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Vermont Travel Guide

Visit Vermont for pristine forests, green mountains, rushing streams and rivers, long, narrow glacial lakes, pretty towns, cozy country inns, and New England's best skiing.

Stowe & Mount Mansfield, Vermont
Stowe & Mount Mansfield, Northern Vermont.

Vermont is the least-populated (650,000), most rural New England state, with one cow for every 2.6 people, and lots more trees than people.

I've divided Vermont into South, Central and North regions, with a separate section on Vermont skiing. But first, here's how to get there:

Vermont Transportation

Car is easy, but keep in mind that Vermont's mountains run north-south, so going up and down the valleys is faster than crossing the mountains east-west.

Two Amtrak trains from New York City serve Vermont, all the way to the Canadian border.

Intercity buses take you from Boston and New York City to some Vermont cities and towns. Local and regional Vermont transport services take over from there.

Car and passenger ferryboats cross long Lake Champlain, connecting Vermont with New York state on the western shore. More...

Southern Vermont

Grafton VT Grafton, among the many pretty Southern Vermont towns.


The graceful lady of southern Vermont, it is home to renowned Bennington College, the Bennington Battle Mounment, the grave of Robert Frost, and the notable Bennington Museum, with its fine collection of paintings by Grandma Moses—not to mention the classic cars displayed by Hemmings Motor News.


Vermont's oldest town (1724) is now a thriving farming, transport and commercial center with a distinct 1960s alternative-lifestyle feel to it. The 19th-century red-brick mills that brought prosperity to Brattleboro lost their textile and shoe-making work, but have been recycled for shops, crafts workshops, small business offices and artists' studios.


Settled in 1768, Dorset is a gem of a village, where even the sidewalks are of creamy white marble. The local quarries brought Dorset wealth, and wealth brought culture, fine buildings, and a noted playhouse.


A picture-perfect Vermont village with stately trees, white churches with high steeples, gracious old houses designed with classical touches, a historic inn and a fine artisanal cheesemaker.


Once a summer resort akin to those in Massachusetts' Berkshire hills, Old Manchester's wide main street, handsome Federal-style houses and grand Equinox Resort adjoin a modern commercial section filled with upscale shops and outlet stores.

Old Manchester VT
Old Manchester VT

Manchester Center happily coexists with Manchester Village as one of Vermont's most popular resort destinations.


Marlboro is a rural village: drive to the dot on the map and you'll find a church, a small town office, and a few houses. But the Marlboro Music School and Festival have put this sleepy hamlet on Vermont's cultural map.


Another picture-perfect Vermont village, Newfane boasts several fine old inns with good restaurants, a classic Main Street lined with sugar maple trees, and many antique shops.


Home of the Vermont Country Store and Weston Playhouse, Weston is the quintessential Vermont village, but with lots of art...and shopping.

West Dover

West Dover is the postal address for dozens of inns and hotels serving the Mount Snow Ski Resort, southern Vermont's most popular.


An important highway crossroads town popular for shopping and for the nearby Mount Snow ski area.

Central Vermont


"Killington" is the only word New England skiers have to hear to make them think of snow. It's Vermont's prime ski resort, noted for innovation in snow-making, grooming and facilities, and many summer activities as well.

Killington Resort in autumn
` Killington in autumn.


A pretty riverside town in its own right, but known mostly as the home of the Okemo Mountain Ski Resort.


Main Street, Middlebury, Vermont
Main Street in Middlebury, Central Vermont.

Replete with beautiful old Georgian and 19th-century buildings, a renowned college of high quality, a powerful creek roaring right beneath Main Street, a pretty town green and a fine old inn, Middlebury is well worth a stop.


Calvin Coolidge, 30th President of the United States, was born in this tiny Vermont hamlet not far from the intersection of Routes 100 and 100A. You can visit the Coolidge Homestead and the Calvin Coolidge Birthplace.


Vermont's second-largest city is the commercial hub of the region, with attractive century-old architecture, a summer farmers' market, an Amtrak train station, and lots of other useful services.

Vermont Wines
Vermont wines on display at the Rutland Farmers' Market.

White River Junction

As its name suggests, railroads made this town on the White and Connecticut rivers, and trains and transportation are still important activities today. It prospered as an important 19th-century railroad junction, and is at the intersection of I-89 and I-91, but prosperity has passed it by.


Chartered in 1761, it became the shire town (county seat) of Windsor County, which is how it escaped the ravages (and riches) brought by 19th-century industry and preserved its 18th-century beauty. It's Vermont's beautiful, historic, aristocratic town, favored by Rockefellers, Rothschilds, and the rest of us.

Spring in Woodstock VT
Spring in Woodstock VT.

Northern Vermont

Main Street, Middlebury, Vermont
Northest Kingdom landscape, Northern Vermont.


The largest city in Vermont is a town of only about 50,000 population, but in this state, small is beautiful. Burlington's situation on the shores of Lake Champlain brings it extra attractiveness and aquatic sports opportunities as well.


Capital of the state of Vermont, Montpelier is a pleasant small city with an impressive capitol building and some good restaurants. Nearby Barre has great granite quarries and the most amusing cemetery in the nation.

Northeast Kingdom

Kingdom? In anti-royalist America? Somehow Vermont's beautiful rural northeastern region got this moniker, and it stuck.

Craftsbury Common, Vermont
Panoramic view of the Northeast Kingdom from the Wildflower Inn.

There's nothing royal about this region's small, untouristy farming villages, but it is home to Circus Smirkus, Vermont's own internationally-renowned youth circus and summer circus camp.

St Johnsbury

Largest town in the Northeast Kingdom, St Johnsbury, "the place where rivers and people come together," shows by its history that small-town Vermont can have an impact on the entire world. "Saint J" has the fine institutions to prove it.


Dominated by Mount Mansfield, Vermont's highest mountain, Stowe has something of a European feeling, as of an Austrian town amid emerald-green rolling hills, winding roads, and steep slopes. In fact, the Trapp family of "Sound of Music" fame chose it as their American refuge.

Sugarbush & Warren

The area centered on Warren and Waitsfield along Route 100 of this pretty, rural, little-developed area boasts two good—but very different—ski resorts: Sugarbush and Mad River Glen.

Vermont Art

St Johnsbury Atheneum, Vermont
The art gallery in the exquisite Atheneum, St Johnsbury VT.

Here are the best fine art museums in Vermont.

Vermont Cheese

With one cow for every 2.6 people, Vermont has a lot of milk and cream. Besides the Ben & Jerry's ice cream plant in Waterbury VT, Vermonters use that milk and cream to make cheese, much of which is delicious. More...