Vermont State House, Montpelier, Vermont, with tulips blooming. Image credit meunierd via Shutterstock

These Towns in Vermont Come Alive in Spring

Vermont proves that great things can come in small packages. Though 49th in population and 45th in size among the 50 states, this New England gem is full of breathtaking natural beauty and dozens of postcard-pretty small towns. Residents of the “Green Mountain State” are rightly proud of their local communities, and love to welcome springtime visitors to explore their small towns. Check out seven Vermont towns that deserve spots on your spring travel itinerary.


Stream flowing through the picturesque town of Brattleboro, Vermont.
Stream flowing through the picturesque town of Brattleboro, Vermont.

Brattleboro, a well-known regional tourist destination, is just a quick trip across the Connecticut River from New Hampshire and not much further than that from Massachusetts. Home to a classic Main Street with bustling shops and historic architectural highlights like the Gothic-style old high school, Brattleboro is perfect for sightseeing and shopping on a warm spring day. The community calendar fills up as the calendar turns to spring, with popular events like the Brattleboro Brewers Festival and the Solo Jazz Piano Festival. Once home to a huge organ factory, Brattleboro also offers the quirky Estey Organ Museum.


Downtown building in Grafton, Vermont
Downtown Grafton, Vermont. Image credit Doug Kerr from Albany, NY, United States, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Grafton has a long and storied past in Vermont, first as a key stagecoach stop in the Green Mountains, then as a home to textile mills and soapstone mines. Historic buildings like the 1801 Grafton Inn point to this interesting past, and history buffs should definitely make a visit to the Grafton Historical Society Museum. Another great institution in town, the Grafton Nature Museum, houses a distinctive collection of natural artifacts. Spring 2024 will be extra special for the Nature Museum, as it is hosting a Solar Eclipse Viewing Party on the afternoon of April 8.


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.

Tourists sometimes confuse Vermont’s small town of Manchester with the city of Manchester in neighboring New Hampshire. Other tourists know which Manchester they are visiting but spend most of their time at the outlet mall outside of town. But this lovely community of 5,000 has plenty to offer! From the town’s three historic districts to the luxurious gardens at the 1905 Hildene House, to the hiking trails on nearby Mount Equinox, Manchester is full of great options for a lovely spring day. Springtime in Manchester also marks the arrival of Booktopia, one of New England’s premier book festivals.


Vermont State House with tulips blooming.
Vermont State House, Montpelier, Vermont, with tulips blooming.

Montpelier is the smallest state capital in the United States, with a population of only 8,000. In some ways, it looks and feels like a typical Vermont town, with a quaint downtown corridor and tree-lined neighborhoods. Yet it is also home to impressive architectural highlights such as the Vermont State House and Vermont History Museum. Another historic highlight, the Victorian-era Green Mount Cemetery, is especially beautiful to stroll through in springtime. Montpelier also hosts an annual Mayfest, a popular month-long series of community events, several of which have environmental themes.


Ticonderoga was a steamboat served on Lake Champlain in 19th century.
Ticonderoga steamboat, Shelburne, Vermont. Image credit Wangkun Jia via Shutterstock

Located less than 10 miles from Burlington, Shelburne is an ideal place to observe the arrival of spring in Vermont. The town sits along lovely Lake Champlain and offers views of the Adirondack Mountains to the west and the Green Mountains to the east. Along with springtime sightseeing and outdoor recreation, the town is home to the Shelburne Museum, which displays a hodge-podge of Americana over its 45 acres. The Steamboat Ticonderoga, an old Lake Champlain steamboat, is always a favorite among museum visitors. Shelburne visitors also flock to the Vermont Teddy Bear Company factory and Shelburne Farms, a non-profit educational center.


Trapp Family Lodge, Stowe, Vermont
Trapp Family Lodge, Stowe, Vermont.

Stowe is a premier winter destination, with Stowe Mountain Resort considered one of the best skiing destinations in the eastern United States. But, as you might expect from the hometown of the relocated von Trapp family of Sound of Music fame, Stowe has an Alpine-style beauty that truly blooms to life in spring. Instead of skiers, springtime Stowe draws in artists with its lovely landscapes, and the town is home to renowned galleries like the Helen Day Art Center and Northwood Gallery. Late spring also marks the arrival of the Stowe Farmers’ Market, a true small-town gem held each Sunday.


The old covered bridge in Woodstock, Vermont.
The old covered bridge in Woodstock, Vermont.

Woodstock rose to prominence nearly 200 years ago due to its textile mills along the Ottauquechee River, a tributary of the Connecticut River. The mills brought in great wealth that funded several of the historic and stately homes that still stand in Woodstock, some of which now serve as bed-and-breakfasts. Woodstock’s classic covered bridge, quaint farmer’s market, and “town crier” community events chalkboard further add to the town’s timeless feel. The nearby Vermont Institute of Natural Science also hosts a range of springtime events, including its popular Owl Festival in mid-April.

It should be no surprise that the Green Mountain State reveals its true natural beauty once spring arrives and the greenery returns to the landscape. Small-town Vermonters know how to celebrate the return of spring after a long winter—by hosting fun community events that showcase their communities. No matter where your springtime travels in Vermont take you, you are sure to find a lovely, lively, welcoming small town.

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