Nick and Dariece | September 5, 2016 11:00 PM ET
Fun End of Summer Things To Do in Vermont
PHOTO: Vermont State House in Montpelier. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons, all other photos by Goats on the Road unless otherwise indicated)
Summertime is a beautiful season in the Northeast. And thanks to the Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign, Vermont is on the international radar for the first time since, well, ever!
It’s the Green Mountain State and at one point in history, the state’s cows actually outnumbered its residents. Considering the significant bovine population, it follows naturally that many delicious dairy products are made here, along with the other semi-famous Vermont staple: maple syrup. In fact, there’s a huge farm-to-table movement here and small, local farms have been producing good fresh food before eating local became a national obsession.
Photo via Flickr/U.S. Department of Agriculture
READ MORE: 3 Great Days in Vermont
Vermont shares its northern border with Canada and it's only a three-hour drive from Montreal! To the south, Boston is also just over a three-hour drive away. However, unlike these nearby cities, Vermont is truly an escape from the urban hustle and bustle. This state is full of beautiful hiking, biking and swimming places. It's rural enough to get some fresh air, but there's always a quaint town nearby.
Here are a few fun and unique places to get you started exploring this beautiful state.
Top Places to Hike
The Vermont mountains are rolling and forgiving; you’re not going to have to worry about high altitude, and you can get in a good workout and see some amazing views on these local hikes. Mount Mansfield There are several trails that lead up to Vermont’s tallest summit at 4,393 feet. You’ll want to base your hike out of the quaint town of Stowe, Vermont.
In the wintertime, Stowe is a popular ski resort, so there are plenty of good places to eat and cafes when you get done with your hike. You should be aware that there is a significant elevation gain from the bottom of the hike to the top, so you should prepare by bringing along food and water. Plus, the temperature will be a lot colder at the top, so bring an extra layer.
Photo via Wikimedia Commons
This is another beautiful and rewarding hike where you can get a 360-degree view of the green mountains from above. You can make a loop out of this hike, since there are two trails that lead to the summit from the same parking lot. It is a challenging climb, so be sure you’re in good shape before setting out and bring plenty of water and sunscreen for the top.
READ MORE: 5 Things to Do in Vermont Besides Skiing
Get to a Watering Hole
Since temperatures can rise in the summertime, you’ll probably have water on your mind. Luckily there are some beautiful places to cool off, whether you’re going for a swim or renting a kayak. (highly recommended!)
You can access Vermont’s biggest lake from many different places, but we recommend heading here from Burlington. There’s a lakefront park that’s a good place to rest and enjoy the warmer weather.
This is a smaller lake, but it’s good for swimming, kayaking and other water sports. You’ll have to pay a small entrance fee to use Branbury State Park, but there are picnic tables, a sandy beach and public bathrooms. There are also a limited number of camping spots just across the street. This is another good place to do some fun hiking. There’s a short hike up to the Falls of Lana and Silver Lake, or you can take the longer trek up to Rattlesnake ridge for beautiful lake views.
Summertime Shopping Spree
You may be surprised to learn that there are a few fun places to shop in this rural state! Outdoor pedestrian mall in Burlington Church Street is a fun and lively shopping destination. It’s an entirely pedestrian street in Burlington with many local shops, cafes and an indoor mall as well. The summertime is the perfect season to visit, since warmer weather has many locals outdoors, enjoying the sun and the shopping.
The Outlets in Manchester
If you’re looking for a bargain, Manchester offers outlet shopping, where you can always be sure to get a good deal. Plus, there’s some really unique local stores as well. We recommend checking out the Northshire Bookstore for books, artwork and a snack or coffee at the little adjoining cafe.
No trip to Vermont would be complete without indulging in some of the delicious, local food that has come to be the pride of this agricultural state. Small farms are a big part of the state’s heritage and they have persistently resisted the pressure to convert to the industrial-style farming that’s swept much of the rest of the country.
Photo via Pixabay
Wood’s Farmer’s Market
This roadside farm stand is located on Route 7 between Brandon and Middlebury. It’s only open in the summer so luckily this is the perfect time to take advantage of the offerings. You can choose from fresh produce, local cheeses and dairy products, as well as fresh-picked fruit. Wood’s farm is just behind the farm stand and definitely represents Vermont’s conservationist values. It was preserved thanks to a land trust that has guaranteed that this land will continue to be used for farming, as opposed to being converted into a housing development.
This restaurant offers delicious, seasonal cuisine, which is inspired by local ingredients. It’s conveniently located in central Vermont at the crossroads of two of the State’s major highways Route 7 and Route 4, so if you’re driving through here, it’s worth a stop for dinner.
Hopefully, these travel suggestions will help you plan your trip to this perfect summertime destination!
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