People from around the country flock to Vermont for its quaint charm and stunning fall colors. Between the maple syrup and cheddar cheese, Vermont is known for its regional fare, and there are plenty of indoor and outdoor activities to enjoy when you visit this beautiful state.
Vermont boasts everything from sleepy villages to small cities and is the perfect place to have a romantic getaway or go on some fun adventures with your kids.
15 Best Things to Do in Vermont in 2023
We’ve hand-picked our 15 favorite things to do in Vermont to give you the perfect mix of outdoor recreation, eating regional cuisine, and exploring local attractions to feel like you’ve really gotten to know the area, even if you only have a few days to explore.
If you’re planning a trip to Vermont, consider visiting one of the places on this list to make lasting memories and appreciate the state’s unique charm.
1. Visit a Maple Farm
Vermont is the country’s leading producer of maple syrup, and the state is renowned for having some of the best maple syrup in the world.
Visit a maple farm like Highland Sugarworks or Maple Grove Farms of Vermont to sample their delicious maple syrup and get a better understanding of the history of maple farming in the state and how maple syrup is made, and other fun facts like what goes into grading maple syrup.
If you visit Vermont in the wintertime, don’t pass up the opportunity to try sugar on snow. This regional delicacy involves pouring heated maple syrup on snow until it develops a sticky, taffy-like consistency and is typically served with a dill pickle and a donut.
2. Hitch a Ride to the Top of Mount Mansfield
Mount Mansfield is beloved amongst locals and draws tourists in the winter months because of its incredible skiing. Being the tallest mountain in Vermont, Mount Mansfield is the perfect destination if you’re looking for a relaxing winter holiday.
However, the summertime is the best time to enjoy Stowe Mountain Resort’s Gondola Skyline, which takes tourists nearly to the top of the mountain to enjoy incredible panoramic views.
Enjoy a quick bite to eat at the Cliff House Restaurant, or enjoy a day hike along the hiking trails before taking the Gondola back down to the resort.
3. Visit the Vermont Teddy Bear Factory
The Vermont Teddy Bear Factory is one of the state’s top tourist destinations. A visit to the factory allows tourists to watch the teddy bears being made and even purchase a customized teddy bear themselves.
The factory is enormous and is located on a property of nearly 60 acres. If you’re traveling with kids, this is the perfect place to stop and let them create their own keepsake to remember your trip.
4. Take a Hike to Texas Falls
Vermont is known for its expansive backcountry, which can be enjoyed in the wintertime by lovers of winter sports like skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing.
But in the summer and fall, you can take advantage of some of Vermont’s most natural playgrounds in areas like Texas Falls. Located in the Hancock wilderness, Texas Falls is the perfect place to go if you’re looking for a hike with a great payoff.
Texas falls rush year-round, and best of all, it’s better known amongst locals than tourists, making it the perfect destination for visitors to the area looking for something a little less heavily trafficked.
5. Go Shopping at Church Street Marketplace
Burlington is Vermont’s biggest city. Due to its relative bustle and proximity to one of the state’s only international airports, Burlington is a classic tourist destination for those visiting the state.
If you find yourself in Burlington, you’ll appreciate the charm that the city has to offer, as well as the convenient location for numerous outdoor activities surrounding the area.
However, a trip to Burlington isn’t complete if you don’t do some shopping and eat at Church Street Marketplace. Despite only spanning four blocks of downtown Burlington, Church Street Marketplace has more than 100 shops and restaurants.
6. Enjoy an Aerial View of the Quechee Gorge
If you’ve been dreaming of driving around during Vermont’s fall season just to watch the leaves change, then you’re going to want to make sure you stop by the Quechee Gorge.
This spectacular gorge is the deepest in all of Vermont and features the flowing Ottauquechee River, walled by spectacular orange forest in the fall.
If you have the ability to drive, you can get the best view of the gorge by driving to the Quechee Gorge Bridge, where Route 4 crosses the river.
7. Enjoy Dinner at the Blue Paddle Bistro
Located in South Hero, the Blue Paddle Bistro is where to go if you’re looking for Authentic northeastern seafood, which people come from all around the country to enjoy.
