The cityscape of Montpelier, Vermont.

Vermont's 8 Most Underrated Towns To Visit In 2024

Boxed in by Maine, New York, Massachusetts, and America’s northern neighbors in Canada is a state commonly known as the Maple Syrup state. It’s no surprise that Vermont has some underrated towns that fail to get the recognition they deserve, as the state itself is often underappreciated. But those who visit are often rewarded with enjoying the scenic beauty of Vermont’s great outdoors, the small-town hospitality of towns, and the extensive history that is hidden throughout the state. So, in 2024, you might not want to wait too long because it’s only a matter of time before tourists realize what they are missing in this hidden oasis in the Northeast.


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

Whether you are planning to arrive in Stowe during the heat of a summer day or to watch the Vermont foliage change from green to the perfect blend of orange, red, and yellow, this small town has you covered regardless of the season.

Stowe is mainly known for its world-class skiing, which is offered at local resorts such as Stowe Mountain Resort, which has an abundance of trails groomed for all levels of skiers and snowboarders. As the weather warms and the snow begins to disappear, these mountains become the perfect place for outdoor hiking or biking. The town has even earned the title “The Mecca of Mountain Biking.” So rent from a local shop or bring your ride, and head out to popular trails such as the Cady Hill Forest or Adams Camp trails.

If you prefer the comfort of paved roads and scenic architecture, stay on your own two feet and explore the exciting attractions the town offers. Explore local history at the Stowe Historical Society Museum, which showcases the town's heritage. You can even take some time to yourself and get pampered at the Calm Company Spa, which offers a variety of relaxing treatments that will surely make your stay in Stowe a memorable one.


The cityscape of Montpelier, Vermont.
The cityscape of Montpelier, Vermont.

Unbeknownst to many, this charming community also sits as the current capital of Vermont. The town was founded in 1791, thus meaning that there are over 233 years of history awaiting exploration in Montpelier.

The first thing you should do upon arrival is to take a glance at the golden-capped State Capitol building. Whether you want to schedule a tour to explore Vermont’s political history or simply walk amongst the well-manicured grounds, a stop here is a must. Montpelier is also known as the heartbeat of Vermont’s arts scene, so take in a show at the Grand Lost Nation Theatre or browse T.W. Wood Gallery & Art Centre to see some of Vermont’s best creations.

Visitors can quench their thirst by visiting some of the local breweries in the town as well. Head over to the Three Penny Taproom to sample some delicious local brews. If you prefer a glass of wine, then Stow has you covered as well. Venture to the scenic grounds of North Branch Vineyards and capture that perfect photo, as the vast vineyard serves as the perfect backdrop.


Streetscape of Center Street in downtown Rutland
Streetscape of Center Street in downtown Rutland. Editorial credit: quiggyt4 /

Hidden amongst the region’s natural lakes, towering hills, and dense forests is a well-kept secret known as Rutland. The town has plenty of activities to keep visitors busy, rain or shine.

The surrounding outdoors is an outdoor enthusiast’s dream. Visitors can choose from exciting adventures such as kayaking or canoeing on the calm waters of the Chittenden Reservoir or enjoy a leisurely walk through Giorgetti Park, which has a trail for every type of personality. For the extremely few, nearby Killington Mountain Resort is the largest ski area on the East Coast and can provide some exhilarating runs.

The town also has its fair share of indoor activities. Settle in with a good book at the grand Rutland Library, which resembles something like a castle. If you want to witness an actual castle, venture to the nearby Wilson Castle, renowned for paranormal activity. If you’re feeling brave, schedule a tour of the castle and explore the haunted past of the magnificent structure.


Middlebury Falls, in Middlebury, Vermont
Middlebury Falls, in Middlebury, Vermont.

If you’ve never seen a bridge with a roof, then Middlebury has you covered…no pun intended. Vermont is renowned for its covered bridges. The state possesses over 100 to date. Luckily, Middlebury features two of the most famous. So, seek some shelter under the picture-perfect Halpin Covered Bridge and the Pulp Mill Covered Bridge.

If you want to explore the oldest community museum in the entirety of America, head to the Henry Sheldon Museum, which tells the story of the town’s origins to the present.

If you consider yourself more of an artsy type, then be sure to get your hands on the hottest ticket in town. The Town Hall Theater is a hidden gem in the state and is known for a variety of productions, but the most sought-after is an opera performance by the Opera Company of Middlebury. Before arriving in Middlebury, be sure to check out local calendars, as there is always something exciting going on, ranging from the town’s well-known farmers market to the Festival on the Green.

