Summer Farmers Market in Montpelier, Vermont. Editorial credit: Phill Truckle /

6 Senior-Friendly Towns in Vermont

Primarily known for maple syrup and scenic mountains, the Green Mountain State is always a pleasant surprise for those who take the time to relish its underappreciated beauty. Having something for everyone, Vermont is even known for having senior-friendly places, safe towns, and sights incomparable to anywhere else in the United States. In this spirit, and to showcase the prowess and merits of the state, here are 6 places in Vermont that are perfect for seniors.


Brick buildings with shops in Woodstock, Vermont.
Brick buildings with shops in Woodstock, Vermont. Image credit Albert Pego via Shutterstock

Thriving in the heart and center of Vermont's Green Mountains is a small, quaint, yet fashionable town named Woodstock. Ranking 10.5 on the national violent crime scale (22.7 is the national average, and the higher the number, the higher the frequency of crime), Woodstock also shares the point of having an abnormally high rating of physicians per capita (258 per 100,000 residents compared to the average of 210).

But despite its general appeal, Woodstock is made known by its historical importance, a wealth of protected areas and structures, and overall, being a destination nestled between natural beauty and manmade creation. Perhaps best known for Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park (the former home of America's first environmentalist), and the forests around Mount Tom which attract plenty as one of the oldest protected woodlands in the country, Woodstock may be small, but offers much to do, see, and experience.

Perfect for the retiree, the town is a place of quietude and rest that sits on rich lands.


The Vermont Country Store at Christmas in Grafton, Vermont.
The Vermont Country Store at Christmas in Grafton, Vermont. Image credit James Kirkikis via Shutterstock

Managing to score a tremendously low level of violent crime of 9.5, and a staggering 270 physicians per capita (100,000 res.), Grafton is a paragon of slow, rural living. What brings the incredibly tiny town of Grafton together, is not its hamlet-like living, however, but its sense of community and shared passion for the natural world.

Culminating in places like The Nature Museum, whose mission is to educate and spread the love of both nature and ecology, the museum is entirely funded by those committed to its mission. Being a nonprofit, the museum and org behind it has grown to take care of the lands surrounding Grafton. Conserving and protecting places like Chapman Meadow, the museum's role is integral to the town.

Couple this with the nearby 772 acres of Jamaica State Park, and one can see why Gafton's residents and residents-to-be have fallen in love with the moderately untouched environment.


Aerial view of Montpelier, Vermont.
Aerial view of Montpelier, Vermont.

Now, while this may be the capital of the state, it's a far shot from the "city" it claims to be. With a population of just under 9,000 residents, plenty of nature in the surrounding area, and only 10.25 mi² of "city" limits, it's clear that the state's capital is closer to a moderately sized town than a city city.

With that being said, Montpelier is a stunning place to live. The cost of living is notably cheaper (5.8% lower than the national average), and the violent crime rate is pretty low considering its status as the center of a polity (13.1 compared to the average of 22.7).

On top of the Montpelier being nearly walkable, there is plenty to do and see. From performing arts theatres such as Lost Nation Theater, to a multitude of art galleries such as the T.W. Wood Gallery & Arts Center, Montpelier is on no shortlist to the fast track to boredom. Bordering on becoming a hub for the humane arts, its merits extend to not only a place for seniors but for everyone.


The Dorset Union Store in Dorset, Vermont
The Dorset Union Store in Dorset, Vermont. Editorial credit: jenlo8 /

In the far western reaches of Vermont, lies a small town unlike any other— one that manages to have a golden trio of safety and health: low violent crime (10.6), 328 physicians per capita (per 100,000 people), and a 92/100 for air quality (100 being the best, the national average being 58).

But the town is just more than a few stats on a page, and it is said Dorset has two faces. The first is among its verdant rolling hills and woodlands, and the second is in the winter when Dorset transforms just in time for the opening of its nearby legendary ski resorts: Stratton Mountain Resort, Bromley Mountain Ski Resort, and Magic Mountain. Not just offering skiing, but lodging, hiking, and a plethora of other outdoor activities, Dorset's more extreme face resides in the lands when snow blankets it.

While the winter face of Dorset may occupy the minds of the youth, the other welcomes seniors with open arms. Famous and historic places like the Wilson House offer lodging and insight into the town's history, while The Weston Playhouse and 3 Pears Gallery offer representations of Dorset's artistic expression.


Aerial view of Waitsfield Vermont and the Mad River on Scenic Route 100
Aerial view of Waitsfield Vermont and the Mad River on Scenic Route 100

Continuing the legacy of low violent crime (9.0), and a surprisingly high rating of 95/100 on the Superfund Index (Note: The Superfund Index is a program that cleans up contamination and polluted areas. The scale is based on the location of active Superfund sites, and the higher the number, the safer the area when it comes to contamination). And while Waitsfield is often overlooked thanks to its much larger brethren, what it lacks in fame, it makes up for in content.

On the more comforting and relaxing side, a trip to Waitsfield is incomplete if one does not stop by Hartshorn's Organic Farm. Allowing visitors and residents alike an authentic farm experience, one can pick their own blueberries and strawberries, watch the process of making maple syrup, and get all their ingredients right from the source. Providing guided tours, the farm is a rarity in the state, and for that reason is well known in and outside of it.

For a more in-depth look at the role Waitsfield played in the Industrial Revolution, the Madsonian Museum of Industrial Design features more than 2000 artistic and important creations to come out of this most momentous event in human history. Not only that but while Waitsfield does embody a softer and more quiet living, there is much to do for the curious and relaxed.


Tourists having a good time near the Killington Grand Resort Hotel.
Tourists having a good time near the Killington Grand Resort Hotel. Image credit: NHRHS2010, via Wikimedia Commons.

Putting aside its name, Killington is a place of snow-capped hills, slopes, deep mountainous terrain, and a picturesque beauty that one would expect to find on a postcard. Pairing nicely with a low violent crime rate of 9.7, and a 93/100 on the air quality index, future residents and visitors should expect to find a quiet place by the mountains, lakes, and only the freshest, crisp air.

It should then be no surprise that the town's strong point lies in nature. Known for its more extreme Killington Ski Resort, the real surprise is in the number and status of the area's landmarks. Having the 6th tallest waterfall in the state, Thundering Brook Falls is part of a long list of recognized trails that lead to said picturesque beauty. Gifford Woods State Park adds to it and takes care of that camping urge to retreat into nature. Finally, Kent Pond ties it all together with a recreational area and a place many locals flock to when needing to be by the water.

Why These Places?

It's no surprise that the Green Mountain State is not anybody's first place to retreat or retire to—but this is exactly why it should be. All these entries embody a rural type of attitude, one that stands with the natural beauty of the mountains, hills, meadows, and slopes. What Vermont and all the towns she has to offer is far beyond what one expects of her. But in its beauty, poise, and quietude, the underappreciated aspect of them adds a shine. Making Vermont a treasure chest of a state, and her small, but culturally rich land and towns, hidden gems.

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