Burlington, Vermont, at Church Street Marketplace.

8 Best Places to Live in Vermont in 2024

Vermont is a small, idyllic state to call home, where an excellent quality of life still exists after all the world troubles in the last half a decade. Home to 2,000, 45,000, and just over 21,000, respectively, Bristol, Burlington, and South Burlington are all growing with a thriving job market in the beautiful surrounding scenery, which, let's be honest, abounds in the "Green Mountains State." Home to beautiful fall foliage, Bristol and Middlebury are lake towns. At the same time, Barre lies within beautiful forested mountains, with a small town population that is higher than in its next-door neighbor, Montpelier, the capital city of Vermont. Continue for the best places to live in Vermont this year!


Green Mountains view in Vermont
Green Mountains view in Vermont.

The charming town of Barre in Washington County, near Montpelier, is home to 8,338. It is a safe and close-knit community with a rich history, established soon after the War of 1812, with vast granite deposits at Millstone Hill. With a median age of 40.3, it is one of the best places to live in the state for multi-families, thanks to the availability of housing options ranging from $20K to $825K, with a median of $240K. With a high household income for a small town of $71,787 but a higher poverty rate, Barre is perfect for professionals in the field as well as remote workers.

Barre has a thriving economy with job opportunities in health care, social assistance, and retail. With an unemployment rate well below the national average, Barres's strong job market, a wealth of recreational activities, and cultural attractions at your fingertips cater to a life-work balance. From the nearby Hubbard Park and North Barre Park for outdoor recreation like hiking and camping to skiing in the nearby Green Mountains, art and culture lovers enjoy various galleries, museums, and theaters in the city.


Street view with historical canon from downtown in Bristol, Vermont.
Street view with historical canon from downtown in Bristol, Vermont. Image credit Miro Vrlik Photography via Shutterstock.

The city of Bristol, in Addison County, boasts a beautiful mountainous setting with forests. Currently home to a happy population of 1,956, with a median age of 50.7 years, it is clearly a destination for retirees, seasoned professionals, and remote workers, with a median household income of $75,499 and a poverty rate of 12.39%. However, with an up-and-coming feel, Bristol feels dynamic, where no two days are the same, quickly becoming a destination for young adults. Locals enjoy a vibrant and growing downtown with plenty of local shops, restaurants, and bars.

Situated on the banks of Lake Champlain, with plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation, Barre attracts people to live in a scenic place that doubles as a getaway. Bristol's diverse job market is thriving, with opportunities in education, manufacturing, and construction, offering a very reasonable cost of living. Whether you're a lakeside weekender or into shopping, there is also great nightlife, which is atypical for similar-sized communities. Bristol is a sparsely populated city with 33 neighborhoods and homes per square ranging from $92.5K to $725K, with a median of $492.5K. 


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

Burlington, one of the most revered places in the state to live, consists of nine neighborhoods, with homes for sale ranging from $110K to $3M. It offers affordable 3-bedroom listings with a median home price of $474.5K, making it a fantastic destination for the next stage of life and families. Thriving in Chittenden County and rapidly growing in recent years, Burlington has a steady population of just under 45,000. Despite a higher poverty rate of 23.65%, it boasts one of the most diverse job markets in the state for determined individuals to strike gold, including biomedical and life sciences, clean technologies, food and beverage, information and communications technology, and professional and technical services. 

With a median age of 27.4 years, Burlington attracts remote workers and young professionals, in particular, offering a median household income of $93,790. Home to the University of Vermont, it is the best opportunity in the state for young adults to start their careers. With a relatively affordable cost of living, Burlington delivers all the tools to settle and plan for any future you want, consistently ranking as one of the most livable places in the United States. No wonder, with a low crime rate, good schools, and plenty of things to do, including abounding entertainment for the young population! Moreover, as a great place for singles, it offers many bars and restaurants downtown and a lively nightlife, as well as beautiful parks and trails for outdoor enthusiasts. 


Otter Creek Falls in Middlebury, VT
Otter Creek Falls in Middlebury, VT.

Middlebury, a small town in Addison County, often appears on lists of places to live in Vermont thanks to its fantastic education system. Home to highly rated public schools and Middlebury College for the liberal arts, it is consistently ranked among the top in the nation. The town with a suburban feel is a real winner for families, where most own their homes, with a median house price of $416,312. As a hard-working community, residents make a median household income of $68,239 and enjoy an abundance of cultural pursuits in their time off. Moreover, Lake Dunmore features a lovely beach perfect for a serene stroll in any season or is your ultimate go-to in the summer, particularly for campers and picnickers!

Middlebury soaks inspiration from history and its surroundings and sprinkles it through cultural venues like the Vermont Folklife Center, the Henry Sheldon Museum, and the Middlebury College Museum of Art. Home to just under 7,000 people in the scenic Green Mountains, this young town with a median age of 22.8 years old is an idyllic place to live and work in beauty, with a poverty rate of only 4.8% and something for everyone. From a vibrant downtown to access to city amenities, including Burlington, Rutland, and Montpelier, several of Vermont’s popular ski resorts are also nearby. Middlebury, beloved for its delightful atmosphere and infectious outdoorsy spirit, is perfect for remote workers and young families to plan for the future and raise kids.


The Vermont State House in Montpelier, Vermont, USA.
The Vermont State House in Montpelier, Vermont.

