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Southern Vermont

Central Vermont

Northern Vermont

The Northeast Kingdom







Vermont — the 'Green Mountain State'

Near Vermont's capitol, Montepelier

Vermont's countryside provides for unrivaled scenic drives.

Vermont is a place that causes visitors to utter that famous vacationer phrase, "let's sell the house and move here". The state is divided into four regions: Southern Vermont; Central Vermont; Northern Vermont; and the Northeast Kingdom. The peace, tranquility and sane pace of life are evident everywhere you travel in the Green Mountain State. A weekend in Vermont has the ability to relax even the most stressed out, which is why so many return time and time again. Vermont is a wondrous land of small towns, rolling hills, bucolic pastures, antique shops, and country inns. One small town leads to another, and the winding roads in between entice you with more beauty around every turn. The small scale of the cities offers visitors a combination of urban sophistication and country intimacy not found elsewhere. The arrival of winter in Vermont is as much a celebration as the arrival of spring anywhere else. In summer, the pristine lakes and rivers offer swimming, kayaking, fishing and sailing. The majestic Green Mountains lure hikers, bikers and skiers. And the foliage in Autumn here is awe inspiring. Vermont truly is a four-season resort state.

VermontŐs picturesque scenes are unlike anywhere else.

Vermont's picturesque scenes are unlike anywhere else.

Southern Vermont [back to top]
Southern Vermont begins along Route 91, which is one of the main entry points for Vermont visitors. This is the southeast corner of Vermont, a region combining country charm with the lively, sophisticated Brattleboro, the unofficial capital of southern Vermont. This pleasant, small town is highly rated as a place to live. The atmosphere is casual, and the downtown offers a combination of coffeehouses, bookstores and the oldest health food restaurant in America. The Connecticut River, dividing Vermont and Connecticut, is a historic natural attraction. Explore the scenery and history of the area on a river tour, and at the Brattleboro Museum and Art Center.

Heading north from Brattleboro you'll reach Putney, a small town that's well known for its concentration of artists and musicians. In Putney, you'll find a number of shops and interesting businesses lining the streets. Putney is also home to the Yellow Barn Music School , a mini "Tanglewood", that offers chamber music concerts weekly during July and August.

Farther north is Bellows Falls, a historic railroad town, which is undergoing a renovation to its downtown. Here you can take a trip on the Green Mountain Flyer, a restored passenger train making daily round trips to Chester Depot.

If you head west from Brattleboro, you'll reach neighboring Marlboro, host to the Marlboro Music Festival. And further to the west on Route 9, you'll reach Mount Snow in Wilmington, a major ski resort in this area. Following Route 9 across southern Vermont takes you to the southwest corner and the villages of Bennington and Manchester.

Manchester has been one of southern Vermont's most popular resort villages since the late 1800s, when the Equinox Hotel was built. Today, the Equinox is an extraordinary example of country charm. One recommended trip in Manchester is a drive or hike to the top of Equinox Mountain , yielding panoramic views of the entire region. In recent times, Manchester has become a shopping mecca, with a number of factory outlets and other shops in nearby Manchester center.

This scenic, elegant section of the state is also important for its American history, art and culture. Some of the museums and exhibits here include the Bennington Museum, Bennington Battle Monument, Southern Vermont Art Center, and Hildene , a 400 plus-acre estate with beautiful gardens, walking paths and a 24-room historic mansion to explore. Also of interest is the American Museum of Fly-Fishing , an interesting exhibit on this increasingly popular sport.

From either corner of southern Vermont, you can easily reach the Stratton and Bromley ski areas and Stratton Mountain Resort.

Central Vermont [back to top]

See Vermont by bike...

One of the best ways to see Vermont is by bike.

Our tour of the Central Vermont area begins at the Quechee and White River area along the Connecticut River and New Hampshire border. You can take Interstate 91 from southern Vermont toward Springfield and Ascutney, or take Route 5 if you want to experience some back road charm. As you meander through small towns along the Connecticut River, you'll be well rewarded for taking your time. For a view of the entire area, visit Mt. Ascutney State Park. When you reach White River Junction, you can head toward the middle of Central Vermont in the direction of Killington and Rutland on Route 4.

White River offers a lively mix of shops and restaurants in the downtown area and a number of festivals throughout the year. The Catamount Brewery is a popular stop in White River. This is Vermont's first microbrewery and is open for tours.

Just west of White River is the picturesque town of Quechee. Here you can explore the Quechee Gorge, an extraordinary natural river gorge, sometimes called the "Grand Canyon of the East". There's a trail that leads down into the gorge that you can access from Route 4. Quechee features interesting shops, restaurants and inns and is home of a large balloon festival each summer, in case driving or hiking to the top of the mountains isn't high enough for you.

Down the road from Quechee is one of Vermont's most popular resort towns, Woodstock. Woodstock is the quintessential Vermont town with a number of quaint shops, fine restaurants, art galleries, cozy inns and historic landmarks.

Continuing across central Vermont we reach the Killington Ski Resort and Rutland, the largest city in central Vermont, and the second largest in the state. The historic downtown offers a self-guided walking tour, which includes a number of interesting sites.

The heart of central Vermont is located on Mount Mansfield, the highest point in Vermont. This area has long been a focal point of outdoor activity in Vermont, especially hiking and skiing. Whether hiking the Long Trail , biking the back roads, swimming, canoeing or fishing, this is a great place to enjoy the great outdoors. For the fit, hiking to the top of Mount Mansfield is a popular feat, offering views of three states. However, if you're not a hiker, the toll road and lifts will take you high enough for extraordinary views. There are also a number of easy hiking and walking trails with beautiful views.

