People on Church Street, a pedestrian mall with sidewalk cafes and restaurants in Burlington, Vermont. Editorial credit: Rob Crandall /

6 Cozy Towns to Visit in Vermont

The rolling green hills and rural countryside of Vermont are simply breathtaking. Winding roads pass by adorable barns and covered bridges, while small towns are dotted with classic white steeple churches and treasure-filled antique shops. Lush landscapes surround the towns, with outdoor adventure around every corner. Visitors travel from afar for world-class skiing in the winter or to go leaf peeping in the fall when maple trees turn impressive red, orange, and yellow hues. The state has the highest concentration of sugar maple trees, ranking Vermont as the country's lead producer of maple syrup.

About 75 percent of Vermont is forested, and the amazing views extend to 55 state parks and pristine watersheds, such as Lake Champlain. Some parks celebrate important marks of history, while others explore the two US Presidents who once called Vermont home. From gorgeous scenery throughout the four seasons to the unique culture and history, discover 6 cozy towns to visit in Vermont.


Burlington, Vermont, USA at Church Street Marketplace.
Burlington, Vermont, USA, at Church Street Marketplace.

Nestled on the shores of Lake Champlain sits the forward-thinking college town of Burlington. Located in Northwestern Vermont, about 45 miles from the Canadian border, Burlington is the largest town in the state. It is best known for Church Street Marketplace, a lively outdoor pedestrian mall with shops, restaurants, pubs, and special events. In the summertime, live music fills the air while unique street performers entertain the crowds.

For history buffs, the Ethan Allen Homestead is well worth a visit. The site played a role during the Revolutionary War, and the exhibits explore the Green Mountain Boys, a group that formed over land disputes. The museum also tells the story of the Abenaki Tribe, the first people of the woodlands. Besides history, the homestead has numerous nature trails and many nice picnic spots with scenic views.

For a tasty treat, you can head to Ben & Jerry's first ice cream store, which opened in 1978 in a renovated gas station. If you're curious how the ice cream is made, the factory is located in Waterbury, about 28 miles from town. Regarding accommodations, the Blind Tiger Burlington is a memorable place to stay. It's a boutique hotel housed in a historic brick mansion, and most decorations are handmade antiques. The outside of the property has colorful flowers and herb gardens where you can relax.


Fall Foliage and the Stowe Community Church, Stowe, Vermont, USA.
Fall Foliage and the Stowe Community Church, Stowe, Vermont, USA.

Vermont is home to the most US Olympic skiers and riders in the country. With that said, the ski towns in the state are world-class. Stowe is a more popular resort community with outdoor recreation throughout the four seasons. Hiking is the norm here in the summer, with 45 trails to choose from that meander through forests and hilltops. Many try to conquer Mount Mansfield, the highest peak in the state. In the winter, the community transforms into a ski destination known for its long-groomed runs. Stowe is one of 20 alpine ski resorts in the state. A great place to learn about the history of snowsports is the Vermont Ski and Snowboard Museum, located in town.

Another notable stop is the historic Gold Brook Covered Bridge, Vermont's oldest and smallest Howe truss highway bridge. The 18th-century bridge is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. You’ll probably hear locals tell you how it’s haunted by a ghost named Emily, a reason it’s nicknamed Emily’s Bridge.

After a day outside, the legendary Green Mountain Inn is a beautiful place to warm up and relax. It has fire pits to gather around and a year-round outdoor pool if you feel like swimming. The inn is also close to Main Street, where visitors will have the convenience of unique shops and restaurants nearby.


Taking a walk in Fairfield, VT. Editorial credit: Robophoto1 /
Taking a walk in Fairfield, VT. Editorial credit: Robophoto1 /

Fairfield is situated in the northern part of the state, surrounded by rolling hills and darling farms. The area is quite rural, and the land here has been in families for generations. This is a great town for tourists to become familiar with the maple syrup industry. Maple sugaring season begins when daytime temperatures warm, but nighttime temperatures remain chilly, causing the sap to flow from the trees. Tourists can visit a sugar house near town to stock up on maple syrup and learn about family-operated sugaring farms such as Howrigan Family Farms.

