They say you should love where you live and I can wholeheartedly say that I do! Vermont may be small in geographic size and population but offers a considerable amount of things to see and do. We have four seasons of outdoor recreational opportunities, including some of the best skiing in the east. Foodies will appreciate our award winning restaurants and our fresh farm-to-table food. And our landscape is breathtakingly beautiful. One look at our majestic mountains, valleys, lakes, and islands and I know you will agree.
Vermont may be best known for Ben & Jerry’s and maple syrup—and you should definitely try them while you are here. However, I recommend these 8 great things to do in Vermont to help you discover and enjoy our beautiful Green Mountain state.
1. Stay in a Local Hotel
Where: Hotel Vermont
The Hotel Vermont is located right in downtown Burlington, just a short walk from the shops and restaurants on the Church Street Marketplace. This independent, boutique hotel has integrated local products into every aspect of its design. In this unique space you will find reclaimed wood floors, slate walls, Vermont made flannel blankets, and handmade pottery vases. They serve locally focused food in all three of their restaurants and they have their own beer concierge who offers guided tours of many Vermont breweries. This hotel is truly one of a kind.
2. Sip Local Coffee
Where: August First
Located in a large renovated garage space in downtown Burlington, this locally owned bakery and café serves up the perfect cup of coffee any time of day. Local roasters Brio Coffeeworks makes a custom blend for August First You will find real Vermont maple syrup in their lattes and steamers which can be made with cow, soy, or almond milk. Worth noting, August First is a laptop free space encouraging patrons to connect to each other rather than their devices.
3. Have a Maple Creemee
Where: Morse Farm Sugar Works
Soft serve ice cream is called a creemee in the 802 (Vermont’s area code). These sweet treats are found at snack shacks and creemee stands all over Vermont. Although creemee comes in vanilla, chocolate, black raspberry, and several other flavors, maple is by far the best. They are made with real Vermont maple syrup and have a higher fat content, thus making them creamier. The debate over where to get the best one has ensued for a long time among Vermonters. In the end it really does not matter where you get one, but you better not leave the state without trying it!
For more ice cream ideas, see Great Ice Cream Places in US to Cool Off
4. Go for a Bike Ride
Where: Stowe Recreation Path
This 5.5 mile flat, paved path winds through shady forests, past farms and fields, and over eleven bridges that zig-zag back and forth over the West Branch River. It is open year-round for walking, jogging, biking, cross country skiing, and snowshoeing. Many restaurants such as Piecasso, The Blue Donkey, and the Dutch Pancake Cafe are directly accessible from the path. On Sundays you will ride right past the Stowe Farmer’s Market where you can grab some supplies for lunch. There are plenty of picnic tables and benches along the route.
5. Take a Hike
Where: Sterling Pond
If you are looking for a leisurely hike through the woods, this is not it. It is a great hike, but it is more like a workout. The steep trail begins across the road from the Smugglers’ Notch Park visitor’s center. At the top you happen upon Sterling Pond, the highest trout pond in the state. Bring a picnic lunch and spread out on the large rocks near the pond or continue past it and up a set of wooden stairs that take you to the Notch at Smuggs. This is a great vista with scenic views where you can picnic as well.
6. Catch a Minor League Baseball Game
Where: Centennial Field
Centennial Field is one of the oldest parks still in use as a minor league baseball stadium. Now home to the Vermont Lake Monsters, the first games were played here in 1906. You can’t help but feel nostalgic about America’s favorite pastime when you watch a game from this grandstand. During games there is plenty of on-field, change of innings entertainment. It can be anything from a Frisbee catching dog act to a gigantic teddy bear sling shot contest. Champ, the mascot, is constantly tossing t-shirts into the crowd and leading the kids in sing-a-longs. This is a great family outing that hits it out of the park!
7. Visit a Farmers Market
Where: Burlington Farmers’ Market
During summer months there are an abundance of farmer markets in Vermont and they are held on just about every day of the week. But if you only have time to visit one, spend your Saturday morning at Burlington’s City Hall Park where you will find more than 90 local vendors selling prepared foods, artisan wares, flowers, and produce. Go hungry! You will be able to eat your way right through the market. Some of our favorites include Barrio Bakery, Adam’s Berry Farm, and Rookie’s Root Beer.
8. Sample a Local Vermont Craft Beer
Where: Switchback Brewing Co.
With the most craft breweries per capita in the US, Vermont is a mecca for beer lovers. Beer connoisseurs love that we have so many different beer tours and an annual Vermont Brewers Festival. If a full weekend of beer tasting is not part of your itinerary, and you must to narrow it down to only one tap room visit, make it Switchback. This 100% employee owned brewery is known for handcrafted unfiltered ales and lagers. On Fridays they have live music with rotating specials and limited run beers as well.
For more craft beer, see Great Craft Beer Places to Celebrate in USA
Have you been to Vermont? Please add your tips and suggestions for things to do in Vermont in the comment section. Happy travels!
Article by Dana Freeman. Dana Freeman is an entrepreneur, freelance journalist, and the editor behind Dana Freeman Travels. She has been calling the Green Mountain State home for the last 17 years. Follow her travels on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.