Vermont is an idyllic US state, characterized by stunning rolling hills, breathtaking cascades and some of the best skiing in the world.
With its spectacular countryside, charming cities and rich traditions, Vermont is a popular tourist destination.
There’s plenty to do throughout the year – from touring local farms to exploring one of the many historic sites but it can be tricky deciding when to visit this New England gem in order to get the most out of your vacation.
Here we’ll explore what makes each season great for taking a trip to Vermont.
Exploring the Seasons of Vermont
Different seasons bring different experiences, and there are pros and cons to each time of year. Below is the list of each season in Vermont and help you decide when is the best time of year for you to plan your trip.
Spring (April to June):
Vermont’s spring season typically runs from April to June, with temperatures ranging from 40 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
During this time, Vermont’s maple sugaring season is in full swing, and visitors can explore the various sugarhouses that dot the state.
The trees are budding, and the flowers are beginning to bloom, making it a beautiful time to go hiking or take a scenic drive.
However, be prepared for some mud due to melting snow, and keep in mind that some attractions may be closed until later in the season.
Summer (June to August):
Vermont’s summer season is the most popular time of year for visitors.
From June to August, temperatures range from 60 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit, making it the perfect time for outdoor activities such as swimming, kayaking, and canoeing.
With so many lakes and rivers, water activities are a must! Many towns and villages offer free concerts and events, and the various farmers’ markets offer an abundance of fresh produce.
Keep in mind that this is the busiest time of year, so expect higher prices and more crowded attractions.
Fall (September to November):
Vermont’s fall season is arguably the most beautiful and picturesque time of year to visit.
From September to November, the foliage colors blanket the state in magnificent oranges, yellows, and reds.
Visitors can go apple picking, take a scenic drive, go on a hike, or take a hot air balloon ride to fully experience the autumn views.
However, this time of year is also very busy, so make sure to book accommodations well in advance.
Winter (December to March):
Vermont’s winter season is cold and snowy, making it perfect for winter sports enthusiasts.
From December to March, the temperature ranges from 2 to 32 degrees Fahrenheit, and snowfall is abundant.
The state boasts some of the best skiing and snowboarding in the country, and visitors can also enjoy snowshoeing, ice-skating, and sleigh rides.
However, keep in mind that this is the slowest time of year for tourism, so certain attractions and restaurants may be closed.
The best time to visit Vermont
If you’re planning a trip to Vermont, timing is key. While the state can be charming year-round, there’s no question that some seasons are better suited for visiting than others. I would recommend visiting in either May/June or September/October for the ultimate Vermont experience.
May/June is particularly beautiful in Vermont, as the state begins to come alive with lush greenery, blooming flowers, and pleasantly mild temperatures. This time of year is perfect for outdoor activities like hiking, biking, or taking scenic drives on the state’s winding roads. Additionally, the popular Vermont Maple Festival takes place in May, which is an incredible opportunity to sample the state’s famous maple syrup and other maple-inspired treats.
September/October, on the other hand, is the ideal time to visit Vermont if you’re looking to witness the state’s spectacular fall foliage. Vermont is renowned for its brilliant autumn colors, which attract visitors from all over the world. The crisp air and stunning views make this season one of the most popular for tourism, so be sure to make any necessary travel arrangements well in advance.
Aside from the natural beauty that Vermont offers during these times of year, there are plenty of other attractions to enjoy as well. Visit some of the state’s charming small towns, such as Woodstock and Stowe, or check out a local farmer’s market for fresh produce and handmade goods. Whether you’re interested in outdoor adventures, cultural experiences, or simply relaxing in a tranquil setting, Vermont has something to offer for everyone.
What are the best things to do in Vermont?
Vermont, known for its picturesque landscapes and charming small towns, offers a variety of activities that showcase its natural beauty, outdoor adventures, and rich culture. Here are seven of the best things to do in Vermont:
Explore the Green Mountains:
Vermont’s Green Mountains provide countless opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts.
From hiking and biking trails to skiing and snowboarding in winter, the mountains offer year-round adventures.
Take a scenic drive through the stunning foliage during the fall season, or embark on a challenging hike up Mount Mansfield, the state’s highest peak.
The Green Mountains are a paradise for nature lovers and adventurers alike.
Burlington, Vermont’s largest city, is a vibrant cultural hub. Stroll along the pedestrian-friendly Church Street Marketplace, filled with boutique shops, restaurants, and street performers.
Explore the vibrant arts scene at the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts or visit the Fleming Museum of Art.
Take a boat tour on Lake Champlain, enjoy local craft beer at one of the many breweries, or simply relax in Waterfront Park and admire the scenic views.
Discover Vermont’s Covered Bridges:
Vermont is famous for its charming covered bridges, each with its own unique story.
Explore bridges like the picturesque West Arlington Covered Bridge or the historic Pulp Mill Covered Bridge.
These structures not only provide an excellent backdrop for photographs but also offer a glimpse into Vermont’s history and architectural heritage.