St. Albans

Fall scenery in St. Albans, Vermont
Fall scenery in St. Albans, Vermont.

Lying just a stone’s throw away from the open expanse of Lake Champlain, St. Albans is one of Vermont’s last must-see destinations along the I-89 before you give Canada a visit. Often overlooked by those heading towards Montreal, the town makes a case as to why it’s worth the detour.

Just a few minutes’ drive from the historic downtown core is the shoreline of Lake Champlain, the lake is the perfect place to beat the heat so be sure to plan a visit to St. Albans Bay Town Park to enjoy the sandy beach. If you prefer to stay dry, choose the Missisquoi Valley Rail Trail, which showcases a different perspective of Vermont’s natural beauty.

The town also features an impressive local museum. The St. Albans Museum is housed in a massive historic Victorian building and features seasonal exhibits along with featured galleries that tell the legacy of the town.


Woodstock, Vermont.
Countryside scene near Woodstock, Vermont, in fall. Editorial credit: MindStorm /

If the town resembles something you have seen on a hallmark card, that’s because you probably have. Known for its charming beauty, you’re going to want to bring your camera to this picture-perfect town.

Start your visit by learning about one of the main industries within the town, head over to Billings Farm & Museum. Witness how a dairy farm operates first-hand through an interactive tour of the farm, after learning about how past generations produced food for the town’s population without the use of modern technology. If you’re enjoying the farm lifestyle, head over to sugarbush farm. The Farm produces high-quality maple products such as maple syrup and savory cheeses, so bring your appetite as well.

It wouldn’t be a true Vermont town without having some covered bridges, head out to witness the Middleville Covered bridge which looms above the rapids of the surging Ottauquechee River below. After, go see one of the best views in the entire state by hiking to the top of nearby Mount Tom which has an amazing view of Woodstock and the surrounding area.


Aerial view of Bennington, Vermont
Aerial view of Bennington, Vermont.

Hidden amongst the vast expanse of dense forests in the Northeast corner of America is a town that has been able to preserve its unique history while continuing to develop to keep up with the times.

Despite only having a population of 14,000 people, it is still the 6th largest city in the state. Begin your exploration of the town by simply getting a feel of its charming ambiance. Walk along the Old Bennington trail that takes you through the town’s oldest landmarks, such as the Jedidiah Dewey House. If you’re contemplating whether to visit an art or history museum, then accomplish both with one visit to the Bennington Museum. The museum houses everything from historic artifacts to brilliant pieces of art curated by local artists.

If you want to enjoy the outdoors without sacrificing your exploration of Vermont’s history, then pay a visit to the Bennington Battle Monument and stroll on the same grounds where one of America’s most famous battles occurred. For a more secluded experience, hike along one of the longest trails as you march down Vermont’s Long Trail.


Hildene, Robert Todd Lincoln's 1905 Georgian Revival Summer in Manchester, Vermont.
Hildene, Robert Todd Lincoln's 1905 Georgian Revival Summer in Manchester, Vermont. Editorial credit: LEE SNIDER PHOTO IMAGES /

What began as the perfect place for a summer retreat for the affluent families of New York City soon developed into a year-round destination for all. Whether you want to begin your day by sipping on a coffee at Nipper’s Café or prefer to watch the sunrise from atop Mount Equinox's scenic byway, both prove to be excellent ways to kickstart your visit to Manchester. After, pay a visit to the elegant Hildene Mansion, which Abraham Lincoln’s only son built. Take a tour of the grand mansion or simply walk through the well-manicured courtyards surrounding the estate.

Explore one of Vermonters' favorite pastimes, and visit the American Museum of Fly Fishing, which explores the tradition of fly fishing’s transition from a source of survival to a sport. If you’re more hands-on, schedule a fly-fishing lesson with Orvis Fly Fishing School for your chance to reel in the big one.

Strap on the hiking boots, or the ski boots, or even that fancy pair of shoes, as there is something for every type of traveler in America’s 14th state in 2024. Whether you want to soar down the slopes of Stowe or stand knee-deep in the calm rapids of Manchester, a visit to Vermont’s most underrated towns is sure to leave you happy with your decision to take a chance on these hidden retreats.

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