Ben & Jerry's , ice cream plant is located in Waterbury has become a major Vermont attraction. And if you're still hungry, you can also visit the neighboring Cabot Creamery Annex and Cold Hollow Cider Mill .

Stowe and Mad River Valley are major resorts in Central Vermont, offering lodgings, family activities, golf, tennis and some of the greatest skiing anywhere. The state capital of Montpelier, with its multitude of 19th century homes and buildings, is easily explored by walking. While you're here, be sure to visit the Vermont Historical Society.

Northern Vermont [back to top]
You'll almost have to drive to the Canadian border to reach Vermont's largest and most sophisticated cities, Burlington. Sometimes mistaken as Vermont's capital city, Burlington has recently been praised as one of the best American cities to live in. One of the necessities of any city is a successful downtown, and Burlington's Church Street Marketplace is the centerpiece of a downtown that is a model for other cities to follow. Sometimes compared to the Fanueil Hall Marketplace in Boston, there are dozens of retail stores along a bricked walking mall, sandwiched by restaurants and cafes of every ethnic description. Burlington is also a center of artistic activity where a number of festivals are held each year.

There are many activities and attractions in the Burlington area, including renting a boat from the Community Boathouse near downtown to sailing Lake Champlain on your own. Or you can board The Spirit of Ethan Allen which embarks from Burlington for a scenic tour of Lake Champlain. There is also biking and walking the many designated lakeside paths. There's no better way to take in the fantastic views while getting in some exercise.

The Shelburne Museum is an attraction in nearby Shelburne. Here you can explore three dozen buildings, housing thousands of pieces of artwork. Shelburne Farms is just down the road and offers many exhibits especially suited for children. The Lake Champlain Maritime Museum in Basin Harbor also offers fascinating exhibits, including a Revolutionary War gunboat replica that you actually board.

Not far from the sophistication and excitement of Burlington, you can experience one of the most impressive natural attractions anywhere, Lake Champlain and its many islands. A tour of the islands takes you into a different world, almost as if you have driven through Vermont and suddenly reached a vast ocean with a mountainous backdrop. The islands from south to north, are South Hero, North Hero and Isle La Motte . Isle La Motte is the most remote of the three. If you haven't decided on your lodgings, the islands offer the opportunity for staying in this lakeside paradise with taking day trips into Burlington, St. Albans and other areas.

You can also take a circular day trip of the islands and other areas if you're staying in the Burlington area. From Burlington, take Route 2 which leads you to a causeway across the lake to the island. If you have kids, you might want to stop right here for awhile. Along the causeway there's Sand Bar State Park , featuring beautiful grounds, beaches and boating. It's a great family park. With or without kids, you might want to throw the bikes on the back of the car. The islands are flat and pleasant for biking down side roads, where you can find a scenic spot for a picnic, or just to rest. The road around Isle La Motte forms a natural loop to return you to the beginning of the island.

There are many scenic attractions, restaurants and shops along this beautiful island drive on Route 2. When you reach the town of Grand Isle, you can visit the Lipizzan Stallions in their summer home. And, as you reach the top of the islands and cross over to the mainland you can explore the nature trails and scenery of the Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge.

Depending on your time schedule, take the interstate of Route 7 south to St. Albans. Like Burlington, St. Albans has a beautiful downtown square and park. It's known as the maple capital of the world, with a spectacular maple sugar festival held each spring. From here you can complete the loop either on the interstate or follow Route 7 back to Burlington.

The largest resorts of northern Vermont are Smugglers Notch and Stowe. Each attracts large numbers of visitors to northern Vermont by providing world-class skiing and resort accommodations. Stowe is a lovely village and ski area (the actual skiing is done on Mt. Mansfield , Vermont's highest peak), in the middle of Northern Vermont. Here, you'll find everything you want in a resort town — shopping, approximately 60 lodgings, lots of restaurants, and more. For non-ski recreation, there's hiking, biking, canoeing, an alpine slide, in-line skating, and a 5-1/2 mile recreational path.

The Northeast Kingdom [back to top]
The Northeast Kingdom is said to be one of the last frontiers in America. Similar in scope to New Hampshire's Great North Woods, you won't find fast-food restaurants, strip malls or brand name discount stores here. Instead, you'll be surrounded by the great outdoors. Those who venture this way will be greeted by friendly people and homey, laid-back amenities. Major attractions here include Burke Mountain Ski Area, Jay Peak Ski area and Lake Willoughby. Lake Willoughby attracts bikers, hikers and fishermen, and other outdoor enthusiasts for its scenic trails, and salmon and trout fishing.

Although this area is an outdoor paradise, there are a number of activities, exhibits, and a numerous inns and restaurants. Some of them include The Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium in St. Johnsbury which is a popular family science exhibit featuring Vermont's only planetarium. There's also the Northern Vermont Railroad in Newport, where you can take a scenic trip to Crystal Lake and other areas. The Trout River Brewing Company in East Burke offers a tasting room and retail shop, where you can try their seasonal specialties. And if you're interested in some unique wintertime excitement, call Hardscrabble Mountain Sled Dog Tours . Their guides will take you on a dog sled tour in the woods of the Northeast Kingdom. Children are welcome to mush along, too!

To quickly find attractions, restaurants and shops in Vermont, use the Find Attractions search engine. To quickly locate lodgings, use the Find Lodging search engine.

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