If you’re looking for a vacation destination that offers natural beauty, outdoor adventure, and cultural charm, you might want to consider Vermont. The Green Mountain State is home to some of the top attractions and places to visit in New England, from scenic lakes and mountains to historic sites and museums. Here are some of the top destinations spots in Vermont that you should not miss.
Lake Champlain is one of the largest freshwater lakes in the U.S., stretching for 120 miles along the border of Vermont and New York. The lake is a popular destination for boating, fishing, kayaking, swimming, and wildlife watching. You can also explore the many islands, parks, and historic sites along the lake, such as Fort Ticonderoga, Valcour Island, and Sand Bar State Park. If you’re in Burlington, don’t miss the Burlington Bike Path and Waterfront Park, where you can enjoy panoramic views of the lake and the Adirondack Mountains.
Stowe is a quintessential Vermont town, with a covered bridge, a white-spired church, and ski trails down the mountainside. Stowe is one of the premier ski destinations in New England, with the Stowe Mountain Resort offering world-class slopes, lifts, and amenities. You can also enjoy other winter activities such as snowshoeing, sleigh rides, and ice skating. In the summer and fall, you can take the gondola to the summit of Mt. Mansfield, Vermont’s highest peak, for stunning views and hiking trails. Stowe also has a vibrant arts and culture scene, with shops, galleries, restaurants, and the Vermont Ski Museum.
Shelburne Museum is a unique museum that showcases the history, art, and culture of Vermont and New England. The museum consists of 39 buildings spread over 45 acres, including historic houses, barns, a schoolhouse, a lighthouse, a jail, a carousel, and a steamboat. The museum displays over 150,000 artifacts, ranging from folk art and quilts to impressionist paintings and vintage cars. You can also see live demonstrations of blacksmithing, weaving, printing, and more. Shelburne Museum is open year-round, but some buildings are closed in the winter.
**Ben & Jerry’s Waterbury Factory Tour and Ice Cream Shop**
No trip to Vermont would be complete without sampling some of its famous ice cream. Ben & Jerry’s is one of the most iconic brands in the world, known for its creative flavors and social mission. You can visit their original factory in Waterbury and take a 30-minute guided tour that shows you how they make their ice cream from fresh Vermont milk and cream. You can also visit their Flavor Graveyard, where they pay tribute to their retired flavors. And of course, you can enjoy a free sample of their ice cream at the end of the tour.
Quechee Gorge is Vermont’s deepest gorge, carved by the Ottauquechee River over thousands of years. The gorge is 165 feet deep and offers spectacular views from the bridge that spans it. You can also hike along the river to see the gorge from different angles and enjoy the surrounding nature. Quechee Gorge is part of the Quechee State Park, which also has a campground, picnic areas, and fishing spots. Nearby attractions include the Vermont Institute of Natural Science (VINS), which has a raptor center and nature trails; and Simon Pearce Glassblowing Mill & Restaurant.