Panoramic view of peak fall foliage in Smugglers Notch, Vermont.

11 Most Scenic Road Trips to Take in Vermont

The US boasts abundant beauty, with gorgeous beaches, towering mountains, breathtaking waterfalls, and undulating plains. Vermont possesses natural beauty like no other state. The state calls out to all those looking to relish in the stunning environment and beautiful wilderness. While outdoor pursuits like hiking, mountain biking, skiing, fishing, and paddling are all excellent options, road trips are the best to discover and soak in the captivating sights. 

Road-tripping would never be more fun and delightful than in Vermont. One can explore everything from waterfalls to mountains to rivers on the way. The roads pass charming towns, pretty valleys, beautiful foliage, and everything in between. So, let us check out the 11 most scenic road trips to take in Vermont.

Lake Champlain Byway

Docks on the shore of Lake Champlain in Burlington, Vermont
Docks on the shore of Lake Champlain in Burlington, Vermont

Lake Champlain Byway would make every traveler fall in love with the route. Traversing through US Routes 2 and 7, the scenic drive encompasses lush mountains, extensive farmlands, beautiful valleys, and cute towns along Lake Champlain's eastern shoreline. The best feature of the trip is that travelers can discover stunning beauty throughout the year. The route also offers a chance to immerse in diverse cultural experiences while passing through Champlain Islands, Greater Burlington, and Addison County. One can also indulge in rich historical experiences in the museums, notably Rokeby Museum, Shelburn Museum, and Lake Champlain Maritime Museum. In all, it will be an exciting and gorgeous road trip. 

Molly Stark Scenic Byway

Red and yellow autumn colors are reflected in Adams reservoir, along the Molly Stark Trail, near Woodford Vermont
Red and yellow autumn colors are reflected in Adams reservoir, along the Molly Stark Trail, near Woodford Vermont

Molly Stark Scenic Byway appeals to all history enthusiasts, and as it should when the name itself draws from the Battle of Bennington's leader General John Stark's wife. Fall is the best season to drive through the Byway on Route 9, as it perfectly captures the magnificent beauty of the hardwood forests and foliage. Visitors can spend some time in the Green Mountain National Forest on the way and appreciate nature more closely. Brattleboro, another town on the route, is a haven for art enthusiasts, making it a popular pit stop. 

The Shires of Vermont Byway

Aerial view of the Bennington Battle Monument
Aerial view of the Bennington Battle Monument

Shires are quaint little towns, and this route actually covers the shire towns along Route 7A. Visitors would have the opportunity to soak in the countryside vibe surrounding the trip with pastures, gravel pathways, charming houses, and the blossoming nature of New England's southwestern areas. The Bennington Battle Monument is a top attraction among history buffs, while the Southern Vermont Arts Center, along with Manchester's welcoming galleries, are perfect spots for art enthusiasts to enjoy. It will be the ultimate unwinding road trip for travelers to discover Vermont.

Stone Valley Scenic Byway

The Stone Valley Scenic Byway in Vermont
The Stone Valley Scenic Byway in Vermont

The Stone Valley Scenic Byway captures the natural magnificence effectively via Route 30. The neverending vibrant foliage, undulating hills, meandering rivers, and charming lakes makes this road trip among the best ones in the state. Visitors can also find out about Stone Valley's historical significance along the way. There are also many interesting stops, like the Dorset Playhouse and war site, making this drive knowledge-filled. Travelers will also have ample options for getting the perfect pictures of their journey, as the route is simply breathtaking. 

Green Mountain Scenic Byway

Aerial view the Green Mountain Byway
Aerial view of the Green Mountain Byway, via Smugglers' Notch Resort – America's Family Resort® (

As the name suggests, Green Mountain Scenic Byway takes road trippers on a ride to marvel at the breathtakingly towering mountains on Route 100. Visitors will pass through towns including Cambridge, Stowe, Jeffersonville, and Morrisville, allowing them to discover the rich history of the region. The Ben & Jerry's Factory in Waterbury is a bonus for those traveling, offering them a chance to indulge in sweet delights. It is the road trip to engage in if visitors wish to admire Mount Mansfield, Northern Green Mountains, and Smuggler's Notch Mountain Pass.