Besides adorable farms, there’s no shortage of presidential history here, too. Visitors can explore the President Chester Arthur Historic Site. It’s the reconstructed boyhood home of Chester Arthur, the 21st President of the United States. The homestead is the first historic site owned by the state of Vermont.

For an authentic farm life experience, the Inn at Buck Hollow Farm Bed and Breakfast is a homey place to stay. The Inn is a restored carriage house dating back to the 1790s. Most of the original beams are still exposed. The Inn is on sprawling open and forested land, with plenty of trails you can stroll on, as well as cross-country ski trails you can explore in the winter.


View of the historic and colorful Manchester Village in Manchester, Vermont with tulips in bloom.
View of the historic and colorful Manchester Village in Manchester, Vermont, with tulips in bloom.

Manchester is the quintessential New England town in the heart of Vermont. It’s overflowing with charm and delight, full of adorable white steeple churches, antique shops, and cozy historic neighborhoods. Regarding sightseeing, visitors can tour the Hildene, the Lincoln family vacation home. The Lincolns built the Hildene at the turn of the 20th Century after Robert Lincoln purchased the acreage. Robert was the only child of Abraham Lincon to survive into adulthood.

Besides presidential history, there's a prosperous dairy industry past here, too. In the mid-1800s, farmers started keeping cows instead of sheep in Vermont because they made more money selling dairy than wool. This was the start of 500 dairy farms in the state. To learn about the history and see a dairy farm in action, you can tour North Meadow Farm. The small dairy farm produces raw milk, artisan cheeses, and eggs.

Once you call it a night, the Inn at Manchester is a cozy place to stay. The inn has mastered the simple pleasures of life for guests, with fireplaces to curl up next to and an excellent hot breakfast to start your day with. Built in the late 1800s, the property has quite a storied past you can learn about as it transformed from a homestead to an Inn.


The Henry covered bridge over the Walloomsac river near Bennington, Vermont.
The Henry-covered bridge over the Walloomsac River near Bennington, Vermont.

Located in Southern Vermont among the rolling green hills, Bennington is one of the state’s oldest towns. With that said, there’s enormous history here. A site that quickly comes to mind is the Bennington Battle Monument. It commemorates the Battle of Bennington, a turning point in the Revolutionary War when American forces defeated the British invading army. There’s a Vermont holiday on August 16th to honor the battle. Another point of interest is the Old First Church. Built in 1805, it represents the first church in Vermont to reflect the separation of state and church. It’s next to Bennington Center Cemetery, one of the oldest cemeteries in Vermont.

A charming place to stay in Bennington is the historical Henry House, a homestead that's over 250 years old. It overlooks a gorgeous red cover bridge that’s popularly photographed. Covered bridges are quite common in Vermont. Back in the day, they helped keep heavy snow off the roadways.


Aerial view of fall colors in Chester, VT.
Aerial view of fall colors in Chester, VT.

At the gateway of the green mountains, Chester is considered one of the best antique towns in New England. The treasure-filled shops and barns hold storied paintings, among other memorabilia tourists can snag to take home. There are a number to choose from downtown. While there, you can take in the historic buildings, such as the Chester Depot train station and the Yosemite Fire House. Chester was a central hub for commerce activity at the end of the 19th century. If you want to take a train ride, the Green Mountain Railroad stops in Chester in the fall when maple trees burst with color.

The neighborhoods here are adorned with beautiful Victorian houses and iconic stone homes, which is one reason bed and breakfast spots are so popular. An iconic one near Okemo Mountain is the historic Inn Victoria. Built in the late 1800s, the rooms have a romantic feel with Old World charm and decorations. Little touches, such as fresh flowers in the bedrooms and a fresh, gourmet breakfast in the morning, make guests feel right at home.

Vermont has so much to offer, from outdoor recreation to historic sites. Whether hiking in Stowe or learning about the Revolutionary War in Bennington, the Green Mountain State will delight you. Travelers can explore the maple syrup industry by visiting a sugar house. Or they can stop by one of the many dairy farms to buy fresh artisan cheese. Ben & Jerry’s fans can visit its first store in Burlington or watch how ice cream is made at its factory outside town. Wherever you decide to go, it seems every town has a darling bed and breakfast to stay at. The towns here are cozy and historic and will make you feel right at home.

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