Everyone loves a good capital, and Montpelier, the nation's smallest capital, is a go-to for its small-town feel and big-time appeal. The just the right amount of glitz and steadily hovering at around 8,000 locals signal a stable place to live with all amenities and entertainment for a capital located in the heart of Vermont. Enjoying easy access to the rest of the state, it also attracts cultural diversity in newcomers and worldwide tourists as the place to visit in the state. Home to a fine arts college and Woodbury College, Montpelier is one of the most livable cities in the state, with all the benefits of a big city plus an affordable cost of living.

Offering many coffee shops, boutiques, and restaurants, there are also green parks, bikeable roads, and the forested Hubbard Park to unwind in your style. Job opportunities abound in this thriving city with a low poverty rate of just 2.0%, which is significantly lower than the national average. The great outdoor access for skiing and hiking adds to the high quality of life and an average household income of $98,855. Home to a median age population of 44, it is a destination for students, young professionals, and retirees alike, with a thriving job market ranging from tech to healthcare. With plenty of job opportunities, plan for the future, enjoy life and raise your family in the suburban feel where most own homes at a median price of $383,044. 


Barn in Norwich, Vermont in autumn
Barn in Norwich, Vermont in autumn.

Norwich, the small town in Windsor County, is home to under 1,000 happy locals, including art lovers and some of Vermont's elite. Enjoying an acculturated lifestyle with a median household income of $121,509, owning a median-priced home at $449,000 with access to outdoor recreation on nearby Gile Mountain is very accessible. The Montshire Museum of Science offers hands-on natural world exhibits among the many family-friendly attractions. At the same time, a diverse art and artifact collection keeps visitors returning to the Hood Museum of Art.

Nestled in the Upper Valley of the Connecticut River, minutes away, the Sugarbush Farm welcomes you for a day in nature with animals, whole foods, and fields to enjoy a picnic. The livable city with a median age of 41.7 enjoys a great quality of life in all that fresh air. It is perfect for the active, including retirees, remote workers, and others who want to live a healthy life in peaceful surroundings. At almost non-existent poverty, it is an attractive option for those seeking long-term employment opportunities and financial stability, with access to numerous parks and trails to unwind.

South Burlington

Downtown Burlington, Vermont, featuring the bustling Church Street Marketplace.
Downtown Burlington, Vermont. Image credit: julie deshaies via Shutterstock.

South Burlington, a small city in Chittenden County, is a perfect mix of urban and rural, work and play. Home to 21,170 and growing, it is a thriving city where job opportunities await newcomers. Boasting an incredible average household income of $123,108 and a poverty rate of 8.02%, South Burlington is a rare case where the median house price has not risen in years, hovering at just above $420,000. With a median age of 38.7, this stable city offers an excellent quality of life and affordable living, where fulfilling personal and professional lives come naturally.

Just south of Burlington, its great livability score of 75 is rooted in life along Shelburne Bay. The opportunities for newcomers extend to education, both to pursue and work, as well as healthcare and real estate as the main job prospects. South Burlington attracts newcomers with access to amenities and an abundance of outdoor recreation, allowing them to establish a career with diverse job opportunities. All this adds up to a high quality of life, making it an ideal place to raise your family and plan for the future.


Aerial view of Stowe, Vermont.
Aerial view of Stowe, Vermont.

Not particularly a sizable city in Lamoille County, Stowe, home to 721, consists of 32 zip codes. With homes for sale ranging from $22.5K to $16M, the median house price is $1.3M, but with affordable condos, townhomes, and 2- to 3-bedroom options. Needless to say, it is home to the elite, regular families, and mostly avid outdoor fans. Renowned for its fall foliage and access to wintertime skiing, Stowe has seen many ups and downs, including a declining population pre-covid and an increase of 20.17% since 2020. Stowe, a photogenic town with church steeples peeking out of the seasonal dress, has something for everyone year-round, including ski resorts, hiking, and camping. Boasting a commendable median household income of $166,047 and a poverty rate of 2.64%, it is definitely a city of extremes, where even the median age is 70.3 years.

Attracting many retirees among the newcomers, the small-town atmosphere is perfect for families and individuals looking for a peaceful, high-quality life. The locals are outgoing and enjoy the diverse culture since the charming mountain city receives many tourists simply for the spectacular views of the Green Mountains and outdoor activities. Despite its rather remote location and higher age, there has never been a better time to become part of this tight-knit community, with a strong economy, plentiful job opportunities, and a low poverty rate of 6.8%. The young and culture lovers enjoy venues and attractions like historical museums and various businesses, including restaurants and retail stores with diverse food and shopping scenes that cater to both locals and tourists.

Vermont is not just a place to live but a place to thrive. The state offers a higher than national average household income to live a serene and picture-perfect lifestyle, which all sounds like a dream. From Montpelier to the sizable city of Burlington and Stowe, a tourist magnet, there are great amenities and housing for every budget.

Attracting young professionals, retirees, and families, there's something for everyone to discover about the best places to call home in this stunning state. Burlington is home to the University of Vermont, while Middlebury offers a highly rated public school system and Middlebury College for the liberal arts, among the nation's top. So don't wait to find your idyl in the list above.

  1. Home
  2. Places
  3. Cities
  4. 8 Best Places to Live in Vermont in 2024

More in Places