Northeast Kingdom Byway

Main street in Newport, a town along Northeast Kingdom Byway, via  Erika J Mitchell /
Main street in Newport, a town along Northeast Kingdom Byway, via  Erika J Mitchell /

While southern Vermont offers many scenic getaways, the northeastern region is not far behind. The Northeast Kingdom Byway allows visitors to admire the more rustic and wilder side of Vermont. Due to being remote, the area offers unspoiled and serene landscapes of the state. Travelers will cross through stunning bridges, breathtaking waterfalls, towering mountains, and quaint lakes, making the places appear like a paradise. Visitors can also check out the towns of Newport and St. Johnsbury and immerse themselves in the lively regional culture. 

Mad River Scenic Byway

Mad River Scenic Byway, via
Mad River Scenic Byway, via Mad River Byway - Mad River Valley Chamber of Commerce

The sheer beauty, outdoor pursuits, and excellent photo opportunities are in abundance along the Mad River Scenic Byway. Visitors could enjoy outdoor adventures like snowboarding and skiing in the Mad River Glen and Sugarbush ski resorts during the winter. While fishing, swimming, and hiking are the preferences in summer. The quaint towns along the drive are the ideal pit stops and also offer the chance to take in charming attractions, enjoy delectable food, and shop cute items. Driving along this byway would be an unforgettable experience for travelers.

Connecticut River National Byway

Sunderland Connecticut River Byway,
Sunderland Connecticut River Byway, Connecticut River Byway | Route | EatSleepRIDE

Another scenic drive opportunity that also leads toward Canadian borders is the Connecticut River National Byway. The route allows travelers to follow the Connecticut River and cover the distance from Vermont to New Hampshire. There are historically-significant towns, beautiful shorelines, extensive pasture lands, and ragged cliffs along the way. Visitors can also go swimming, kayaking, fishing, and boating in the tranquil waters. The meandering journey also has art galleries, local dining establishments, and cultural spots to have the finest experience. 

Vermont Route 100

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

Vermont Route 100 is a road-trippers haven, offering fantastic opportunities to discover the best of the state. Visitors would discover quintessential Vermont charm towns, vibrantly striking foliage, and exquisite local gastronomy on the way. The route converts to a "skier's highway" during the winter months and a breathtaking spot during fall with colorful foliage. There is also an option to continue till the Canadian borders if travelers cover the entire route. Overall, it will be an excellent trip to experience the beautiful Vermont.

Smuggler's Notch Road

Aerial panorama of Smugglers Notch vacation and skiing resort in the fall, via Steve Heap /
Aerial panorama of Smugglers Notch vacation and skiing resort in the fall, via Steve Heap /

Smuggler's Notch Road is an adventurous and exciting road trip opportunity for everyone. Driving along the majestic peaks, lush forests, and the rugged setting provides a chance to admire the breathtakingly gorgeous mountains closely. The route is only accessible during summer due to extreme conditions in the colder months. However, one can go hiking, skiing, and rock climbing when driving through the area, enabling a more vivid mountainous encounter. The captivating scenery along the way is a bonus making it a fantastic trip.

The Vermont Cheese Trail

Local farms on the Vermont Cheese Trail, via
Local farms on the Vermont Cheese Trail, via Vermont Cheese Trail: #1 Best Way to Explore Local Farms (

True to its name, the Vermont Cheese Trail aims to familiarize visitors with the rich cheesemaking heritage of the state. While unknown to many, Vermont is the perfect place to indulge in cheesy love with the presence of many artisan cheesemakers in the region. The drive is absolutely beautiful, traversing through quaint towns, and allows visitors to stop at major cheese stops. Travelers can check out farms and cheese factories to sample the dairy goodness. Mount Holly's Crowley Cheese factory, Windsor's Vermont Farmstead Cheese Company, Plymouth Artisan Cheese, and Quechee General Store's Cabot sampling station are the prominent places to discover during this stunning drive. 

While vacations are delightful, road-tripping is even more fun. These scenic drives allow visitors to take a glimpse at Vermont more closely and through the wilderness lens and discover everything from history to natural wonder on the way. Vermont road trips are the ideal way to unwind and relax while enjoying the excitement of a getaway.


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