lodge is a world-renowned four-season resort owned and operated by the von Trapp family that inspired “The Sound of Music.” Its Austrian-inspired architecture and European-style accommodations are set atop 2,500 acres overlooking the classic New England village of Stowe.
There’s much to see and do at this iconic mountain resort, whether you’re a history buff or a lover of outdoor recreation. Cross-country skiing, sleigh rides, horse-drawn carriage tours, and farm animal walks are just some of the activities on offer during winter seasons.
You can also take a guided tour of the Trapp Family’s property and learn more about the family’s history. There are framed posters and newspaper articles throughout the hotel that tell their story.
The dining options at the resort are also excellent, including a cozy coffeehouse called the Kaffeehaus. It serves coffee, tea, sandwiches, soups, and breakfast items. You can also get a taste of Vermont’s finest cuisine at the main dining room, which offers an expansive wood-paneled setting and farm-to-table fare. Chef Cody Vasek works closely with local farmers to source his ingredients, allowing him to showcase flavors and textures from the land.
The Quechee Gorge is Vermont’s deepest gorge, a major tourist attraction and one of the most spectacular places to see in all of New England. It’s often referred to as “Vermont’s Little Grand Canyon.”
When you visit the gorge, be sure to stop by the Quechee Gorge Visitor Center where you can explore the area or take a hike down into the gorge for a closer view. You can also drive to the top of the gorge to take in the views from above.
During the fall, the gorge’s surrounding foliage is breathtaking and a sight to behold. If you have time, you can also walk across the road to Dewey’s Pond to enjoy the fall colors.
The Quechee Gorge is a geological wonder, formed 13,000 years ago when the Laurentide Ice Shield retreated and the waters carved a path into the Devonian era bedrock. The river that flows through the gorge is a strong current and reaches depths of 165 feet, bringing with it a gushing force that’s awe-inspiring to behold.