Blue Paddle Bistro is the perfect destination for visitors to Vermont because it is nestled in the small and quaint island in Lake Champlain but is less than half an hour from downtown Burlington, making it an accessible destination for tourists.
If you’ve been craving classic New England crab cakes or looking for some of the best surf & turf in Vermont, make sure you stop by the Blue Paddle Bistro on your trip.
8. Grab Some Produce at the Brattleboro Farmers Market
Although there are countless farms and farmer’s markets scattered across the state of Vermont, the Brattleboro Farmers Market is a must-see for visitors to the area.
This farmers market looks straight out of a New England catalog and is the perfect way to grab some local fare and enjoy cheese, produce, and other goods grown and made in the Southern Vermont region.
9. Tour the Rock of Ages Quarry
Located in the apt name Graniteville, Vermont, you can visit the Rock of Ages granite quarry on your visit to Vermont and be wowed by the biggest quarry in the entire world.
The Rock of Ages Quarry is not only a spectacle because of its grandeur, but it’s quite naturally beautiful, featuring a bright blue pool at the base of the quarry and surrounded by the beautiful Vermont forest.
The quarry is an excellent activity for both adults and kids, who can enjoy immersive experiences like a driving tour of the 600-foot deep quarry, bowling on the outdoor granite bowling lane, and sandblasting their very own granite keepsake.
10. Take a Trip to Knight’s Spiderweb Farm
Knight’s Spiderweb Farm is more than just a standard roadside attraction, it’s a quintessential Vermont experience, and you can enjoy a real piece of art to commemorate your experience visiting the farm.
Terry Knight owns the Spiderweb Farm, and it is home to the world’s foremost spiderweb art. You can witness the farm’s orb weavers hard at work making their webs, which are then dipped in materials to solidify them and turn them into plaques.
If you don’t get a chance to visit the farm on your trip to Vermont, you can still purchase the spiderweb art online.
11. Take a Stroll Around Shelburne Farms
While a farm tour may not have been at the top of your list when you were first thinking about your trip to Vermont, you’ll be more than happy you changed your mind after visiting Shelburne Farms.
Kids will love activities like cheesemaking and the Children’s Farm, while adults will appreciate the seasonal walking tours of the Farm’s expansive grounds. While the farm is currently operational, Shelburne is so much more than just a farm.
They also have a nonprofit dedicated to sustainable farming education, and the farm itself is a historic landmark. Shelburne Farms is an excellent spot for families looking to blend a bit of education with Vermont’s natural beauty and local culture.
12. Stop by the Small Town of East Corinth
Most viewers of Tim Burton’s beloved 80s film, Beetlejuice, assume that the movie was filmed in Vermont’s neighboring state of Connecticut because that’s where the film was set. But, the actual filming location took place in the tiny Vermont town of East Corinth.
If you’re dying to see the big white house that the majority of the movie takes place in, or the bridge that was quaintly covered for the film, take a quick tour through the town of East Corinth.
The sleepy town is located roughly 45 minutes from Montpelier, so you can make a quick day trip out of it, even if you don’t plan on staying there overnight.
13. Visit the Fairbanks Museum & Planetarium
14. Whether you’re an astronomy nut or a natural history buff, you have to make sure to visit the Fairbanks Museum & Planetarium on your trip to Vermont.
This natural history museum features the only planetarium in the entire state that the public is given access to. In addition, the building itself is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and has many objects and items of interest that are of historical significance to the region.
Another must if you’re traveling with kids, visit the Fairbanks Museum & Planetarium to get your little ones interested in science and nature.
14. Tour the Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory
The Ben & Jerry’s factory is an absolute must if you’re traveling to the state, especially if you have kids in tow. With a visit to the factory, you can enjoy endless ice cream samples and a thirty-minute guided tour of the factory to get the scoop on how the ice cream is made.
If you’re visiting the area in the wintertime, upgrade your factory tour and turn it into an experience you’ll never forget by opting for the 45-minute snowshoeing tour.
Best of all, you can get all your favorite Ben & Jerry’s ice cream scoops or pints at the scoop shop and grab some Ben & Jerry’s swag at the gift shop on your way out.