Sample Local Culinary Delights:
Vermont is a haven for food lovers. Indulge in farm-to-table dining experiences, savoring dishes made from locally sourced ingredients.
Taste Vermont’s famous maple syrup, visit a sugarhouse to learn about the production process, and sample maple treats.
Don’t miss out on trying artisanal cheeses from local creameries or enjoying fresh apple cider doughnuts at a farmers’ market.
Relax in Lake Champlain:
Lake Champlain, a magnificent freshwater lake shared with New York, offers a wealth of recreational opportunities.
Enjoy boating, kayaking, paddleboarding, or fishing on the lake’s calm waters.
Take a scenic cruise to explore the lake’s islands or relax on the sandy beaches at Sand Bar State Park.
The lake’s beauty, coupled with breathtaking sunsets, provides a serene escape from city life.
Visit Shelburne Museum:
Located in Shelburne, the Shelburne Museum is a unique institution showcasing American art and folk culture.
Explore the museum’s diverse exhibits, including a vast collection of impressionist paintings, folk art, quilts, and historic buildings.
Wander through beautifully landscaped gardens, and don’t miss the impressive steamship Ticonderoga, a National Historic Landmark.
Experience the Vermont Teddy Bear Factory:
Located in Shelburne, the Vermont Teddy Bear Factory offers a fascinating behind-the-scenes tour.
Witness the creation of handcrafted teddy bears and learn about the company’s rich history.
Customize your own bear or choose from an array of themed bears. It’s a delightful experience for both children and teddy bear enthusiasts.
These are just a few highlights of the many amazing things to do in Vermont. Whether you’re seeking outdoor adventures, cultural experiences, or a taste of Vermont’s culinary delights, the state offers a wealth of attractions for every visitor.
What are the best places to eat in Vermont?
Vermont boasts a thriving culinary scene that celebrates local and seasonal ingredients.
From farm-to-table restaurants to cozy cafes, here are seven of the best places to eat in Vermont:
◘ Hen of the Wood (Burlington/Waterbury):
Hen of the Wood is a renowned farm-to-table restaurant with locations in Burlington and Waterbury.
Known for its exceptional cuisine, the restaurant sources ingredients from local farms, showcasing the flavors of Vermont in every dish.
From the perfectly prepared steak to the creative vegetarian options, Hen of the Wood offers a dining experience that combines rustic charm with culinary excellence.
◘ The Farmhouse Tap & Grill (Burlington):
Located on Burlington’s Church Street Marketplace, The Farmhouse Tap & Grill is a must-visit for beer enthusiasts and food lovers alike.
This gastropub offers a wide selection of craft beers from Vermont and beyond, along with a menu that highlights local ingredients.
From juicy burgers and hand-cut fries to hearty mac and cheese, The Farmhouse Tap & Grill delivers comforting and delicious fare in a cozy atmosphere.
◘ Simon Pearce (Quechee):
Situated along the Ottauquechee River, Simon Pearce is both a glassblowing studio and a restaurant.
Dine while enjoying breathtaking views of the waterfall and covered bridge.
The menu features contemporary American cuisine with a focus on seasonal and locally sourced ingredients.
Indulge in dishes like pan-roasted chicken, seared scallops, or the chef’s tasting menu, accompanied by the restaurant’s renowned hand-blown glassware.
◘ Misery Loves Co. (Winooski):
A hidden gem in the town of Winooski, Misery Loves Co. is a cozy eatery known for its inventive and flavorful dishes.
With a commitment to sustainability, the restaurant incorporates local, organic ingredients into its ever-changing menu.
Whether you opt for the crispy fried chicken sandwich, the house-made pasta, or the delectable desserts, Misery Loves Co. promises a memorable dining experience.
◘ Prohibition Pig (Waterbury):
Prohibition Pig is a popular brewpub and smokehouse located in Waterbury.
This lively spot combines a rustic atmosphere with exceptional barbecue and craft beer.
Feast on tender smoked meats, from succulent ribs to pulled pork, complemented by a variety of house-made sauces.
Don’t forget to pair your meal with one of their flavorful brews, showcasing Vermont’s vibrant beer culture.
◘ The Red Clover Inn & Restaurant (Mendon):
Tucked away in the town of Mendon, The Red Clover Inn & Restaurant offers a charming and elegant dining experience.
The restaurant focuses on seasonal, locally sourced ingredients to create delectable dishes.
From beautifully plated appetizers to exquisitely crafted entrees like seared duck breast or herb-crusted rack of lamb, the culinary expertise at The Red Clover Inn guarantees a memorable meal.
Kismet, located in Montpelier, is a cozy and welcoming eatery that embraces a farm-to-table ethos.
The menu features an array of globally inspired dishes with a Vermont twist. Expect creative combinations like roasted beet and goat cheese ravioli or pan-seared trout with local vegetables. With its warm atmosphere and delicious food, Kismet provides a delightful dining experience in the heart of Vermont’s capital.
