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Vermont is one of the greenest and most beautiful states in the country – after all, it is nicknamed the Green Mountain State. With that, you’ll find a wide range of outdoor adventures to enjoy along with captivating cities to explore with delicious eats, craft brews and more. While you’re here, be sure to put some of these top things to do on your itinerary.
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The picturesque town of Stowe has long been a popular ski destination, especially among those who live in the north, with many of the region’s activities revolving around Mount Mansfield, the highest peak in Vermont at 4,393 feet above sea level. But it offers a lot more than winter sports. During the warmer months of the year, visitors can look forward to hiking miles and miles of scenic trails along with thrilling activities like zip line tours at Stowe Mountain Resort. The village itself is especially picturesque with its covered bridges and church steeples set against the lush mountains.
Lake Champlain stretches for 120 miles across both Vermont and New York, with the northern tip in Canada. One of the most popular places for nature and water sports lovers, there is nearly 600 miles of shoreline to enjoy. Look forward to fishing, kayaking, canoeing and sailing as well as hiking and wildlife watching. There are nearly 320 bird species around the banks on the Vermont side alone. The lake also has an interesting tale similar to Loch Ness – it was named after Samuel de Champlain who claimed to have glimpsed a 20-foot sea serpent in the water. His may have been first but it wasn’t the last sighting of “Champy.” You might want to book a cruise and see if you can spot him yourself. If not, it’s a wonderful way to enjoy the striking natural beauty of the region.
The Vermont Teddy Bear Factory in Shelburne is open for public tours and it’s become one of the most popular attractions in Vermont. While it began as a one-man operation, with teddy bears handcrafted in a garage nearly four decades ago, today, 150,000 teddy bears are made here every year in this 60,000-foot factory spread across a nearly 60-acre campus. Watch artisans handcraft the bears as you’re guided by entertaining and informative Bear Ambassadors – and, you can even create your own bear too. You’ll be able to see the Bear Doctor work on repairing bears and purchase one of your own as a gift or souvenir in the Bear Shop.
The beautiful town of Woodstock hosts what’s often been named among the country’s top outdoor history museums. The Billings Farm and Museum includes a fully operational Jersey dairy farm and spectacularly restored 19th-century farmhouse that serves as a museum. It showcases a wide range of artifacts, photos and oral histories that illustrate activities that forged the culture and history of pastoral Vermonters. e encounters with award-winning draft horses, Jersey dairy cows and sheep. The town of Woodstock itself is incredibly charming, set along the banks of the Ottauquechee River with a covered bridge and impressive Greek Revival, Federal and Georgian homes.
If you’re a fan of Robert Frost, one of America’s finest poets, don’t miss visiting the homestead where he wrote Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening back in 1922. The house, including the 7-acre grounds with old stone walls, a barn and some of the heirloom apple trees from Frost’s very own orchard, now serves as a museum owned by Bennington College. Nearby is his burial plot, located at the Old First Church. The church itself is a living monument with a headstone that reads, “I had a lover’s quarrel with the world.”
Many visitors come to Vermont to enjoy snow sports at its top ski resorts. Killington Ski Area is one of the favorites with 1,500 acres of skiable terrain and 73 miles of trails ranging from easy to challenging for skiers, boarders, snowmobilers and quad riders. There are scenic gondola rides, sleigh rides, snowshoe tours and a tubing park too. In the summer enjoy heart-pounding attractions like the Beast Mountain Coaster that winds through the woods, complete with 360-degree corkscrew turns.
Chester offers a tranquil escape from the big city, home to famous factory outlets, art galleries, museums, theaters and concert venues, along with historical attractions. One of the top things to do here is to tour Robert Todd Lincoln’s Ancestral Home, a 1905 Georgian Revival summer home with a gorgeous formal garden. If you’re here around the start of the summer season, you’ll be mesmerized by the over 1,000 peony blossoms from original plantings that splash the garden with their brilliant colors. The home itself is a magnificent Georgian Revival mansion and the family home of President Lincoln’s descendants who solely occupied it up through 1975. The grounds also include a solar-powered goat cheese and dairy-making facility, a historic carriage barn and walking trails.
The smallest state capital in the country, Montpelier offers small-town charms along with a vibrant cultural scene that provides something for just about everyone, art enthusiasts to history buffs and outdoor lovers. While it may be relatively small it has the largest urban historic district in the state, with exquisite historic buildings like the impeccably restored State House that’s open for public tours and considered one of the best preserved in the nation.
The Church Street Marketplace is an award-winning outdoor mall spread across four city blocks in downtown Burlington. There is over 100 places to shop and dine here, including unique one-of-a-kind shops along with historic architecture. It hosts many festivals throughout the year, and on any pleasant day it will be filled with street entertainers and live local music. Seasonal events can be enjoyed too, including a special holiday market.