Vermont is the ideal destination to slow down, take a look around, and enjoy the natural beauty of life. Of course, good food and charming small towns rest seamlessly alongside the state's enchanting scenery and outdoor adventures. Vermont is attractive year-round, boasting colorful fall foliage, breathtaking ski mountains and vistas, beaches, and lakes for water sports and summer activities, and the beautiful Green Mountain National Forest, ideal for hiking trips and camping excursions. Regardless of the time of year, one cannot forget the state's charming small towns when planning a trip to Vermont. From welcoming communities to beautiful main streets to picturesque skylines and an endless collection of adventures, there is something for everyone to discover.
Considered the peak of Vermont, Stowe is a mountain resort town, an ideal location for year-round recreation and relaxation. Visitors enjoy a ride to the state's highest peak, Mount Mansfield, via the Gondola SkyRide, boasting gorgeous views all year, though the fall foliage is especially impressive. Spruce Peak Village is the perfect spot to kick back and relax, home to live entertainment, an outdoor skating rink in the winter, plenty of gear such as skiwear for outdoor activities, and local shops like The Toy & Candy Co. The Auto Toll Road is a 4.5-mile scenic route leading to the summit ridge of Mount Mansfield, offering breathtaking views of Lake Champlain and the Adirondack Mountains along the way, with a scenic stop at 3,850 feet.
Boasting a quiet, small-town atmosphere, Woodstock houses a collection of historic buildings surrounding the town's square, including the 1880s pink sandstone Norman Williams Public Library and the 1890 farmhouse of Billings Farm & Museum. The town also encompasses Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park and is chock full of charmed nature trails as well as an 1800s Queen Anne–style mansion. Connect further with history by visiting the town's historic sites and museums, including the American Precision Museum, the Calvin Coolidge Memorial Homestead, the Old Constitution House, and the Justin Morrill Historic Homesite. Enjoy the town's essence with a stay at the Woodstock Inn & Resort, The Woodstocker B&B, or the 506 on the River Inn.
One of the most charming towns in Vermont, Shelburne sits on the shores of Lake Champlain, one of America's most picturesque lakes. The natural freshwater lake is the ideal destination for fishing, swimming, boating, canoeing, and kayaking, while the town itself is home to a history dating back to 1763. The Shelburne Orchards offer picturesque views as well as opportunities to pick apples, sour cherries, and peaches at different points throughout the summer. The orchards also house distilleries, perfect for those looking to enjoy fresh fruit and fresh brews. For travelers with an interest in hiking and biking, take a trip to Shelburne Bay Park, while Shelburne Museum is more suited for history lovers, housing 80,000 items of folk art and other unique items.
Nestled on the hills of the Green Mountains, Chester is a vibrant community with a rich history. The Chester Village Historic District earns a spot on the National Register of Historic Places, and is chock full of restaurants such as Country Girl Diner, Heritage Deli & Bakery, and MacLaomainn's Scottish Pub. There are also local shops like Crow Hill Gallery, Stone House Antiques Center, and Endless Creations Pottery Studio, as well as places to stay, such as Stone Hearth Inn & Tavern, Fullerton Inn, and Inn Victoria.
The town is also home to the Stone Village Historic District, which features several pre-Civil War houses built using the local stone preserved from quarries. The town is a great starting point for endless adventure, with proximity to popular destinations like Bromley, Stratton, Magic Mountain, Mount Snow, Okemo Mountain Resort, and Killington.
The state's capital, it is no surprise that Montpelier is one of the most beautiful destinations in Vermont. For history, art, and architecture lovers, the 1859 Vermont State House features a gold dome in the Greek Revival style and houses decorative and fine art collections. Hubbard Park is the ideal destination for a day spent strolling through lush meadows, a birch grove and enjoying the views from the 1930s observation tower. Bragg Farm Sugarhouse & Gift Shop is a picturesque location, but it also offers a chance to indulge in a sweet treat such as the maple creemee or bring home a maple syrup souvenir. For live entertainment, visit Lost Nation Theater, the Montpelier Chamber Orchestra, or the Savoy Theater.
Burlington is a legendary destination for snow sports, featuring picturesque powdery slopes situated on the eastern shore of Lake Champlain and just south of the Canadian border. Popular parks and gardens for exploring and hiking include Mt. Philo State Park, which offers panoramic views of the Champlain Valley and Adirondack Mountains, Laplatte Nature Park, and Battery Park. There are also a number of waterfalls scattered throughout the area, including Bingham Falls, Bristol Falls, and Moss Glen Falls. The quaint main street houses plenty of local businesses and a unique arts scene, with popular stops including Lake Champlain Chocolate Factory, Church Street Marketplace, and Fleming Museum of Art. Walk down from Church Street to Burlington Waterfront Park, which offers ferry rides to the Lake Champlain Islands, as well as a 12.5-mile walking path.
Positioned in the heart of the Vermont Valley near the Taconic Mountains and the Green Mountains, Dorset is a charming destination for outdoor lovers and adventurers. There are plenty of mountain biking and hiking trails, as well as quarries, lakes, and mountain streams to enjoy fishing and swimming, including Gettysburg Quarry, Lower Prince Quarry, Humphrey's Trail, and Gilbert Lookout. Merck Forest and Farmland Center is a great place to enjoy the outdoors but also bring the kids and learn about the importance and benefits of sustainable agriculture and forest management. For winter excursions, visit Stratton Mountain Resort or Bromley Mountain Ski Resort, and indulge in skiing, snowboarding, or get cozy in the chalets. Visitors also enjoy charming local shops such as 3 Pears Gallery, Dorset Bakery, and Dorset Union Store. Experience the town's essence in one of the endearing inns: Squire House, The Dorset Inn, or Wilson House.
Nestled on the banks of the Connecticut River, Brattleboro is an outdoor oasis with a vast and rich history. The historic downtown area embodies the town's storied past and natural beauty, as well as its present-day vibrance. Travelers enjoy wandering the charmed streets and visiting popular attractions such as the Brattleboro Museum, New England Center for Circus Arts, and Estey Organ Museum. Outdoor lovers find solace in the beauty of the Brattleboro Words Trail, Fort Dummer State Park, where camping, hiking, and mountain biking are popular activities, and the Creamery Covered Bridge. Find good eats and refreshments at locally owned restaurants such as Saxton's Distillery, The Lounge, and Whetstone Beer Co.
One of the best towns in Vermont to chill out, Middlebury sits on the Middlebury River, which is a tributary of Otter Creek. Cascading falls rush through the heart of the village, adding an especially picturesque charm to the area. Brick and stone buildings line the hamlet's streets, where visitors can stop into local shops, such as Vermont's Own Gifts & Goods, Sweet Cecily, and The Middlebury Shop. For those in search of a taste of unique history intertwined with outdoor adventure, visit the Robert Frost Interpretive Trail, which commemorates the poetry of Robert Frost, who once lived in the area, and travels across the beaver pond boardwalk. The Middlebury Farmers Market, which occurs weekly each summer, and the Middlebury College Snow Bowl, which is an annual winter event, draw visitors in from all over.
Enjoy A Trip To These Favorite Towns!
No matter whether you visit Vermont with your family or your closest friends, for a romantic getaway or on a solo adventure, these top-rated towns in Vermont offer something for every vacation. Whether the gorgeous mountain town of Stowe draws you in or the snow sports of Burlington call your name, adventure awaits in these charming Vermont towns. They are ranked among the list of US favorites for a good reason, truly encapsulating the beauty, community, and discovery Vermont has to offer.