These establishments represent just a taste of Vermont’s diverse culinary landscape. From fine dining to casual eateries, the state offers a range of dining experiences that celebrate the region’s local flavors and ingredients.
What are the best places to stay in Vermont?
Here are seven of the best places to stay in Vermont, each offering a unique experience:
The Woodstock Inn & Resort (Woodstock):
Nestled in the picturesque town of Woodstock, The Woodstock Inn & Resort is a luxurious getaway that exudes New England charm.
The historic property features elegant rooms, a spa, multiple dining options, and a golf course.
Enjoy activities like hiking, fly fishing, or exploring the quaint town center.
The Woodstock Inn offers a perfect blend of relaxation and refined hospitality.
Stowe Mountain Lodge (Stowe):
Set against the backdrop of Vermont’s Green Mountains, Stowe Mountain Lodge is a premier destination for outdoor enthusiasts and luxury seekers alike.
The lodge offers well-appointed rooms, a world-class spa, and excellent dining options.
With ski-in/ski-out access to Stowe Mountain Resort, it’s an ideal base for winter sports enthusiasts.
During the summer, explore hiking trails, go mountain biking, or enjoy a round of golf.
Twin Farms (Barnard):
Twin Farms is an exclusive, all-inclusive retreat in Barnard, providing a serene and private escape.
This luxurious country estate offers individually designed cottages and suites, gourmet dining, and personalized service.
Relax by the pool, indulge in spa treatments, or explore the extensive grounds, which include hiking trails and a private pond.
Twin Farms offers a tranquil and pampering experience for those seeking the ultimate getaway.
Hotel Vermont (Burlington):
Located in downtown Burlington, Hotel Vermont combines modern amenities with a distinctive local flair.
The stylish rooms feature Vermont-made furnishings and artwork. Enjoy farm-to-table dining at Juniper Bar & Restaurant, showcasing the state’s finest ingredients.
The hotel’s prime location allows easy exploration of Burlington’s vibrant food scene, boutique shops, and the picturesque Lake Champlain waterfront.
The Equinox, a Luxury Collection Golf Resort & Spa (Manchester Village):
Situated in the historic town of Manchester Village, The Equinox is an iconic resort offering a blend of classic elegance and modern comfort.
The resort features beautifully appointed rooms, a championship golf course, a full-service spa, and multiple dining options.
Explore nearby designer outlets, hike in the Green Mountains, or enjoy a leisurely afternoon tea in the elegant lobby.
Rabbit Hill Inn (Lower Waterford):
Rabbit Hill Inn, located in Lower Waterford, is a charming bed and breakfast known for its warm hospitality and romantic ambiance.
The inn offers individually decorated rooms, some with cozy fireplaces and whirlpool tubs.
Indulge in a gourmet breakfast and savor exquisite dinners prepared with locally sourced ingredients.
The inn’s serene surroundings provide a perfect setting for relaxation and reconnecting with nature.
Basin Harbor (Vergennes):
Set on the shores of Lake Champlain, Basin Harbor is a family-owned resort that has been welcoming guests for over a century.
The resort offers a range of accommodations, including guestrooms, cottages, and family-friendly vacation rentals.
Enjoy waterfront activities, including swimming, boating, and fishing, or relax by the pool.
Basin Harbor’s laid-back atmosphere and picturesque setting make it an ideal destination for a peaceful lakeside getaway.
What is high season in Vermont?
High season in Vermont runs from May to October, with peak season typically occurring during the summer months of July and August. The fall foliage season (particularly in September) is also a popular time for visitors.
Do I need a car to get around Vermont?
No, you do not necessarily need a car to travel around Vermont. Public transportation is available in most cities and towns, although some of the more rural areas may not have easy access to transit services. Renting a car is an option for those who want to explore beyond the major urban centers.
What are some popular outdoor activities in Vermont?
Vermont offers plenty of opportunities to get outdoors and explore the natural beauty of the state. Popular activities include skiing and snowboarding in the winter months, hiking and mountain biking in the summer, kayaking on Lake Champlain, and fishing around the many rivers and lakes. For those who prefer to stay close to town, there are also plenty of parks with walking trails and picnic areas.
What is the best way to experience Vermont’s culture?
To really experience Vermont’s culture, immerse yourself in its local food and drink. Join a brewery tour or sip craft beers at one of the state’s many brewpubs. Sample maple syrup from farm stands and farmers’ markets. Enjoy locally made cheeses, chocolates, and pastries. And don’t forget to indulge in Vermont’s most iconic dish—the classic, all-American maple creemee (soft serve ice cream).
What is the best time of year to visit Vermont?
The best time of year to visit Vermont depends on your interests and activities. Summer and fall are great times for outdoor activities, such as hiking and biking. Winter offers some of the best skiing conditions in the country. Late spring has pleasant temperatures and is an ideal time to enjoy blooming wildflowers and lush greenery.