Note: the factory isn’t operational every day, so do some research before booking your tour if you want to visit on a day that the ice cream is being made, instead of watching a movie about it.
15. Go Camping in the Green Mountain National Forest
Vermont has some of the most beautiful wilderness around, especially when the leaves begin to change. Whether you want to go camping, or simply take a day hike, make sure you don’t pass up the opportunity to visit the Green Mountain National Forest.
Whether you plan on hiking a portion of the Appalachian Trail or taking a ski trip on the Skier’s Highway, the Green Mountains are sure to offer you stunning views and will allow you to appreciate all that the Vermont backcountry has to offer.
Things to Consider
Traveling takes planning and consideration of safety and preparedness, no matter the destination. When traveling to a state such as Vermont, you should consider the regional attributes, such as weather and terrain, as well as what you will need to bring.
Here are some basic things to consider when planning your upcoming trip to Vermont to ensure you’re fully prepared:
- People often come to Vermont without realizing that many of the attractions they want to see or experiences they want to have are located in entirely different areas of the state. For example, it takes roughly an hour and a half to get to the Quechee Gorge from Burlington. For this reason, you may want to rent a car for your trip to ensure you can travel to different areas of the state with ease.
- You’ll need to consider the weather when traveling to Vermont. Although the state experiences mild and warm summers, the winters are harsh and extremely snowy. Therefore, you’ll need to bring appropriate clothing and footwear depending on the time of year you visit.
- In addition to the weather, the time of year you travel to Vermont will affect what you can do. For example, if hiking and camping are your main priorities, it would be best to travel in the summer. On the other hand, if you’re headed to Vermont to watch the leaves change, plan a trip during the fall; skiing is a huge attraction in Vermont, so if that’s what draws you to the area, plan on traveling in the winter.
- If you visit in the winter, be prepared to deal with snow. If you rent a car, you should be comfortable driving in the snow, and be sure to rent a vehicle capable of getting you where you need to go, particularly if you plan to visit more remote areas.
- If you plan on doing any hiking or camping, make sure to bring appropriate safety gear like proper footwear, layers, a water bottle, and a navigation device.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the frequently asked questions people have when visiting Los Angeles.
What is the primary attraction in Vermont?
Vermont has many attractions, and selecting the primary one is wholly dependent on what activities visitors are attracted to.
Families with children typically flock to the Ben & Jerry’s ice cream factory, while film buffs are willing to drive several hours to glimpse the white house immortalized in the classic Tim Burton film Beetlejuice.
What foods is Vermont famous for?
Several beloved foods are prolific in Vermont, and the state is known for its dairy industry which is responsible for foods like Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and regional Vermont cheddar.
In addition to cheese and other dairy products, Vermont is known for its maple products. Vermont produces the most maple syrup in the United States, and there are dozens of maple farms that produce maple products like syrup, maple candies, and more.
What is the prettiest place in Vermont?
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, as they say, and much of Vermont features picturesque landscapes, dense forests, and rushing water features.
However, one of the state’s most beloved outdoor treasures is Lake Willoughby, located in the Willoughby Forest in the state’s northeastern portion. The lake features crystal clear water, a few public beaches, and it is walled by dense forest that features spectacular fall color.
Does it snow everywhere in Vermont?
Vermont sees different amounts of snowfall in different areas of the state, depending on wind patterns, elevation, and additional factors. While the entire state may not be blanketed in the snow all at once, Vermont remains the snowiest state in the United States.
What is the biggest city in Vermont?
Burlington is by far Vermont’s most populous city; according to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city had a population of 44,743 in 2020. The next largest city, South Burlington, is less than half the size of Burlington, with a population of 20,292.
So, What Are the Best Things to Do in Vermont?
Whether you travel to Vermont for the gorgeous fall foliage or to tour the maple syrup factories, this beautiful state has something to offer everyone. Vermont is the perfect place for your next getaway with incredible regional cuisine and quirky roadside attractions.
Quechee Gorge, Mount Mansfield, and the Rock of Ages Quarry all offer exceptional glimpses into the area’s natural beauty, and all of the destinations on this list are worthwhile stops on your trip to Vermont.